Disney Movies and the Art of Productivity

July 23, 2014
Whether they are making movies or manufacturing light bulbs (or shoes or ....), companies are always seeking new ways to meet the need for speed.

The secret is out -- I watch Antiques Roadshow!

And I just watched and heard an interesting series of comments from a woman who brought in a bunch of animation art from Disney, circa late 1930s.

The woman said she was one of the women hired to paint the animation cells, which were used to make cartoon movies, I guess. She mentioned working on Sleeping Beauty, Pinocchio and some other film that I can't remember. She also was an inker. (That is not her in the picture below.)

Well, back in the mid and late 1930s, this work was done by hand, of course. The woman who brought in the Disney pieces explained that back then each "girl" was given a sequence to ink. She also explained how they were timed on how long in took to ink the cells, and the timing was done by the other "girls."  If you were unable to keep up on the times, you were out. She said it was quite intense, but "it kept you on your toes."

She got me to thinking about whether the single metric that mattered was time. I wonder how, or if, quality was impacted by this productivity drive.

Of course, she was on Antiques Roadshow to get her items appraised, not address my completely unrelated musings.

The second thing she said that I found interesting about when she worked at Disney was that everyone wore some sort of earphones in which radio music played. I think this was required. It was to keep all the workers from talking to each other and potentially slowing one another down.

So there you go. What are you watching that makes your mind start wandering to productivity issues?

About the Author

Jill Jusko Blog | Senior Editor

Focus: Operations & Workforce

Email: [email protected]
Follow Jill on Twitter: @JJuskoIW

Call: 216-931-9311

Senior Editor Jill Jusko covers strategies and best practices in manufacturing workforce and operations leadership. She provides information about workforce compensation strategies, education and training, employee engagement and retention, and teamwork. Her coverage of operations excellence spotlights companies that have achieved world-class results in quality, productivity, cost and other benchmarks by implementing the latest continuous improvement and lean/Six Sigma strategies.

Jill also coordinates IndustryWeek’s Best Plants Awards Program, which annually salutes the leading manufacturing facilities in North America.

Jill has also served as the editorial project director for the IW/MPI Census of Manufacturers. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University. 

Sponsored Recommendations

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!