Disney + Pixar = ?

It’s still not official yet, but all the war drums are saying the same thing: Disney to acquire Pixar for $7 billion.

I’m not sure what to make of it, if only because I’m waiting for the details to emerge, but if John Lasseter gets put in charge of Disney’s animation department, then there’s a good hope Disney will finally start producing good quality animated movies again. The role of Steve Jobs at Disney is also an enigma; I can’t imagine him settling for an uninfluential role on the Board of Directors, but does he really want to be in charge of the entire mouse empire?


It’s my understanding that selling Pixar will allow Jobs to focus on Apple. According to the LA Times, Jobs will probably be given the same position on the Board that Roy Disney Jr. had. As the biggest shareholder, yeah, he’s going have influence.

I agree with you; if Disney’s smart they’ll put Lasseter in charge of everything animation-wise. At the very least I hope they’re smart enough to leave Pixar the hell alone.

Disney + Pixar = Dixar. Or Pisney. What do I win?

Bragging rights.

Seriously, I’ll check with my pals who work for Dismal.

According to an NPR report this morning, there are still several issues to stop the sale.

Many Pixar animators do not want to ever work for Disney again.
Steve Jobs might find making media content deals trickier if he is the principal owner of a major rival.
Deep seated fear in the Pixar brain trust that Disney will screw up Pixar’s creative team. (but with the Evil Eisner finally gone this worry is diminished.)


Buying a company is, though, essentially a matter of bribing the management of the other company. You can’t give money to a “company” to buy it since once it’s bought everything it owns is yours.

So, 7 billion distributed (unequally) across perhaps a few hundred employees? I’d consider it.

Eh? You give the money to the owners, not the employees. I got a bit when GE bought us because I had some stock, but not as much as if they had paid the employees.

I was wondering when someone was going to start this thread. As a current fanboy of Pixar, and a Disney fanboy from back in the day, I’ve been following this story with some interest.

I get the feeling that a lot of people are looking at this deal as “good for Disney, bad for Pixar.” My thinking is that it’s either going to be good for both companies, or bad for both. Disney already has the rights to Pixar’s current lineup, movie-wise, and can market merchandise or sequels as it sees fit. Thus, the only reason to buy Pixar is to gain the future output of the company. It’s therefore in Disney’s best interests to make the Pixar employees as happy as possible (i.e. make it “good” for Pixar); if they don’t, their purchase doesn’t buy them a whole lot. Thus, it’s either good for Pixar (by dint of Disney’s kowtowing to them), and good for Disney, or bad for Pixar (their culture being subsumed by Disney’s current crapitude) and thus bad for Disney.

With this in mind, I’d love to see Pixar’s people more or less take over Disney’s animation group. Put Lasseter in charge of animation – he’s like a more brilliant, less annoying Katzenberg. If necessary, disband Disney’s animation group and allow Pixar to absorb the better talents, while staying more or less autonomous from Disney. If something like that happens, I can see this being a great thing for Disney, and, at the worst, neutral for Pixar.

Given that I’m also an Apple fanboy, the prospect of Steve Jobs making Disney take the lead in being a responsible content provider (instead of constantly fighting with digital distributors, as Warner et al have been known to do) excites me too. Plus, more Disney stuff on iTunes!

It’s now official. A little more money than previously reported: 7.4 billion. Not a bad chunk of change for Mr. Jobs (as he owned 50.6% of Pixar).

He seems to have already cranked up the RDF (Reality Distortion Field, for those of you not Jobs-watchers), while Robert Iger appears to have accidentally gone into “CEO-speak overdrive”:

On the plus side, John Lasseter is staying! w00t. He’s the new head of the animation divisions for the both companies. The article is pretty sparse, so it’s not clear whether the two divisions are being merged or staying independent.

Sorry for three replies in a row, but something I found interesting is that Disney stock is up on the news. Usually, the company doing the buying falls. I guess the Street has a very high opinion of Pixar and its ability to turn Disney around.

Wow, this is huge!

The first thing comes to my mind is: What does this mean for Toy Story 3? Is Bradley Raymond out as director? Is John Lasseter in?

One can only hope.

Sorry, I got the right idea but the wrong words. But yeah…

Not only is John Lasseter staying, but MiceAge is reporting that he’s going to be the Principal Creative Adviser at WDI as well.

I’m on Cloud Nine.

For some reason, Disney has renamed their corporate headquarters (the building with the Seven Dwarves holding it up) the Michael Eisner Building. Sure, he did do some good for Disney, but he made a lot of mistakes as well. Heck, Roy Disney tried to kick him out. Does he really deserve a building named after him?

Anyway, I don’t know what to think about the Disney/Pixar merger. Hopefully, Pixar can breathe new life into Disney and bring it back to its feet, as long as Pixar’s magic rubs off onto Disney and not the other way around. Let’s hope that Disney takes better care of Woody and Nemo than they are of Kermit and Miss Piggy, and that this partnership takes Disney and Pixar to infinity and, if all goes well, possibly beyond.

I’ve heard this being reported as “Pixar buys Disney for -$7bn” and it seems to have a grain of truth to it.

Probably. Before he took over, Disney was in all kinds of trouble. Frank Well deserves much of the credit for turning Disney around, too.

I love that Lasseter is getting so much power. I like that Jobs has some influence. I’m a little worried that Disney will have a negative effect on Pixar. But overall, I like this.

Disney has officially purchased Pixar.

Press release

I can’t help but be pessimistic. I don’t think the Mouse will be able to keep itself from meddling. I predict a bunch of CG movies with crappy Phil Collins scores, cutesy animal sidekicks, treacly family values messages, and desperate attempts to latch on to current pop culture fads (which inevitably pass).

Not that I have anything against movie scores, side kicks, or family values; but Disney’s managed to do them all so poorly lately…

This is probably the best result that could come out of the deal – Pixar gets to stay in Emeryville and continue to do things their own way, Jobs gets to throw some (much-needed) weight around Disney without getting bogged down with being the CEO, Ed Catmull gets to run the animation department (so long, exploitative cheapquels!), and best of all, John Lasseter is top dog big-time creative honcho for both Disney Animation and Disney Imagineering! :smiley: : D :smiley: :smiley: