Disney and Pixar divorce

Posted Friday, January 30, 2004 8:10 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Disney and Pixar have ended talks to renew a collaborative contract following the delivery of two more films. Disney said Pixar's terms did not provide sufficient incremental returns. Disney will retain the rights for the films for sequels and theme park attractions.

Read more from Videography.com.

Friday, January 30, 2004 12:18 PM
Unreal, coming after Disney shut down their animation studio in Florida. Maybe Pixar thought they had Disney right where they wanted them and were able to dictate terms?

Friday, January 30, 2004 1:20 PM
With Disney's recent of non-Pixar releases I just can't imagine what the heck they are thinking. Disney isn't exactly making a killing on Lion King 1 1/2 or Cinderella 2 and they certainly won't be up for Academy Awards anytime soon.

Greed has blinded them to some serious realities. I'd like to see the revenue of the company (particularly with respects animation) with Pixar vs. without. I bet it would be startling.

Friday, January 30, 2004 1:56 PM
Here is another article from forbes, it sheds a little light on revenue.


Friday, January 30, 2004 2:18 PM
God, Micheal is doing his best to destroy the company before the oust him. Some people are the devil - I swear.


Friday, January 30, 2004 2:27 PM
supermandl, that Forbes article doesn't tell the whole picture though. How much did Disney earn in Nemo related merchandising? What were the potential theme park attractions of that and future movies? If Nemo gets the Oscar then Disney can share the honor. What is the worth of that?

Perhaps it didn't strike at the financial core of the company but animation is where it all started and right now Disney may not even be second best.

Friday, January 30, 2004 2:38 PM
My take:

Short term, this hurts both companies - if they could play nice, both companies make out financially since both companies are currently very reputable for being family-oriented. Long term, Pixar's in a better position _IF_ they can continue to crank out incredible films as they have been. I bet Sony or Dreamworks would be tripping over themselves to distribute the products.

Anyway, who the heck knows? This could all be a ploy from Pixar to strengthen their bargaining position with Disney. Theoretically, they could still get a deal done.

Friday, January 30, 2004 2:42 PM
I agree(Wahoo skipper), I was just giving another article since you asked for revenue and this was the only one I could find on it(I did say it sheds a "little light" on it).*** This post was edited by supermandl 1/30/2004 2:43:25 PM ***
Friday, January 30, 2004 2:49 PM
Jeff's avatar I don't think the news even matters. They've got plenty of time to renegotiate. They're both playing hard ball. They may seal a deal anyway.
Friday, January 30, 2004 3:14 PM
Disney isn't making money on animation anymore. With the parks they run and the studios they control, they don't need animation. It will hurt them in the eyes of the public who are so used to seeing their films, but as far as financially, if things continue at their rate, Disney will be fine.
Friday, January 30, 2004 3:15 PM
From the various articles I've read, it seems like Pixar was being quite unreasonable with the terms of the proposed agreement. It was not only going to seriously cut back on Disney's take on movies produced under the new agreement, but it was also going to affect how much Disney would make on the final two releases under the current agreement.

I'm not exactly the world's biggest Eisner fan (my name has been submitted to Roy Disney's website), but in this case, I think it was wise for Disney to play a little hardball. From what I understand, no one is going to sign the agreement that Pixar wanted Disney to buy into.

Friday, January 30, 2004 3:17 PM
Here is another article saying that its a better deal for disney not to sign.


Friday, January 30, 2004 3:46 PM
Jeff's avatar Disney doesn't need animation? Disney wouldn't exist without its animation. They've got it mostly wrong in recent years, but if you think for a minute that the company's success didn't have something to do with its animation I think you're really missing the boat. They almost did no wrong between Little Mermaid and Tarzan.
Friday, January 30, 2004 4:02 PM
I am sure that animation contributes a lot more to Disney's bottom line than theme park revenue.
Friday, January 30, 2004 4:16 PM
Animation is the lifeblood of the Disney company. It is what the company was built on. To say it isn't necessary would be like saying rollercoasters aren't important for Cedar Point.

How much money do you think Disney makes off of it's Classic Videos/DVD's? I'll tell you: A hell of a lot.

With no new classics coming out now, what will they sell to our children and grandchildren? Cinderella 8 and the Lion King 5? Why is Disney the number one family entertainment company in the world? Because of it's past.

Losing Pixar won't put Disney under. But if Disney can't start producing animation hits of its own I can tell you without doubt it will be a problem for them down the road.

Friday, January 30, 2004 4:22 PM
Soggy's avatar Disney has done NOTHING but profit from their distribution of Pixar. They do little or none of the hard work, and were able to reap the benefits of the talent that Pixar has. Not only was Disney getting a percent of the movie's gross, but also the MUCH more profitable merchandise side of the coin.

Pixar (well, Steve Jobs) is only wanting what they deserve, all the proceeds from the movie, in return for a flat fee paid to Disney. (which would still be free $$$ for Disney) Disney would still get the merchandise rights and Pixar would get the marketing juggernaut of Disney behind the movie. It's a win-win. Disney's animation has gone downhill lately, and their computer anomation is virtually non-existant. Eisner is cutting off a very profitable deal by not re-signing with Pixar.

Friday, January 30, 2004 5:34 PM
Walt once said that he didn't care for animation anymore because it was too time consuming. Whereas a live actor can make a change instantly a change in animation can take days. Unfortunately for Walt the public demanded the animation and he continued on with both live action and animation. It seems with Eisner closing the Florida Studios, cutting off Pixar Studios and cutting back everywhere else, Walt's wish to do away with animation may very well come true. Unfortunately, the public still demands animated movies and they will go elsewhere to find them. Disney is loosing their heritage in animation. Someone seems to have forget that "It all started with a Mouse".
*** This post was edited by jfmoe 1/30/2004 5:36:01 PM ***
Friday, January 30, 2004 5:54 PM
If anybody happened to see Finding Nemo it's one of Disney's best. It set records for the highest grossing animated movie in the show. They passed up The Lion King. I'm kind of sadened by this. Oh well, life will go on.
Friday, January 30, 2004 6:54 PM
Mamoosh's avatar You mean one of PIXAR's best.
Friday, January 30, 2004 7:57 PM
Disney has done NOTHING but profit from their distribution of Pixar. They do little or none of the hard work, and were able to reap the benefits of the talent that Pixar has. Not only was Disney getting a percent of the movie's gross, but also the MUCH more profitable merchandise side of the coin.

Soggy: I understand yours and everybody else’s frustration with Disney based upon theme park operation shortcomings in the past years. But to claim Disney has nothing to do with the success of Pixar seems shortsighted in my opinion. My guess is that the Disney name alone was worth quite a lot of ticket sales for the Pixar flicks. Both companies benefited from their relationship. Also, Disney was responsible for distribution and marketing…this counts for something doesn’t it? As for your apparent dislike of profit (at least that is how I read your opening sentence), I would argue that this is the primary reason that any company conducts business!

I’m no huge Eisner fan based upon what I perceive as shortsighted operation changes within the theme park division that have decreased my experiences at the parks (shorter hours, less ride capacity, decreased entertainers in the live shows, etc). However, I’m sure he has the bottom line as his primary guide. We can argue all day about whether his decisions are correct or not but that is a whole other post. Needless to say, I disagree that Pixar has not benefited from their relationship with Disney. In fact I believe that they may have benefited more than Disney ever did.


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