Disney to acquire Pixar for $7.4 billion

Posted Wednesday, January 25, 2006 9:19 AM | Contributed by Fastball84

The Walt Disney Co.'s purchase of Pixar Animation Studios Inc. allows Disney to inject new creative life into its animation efforts, while Pixar can end its public run at the top of its game.

Read more from AP via Yahoo.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006 9:47 AM
Inititally weary of how the two companies would merge, I now have a lot of confidence in this deal because of one thing: John Lasseter. A man with the golden touch, he is a true animation genius- definitely "elite" in the same way that Walt Disney was- and now that he is being given the opportunity to work his magic on all aspects of Disney's animation division, I see things starting to get very better in the very near future. It is no secret that Pixar had been mulling over an "expansion" into traditional 2D (hand drawn) animation so this deal makes perfect sense.

Let Steve Jobs occupy a seat on the Disney board- Iger has been wanting Disney to ride the "technology wave" and there is no better man for the job than Jobs who seems to know exactly what people want and how they want it. With a creative mind like Lasseter finally calling some of Disney's shots, things are finally going to get better.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006 9:49 AM
This will be interesting to see what happens from a park perspective. I must admit that I enjoyed the Buzz Lightyear attraction at the MK and I hear there is a new Monster's Inc attraction out at DCA. If John Lassiter can extend his creativity to park attractions then there is cause to be excited.

On the animation front...I'm hoping this deal means the long rumored Toy Story 3 project can get off the ground. From what I have heard it has the potential to blow the first two out of the water which would be incredible.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006 10:15 AM
The article says that Lasseter began his Disnel career as an animator. I always though he started as a skipper on the Jungle Cruise.

Anyway, I have afeeling this is a good thing. Perhaps they could transform DCA into Pixarland. Or heck, go for the throat: Lasseterland.*** This post was edited by janfrederick 1/25/2006 10:16:39 AM ***

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006 10:59 AM
Lassiter now has creative controll at WDI too, so both animation and parks benifit! YAY!
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Wednesday, January 25, 2006 11:06 AM
I find it interesting how things come full circle... first Disney alienates Pixar, then they buy it.. :)

I expect nothing but goodness from this deal

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006 11:30 AM
No complaints from this end. Though, I must admit, I do miss traditional animation.
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Wednesday, January 25, 2006 12:38 PM
I personnely think the best part of the whole deal is that Lasseter will be the Chief Creative officer of imagineering. I think this is just the thing imagineering needs, a man that is extremly creative and an excellent story teller. I can't wait to see what imagineering comes up with now. Hopefully the days DinoRama style atractions are over.
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Wednesday, January 25, 2006 12:39 PM
At Pixar's internal meeting yesterday regarding this announcement, Lasseter was asked if this means 2-d at Disney will be reborn. He said yes. The crowd went wild.

This is directly from a friend who works there, so it's a first hand account. I'd bet money on the first new project being Brad Bird's long delayed Ray Gunn film.

BTW, don't discount the involvement of Ed Catmull. He's a programmer guy who ended up running Pixar's day to day operations, and I think has as much to do with Pixar's success as a company as Lasseter does (and both get more credit for that than Jobs)

Best I can figure, it seems that both Animation and Imagineering will have 2 heads which both report to Iger. The animation business head is Catmull and the creative head is Lasseter, and at Imagineering the business head is Rasulo and the creative head is Lasseter. It seems almost like Catmull and Rasulo will be the 'Roy Sr.' to Lasseter's Walt, with Iger just operating as the 'bank'. I have to hope Iger's going to give Lasseter, Catmull, and Rasulo pretty free reign or else he risks losing Lasseter and Catmull. As of the close of this deal Lasseter and Catmull will never, ever have to work another day of their life. They're going to be working for the love of what they do and the hope of recreating that which had been lost.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006 2:24 PM
I wonder what Eisner thinks about Steve Jobs sitting in the Disney board room? <G>

No matter...this is a fantastic acquisition, and one that should be a huge ROI for Disney over the long run. (Much more so than the $5+ Billion they paid for Fox Family!!)

Would it be possible to have a better job than Lasseter now has? :-)

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006 2:56 PM
Not for me it wouldn't
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Wednesday, January 25, 2006 3:34 PM
I agree Gemini, I miss traditional animation as well. But considering that Pixar was once giving some thought to getting themselves into traditional animation, I'm wondering if Lasseter will take that desire to his "new" employer, who once did traditional animation so well?

I can't say I envy Lasseter though, at least not right now. He is going from a tightly-knit company that handles a few projects a time to an enormous media powerhouse where he will have to give attention to dozens upon dozens of things all at once. He has a lot more responsibilities and a lot more people to answer to and I can only hope that he is given the ability to do what he does best instead of getting burned out early on and chased out of town.

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Thursday, January 26, 2006 12:05 AM
I hope Catmull and Lasseter clean house and kick all those "creative executives" with their MBA's out of animation and imagineering. I think Pixar will still be allowed to do what they do and hopefully they can bring back that creatve spark that the Animation once had. There are some good movies in the pipeline(I can't wait to see American Dog even though it is years away and expect it to be even better if Chris Sander's isn't micro-managed). This is a great day for the company and hopefully Disney will be able to return to the creative glory it used to have. Kudos to Iger and Jobs and everyone else involved for getting this done.
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Thursday, January 26, 2006 9:33 AM
Rob, no need to wonder. See my first post. From the horse's mouth, dude.
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Thursday, January 26, 2006 10:03 AM
Wow... excellent news. Not sure how I missed that when you first posted it!
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Thursday, January 26, 2006 11:40 AM
I think this merger has its good and bad points on the animation level.Yes Disney can bring back Toy story and Monsters inc for more sequel's. But now they will go back to keeping the story lines to a family level. Not that I wanted to see Pixar go to the South park level I just thought when they were on ther own they would have push the evelope a little futher.
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Thursday, January 26, 2006 3:00 PM
I think Pixar films will continue to push the envelope. Then again, it sounds like you're implying that Pixar is making ADULT films, which isn't what I believe to be the case. Sure some of their stuff is adult-oriented but it's not like any of their stuff comes close to being PG-13 material. The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast contain just as much "adult" stuff as The Incredibles and Finding Nemo.
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