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Pixar Eaten by Mickey Mouse 409

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i'm-so-confused dept.
The rumors went flying this weekend, but Dekortage writes "It is official: Pixar has been sold to Disney. Steve Jobs will join the Disney board, and John Lasseter is now Disney's Chief Creative Officer. So, dear Slashdot, does this mean that Disney's movies will improve, or that Pixar's will become worse?" Also the price of Pixar was $7.4 billion with a b dollars.
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Pixar Eaten by Mickey Mouse

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  • Price (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ours (596171) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @09:29AM (#14556662)
    price of Pixar was $7.4 billion with a b dollars

    Thats a lot but it may have been interesting to say it was in Disney stock.
  • Nice deal (Score:5, Funny)

    by mwvdlee (775178) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @09:30AM (#14556667) Homepage
    I think the devil made a nice deal; only $7.4 billion for a prime quality soul.
    • So you're saying Steve Jobs only got $7.4 billion. Or is the devil in the details?
    • by Urkki (668283) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @09:35AM (#14556708)
      So, what's so evil about Disney again? I mean, other than the whole no-pants thing corrupting minds of youngsters, and the various "Donald Duck"-parties that have been inspired by this...

      I guess I could google for the evilness of Disney, but you should never trust the Internet so I'd rather read about it here on peer-reviewed slashdot.
      • by creimer (824291)
        Be careful... weirder things are happening at Google [userfriendly.org] than Disney these days.
      • Re:Nice deal (Score:5, Informative)

        by thesandtiger (819476) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @09:48AM (#14556820)
        So, what's so evil about Disney again?

        That they're one of the key corporations behind the ever increasing extensions of copyright duration would be the biggie for me.

        Granted, if it weren't them, someone else would do it, but they did do it. So meh.
      • Re:Nice deal (Score:5, Informative)

        by soft_guy (534437) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @10:29AM (#14557158)
        The fact that they are hypocrtical. First, they used stories from the public domain to build their empire. Then they use their money and power to bribe congress to extend copyright from the original 14 years to be basically infinite. Thus, no material can ever enter the public domain again.
      • Re:Nice deal (Score:2, Informative)

        by vortigern00 (443602)
        The big one for me is what Disney did to my parents' town.

        The swooped in and announced that they were going to build a theme park called "Disney's America." They got the town to spend huge amounts of money on road improvements and business development. Lots of people moved into new housing. Lots of new businesses opened. The entire town bet their fortunes on Disney.

        Then Eisner said "PSYCHE! HAHA!" and pulled it all out, making comments that implied he was just testing to see how far he could push the to
        • Re:Nice deal (Score:3, Informative)

          by generic-man (33649)
          I remember Disney's America being announced. A lot of people were upset that Disney was going to be building a theme park based around its corporate vision of American history, and from what I recall Disney backed out due to all the bad PR.

          Besides, wasn't Disney's America going to be in Virginia? I know your town didn't have all these things, but there are already a few big theme parks in and around VA and there are a ton of Civil War-related attractions without a corporate facade.
          • Re:Nice deal (Score:3, Informative)

            Besides, wasn't Disney's America going to be in Virginia? I know your town didn't have all these things, but there are already a few big theme parks in and around VA and there are a ton of Civil War-related attractions without a corporate facade.

            Yes it was in the Manassas (Battle of Bull Run) area. [planning.org]

            From my own experience, I live down the street from a small, well intentioned not-for-profit zoo. In past winters a local artist would decorate it for the kids by painting various characters on the walls. Tw

  • by nagora (177841) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @09:31AM (#14556671)
    Disney is a supertanker of a company and it'll take more than a seat on the board or even being nominally in charge of animation to turn it around from the pile of crap it has become. Pixar is dead, for all serious purposes, although I'm sure Disney will make a big deal out of exploiting its "brand" on more of its third-rate tat.

    TWW

    • by tpgp (48001) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @09:54AM (#14556873) Homepage
      Disney is a supertanker of a company and it'll take more than a seat on the board or even being nominally in charge of animation to turn it around from the pile of crap it has become.

      Kinda reminds of Michael Dell saying (about Apple) "What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders" [com.com]

      I think if anyone can turn around disney, then Lasseter with Steve Jobs backing will be the ones to do it.

      What I think we should be more worried about is the creation of the most vertically integrated entertainment duopoly since paramount case of 1948 [cobbles.com] broke up the old vertical monopolists.

      I mean we're going to have one guy (Jobs) essentially controlling two companies that will between them produce the content, the distribution network, the playback codec and the playback device.

      The potential for abuse is frightening
      • but with Pixar, their works were formed in creativity, freedom, and integrity.

        I doubt the employees will put up with any oppressive or restrictive orders without radically reducing the resultant works, which will ultimately lower the sales and make Disney Worse off.
      • by Dan East (318230) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @10:53AM (#14557431) Homepage Journal
        I mean we're going to have one guy (Jobs) essentially controlling two companies that will between them produce the content, the distribution network, the playback codec and the playback device.

        Are you talking about Sony?

        Dan East
        • by tpgp (48001) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @12:31PM (#14558599) Homepage
          I mean we're going to have one guy (Jobs) essentially controlling two companies that will between them produce the content, the distribution network, the playback codec and the playback device.

                  Are you talking about Sony?


          Sorry, I meant to say:

          I mean we're going to have one guy (Jobs) essentially controlling two companies that will between them produce content we like, the distribution network, the playback codec and the playback device.

          See - sony no longer fits the description ;-)
      • What I think we should be more worried about is the creation of the most vertically integrated entertainment duopoly since paramount case of 1948 [cobbles.com] broke up the old vertical monopolists.

        I'm not sure what you mean by this. Disney acquiring Pixar only means that they acquire a whole lot of proven talent and technology in a field they were already in. The only thing Pixar did that Disney didn't (besides profit) was sell their Renderman software.

        There's no new "duopoly" here. Disney has bought a com
      • by wootest (694923) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @11:25AM (#14557768)

        I mean we're going to have one guy (Jobs) essentially controlling two companies that will between them produce the content, the distribution network, the playback codec and the playback device.

        The only playback codecs Apple make that are somewhat relevant to this is Pixlet and Apple Lossless, and both are high-quality codecs that might make sense inside the studios but will never be used to encode any content distributed by the network to the playback device.

        The FairPlay DRM, however, is proprietary, but that's not a codec. And both H.264 and AAC are supported parts of the independent MPEG-4 standard. Nice try though.

        (And again, like someone else said, "You mean, like Sony?")

    • by squiggleslash (241428) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @10:14AM (#14557045) Homepage Journal
      I'm pretty sure people said the same of Apple before the NeXT people took over (that was carefully worded and I'm still sure someone's going to point out Apple bought NeXT - yes, they did, but NeXT's people took over Apple, I mean, they became the senior people and stuff.) Right now, with John Lasseter being Disney's Chief Creative Officer, and Jobs both on the board and being Disney's largest shareholder, it looks like, at least nominally, a replay.

      Now, that said, there are differences, chief among them being that neither Jobs nor Lasseter is a former CEO of Disney, and as such are not necessarily as familiar with the culture and market as Jobs was with Apple.

      Disney, like Apple in the mid-nineties, has lost its way. For the past 30 years, it's not really had any significant direction, and has concentrated largely on media takeovers and lobbying for copyright extentions to protect Mickey Mouse, arguably a brand that has fizzled out anyway over the last decade. There's still a lot of good coming out of it, clearly there are good people in parts that are trying to find good things and pump Disney money into them, whether it's Pixar or Miramax (Pulp Fiction.) While I'm not necessarily going to argue that Jobs or Lasseter are the right people for the job, it certainly needs a fresh approach, and Jobs and Lasseter may, ultimately, be the right people to do that.

      • by Doctor Faustus (127273) <Slashdot@nOsPaM.WilliamCleveland.Org> on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @11:09AM (#14557603) Homepage
        I'm pretty sure people said the same of Apple before the NeXT people took over... I'm still sure someone's going to point out Apple bought NeXT - yes, they did, but NeXT's people took over Apple

        The usual way to word that around here is that NeXT bought Apple for $-400 million. Alas, I didn't come up with that, but it's very apt.
      • by solios (53048)
        I'm pretty sure people said the same of Apple before the NeXT people took over (that was carefully worded and I'm still sure someone's going to point out Apple bought NeXT - yes, they did, but NeXT's people took over Apple, I mean, they became the senior people and stuff.)

        Look what became of the operating system. Mac OS X is about as "Mac" as OS/2. It's NeXT for the masses and any resemblance to OS 9 is purely coincidental. :P
        • by rjung2k (576317)
          Look what became of the operating system. Mac OS X is about as "Mac" as OS/2. It's NeXT for the masses and any resemblance to OS 9 is purely coincidental.

          Speaking as a Mac user for over a decade, I have to say that you make this sound like a bad thing.
    • by node 3 (115640) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @10:25AM (#14557123)
      In the early 80's, Disney was severely in danger of fading away. Eisner not only saved Disney financially, but built it into the huge, powerful media corporation it is today. However, it's not all roses. As you noted, "Disney is a supertanker of a company" that "exploit[s] its brand[s] on ... third-rate tat."

      Disney's new CEO, Robert Iger, has impressed Steve Jobs enough to make this deal possible. Jobs is the type of person who wants to make [insanely] great things, and he wouldn't send one of his greatest creations into the maws of mediocrity. If you recall, it was recent that Jobs was ready to leave Disney in a very public row between Jobs and Eisner.

      I fully expect the Pixar acquisition will make Disney better far more than it will make Pixar worse. I also suspect that under Iger, Disney will be vastly different from the Disney your post describes. How Disney's new CEO fares has yet to be decided, but the prognosis is positive, especially if Steve is willing to trust one of his three greatest creations to him.
  • My Guess: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bakes (87194) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @09:31AM (#14556675) Journal
    does this mean that Disney's movies will improve, or that Pixar's will become worse?

    My Guess: both.

    We shall see.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @09:33AM (#14556688)
    Lassiter is now Chief Creative Officer of the animation studios, as well as Principal Creative Advisor at Walt Disney Imagineering. Pixar president Ed Catmull is now president of the new combined Pixar/Disney animation studios. And as much as I dislike Technomessiah Steve, I would love to see him take over the creative vision aspect of the theme parks.

  • iTunes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Peter Bonte (919202) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @09:33AM (#14556689)
    I'm wondering what the Disney/Pixar - Apple relation is going to work out. iTunes is selling Disney material now so apparently there is some cooperation.
    • Re:iTunes (Score:3, Insightful)

      by vistic (556838)
      Well there was an even bigger relationship between Apple and Pixar (as its own company) and I don't recall seeing a ton of special promotions and cross-over collaborations and such. So I would expect even less from Disney and Apple now, since Steve's role at Disney is less than it was at Pixar.
  • Either which way (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TehBlahhh (947819) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @09:36AM (#14556712)
    I think it is too early to draw any conclusions from this deal. It could still go any which way - better films, worse films, more web X.0 content, more DRM, and so on and on. I'd say we need about half a year before any 'conclusion' on this deal is more then mere speculation.

    With that in mind, allow me to say: WOHOO! all the backlog of (quality) disney movies on my ipod!
  • by ameline (771895) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (enilema.nai)> on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @09:36AM (#14556713) Homepage Journal
    This will be similar to Apple buying Next. In the end, all the senior people of Next wound up running Apple -- Apple adopted NextStep as their OS, and called it OSX.

    With any luck, Jobs, Lasseter, and other senior Pixar people will wind up running Disney. It would be a substantial improvement.

  • by FalconZero (607567) * <FalconZero AT Gmail DOT com> on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @09:36AM (#14556718)
    ...from the box office totals (in millions of US dollars)

    Pixar
    • Toy Story (1995) $191
    • Bugs Life (1998) $162
    • Toy Story2 (1999) $245
    • Monsters, Inc (2001) $255
    • Finding Nemo (2003) $339
    • Incredibles (2004) $261

    Disney
    • Aladdin (1992) $217
    • The Lion King (1994) $312
    • Pocahontas (1995) $141
    • Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) $100
    • Hercules (1997) $99
    • Mulan (1998) $120
    • Tarzan (1999) $171
    • The Emperor's New Groove (2000) $89
    • Atlantis (2001) $84
    • Lilo & Stitch (2002) $145
    • Treasure Planet (2002) $38
    • Brother Bear (2003) $85
    • Home on the Range (2004) $50

    Can you guys spot the trend too?

    (Data from Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]/www.boxofficemojo.com [boxofficemojo.com])
    • My gut tells me Cars is not going to do as well as other Pixar films, though with disney owning pixar, they will probably promote the hell out of it. You read the prediction here :)

      After that though, they could crank out blockbusters. I loved Monsters, toy story, even nemo. Sequels (to monster etc) are obvious, and franchise films can make big bucks..

      Be interesting to see how it turns. out.
    • by david.given (6740) <dg@@@cowlark...com> on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @11:22AM (#14557728) Homepage Journal
      The Emperor's New Groove (2000) $89

      Damn. There's no justice. That film is great, and completely blows away most of their other recent films for sheer style, verve and originality --- I reckon it's better than The Lion King, which suffered rather from the Disney over-earnestness.

      Treasure Planet (2002) $38

      That one's a real pity. Everything about it was so good --- the animation, the concept, the style, the characterisation, the acting --- except for the actual plot. If only they'd stuck to the original Stephenson novel instead of going off into la-la land with space portals and huge explosions and crap like that, this could have been good. The first half --- up until whatshisname gets pushed overboard by Silver --- is well worth watching.

      Home on the Range (2004) $50

      I've never even heard of this one. That's how much Disney's impacted me recently...

  • Now is the time (Score:3, Interesting)

    by aiabx (36440) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @09:37AM (#14556725)
    It's hard to judge a movie by it's trailers, but if Cars turns out to be as awful as it looks, Pixar is going to crash and burn when it's released. Best to sell now while Pixar's reputation is still riding high.
            -aiabx
    • Pixar trailers (Score:2, Interesting)

      by xusr (947781)
      Pixar trailers have never been very good, at least not in the 'traditional' way. Some movies (star wars ep. i-iii, matrix rev and reloaded...) pack every decent shot into a 59 second trailer. Pixar actually concentrates more on the movie than the trailer. That says something about them as a company.

      p.s. the Incredibles? Incredible.

    • Re:Now is the time (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Stan Vassilev (939229) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @09:53AM (#14556863)
      "It's hard to judge a movie by it's trailers, but if Cars turns out to be as awful as it looks, Pixar is going to crash and burn when it's released. Best to sell now while Pixar's reputation is still riding high."

      This happens almost before every Pixar feature. Examples.

      Finding Nemo? A story about fish? WTF can't they animate stuff with legs anymore, this is going to be so lame, omg Pixar is ruined. Results: critical acclaim and great box office, awards, great public perception.

      Incredibles? Omg those are so stylised, nothing creative about it, some story with CG humans. It looks so lame, omg Pixar is ruined. Results: critical acclaim and great box office, awards, great public perception.

      Now it's happening to cars. But all those who are trolling on the teaser trailer will be in for a surprise. Pixar isn't randomly greenlighting movie screenplays based on explosion/boob ratio.

      I'm sure it's gonna be a great movie and I'm looking forward to it.
      • Now it's happening to cars. But all those who are trolling on the teaser trailer will be in for a surprise.

        The premise, if you haven't read about it yet, sounds clever -- a racing stock car and an old rusty country pickup truck buddy up and go on a road trip down Route 66. The stock car lives fast, flashy and rich -- but until now hasn't ever seen much of life outside the racetrack. The pickup has been everywhere, man, but doesn't know much of life outside of the rural Midwest.

        Now that I type it, it sounds
      • No kidding! (Score:3, Funny)

        by TCQuad (537187)
        Pixar isn't randomly greenlighting movie screenplays based on explosion/boob ratio.

        And they're doing lots of other things wrong, too!
    • "It's hard to judge a movie by it's trailers, but if Cars turns out to be as awful as it looks, Pixar is going to crash and burn when it's released."

      Yes, it's very dificult to judge most movies by it's trailer. This is why we shouldn't do it. And to suggest that one bust in a string of hits will destroy PIXAR, then again, there is another gap in reasoning here...
    • Re:Now is the time (Score:2, Insightful)

      by 16K Ram Pack (690082)
      Every teaser from Pixar sucked. Thankfully, every movie hasn't.

      I personally rate Bug's Life as the least good Pixar movie. Which is still head-and-shoulders above every non-Pixar non-Shrek CG movie.

  • by wbren (682133) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @09:37AM (#14556726) Homepage
    1. Buy Pixar for $10 million
    2. Build it into a great animation studio
    3. Sell yourself to the devil (Mickey Mouse [anomalies-unlimited.com])
    4. Personal profit of $3.5 million!

    Great work, Steve Jobs! See, this time I didn't even need to include the mysterious "..." step. Amazing!
    • Re:Plan for Profit! (Score:4, Informative)

      by iamdrscience (541136) <michaelmtripp@nOSPAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @10:07AM (#14556983) Homepage
      Personal profit of $3.5 million!
      I think you may have misread something important. He bought Pixar for 10 million and it is now worth 7.4 billion of which he owns >50% of the shares. His personal profit is far far greater than 3.5 million.
    • 1. Watch Steve Jobs buy Pixar.
      2. Watch Steve work and toil to make it great.
      3. Watch it be sold to the Reign of the Rat.
      4. Watch Steve make chump change.
      5. Watch Disney build it up to be corporately evil.
      6. Wait until the right moment and buy Disney.
      7. Gain board of director status and challenge Steve to a there-can-be-only-one style fight to the death in the thunderdome with employees from both companies jeering you on from the sidelines.
      8. When Steve tries to use his iWin fighting st
    • B de Burro

      B as in Billion.

      He bought the Lucasfilm computer graphics department for $10 Million. His share of the Pixar sale is $3.5 Billion.
    • yeah, right, like you wouldn't be falling all over yourself for a chance to earn $3.5 billion...
  • by boxlight (928484) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @09:37AM (#14556728)
    does this mean that Disney's movies will improve, or that Pixar's will become worse?


    Disney owned all the sequel rights to Pixar movies, so a few months back Disney was saying they were going to do Toy Story 3 without Pixar. If that'd happened it would've produced a better Disney movie, but a worse Pixar movie -- if you follow me.


    Despite popular fanboy and media opinion, John Lasseter is the mind behind the success of Pixar's movies. Steve Jobs is the owner, distribution negotiator, but Lasseter is the talent.


    BTW, there's a great chapter in THE SECOND COMING OF STEVE JOBS [amazon.com] about the history of Pixar. Check it out.


    boxlight


  • by boxlight (928484) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @09:39AM (#14556746)
    I wonder if this means we'll see that remake of (Disney's) TRON that John Lasseter wanted to make?

    Cool!

    boxlight
    • I wonder if this means we'll see that remake of (Disney's) TRON that John Lasseter wanted to make?

      The script will need a little updating; i.e.,

      • I/O Tower has become Hardware Abstraction Layer;
      • MCP has become The Executive; and
      • Sark will now read nt.dll.

      The Kraftwerk style luminous outfits are to be replaced with turtle-necks with blue LED epaulets. It shall be render'd verily on a Super Scrumpy S-1, the fastest Apple iPod ever built.

  • by Syberghost (10557) <(moc.tsohgrebys) (ta) (tsohgrebys)> on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @09:41AM (#14556770) Homepage
    The deal wasn't exactly "here's some money now eff off we own you." It was more like "here, you can have my living room if you'll take the 'Pixar' sign down and replace it with this 'Disney' sign". Disney has been bankrolling all their films for years anyway, and Steve Jobs is now the largest single Disney stockholder.
    • " you can have my living room if you'll take the 'Pixar' sign down and replace it with this 'Disney' sign"."

      It seams as if they won't even do that:

      "Even with the buyout, Disney films produced by Pixar's animation studios and staff will continued to be marketed under the dual "Disney Pixar" brand. "It would be foolish to throw any of [the successful brand] away," the company said."

      Says AppleInsider [appleinsider.com] quoting a CNBC interview.

  • Who ate whom here? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pla (258480) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @09:44AM (#14556794) Journal
    Pixar has been sold to Disney.

    I keep hearing this, but the details strike me as an entirely different story...

    Disney "bought" Pixar for stock. Steve Jobs owned Pixar. Steve Jobs now owns more Disney stock than anyone else. This would seem to mean that Steve Jobs now "owns" Disney, no?

    I mean, the rest of the stockholders could outvote him collectively, but in general Jobs now more-or-less controls the future of Disney.


    So, considering that, would it sound more accurate to say "Apple has Borgified both Disney and Pixar"?
    • 10 years down the line I could speculate about Apple taking over Disney .. if I were Dvorak I would at least . Since I am not , it sounds just silly.
      Though Steve Jobs has definitely done this to bolster iTunes and the iPod , at least in part .. so perhaps it is not that far fetch to see Disney becoming Apple Entreatment
  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @09:45AM (#14556798)
    First Samba eats the cat, then Mickey eats Pixar...
    Is this an indication that companies are getting so desperate that they are starting to copy the collected works of Itchy & Scratchy? [mit.edu]
  • by mrshowtime (562809) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @09:46AM (#14556804)
    Jobs should have waited a few more years and maybe could have acquired Disney :) However, I seriously doubt Jobs will let any of the idiots running Disney or any "middle management" types even on Pixar's Holy Ground, let alone put -any- suggestions on anything creatively. Why attempt to break what is "money in the bank" for Disney by letter Pixar do what Pixar does best. Remember, Jobs is now "Mr. Disney" he owns the most stock out of any shareholders and is on the board of directors. Do not be surprised if you do not see Jobs as CEO in a few years of Disney. Apple who?
  • by Shihar (153932) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @09:50AM (#14556837)
    Guys, what happened is GOOD. Disney just made anyone holding stock in Pixar a millionaire. I once consulted at a company where this has happened. You pull up into the parking lot and no one has a car worth under $40,000. Everyone shows up to work because they want to and like working there, not for the salary. If the company goes down the shitter, they just leave.

    IP and equipment didn't make Pixar great. The people made Pixar great. If Disney fucks it up, everyone just ups, leaves, and forms a new company leaving Disney with nothing but a name. Disney shelled out a few billion for the SHOT at using Pixar to do something good. If they blow it, the real 'assets' of Pixar can simply leave and go make another few million each.

    I saw good for Pixar. Way to make yourself horrifically rich and still leave a dozen escape hatches to bail from Disney. Those people deserved a big steaming pile of money. I hope they go out and enjoy it.
    • Those people deserved a big steaming pile of money.

      And who says you can't just pull money out of your ass?
    • If they blow it, the real 'assets' of Pixar can simply leave and go make another few million each.

      In this age of non-compete clauses and NDAs on IP, chances seem better that Disney could rake these guys over the coals in court for their insolence. They might have made a few million here, but that'll be gone fast once Disney launches a drawn out court battle over claims of stolen IP for a post-Pixar venture.

      Not only characters and likenesses, but all of those nifty inhouse production tools would have to be
      • They would, however, have enough money to sit on a beach for the duration of their non-compete agreement.

        During that time I'm sure they'd cook up some killer movie ideas. They could work, quietly, on replacing the tools, too.

        At the end of the non-compete period, I doubt they would have any difficulty getting financing.

        I wonder how much John Lassater made out of the deal. Does he have a nice salary increase? I thought his 2.5m under Pixar was a shade low for the contribution he made.

        D
    • by Apotsy (84148) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @11:18AM (#14557689)
      Uh, they only paid a few % over the current trading value of Pixar's stock. In order to have been made a millionaire by this deal, you would have already had to have owned a million dollars worth of Pixar stock, or close to it.

      Pixar stock did go up a double digit percentage over the past few months on speculation that this would happen, but that's still not going to make anyone rich unless they were already.

  • does this mean that Disney's movies will improve, or that Pixar's will become worse?

    Probably the latter.

    I would guess that Microsoft will make a deal and persuade Disney to use Windows for Pixar movies rather than Linux.
  • The way I saw it (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MickDownUnder (627418) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @09:58AM (#14556908)
    Well.... Steve Jobs is not just on the board of Disney... he's now the largest stock holder. I saw a TV interview with disney's CEO Robert Iger and Steve Jobs, if that interview is anything to go by Jobs is going to have a major input on how Disney is going to be run from this day forward, Mr Iger actually looked quite uncomfortable in the interview when jobs began to speak... and speak.... and then speak some more.
  • It's about time.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by seven of five (578993) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @10:01AM (#14556937) Homepage
    ... Steve Jobs finally 'made it'. After all that hard work and risk taking... I sincerely hope he kicks ass and offends people in the Disney board room, and has not mellowed out overmuch the past few years...
  • ...another Gates desire bites the digital dust. Apple owns the living room, Bill - you own the, umm...oh, DOS, that's right - get used to it.

    I can see Bill roaming around his oversized domicile in Seattle, having to see Apple in charge of the content on every tv/monitor in the house :)
  • "Also the price of Pixar was $7.4 billion with a b dollars."

    No, it wasn't. Zero with a z dollars. From TFA: "in an all-stock transaction, expected to be completed by this summer. Under terms of the agreement, 2.3 Disney shares will be issued for each Pixar share."

  • by PurpleButter (928282) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @10:16AM (#14557057)
    Does this mean that Mickey Mouse will now only have 1 button?

  • How does it work? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ceeam (39911) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @10:19AM (#14557080)
    7-odd billion dollars. Let's suppose that Pixar employees work for peanuts and every movie is a hit and they net $200mil with each one (I'm generous today). That would take 35+ titles to bring those 7-odd billions back. Seems unlikely. OTOH - maybe Disney _needs_ something to prevent their image going _completely_ through the floor... They need someone to go to Disneylands, for example, etc... Still... Looks like a bubble.
    • by WebGangsta (717475) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @10:48AM (#14557376)
      7-odd billion dollars. Let's suppose that Pixar employees work for peanuts and every movie is a hit and they net $200mil with each one.

      Even if you go with $200m, you're still forgetting a few things:

      (a) you're talking about US box office numbers, not international [see the box office breakdown here [the-numbers.com]]. International BO numbers will bring that figure way up.

      (b) DVD sales, licensed merchandise (plush, books, lunchboxes, tshirts, etc), and theme park attractions will all contribute to the bottom line on top of the BO numbers.

      (c) Pixar was sitting on $1b in cash [msn.com] themselves, so the stock swap actually netted Disney a little bit of cash, making the quoted $7.4b number a bit of a misnomer.

  • Does this mean he's coming back? He's spent some time hanging out at the Pixar studio, and like Jobs, wanted Eisner out. They both got their wish.
  • by WebGangsta (717475) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @10:38AM (#14557255)
    I read most of the comments for this article posted so far, and everyone seemed to be miss the important part of the story, because it's not all about Jobs:

    John Lasseter is now Disney's Chief Creative Officer, working with the animators at Disney and Pixar as well as leading the Imagineers in designing and revamping attractions for the theme parks. Also, the current President of Pixar, Ed Catmull, is now the head of all Disney Animation.

    All the news reports I've seen have said that Iger and Jobs main concern was keeping Pixar as intact and independent as possible. Lasseter is under contract until 2011, and is well respected in the animation field for his passion for storytelling and perfection. When asked about whether traditional 2D animation would be restored, John didn't rule it out.

    Read the LA Times article about John [latimes.com] for more insight.

    With Ed and John running all animation at Disney, and Jobs sitting on the board to help them from the top, where's the possible downside?

  • The Real Story (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Bill Hayden (649193)
    More like "Pixar buys Disney with Disney's money". This is very similar to how Steve Jobs got Apple to buy Next, and the Next people took over.
  • The Mouse has lost a lot of creativity in recent years. Re-telling another childs story has been their staple. Now Pixar has a more imaginative group that is telling new stories. I believe that creativity will win out over re-treading another old story, and the folks from Pixar will take over the creative positions in Disney. Disneys music biz on the other hand will likely stay as is...
  • by Randolpho (628485) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @11:15AM (#14557655) Homepage Journal
    I say, don't worry too much. Yes, Pixar was, by far, my favorite movie studio.

    But what made them great? The folks that worked at Pixar, the directors, the animators, and the producers.

    So what will happen if Disney starts forcing their particular outlook on things? Well, aside from the fact that they've already been doing that for every Pixar flick ever made, there will essentially be a choice for the Pixar folks. Do it Disney's way, or walk.

    If they can't do quality stuff for Disney, I think the folks at Pixar will walk and form their own, new Pixar-ish company. Sure, the Pixar brand name will be gone, but the name isn't what's important, it's the folks making the movies.

    So give it a movie or two. There may be kinks, but I think things will smooth out over time. With or without Disney, we'll still eventually get the movies we love again.
  • Cross Marketing (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tm2b (42473) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @11:21AM (#14557724) Journal
    I wonder how long it'll be before we start seeing Disney character themed iPods for kids.
  • MickeyMac (Score:3, Funny)

    by foo fighter (151863) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @11:37AM (#14557896) Homepage
    Later this year we'll see the release of the "MickeyMac".

    It's case will be red and black with Mickey Mouse ears, similar to the TV/DVD combo you can find at Target.

    Released at the same time will be the entire Disney animated feature catalog on iTunes Movie Store. I call first dibs on "Aristocats"!
  • by simong (32944) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @11:44AM (#14557993) Homepage
    Apple-Disney becomes Dapple.

    Then it buys Sun, and becomes Snapple-Dapple.

    It's a turning into a long afternoon.
  • Trojan Horse (Score:3, Insightful)

    by catdevnull (531283) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @11:49AM (#14558055)
    I think Disney will become more Pixar like. If Jobs and Lasseter have any influence at all, the Disney shite that's been pumping out of their crap factory will start to improve.

    This is actually a sneaky move by Steve to put the iTMS in a solid position to distribute content.

    Let's not also forget that Disney distributes and produces under other brand names as well:

    -Buena Vista
    -Touchstone
    -Dimension
    -Miramax

    So what kind of hook-up do you think "The Steve" is going to have for adding content to the iTMS?

    Oh, also (if you, too, have read the wiki entry for Disney [wikipedia.org]) Disney owns the rights to lots of music, too. Buena Vista Music Group--Disney Records, Mammoth, Lyric Street, and Hollywood.

    Oh, and what else? Oh, let's see:

    Disney's Media Networks:
    -ABC
    -Disney Channel
    -ABC Family
    -Toon Disney
    -ESPN
    -SOAPNet
    -Holdings in A&E, Lifetime and E!

    I think Steve was doing a sacrifice fly on this one....
  • Yay Lasseter!!! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Medievalist (16032) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @12:43PM (#14558741)

    Remember, this is the guy who brought Hayao Miyazaki [nausicaa.net] back to the US market.
  • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @01:24PM (#14559310) Homepage
    The Hollywood Reporter [hollywoodreporter.com] has a more detailed article.

    Ed Catmull will head up the combined animation studio. Lassiter is higher up, responsible for not just the studio side but Imagineering (theme park rides), among other things.

    "It wasn't clear Tuesday what role Walt Disney Feature Animation president David Stainton will play." Or, he's out, but may have a contract that gives him exit money anyway. Stainton was previously in charge of Disney's TV animation unit, DisneyToons, the unit that produced bad sequels (The Lion King 1 1/2, Lilo and Stitch 2), The Heffalump Movie, Mickey's Twice Upon A Christmas).

    Several films in the Disney pipeline ("American Dog," "Meet the Robinsons" and "Rapunzel Unbraided.") will probably be killed. Disney Animation, in beautiful downtown Burbank (once called "Mauschwitz" in the industry) will live on. Probably as a CGI shop, though; they'd already moved away from 2D animation.

    Technically, one big question is whether Disney Animation will go with the Pixar "all Renderman, all the time" procedural texture approach. Pixar's house style, 100% procedural textures, is what gives that "Pixar look". Everybody else uses pictures of real objects as textures, at least some of the time.

  • by javaxman (705658) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @03:31PM (#14560906) Journal
    It's very telling that Steve said [com.com]

    "Most of the time that Bob and I have spent talking about this hasn't been about economics," Jobs said. "It's been about preserving the Pixar culture--because we all know that's the thing that's going to determine the success here in the long run."

    Get that? The big sticking point in negotiations wasn't how much money would change hands, but how much control Pixar would have over it's future operations within Disney. It's going to be NeXT and Apple all over again, with any luck. Jobs, Iger, and probably at least Roy Disney all see eye-to-eye here, so they'll run the board while Lasseter and the other Pixar folks whip creative operations into shape.

    I'm going to guess it's a scary time for Pixar and an exciting time for Disney. Or is it the other way around ?

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