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Disney Buys Pixar 461

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the not-just-for-rumor-mills-anymore dept.
BlueDjinn writes to tell us that it appears a great deal of speculation over Disney's buyout of Pixar Animation Studios is in fact true. From the article: "[Pixar] is set to meet tomorrow to approve the company's $7bn (£3.9bn) takeover by Disney. The all-share deal will make Steve Jobs, the chief executive of Apple, around $3.5bn and the single largest shareholder in Disney. Jobs created Pixar in 1986 when he paid $10m for the computer animations division of Lucasfilm, owned by Star Wars creator George Lucas."
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Disney Buys Pixar

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 22, 2006 @07:25AM (#14531871)
    Nobody deserves a few billion bucks more than he does, the way I figure it. If he manages to pull Disney out of their spiral of mediocrity, he'll have earned every penny...
    • by ettlz (639203) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @07:37AM (#14531899) Journal
      If he manages to pull Disney out of their spiral of mediocrity, he'll have earned every penny...

      Yes, because being the owner of the world's largest collection of turtle necks is an expensive hobby.

      • by iphayd (170761) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @12:26PM (#14532931) Homepage Journal
        Not really. I have five, and my collection is considered the second largest.
      • by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @02:18PM (#14533551)
        One thing I'm not seeing being discussed in the press is the fact that Bill Gates and Ballmer over at Microsoft must be pissed over this. They want to take over the living room, but now Jobs is part of Disney, who owns ABC, ESPN, Miramax, etc--he IS the living room. So he's got the content, and Apple will provide the means. Microsoft's road to the living room just got even tougher.

        I wonder if Ballmer will Fucking Kill (tm) Disney over this.
        • by ettlz (639203) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @03:41PM (#14533949) Journal
          ...Ballmer over at Microsoft must be pissed over this. They want to take over the living room...

          Better nail down the sofa, then!

        • by Basehart (633304) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @04:19PM (#14534115)
          I could never figure out why they got involved in the news business by creating MSNBC.

          Why not buy the Cartoon Channel instead and sell Xbox 360's, Napster and Rio MP3 players all day long for free!

          It must have seemed like a great idea in 95 when the Microsoft Total World Domination Machine was in full power. Taking on CNN and Fox News in a battle royale must have seemed like fun to King Gates.

          But to have it all fall apart [theinquirer.net] at a time when their arch rival is pulling the World's biggest rug from under Microsoft in super slow motion must really hurt like hell!
        • Super Q (Score:5, Insightful)

          by cgenman (325138) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @04:43PM (#14534245) Homepage
          And Jobs did it with one thing: Quality. And Marketing. Ok, two things.

          They invested a ton of effort to get an easy human computer interface, which got them the MAC. Jobs re-did that success to a degree with NeXT, which didn't pay off right away but got him even more money when NeXT becamse OSX. He bought Pixar while it was struggling, and helped drive it into one of the most creative, quality-focused entertainment companies in the world. The iPod was designed and re-designed and recieved constant feedback from Jobs himself... when was the last time you heard about Ballmer getting dirty in the trenches? Same with iTunes.

          Years ago Jobs and Apple realized that quality and clarity commanded a premium, and have been working dilligently to create and milk that. MS's strategy has been to crush the competition from a business legal standpoint. The former has made Jobs and Apple welcome in new areas and businesses, while the latter leaves Microsoft having an uphill battle every time it enters a new market.

          MSNBC was an interesting idea, but it didn't do anything better or more original than the competition.

          I'm glad to see that sometimes quality is rewarded.
    • by jcr (53032) <.jcr. .at. .mac.com.> on Sunday January 22, 2006 @07:51AM (#14531931) Journal
      If it looks like Disney's paying attention to what the Pixar people tell them, then I'll be buying Disney shares this summer. The real key for Disney Animation is John Lasseter. If they put him in charge, expect great movies.

      As for the business side of things, I hope this means we'll see ALL of the Disney archives available on line. I'll pay two bucks for Steamboat Willie on my iPod, and there's a whole lot of other classics I'd love to see again.

      -jcr
      • by bersl2 (689221) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @08:05AM (#14531962) Journal
        I'll pay two bucks for Steamboat Willie on my iPod

        NO! NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!

        Thoughts like this will lead to Disney convincing Congress to retroactively extend copyright for another 20 years.
      • Disney's not exactly known for it's ability to listen - to anyone. Not a matter of malevolence, just hubris. The company is a lot more than the animation division. In recent years they've made it pretty clear just how poorly animators and storytellers are regarded. Throwing money at the problem won't do a thing to change that.

        Best possible case - Pixar is treated as an independent division, like Touchstone for example.

        • To me the best possible case would be Steve somehow winding up in Michael Eisner's chair. Seriously, Disney could use a little dose of the magic dust Steve's been sprinking around Cuppertino. The thing Disney seems to be lacking most these days is someone in the top seat who actually cares about making quality products, who wants to "put a ding in the universe", and who has some vision that goes beyond next quarter's profit-loss sheet.

        • "In recent years they've made it pretty clear just how poorly animators and storytellers are regarded. Throwing money at the problem won't do a thing to change that."

          No, but throwing Steve Jobs at it as the largest stockholder, would certainly change that.

          I don't think Jobs would tolerate that kind of fuckwittedness in middle management. I wouldn't be surprised if Disney undergoes a significant purge.
  • this sucks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hank Chinaski (257573) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @07:26AM (#14531872) Homepage
    Now we will see Nemo 2, Nemo 3 (dvd only release) and a Nemo tv series, with each one getting a little crappier. Same for all other Pixar films.

    Disney will milk the IP till the cow dies and will probably not fund development of new IP.

    1) Buy Pixar
    2) Milk IP
    3) Short-time profit
    • Re:this sucks (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Voltageaav (798022) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @07:32AM (#14531888) Homepage
      As Jobs is still the largest stockholder of the company, how many changes will really take place?
      • Re:this sucks (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Hope Thelps (322083) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @08:25AM (#14532011)
        As Jobs is still the largest stockholder of the company, how many changes will really take place?

        Unless I've totally misread the story, Disney will now be the sole owner of Pixar. Jobs will now (not still) be the single largest shareholder in Disney. That doesn't mean that he necessarily has the power to change its entrenched culture. I doubt he has anything like enough of a shreholding to replace the existing management, or to plausibly theaten to.
        • Re:this sucks (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Voltageaav (798022) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @08:31AM (#14532027) Homepage
          Reguardless, he'll still have clout, and there's been talk of him being put on the board of Directors. http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/jan200 6/nf20060120_2325_db016.htm?campaign_id=rss_daily [businessweek.com]
        • Re:this sucks (Score:5, Interesting)

          by grahamlee (522375) <iamleeg.gmail@com> on Sunday January 22, 2006 @09:40AM (#14532205) Homepage Journal
          What this *does* mean is that Pixar will make any sequels to Toy Story et al, rather than Disney trying to do it with some crappy in-house team. The terms of the contract for Pixar's first five movies was that Disney had the rights to the characters and any spinoffs, exclusively. That's still true, but now they can guarantee on Pixar being on board to make said spinoffs. Oh, and Cars might finally get released ;-)
          In other thoughts; does this sound like something we've seen before? Small Steve-owned company gets bought for vastly more than its market value by big failing company, Steve gets put in charge of big failing company, big failing company becomes big meteoric success company? Does the word NeXT spring to mind for anyone else?
          • Re:this sucks (Score:4, Interesting)

            by timeOday (582209) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @01:03PM (#14533118)
            What this *does* mean is that Pixar will make any sequels to Toy Story et al, rather than Disney trying to do it with some crappy in-house team.
            Who cares? Look at Pixar's track record: Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars. The only sequel is Toy Story 2.

            Recycled "franchieses" aren't nearly so important to a company with some actual creativity. I'd much rather see Pixar given a free hand than chained to some sequel assembly line because somebody thinks it's 'safer.'

    • by sgant (178166) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @08:18AM (#14531993) Homepage Journal
      Is Disney going to keep selling PRman and PRman for Maya plug-ins? Will Catmull continue on with them? What's this all mean for Renderman? Will the software side split off into their own business?

      I should say that the golden age of CG movies are now over. Now come the crap movies...the "me too" movies.

      Honestly, has anyone really seen anything coming out that even remotely looks interesting? Chicken Little(already out last year)? Ice Age 2? Cars? Open Season? Over the Hedge? Any of these really grabbing you? How about Valiant(also out I believe...or did it go straight to video)? Or The Ant Bully? These are all coming out in the next few months. Have I missed any? Oh, forgot Hoodwinked, and Monster House.

      Ah, the old Hollywood adage. If you can't make a buck with quality, then make it with quantity. "Teh peoples want teh CG! We gives them teh CG!"
      • by jcr (53032) <.jcr. .at. .mac.com.> on Sunday January 22, 2006 @08:25AM (#14532009) Journal
        I should say that the golden age of CG movies are now over.

        That's a bit melodramatic, don't you think?

        Now come the crap movies...the "me too" movies.

        They're already here.. Didn't you hear about "Antz", the knock-off of "A Bug's Life"?

        CGI is new tool. Some great movies will be made with it, and a probably a lot of crap, too. Take a look at some of the lesser movies that were being made at the same time as Citizen Kane. Did they keep Orson Wells from making his masterpiece?

        -jcr
        • CGI is new tool. Some great movies will be made with it

          Sure, I can see them now "Perl of the Orient" "Firewall Apache" and the classic "Slashdotted: As the Sun Went Down"
        • They're already here.. Didn't you hear about "Antz", the knock-off of "A Bug's Life"?

          No, that's different. That's a *competing* film, since it was made and released at about the same time. In much the same way that "Armageddon" was made at the same time as "Deep Impact". There's lots of movies that get made this way, and they're not knockoffs because that would imply that the first (better) movie was made first, made lots of money, and got academy awards well before the knockoff was made.
    • Now that Steve Jobs is the Majority Shareholder I expect iNemo
    • Re:this sucks (Score:5, Informative)

      by jeremymh (702977) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @08:37AM (#14532042)
      Disney already owned the rights to sequels to all of pixars' movies - they are already working on toy story 3 [cnn.com] and if you asked me yesterday I would have not doubted that they would do similar with the rest of pixars top films.

      If anything, this could be good news as disney may not try to make the sequels themselves now that the relationship is "ok" with pixar again.
    • Re:this sucks (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Heembo (916647) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @08:55AM (#14532090) Journal
      More like Pixar employees running amok around Disney, with Jobs as the largest shareholder as their spirit guide. They are going to take over, just like the Next-tians took over Apples software division when Jobs returned. I For One, Welcome Jobs As Our Media Overlord.
    • by daviddennis (10926) <david@amazing.com> on Sunday January 22, 2006 @11:55AM (#14532763) Homepage
      They don't want him to leave.

      I'd be surprised if there is significant change at Pixar.

      If there is, you can count in seconds how long it would take for someone to offer John Lassater an animation studio of his own. Heck, with the profits from this, Lassater can probably finance his own movie if he really wants, and he'd drag half Pixar's crew along with him.

      That's why things won't change. Well, maybe they will. I'm betting everyone gets raises.

      Steve Jobs is a great man, but in Pixar his primary responsibilty was negotiating great contracts. Let's hope this is another one of them.

      As for Steve taking over Disney, I don't think it's impossible, but I'm hoping he keeps focus on Apple, where - as we all know - he's been doing great.

      I do think Steve's likely to become an influential advisor and board member, but probably not CEO. Remember, John Lassater and friends basically ran Pixar, which is why Jobs could be CEO of two companies and preserve excellence. I don't think he could do that with Disney.

      D

  • by EVil Lawyer (947367) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @07:28AM (#14531877)
    It will be interesting to see to what extent Jobs tries to "bundle" products, with the new market-power. For instance, will Disney-related animation software for children be available only for the Mac platform? Will a Disney DVD be included with the future iMac mini PVR/media box/whatever? etc.
  • by ichin4 (878990)

    Let me be the first to say...

    NOOOOOOO!

    • Re:Quelle Horreur (Score:5, Interesting)

      by tcdk (173945) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @07:47AM (#14531922) Homepage Journal
      Ah, beat me to it! But let me echo it - I just have to:

      Nooooooooooooooooooooo!

      My son is two and a half and he's very much into animated movies. Nemo, Shrek (1+2), Toy Story (1+2), Winnie the Pooh (tons), Ice Age, Robots, etc, etc. Some of it a bit scary, so we are always by his side, so I've seen these movies a bazillion times.

      The ones that last (both for us as adults and for him) are the Pixar ones. You can watch these movies again and again and they stay funny, and you can find new deepts in them. The disney ones are usually okay, but they always play the emotion card a bit heavily, which gets old really fast (dreamworks and fox is rather uneven, but usually okay, too).
      • Pooh (Score:5, Insightful)

        by 1u3hr (530656) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @10:20AM (#14532334)
        My son is two and a half and he's very much into animated movies. Nemo, Shrek (1+2), Toy Story (1+2), Winnie the Pooh (tons)

        Just an aside: my daughter is a bit older, and I picked up a copy of "The House at Pooh Corner" for her. It (the original book by AA Milne) was so much better than the simpering Disneyfied versions you see in hundreds of illustrated books. Easy to read, yet full of subtle humour and wordplay. This I've found is a general rule: Disney cartoons are fine, but avoid their literature; go to the source.

    • by Bradee-oh! (459922) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @12:26PM (#14532941)
      I agree with your sentiment, but disagree with your archaic pronunciation and translation. I believe the phrase you're looking for is -
       
        DO NOT WANT
  • Lamp (Score:5, Interesting)

    by QBasicer (781745) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @07:30AM (#14531883) Homepage Journal
    Hopefully they won't do away with that Pixar lamp, I kind liked the little guy.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 22, 2006 @07:36AM (#14531895)
    ...tells me that pixar is for sale in 10 years for 10m.

    on a sidenote, what happens to renderman?
  • Might be OK (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nighty5 (615965) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @07:37AM (#14531898)
    As slashdot sees Disney as mostly evil, it should be noted that most of the sceptical activities of Disney can be attributed to one man: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Eisner [wikipedia.org].

    I have a good feeling about the new CEO http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Iger [wikipedia.org]

    Read up on these completely different management styles and then take a look at Disney again. Iger was responsible for talks to continue with Pixar, so its no suprise that it might lead to this.
  • by eobanb (823187) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @07:40AM (#14531905) Homepage
    The parallels here are almost amusingly similar to when Apple bought NeXT, ten years ago. Because so much of NeXT's advanced technology essentially displaced Apple's own struggling and dated codebase for the Mac OS to become Mac OS X, and Steve Jobs' own idea of a trimmed and stylish product line replaced the beige box Power Mac (insert four-digit number here), many industry analysts joked that 'NeXT had bought Apple for negative $400 million.'

    Look at what's happening now! Like NeXT, one of Steve's projects, was bought by Apple, and its technology incorporated into the company to revamp its product line, Pixar, again a project of Steve, may very well save Disney. For the purists that either hate to see Disney's long-lived traditional animation replaced by computer 3D rendering, or fear that Disney will mishandle Pixar's talent and resources and bring an unfortunate end to the latter studio's remarkably successful run of films, consider two facts: since this isn't a hostile takeover, clearly the folks in charge at Pixar, Steve Jobs included, believe that this will be as good for Pixar as it will be for Disney. They wouldn't be doing this if they thought that Disney was going to ruin them. Also consider now that Steve Jobs is the largest shareholder at Disney. That really carries some weight. Steve has a reputation for getting what he wants, and I also don't doubt that he made this deal without knowing he would have a significant say in Disney's direction.

    So really, guys, calm down! Just imagine the headline read, 'Pixar buys Disney for -$7 billion.'
    • The parallels here are almost amusingly similar to when Apple bought NeXT, ten years ago

      Yes, but ten years ago Apple was still a (relatively) innovative technology company. They could accept change.

      Disney is an entertainment company who traditionally employ people to hand draw cartoons. I don't think they can change in the way apple did.

    • by namekuseijin (604504) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @08:32AM (#14532031)
      I don't think much of the success of Pixar is due to Steve Jobs.

      Rather, the main man over there is John Lasseter, the legendary animator directly responsible for some of the companies most memorable movies. Would Pixar be anywhere today wasn't it for the brilliant movies?

      Jobs is just this one guy who sees ahead better than most and invest in people who can make it happen, like Lasseter or Wozniak...
      • I don't doubt that Disney had some brilliant creative minds working for them. Sadly, it's quite easy for a management system to pretty much crush and creative productivity, simply because management tends to control the cash flow. Do a little googling, it's not hard to find first hand accounts of artists explaining how miserable Disney made it to work for them.

        There are plenty of good ideas out there for movies. There are tons of good stories waiting to be told. There are plenty of people who would love to
      • by Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @10:53AM (#14532456)
        This is very true. John Lassetter, Ed Catmull, Eben Otsbey, Alvy Ray Smith, David DiFrancesco, Tom Duff, Malcolm Blanchard and George Lucas were Pixars real pioneers.

        They're the ones who deserve credit for Pixar's success. These guys gave us the Zbuffer, Texture mapping, and so much more. Almost everything we know today... these guys had a hand in. Their artistic vision in a fledgling technical realm is also unique to them thanks to John Lassetter, and George Lucas.

        You have to realize that from the start... Pixar were pioneers. It's easy to pass the name Pixar around as a company these days... "Disney buys Pixar... blah blah blah"

        But Pixar deserves to be its own entity as Disney once was.

        I wish Lucas had not sold Pixar... But then again i'm glad Jobs was there to buy it up. I'm glad Lassetter was able to keep Jobs from sticking his maniacal self into the Pixar day to day.

        Hopefully with Jobs being a major share holder in Disney, he can keep DISNEY from screwing up Pixar. John Lassetter (a former disney animator) has a challenge on his hands... and its the same old challenge he's had for sometime now. And that is to keep the suits out of his fun world. If you seen his studio (And i have friends that work there) you will be reminded of old disney. Where artists play, create, and have fun. It's not a corperate labarynth of cubicals. It's a kindergarten, as it should be.

        As a 3d animator myself... the challenge has always been about staying young and vibrant, full of ideas and having fun while keeping the suits out of your day to day because they dont understand the culture.

        Today's Disney is not the old Disney. I have family members who work for Disney broadcasting in fairly high positions and its a nightmare in many respects. Disney has all but destroyed their 2d artist division that made Disney... well Disney.

        Disney is a buisness... as much as you can say Pixar is a buisness... It's really not run like a buisness. Actually I should say that Pixar is run how a buisness should be run because it takes care of its employees because Pixar is its employees.

        Disney doesnt look at the world this way. Disney is its companies not its employees. Disney is not its 2d animation anymore. Disney is its "brands". Look at teh falling out of Miramax (the Wiensteins) and Disney. Miramax could very well be considered a film making company that had a mission to deliver a certain quality film, unique to itself. Very much like Pixar.

        Anyways... The point is: Pixar will hopefully be untouched. Jobs may be able to help continue the Pixar "island" in the corperate world. I wrote ealier on slashdot about how Jobs and Lassetter really have different mindsets and John wants to keep Pixar intact and run under his own idea of how the pixar culture should be.

        I fear that Disney will take over Pixar and change it. Disney is buying Pixar because of the BRAND name that is Pixar because Disney cant compete in the 3d animation realm. Dont think for one moment, that if Disney had the chance... they would kill off the Pixar name and Pixar would become "Disney Animation"

        Thats what we all fear the most. Something unique, beautiful and creative being lost in the typical corperate world of greed.

        I hope John, Ed, Alvy and whoever still remains at pixar from the old founders... gets a good stake in disney as well. I fear that they do not.

        This is how the corperate world treats Pioneers.

    • by Antony-Kyre (807195) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @08:32AM (#14532032)
      So in other words, Steve Jobs, who owns a plurality of Disney, sold himself his own company? That is pretty funny.
    • by MtViewGuy (197597) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @01:04PM (#14533125)
      I think what will happen is that we will see John Lasseter take overall control of all Disney animation divisions.

      This is actually a GREAT idea, because the hallmark of Pixar is the great storytelling of their movies. Lasseter could even help Disney revive traditional animation at Disney, too.

      I think people forget that unlike Michael Eisner, Robert Iger tries to be as much hands off as possible, letting each Disney division run by their own managers. This means Mr. Lasseter will have free reign to rebuild Disney's animation tradition. (big thumbs up)
  • the big question (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nuckin futs (574289)
    He now might have the single largest share in Disney, but does he still have enough shares to become a factor? Over at Pixar, he controlled a little over 50% of the share, which meant his vote overrides the other shareholders' votes. will it still be the same at Disney or will he become a non-factor in making decisions?
    • Re:the big question (Score:5, Informative)

      by Jacob Moogberg (876462) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @08:28AM (#14532018)
      Steve Jobs has little to no creative input concerning Pixar: John Lasseter is in charge. The last time Jobs tried to interfere with the filmmakers choices was just after the first private screening of a finished "Toy Story". Jobs hated the score by Randy Newman and wanted to replace it. Lasseter and the other guys stood by the Newman score and songs, which brought "Toy Story" an Oscar nomination and Newman four additional scores for Pixar. Jobs has an office at Pixar but he's never there. A documentary about the old Pixar headquarters around the "Monsters Inc." release (2001) showed an empty office with just a desk and a PC, not a Mac. Lasseter even jokes about the room, the least crowded area at Pixar. As a sidenote, this footage about the office could be seen on videos part of the original EPK: the "Monsters, Inc." DVD includes the same documentary but the footage is missing. (The explanation for the PC is that Jobs, after his return to Apple, didn't use a Mac running Mac OS 8 or 9 for himself. He still had a PC running OpenStep instead. When Mac OS X became the system of choice, he switched to the Mac.) On the other hand, Jobs plays the main part concerning business deals with Disney and other partners (Intel for the rendering part, for instance) and his input has been more than valuable to Pixar. Jobs and Pixar both run the company. If a deal is closed with Disney, Lasseter must be a part of it, because Pixar wouldn't be Pixar without him. So, I guess a term of the deal would be to grant Lasseter artistic direction of the whole departmetn. Else, there's no guarantee that Pixar future projects won't suck as much as most of Disney releases.
  • by TheOtherAgentM (700696) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @07:47AM (#14531920)
    Steve Jobs will begin designing rides at Disneyland. You know there will be an acid trip ride, something Alice and Wonderland style. I can't wait.
  • This goes along with another post I made a couple of days ago [slashdot.org]. Jobs gets the job done. The current leadership doesn't.

    Hopefully the merger won't affect Pixar's writers. As we saw with Chicken Little Disney does decent computer animation, but crap stories.
  • Pixar and Disney (Score:5, Insightful)

    by walnut_tree (905826) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @07:56AM (#14531943)
    This is quite a development! I suspect that Pixar will continue to operate (largely) autonomously, but there will undoubtedly be a good deal of knowledge sharing between Disney and Pixar. John Lasseter has often expressed his admiration for Disney's animators and their pioneering role in developing the medium. While there might seem to be a lot of enmity between the two companies, I suspect there's also a lot of mutual respect between the artists at both studios.

    People may not like the management decisions made by Disney (which have often dictated the direction of their films) but the company still employs a great many talented artists. And of course, Pixar continues to benefit from Disney's considerable marketing muscle - few other companies know how to so thoroughly milk their products for every cent they can get (and I don't say that as praise).
  • Shit no... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Stan Vassilev (939229)
    Ah damn it I can't believe Jobs this. This is honestly dissapointing.

    The least thing is that those mergers are highly stressfull for the company being acquired, since you can expect some of the staff to be layed off in the reorganisation, but most importantly, Pixar was the true opposite of Disney in terms of spirit and phylosophy about creating quality content.

    This may leave lots of the artists in Pixar demoralized and maybe quit the company to open small independent studios.

    Disney is way to greedy and too
  • Disney empire (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @08:07AM (#14531967)
    Keep in mind that the Disney empire also includes ABC, ESPN, the go.com network, as well as a bunch of movie studio (Touchstone, Miramax, Dimension) and record company imprints. Several of these operate somewhat autonomously, but Jobs will have some say in things as the single largest shareholder in Disney. Gates wants to control the living room. Jobs will control the living room.
  • by ottffssent (18387) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @08:10AM (#14531971)
    This deal doesn't make Jobs $3.5bn, as the article claims. It barely makes him any money at all.

    Pixar's market cap is just a hair under $7bn, about half of which Jobs owns. Disney is buying all $7bn worth of Pixar stock with $7bn worth of Disney stock. So Jobs isn't making any money, he's just changing the name on part of his stock portfolio (Disney's buy is a bit above market value for Pixar, so he does make SOME money, on the order of 1% of the $3.5bn the article mentions). He's also going from being a 50% owner of a $7bn company to a 14% owner of a $50bn company.

    So maybe Jobs thinks he can get in and infect Disney with Pixarness and save it. Maybe he just wants to cash out and do something else, and figures he can sell 14% of Disney a lot easier than he can sell half of Pixer. Could be he thinks Pixar will do better with Disney behind it than with Disney as an enemy. Possibly there's another explanation. Let the speculation continue - we'll know in a few years what the plan was and whether it worked or not.
    • by tverbeek (457094) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @10:03AM (#14532273) Homepage
      He's also going from being a 50% owner of a $7bn company to a 14% owner of a $50bn company.

      If Jobs went from owning $3.5billion worth of Pixar to owning 14% of Disney, that would mean he just made $3.5billion, because 14% of a ~$50billion company is about $7billion. I'm no accountant, so someone correct me if I'm figuring this the wrong way (does the market cap of Pixar get added to Disney's?), but I think his share of Disney is actually only 7%.

      • by greginnj (891863) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @11:59AM (#14532784) Homepage Journal
        The way deals of this size are accomplished is a 'stock swap'. For simplicity's sake, let's say that the deal goes down at the market price of Pixar's shares on the day of the deal. Before the deal, you own $10,000 of Pixar; after the deal, you own $10,000 of (Pixar + Disney). Similarly, someone who had $10,000 of Disney prior to the deal would have $10,000 of (Pixar + Disney).

        The gory details are that Disney writes new shares equivalent in value to the value it's assigned to the acquisition of Pixar, and 'swaps' those Disney shares for Pixar shares (effectively removing them from the market). The value of Pixar is added to the value of Disney (that's the +$7bn), but no new value is created. All Pixar shareholders are now (Disney + Pixar) shareholders; they have a same-value piece of a larger pie. Their slice is 'thinner' -- a smaller percentage; Jobs goes from 50% of Pixar to 7% of (Disney + Pixar). Similarly for Disney shareholders, but not as big of a percentage drop since Disney's valuation prior to the deal was closer to that of the combined entity.
  • by QuatermassX (808146) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @08:18AM (#14531995) Homepage
    Although people might bemoan the takeover of one of the brightest purveyors of mainstream American filmmaking by the almighty Mouse, I can' help but think this is a good thing for all involved. Pixar has reached the pinnacle of their influence in the industry through a series of (mostly) brilliant hit films. I'm sure Jobs and Lassiter think the only way for their company to grow is to grow outward - take over the Mouse and whip it into shape. Jobs performed miracles with Apple. I really hope he and John LAssiter can bring intelligent and fun pop moviemaking back to Disney. And I would think this puts his other venture, Apple, into very sure waters in the content distribution marketplace. With whom does Disney partner now? I'm damn curious to see how it all shakes out!
  • by Centurix (249778) <centurix@NoSPam.gmail.com> on Sunday January 22, 2006 @08:35AM (#14532036) Homepage
    Loaded. In his house is a giant walk in wardrobe with a long line of turtle-neck sweaters, you fight through it all and at the back is a snow filled landscape where iPods grow on trees.

    You see Steve Wozniak talking to a CGI lion on the technical production of blue boxes. In the background is a giant Intel factory, where little orange men are packing new iMacs into crates marked Nigeria...
  • No $7bn takeover (Score:4, Informative)

    by gnasher719 (869701) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @09:09AM (#14532127)
    Market caps of Pixar is $6.95bn. There will be no $7bn takeover. Maybe a $10bn takeover, but not $7bn.
  • by patiwat (126496) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @09:20AM (#14532156)
    I personally feel that most of Disney's original animation over the past decade has been mediocre at best, and therefore don't really care about what the Disney/Pixar reverse acquisition will mean for animation quality.


    What I am concerned about is how the deal will affect the Studio Ghibli/Disney distribution deal. For many years, Disney has had wide distribution rights over Ghibli works. Sometimes this has worked out for the better (the heavily promoted Spirited Away), and sometimes not so well (Miramax requested, but was denied, many edits in Princess Mononoke).


    A closer connection between Pixar and Disney will probably not harm Ghibli. It was noted [nausicaa.net] that John Lasseter (founder of Pixar) had given very strong support to Spirited Away, and was a key driver of what success that movie had in North America. A closer connection between Pixar and Ghibli will probably result in an even stronger benefit.


    Now, on notes of pure speculation, how might the Pixar/Disney merger benefit Ghibli going forward? Could we expect Miyazaki-animated short films (currently limited in distribution to the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka City, Tokyo) put on sale on the iTunes Video Store? Or maybe distribution of older classic Ghibli films? Imaging having a copy of Gauche the Cellist [nausicaa.net] on your iPod to perk you up on those cloudy days of life. Or how about strong promotion and wide distribution of the forthcoming Tales from Earthsea [nausicaa.net]? With the combination of a a imaginative and sensitive director like Goro Miyazaki [nausicaa.net] and effective marketing, I can't imagine how Earthsea wouldn't become a major blockbluster.


    What else would you like to see come out of the Studio Ghibli/Disney/Pixar deal?

    ---
    patiwat

  • by Teahouse (267087) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @02:23PM (#14533571)
    Gotta bound, bound, bound and rebound.
  • by tyrione (134248) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @04:01PM (#14534035) Homepage
    NEITHER!

    Let's get some basic math resolved. Steve Jobs owns 50.6% of a roughly $7 Billion publicly traded corporation, PIXAR. Assuming this rumor is fact and that the combined valuation of the merger is $60 Billion (Disney at $54 Billion + $7 Billion in Cash--no stock swap) then Steve owns no matter how you swing has (.506 x $7 Billion) / ($60 Billion Valuation at time of merger) = 5.9 % of DIXSNAR's/PIXNEY's total company value. If it is a stock swap then it becomes .506 x 7 / 53 = 6.68%: close but no cigar.

    Both Steve being majority owner and 7% as highest individual stock holder are incorrect. What is most pitiful is the fact that PIXAR built a brand new corporate headquarters a few years back, became the powerhouse in Software Animation Films for both content and presentation, publically denounced their partnership with Disney and publically focused on a new roadmap for this highly creative and technically sound corporation all just to merge with the enemy? Pathetic. Disney has everything to gain and PIXAR has everything to lose. Distribution channels that everyone brags about with Disney are overvalued, especially in the emerging distribution mechanisms gaining ground today--Podcasting/videocasting, etc.

    What I find most disturbing is the many enthusiasts discussing Steve Jobs becoming Disney's CEO and steering them like he has done with Apple. Get something straight. As Steve said, "Apple is my old girlfriend I haven't seen in 20 years but I want to give one more shot." PIXAR never was Steve's main focus. It was either NeXT or presently, Apple. He loves making the big partnerships but much prefers driving the mechanisms and tools that let the Producers produce over attempting to drive Producers and retool them into his Vision. He's best when he gives the creative minds the means to be their most creative, period. The day Steve would rather give a Keynote about "Goofy in the 21st Century" over "OS X Lion" will be when they take him away to the Insane Asylum.

  • Steve's Master Plan (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Atomic Frog (28268) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @04:03PM (#14534043)
    Oh, I'm sure Steve has thought about the deal very, very carefully. The one reason why Pixar makes such great films is STORY, and Jobs knows it. (Compared to that other studio, SKG which churns out volume in the hopes of having a hit. No, really, Mr. K. said just that in an interview).

    I'm sure he makes sure he still has control over at least the Pixar unit. Pixar will be the only profitable unit and he knows it. What this does give him is control over Disney's vast media library.

    iTunes + Disney (guess which TV station Disney owns + many films which are not directly under the Disney name) content.

    Is it Disney buying out Pixar? Or Steve Jobs taking over Disney?
    Hahaha! World Domination!

If a thing's worth having, it's worth cheating for. -- W.C. Fields

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