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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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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Re:this sucks (Score:5, Informative)

    by tverbeek (457094) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @09:24AM (#14532166) Homepage
    Now that Steve Jobs is the Majority Shareholder

    "largest single shareholder" != "majority shareholder"

    If my math is right, Jobs will own about 7% of the company. That happens to be more than any other one person owns, but it's way short of a majority.

  • by patiwat (126496) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @09:41AM (#14532206)
    From the excellent The Disney-Tokuma Deal page [nausicaa.net] at Nausicaa.net:


    Will Disney modify (i.e. cut scenes from) these films?

    No. This will not happen. Disney can not cut even one second from the films, according to the contract. Ghibli has officially stated that "With Disney's commitment to maintain the quality of the original titles, there will be no changes to music and sequences in foreign language versions." According to Mr. Suzuki, the producer of Ghibli, other companies such as Fox and Time-Warner contacted Tokuma, but Disney was the only company willing to agree to this condition, and that was the main reason why Tokuma chose Disney as a partner.

    The term means that Disney can not touch the films, but that does not prevent Disney from asking Ghibli to cut or change the contents of the film, as Tokuma and Ghibli retains the editing right. In an interview, Mr. Suzuki said that Miramax faxed Ghibli, asking if they could cut several scenes from "Mononoke Hime". But nothing was cut from Mononoke Hime (Princess Mononoke).


    ---
    Patiwat Panurach
  • Re:this sucks (Score:5, Informative)

    by tverbeek (457094) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @09:49AM (#14532230) Homepage
    No, a "simple majority" is greater than 50%. Having a larger percentage than anyone else (but still less than 50%) is called a "plurality". There is no commonly accepted use of the word "majority" that would refer to 7%.
  • 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 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 tverbeek (457094) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @12:36PM (#14532979) Homepage
    As long as a corporation is legally treated as a human being.

    Except that copyright law explicitly does not treat corporations like natural people. For human-authored works, the term is life + 70 years. For corporation-authored works, the term is 120 years from the date of their creation, regardless of whether the corporation "dies" or not.

  • by tonywong (96839) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @01:31PM (#14533285) Homepage
    You must work for Dreamworks.

    Here's a decent accounting of what happened between "A Bug's Life" and "Antz".

    http://www.businessweek.com/1998/47/b3605013.htm [businessweek.com]

    Too lazy to use html, it's Sunday.
  • by edunbar93 (141167) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @03:13PM (#14533804)
    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.
  • Re:this sucks (Score:3, Informative)

    by tverbeek (457094) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @03:38PM (#14533934) Homepage
    No, I've double-checked my accounting [slashdot.org], and yours is way off. (Hint: he only owns half of Pixar, not the whole thing.) He'll own 6.2% of the combined Disney-plus-Pixar.
  • by _KiTA_ (241027) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @03:50PM (#14533978) Homepage
    "Corporate citizens?" "Corporate CITIZENS?!?!" What. The. FUCK, man!

    The day corporations become citizens is the day I start rooting for the terrorists!!


    I hate to break it to you, but Corporations were given "personhood" (human rights) a very, VERY long time ago.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_personhood [wikipedia.org]
  • 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.

  • Re:this sucks (Score:3, Informative)

    by Heembo (916647) on Monday January 23, 2006 @01:27AM (#14536608) Journal
    Jobs is not a Vegan, (from Wiki:) "Jobs is a pescetarian (not a vegetarian or vegan as is often claimed) -- although he does not eat mammalian meat, he reportedly eats fish from time to time."

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