Disney buys Pixar

The best writeup on this is at ArsTechnica:

The deed is done, as Pixar's board of directors has accepted Disney's offer. The deal will replace every PIXR share with 2.3 DIS shares, which at today's trading prices values Pixar at US$7.4 billion. I bet Steve isn't complaining about getting $3.7 billion for something he spent $10 million on. As expected, Jobs will get a spot on the board, though not as chairman (for now). John Lasseter will serve as Chief Creative Officer of Disney Animation, as well as Principal Creative Advisor at Walt Disney Imagineering; Ed Catmull becomes President of the Animation department. In short, Pixar executives will have a major influence on the future direction of Disney animation and theme park entertainment.

This is a landmark event. Not least because it gives Disney the crown of animation again; I'll be buying every Pixar DVD that comes out as long as the stories are good, and now that means that Disney hangs onto that revenue stream.

But also because it merges like-minded revolutionaries like Jobs, and more importantly, Lassiter, with Bob Iger, whose really Big Idea is one that will shake up the movie inudustry a lot more: Same day release.

I also think that it saved Pixar from jumping the shark. Pixar has painted itself into a corner; its new movie ideas are nowhere near as original as were it's first ones. While Pixar still tells a great story, they haven't quite reclaimed the dizzy height from which they unleashed Nemo and Monsters, Inc. With Disney, they draw upon a deep well of material that will hopefully lead to some new innovation.

In other words, the intellectual opposite of the UPN/WB merger.


Joshua Scholar said...

I'd grant the crown of animation to Hayao Miyazaki these days. Pixar is good (certainly better than Disney these days), but they're entertainers not artists. Their features lack an artistic vision.

Aziz Poonawalla said...

I have to disagree, Joshua - I think that what makes Pixar's filems thus far great is that there is a humanistic vision at the heart of each one (even for non-human fishes, monsters, and cars). Miyazaki is more of an artiste, but Pixar's tales are just as emotionaly evocative.