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Day of Corporate Munging, Take Two: Disney Buys Pixar

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Back on December 27th, I got to talking about Disney and Pixar and the rumors that The Mouse was going to buy Pixar outright rather than simply renewing their soon-to-expire distribution deal. I had some qualms, I said:

I might be less concerned if they installed John Lasseter as Almighty Inscrutable Pixar Overlord and left them alone, but I have trouble imaginging Disney buying a new toy and not wanting to play with it.

Well, the deal’s done — Pixar is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company. Steve Jobs just made himself somewhere north of $3 billion (yes, that’s billion) and finds himself the single largest shareholder in Disney (which could mean some interesting corporate synergy ‘twixt Disney and Apple, I’d imagine).

But the most important part of the buyout?

John Lasseter, the highly respected creative director at Pixar who had previously worked for Disney, will rejoin the House of Mouse as chief creative officer for the company’s combined animated studios and will also help oversee the design for new attractions at Disney theme parks.

I swear to ${god}, that sentence almost made me cry when I read it.

Not only does installing Lasseter as CCO help insure that Pixar will get to keep on keepin’ on as they have been, it also might mean a rebirth of traditional 2-D animation from Disney. Lasseter has said he’s a fan of old-school animation — might we get to see Disney return to producing new hand-drawn animated features? It doesn’t seem like it would make much sense to have two separate computer animation facilities, especially when one would so clearly outclass the other. Former CEO Michael Eisner was the oatmeal-brained idiot who decided Disney should get out of the cel-animation business; now that he’s gone and Lasseter’s in charge, maybe Lasseter can reverse that decision.

I’m sure his buddy Brad Bird wouldn’t mind. I know I sure wouldn’t.

Written by Allen

January 24th, 2006 at 10:57 pm

Posted in Movies

Tagged with , ,

2 Responses to 'Day of Corporate Munging, Take Two: Disney Buys Pixar'

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  1. [...] As I had hoped when the Disney-Pixar deal went down, Pixar’s John Lasseter is reintroducing traditional hand-drawn animated features in his new role as Chief Creative Officer at Disney. First up: The Frog Princess, to be directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, the guys who directed The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Treasure Planet (well, two outta three ain’t bad). Alan Menken will be in charge of the music for the movie, which will be a return to the Broadway-esque Disney hits of the early 90’s (think, for example, Beauty and the Beast (which Menken worked on) and The Lion King). This announcement seems to me to be something worth celebrating — the driving talents behind The Little Mermaid making a new cartoon feature with John Lasseter in charge of the whole thing? Oh, yeah, man, good stuff. [...]

  2. [...] As I had hoped when the Disney-Pixar deal went down, Pixar’s John Lasseter is reintroducing traditional hand-drawn animated features in his new role as Chief Creative Officer at Disney. First up: The Frog Princess, to be directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, the guys who directed The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Treasure Planet (well, two outta three ain’t bad). Alan Menken will be in charge of the music for the movie, which will be a return to the Broadway-esque Disney hits of the early 90’s (think, for example, Beauty and the Beast (which Menken worked on) and The Lion King). This announcement seems to me to be something worth celebrating — the driving talents behind The Little Mermaid making a new cartoon feature with John Lasseter in charge of the whole thing? Oh, yeah, man, good stuff. [...]

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