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Walt Disney in serious talks to acquire Pixar

post #1 of 30
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The post-Eisner Walt Disney is close to buying Pixar Animation Studios in a deal that could allow Steve Jobs and his team to exert significant creative influence at the entertainment giant, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The two animation giants are reportedly in serious discussions (subscription required) after months of exploring ways to continue their lucrative partnership, people familiar with the matter told the publication.

According to the report, Disney would pay a nominal premium to Pixar's current market value of $6.7 billion, in a stock transaction that would make Jobs, the Pixar chairman and chief executive, the largest individual shareholder in Disney.

"That would vault Jobs into an even more influential place in the media world, where he already holds tremendous sway as head of Apple Computer," the Journal wrote. "The talks are said to be at a sensitive stage and the outcome isn't certain."

The two companies have been partners for more than twelve years under an arrangement in which Disney has distributed and co-financed popular and profitable Pixar movies such as "Toy Story," "Finding Nemo" and "The Incredibles."

The Journal speculates that an acquisition would give Pixar and Jobs a way to cash in on the company's unbroken run of blockbuster, computer-animated films.

According to the report, Jobs would likely join the Disney board, and Pixar's John Lasseter, the Disney alumnus who directed "Toy Story" and the upcoming "Cars," would take on an expanded role overseeing Disney animated movies.
post #2 of 30
Maybe Disney's animated movies won't suck anymore after this deal is done. Pixar's story development with Disney's...well, power...could bode well for all parties involved.
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post #3 of 30
Wow - Steve Jobs being the largest single shareholder of Disney stock. Steve must wake up and smile at himself in the mirror every morning.
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post #4 of 30
Quote:
Originally posted by fahlman
Wow - Steve Jobs being the largest single shareholder of Disney stock. Steve must wake up and smile at himself in the mirror every morning.

As NeXT did to Apple, Pixar will do to Disney.

Now, what will be Disney's equivalent of the iMac seeing as the Jobs revolution is set to begin?
post #5 of 30
What did I tell ya...?

Jobs would be perfect as the king of Disney. Talk about a "halo" effect!

Hmm... now about the new name...

How does Disnappixar sound? No? How 'bout Appisneypix?

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post #6 of 30
I don't buy into this speculation one bit.

To be blunt, we at NeXT had a much greater need to be purchased than those at PIXAR.

PIXAR has a long list of projects after CARS.

This is speculation at its worst. DISNEY needs a golden parachute in technology and artistic talents to drive its revenue base that is waning.

Steve owns 50.6% of the public stock. He's in charge. At NeXT he was a minority owner and had outstanding debt to CANON and Perot Systems to name but two.

The best Disney can hope for is that PIXAR offers a new partnership.
post #7 of 30
I like Pixar as a standalone. Ultimately, it'll get smeared with Disney's sweet-as-molasses history, including the corporate structure.

Bleh.
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post #8 of 30
Well, it's not "Disney buys Apple," but still, if it happens, I'll have to start wondering about the 2006 Newton!

Apple on Intel, video iPods... all bets are off

(And I don't like Disney either. Talk about sickeningly commercial AND and irresponsible corporate citizen AND directed towards kids--what a lovely combination.)
post #9 of 30
Keep in mind that just being the largest single shareholder doesn't mean Jobs would be running Disney. He took over Apple because Apple needed him. As opposed to Apple, he doesn't do much with Pixar (you never hear of his overbearing nature and his driving force behind projects, he has talented people who do that work), so he's not bringing a lot to the disney table. Plus, I don't think they'd put up with his BS as much as Apple people do.
post #10 of 30
Quote:
Originally posted by SpamSandwich
What did I tell ya...?

Jobs would be perfect as the king of Disney. Talk about a "halo" effect!

Hmm... now about the new name...

How does Disnappixar sound? No? How 'bout Appisneypix?


NOPE!! IT'S THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF STEVE!

or, STEVE JOBS WORLD!!!

post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally posted by ricksbrain
I like Pixar as a standalone. Ultimately, it'll get smeared with Disney's sweet-as-molasses history, including the corporate structure.

Not to mention smeared with their labour practices. I think Pixar is better off on their own. Sure they can benefit from Disney's worldwide distribution and marketing, but they can build that themselves over time. And with a better reputation based on actual creativity and quality new movies rather than a name brand and history. Disney is where talented artists go to die these days. They need Pixar more than Pixar needs them.
 
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post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally posted by Louzer
Keep in mind that just being the largest single shareholder doesn't mean Jobs would be running Disney. He took over Apple because Apple needed him. As opposed to Apple, he doesn't do much with Pixar (you never hear of his overbearing nature and his driving force behind projects, he has talented people who do that work), so he's not bringing a lot to the disney table. Plus, I don't think they'd put up with his BS as much as Apple people do.

Yeah. I read the article this morning. Other than the fact that the WSJ is pretty accurate about these kinds of things, I'd continue to be skeptical about it.

Points against it is that Jobs doesn't need the money, and doesn't seem to care. It's his baby, and if he's a board member, he will have headaches he doesn't need.

As for him becoming chairman. Bad idea.

Pixar is run by one of the founders - Lassiter. Jobs doesn't have to be hands on.

Apple is a much more complex company, and Jobs, as we all know, is very hands on. It's a full time job.

Disney is far more complicated than Apple is, and doesn't have the kind of structure that would allow a Jobs to function the way he does at Apple. That's one of the reasons Eisner is gone. He was too much of an imperial individual.

Think Jobs fits that description?

Can you see him at one of those interminable meetings deciding which doll should go on the shelf next month?

Neither do I!

p.s.. Sorry, Louzer, I got carried away. I started out simply agreeing with you, and couldn't stop typing before I have to leave.
post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
Pixar is run by one of the founders - Lassiter. Jobs doesn't have to be hands on.

Apple is a much more complex company, and Jobs, as we all know, is very hands on. It's a full time job.

I remember a couple of years ago, someone -- I don't remember who -- asked Jobs about how much time he spends at his two companies. He said that, aside from time with family, his time is split pretty evenly between Pixar and Apple.

Now, that may have changed since the iPod exploded everywhere and Apple is a well-known name again.
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post #14 of 30
Pixar would save Disneys animation efforts, and having Jobs on the Disney board might be fun, but if this sale goes through, Id like to see Jobs on the Disney board in name only. Steve should keep running Apple and (drum roll please....) he should start another company!

Starting companies, creating jobs, bringing unwieldy talented people together and focusing their efforts is what Steve does best. He did it at Apple, NeXT, Pixar and he should keep doing it!

On the other hand, maybe that idiot, Gil Amelio, had it right in that silly book he wrote after being booted from Apple: Steve may eventually become CEO of Disney.

Like some of you, I prefer Pixar as a standalone.
post #15 of 30
Jobs does exert quite a lot of influence at Pixar, in the same way that he does at Apple. He doesn't create the story (or product), or direct/do the animation (design/engineering), but the story is run past him and he critiques it just as he would an iPod or a Mac or a iPhoto. Jobs is the master kool-aid storyteller.

Several years ago there was a spread in Time (or Newsweek) about Jobs influence at Pixar - might've been around the time of Toy Story 2. The article covered his lengthy and contentious meetings with Disney over movie release dates and theatres, and over the kind and distribution of tie-in products (like dolls!). If I remember correctly, he supposedly insisted on a different premiere date near Thanksgiving or something like that. Jobs is a marketing master and he does that very well for Pixar.

It's possible that Jobs does want to hand that off so he can focus more on Apple, and that he wants to give Lasseter and other Pixar folks the best possible outcome for their careers. Which might mean allowing them to spread their leadership and talents over more projects/films ... at Disney.
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post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally posted by baygbm
On the other hand, maybe that idiot, Gil Amelio

If it weren't for Amelio, there would be no OS X. The decision to buy NeXT was made by Amelio...
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post #17 of 30
i hope Steve can bring MNF back to network TV for me
post #18 of 30
I apologize if someone else has said this but my thoughts......

Disney (animation studios) knows that it has lost it's touch and is just rehashing old classics and theme park attractions as movies and knows Pixar has true talent for animated movies and story and want Pixar to bring them back.
post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally posted by baygbm
Pixar would save Disneys animation efforts, and having Jobs on the Disney board might be fun, but if this sale goes through, Id like to see Jobs on the Disney board in name only. Steve should keep running Apple and (drum roll please....) he should start another company!

Starting companies, creating jobs, bringing unwieldy talented people together and focusing their efforts is what Steve does best. He did it at Apple, NeXT, Pixar and he should keep doing it!

On the other hand, maybe that idiot, Gil Amelio, had it right in that silly book he wrote after being booted from Apple: Steve may eventually become CEO of Disney.

Like some of you, I prefer Pixar as a standalone.

Wasn't there rumor of Steve Jobs and Steven Spielberg starting a new animation studio together? Both walking away from their own, or at least Steven walking away from the Dreamworks Animation side of it....
post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally posted by Feynman
Wasn't there rumor of Steve Jobs and Steven Spielberg starting a new animation studio together? Both walking away from their own, or at least Steven walking away from the Dreamworks Animation side of it....

I'll admit I had not heard this rumor.

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post #21 of 30
forget about the sturctures of the companies and the board.

this obviously means that steve has more say in what disney will do. dont you see?

this is surely the start of movie on itunes. they already have pixar short films. its only untill we can get enough broadband speeds to download a dvd's worth of content that we will see the first movies coming to itunes. or perhaps it wont be a dvd's worth. maybe just the film to start with. and extra features being at an extra cost.

whatever the pricing, the first movies on itunes will surely now be disney/pixar movies.
post #22 of 30
I think steve jobs has a lot to bring to the table with a company like disney; a company that pioneered the boundries of entertainment in many forms like classic movies, global symbols and icons, and physical entertainment. Most of what jobs could do for diseny would not have to do with Apple. Sure you have iTunes and iPod and content, but I think the range of benifit jobs could offer is much greater, espessialy in but not limited to motion pictures.
post #23 of 30
Originally posted by mark2005
......It's possible that Jobs does want to hand that off so he can focus more on Apple, and that he wants to give Lasseter and other Pixar folks the best possible outcome for their careers. Which might mean allowing them to spread their leadership and talents over more projects/films ... at Disney.



IMHO, this looks like the most sensible argument. jobs gradually handing over pixar to lasseter, to focus on apple through to the end of the decade. jobs first ensuring pixar has, after Cars, secure distribution, merchandising, funding

jobs being more involved in running disney to gain more movie and tv media leverage is i am sure an extremely tempting idea but i think given disney/ pixar/ abc iTMS deals, the focus is now on the mobile space and the vast content of other studios and stations: cbs, viacom, sony, universal, paramount/dreamworks, etc. etc.

i agree that jobs wants that growth space/ scope for his pixar people when they go over to disney. but other than that, disney with its empire of shows, animation, theme parks, merchandising, that's hell of a lot of crap that will distract him from apple.

at apple, there has never been a better time to execute some major strategies (i'm not talking just the intel switch -- that's just the beginning) so 100% iSteve is what apple needs now.
post #24 of 30
content boys content, apples future is in content without content a home entertainment center a video streaming can't move much forward also disney connects to abc and their content. this is strategic for apple and SJ

content
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post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally posted by CosmoNut
I remember a couple of years ago, someone -- I don't remember who -- asked Jobs about how much time he spends at his two companies. He said that, aside from time with family, his time is split pretty evenly between Pixar and Apple.

Now, that may have changed since the iPod exploded everywhere and Apple is a well-known name again.

He did say that, but I didn't believe it then. Right now, it would be impossible.
post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally posted by CharlesS
If it weren't for Amelio, there would be no OS X. The decision to buy NeXT was made by Amelio...

Amelio is given a bad rap. He didn't have the charisma, but he started Apple down the right road financially.
post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally posted by Feynman
Wasn't there rumor of Steve Jobs and Steven Spielberg starting a new animation studio together? Both walking away from their own, or at least Steven walking away from the Dreamworks Animation side of it....

I've never heard that.

I don't think it would be possible. Spielberg is too connected with Dreamworks, and what has happened to it. He also insists on doing work anywhere he wants, even for competitors.

No way Jobs and Spielberg could work together.
post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally posted by sunilraman
Originally posted by mark2005
......It's possible that Jobs does want to hand that off so he can focus more on Apple, and that he wants to give Lasseter and other Pixar folks the best possible outcome for their careers. Which might mean allowing them to spread their leadership and talents over more projects/films ... at Disney.



IMHO, this looks like the most sensible argument. jobs gradually handing over pixar to lasseter, to focus on apple through to the end of the decade. jobs first ensuring pixar has, after Cars, secure distribution, merchandising, funding

jobs being more involved in running disney to gain more movie and tv media leverage is i am sure an extremely tempting idea but i think given disney/ pixar/ abc iTMS deals, the focus is now on the mobile space and the vast content of other studios and stations: cbs, viacom, sony, universal, paramount/dreamworks, etc. etc.

i agree that jobs wants that growth space/ scope for his pixar people when they go over to disney. but other than that, disney with its empire of shows, animation, theme parks, merchandising, that's hell of a lot of crap that will distract him from apple.

at apple, there has never been a better time to execute some major strategies (i'm not talking just the intel switch -- that's just the beginning) so 100% iSteve is what apple needs now.

Lassetter is a founding member, but not a "co-founder" of PIXAR. It amazes me no one is discussing the other co-founder. You know, the one responsible for Renderman and all the technologies that allow Lassetter and his staff do what they do.
post #29 of 30
Originally posted by mdriftmeyer
Lassetter is a founding member, but not a "co-founder" of PIXAR. It amazes me no one is discussing the other co-founder. You know, the one responsible for Renderman and all the technologies that allow Lassetter and his staff do what they do.



funny too, no one seems to remember this "other guy's" name? :P

here's an interesting Pixar: how it started page.
http://www.alvyray.com/Pixar/default.htm

$5 million dollars to buy, now worth $6.7 billion dollars.
whoa.

check from steve jobs for $1million, first installment
purchased while he was at Next



anyhoo,
about the founding:



"These are exactly the 40 founding employees of Pixar, including Ed Catmull and Alvy Ray Smith, the Co-founders. One of the 38 other founding employees is John Lasseter. Steve Jobs is the venture's capitalist - that is, its investor. The original Board of Directors consisted of Ed, Alvy, and Steve, with Steve as Chairman of the Board.

Tab 29, vol. II

[Historical Note: Malcolm Blanchard, Ed Catmull, David DiFrancesco, and Alvy Ray Smith from this list were the original members of the Computer Graphics Lab at New York Institute of Technology, with Malcolm and Ed slightly preceding David and Alvy. Also, Ralph Guggenheim and Bill Reeves from this list were at NYIT. Slightly later, Tom Duff, also at NYIT, rejoined us at Pixar. Ed, Alvy, and David were the original three employees of the Computer Division of Lucasfilm, arriving in quick succession in that order, and rejoined not too much later by Malcolm Blanchard.]"


post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally posted by nathan22t
i hope Steve can bring MNF back to network TV for me

Funny!!
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