Tuesday, January 24, 2006

It's Official: Disney buys Pixar!!

What can I say? I was wrong! I didn't think it would happen but Disney has made the seemingly impossible possible.

Disney and Pixar officially announced today plans for Disney to acquire Pixar. Here are a few important excerpts from the press release:

"Pixar President Ed Catmull will serve as President of the new Pixar and Disney animation studios. Pixar Executive Vice President John Lasseter will be Chief Creative Officer of the animation studios, as well as Principal Creative Advisor at Walt Disney Imagineering. Pixar Chairman and CEO Steve Jobs will be appointed to Disney's Board of Directors as a non-independent member. Both Disney and Pixar animation units will retain their current operations and locations."

"This acquisition combines Pixar's preeminent creative and technological resources with Disney's unparalleled portfolio of world-class family entertainment, characters, theme parks and other franchises, resulting in vast potential for new landmark creative output and technological innovation that can fuel future growth across Disney's businesses. Garnering an impressive 20 Academy Awards, Pixar's creative team and global box office success have made it a leader in quality family entertainment through incomparable storytelling abilities, creative vision and innovative technical artistry."

"With this transaction, we welcome and embrace Pixar's unique culture, which for two decades, has fostered some of the most innovative and successful films in history. The talented Pixar team has delivered outstanding animation coupled with compelling stories and enduring characters that have captivated audiences of all ages worldwide and redefined the genre by setting a new standard of excellence," Iger said. "The addition of Pixar significantly enhances Disney animation, which is a critical creative engine for driving growth across our businesses. This investment significantly advances our strategic priorities, which include - first and foremost - delivering high-quality, compelling creative content to consumers, the application of new technology and global expansion to drive long-term shareholder value."

"Pixar's culture of collaboration and innovation has its roots in Disney Animation. Our story and production processes are derivatives of the Walt Disney 'school' of animated filmmaking," said Dr. Catmull. "Just like the Disney classics, Pixar's films are made for family audiences the world over and, most importantly, for the child in everyone. We can think of nothing better for us than to continue to make great movies with Disney."

Before I express my views on the merger I want to say that I am by nature an optimist. Sure I may have moments where pessimism gets the best of me, but more often than not I try to see the positive in things. With that being said I'll admit that I am thrilled by the prospect of a renewed animation division at Disney. Pixar is without a doubt, picture for picture, the best studio making films today (live action or animation) and they are greatly admired inside and outside the industry. Not only will John Lasseter be creatively responsible for both animation divisions he will also be heavily involved with the Walt Disney Imagineering group which brings magic to life through the Disney theme parks. This is so fantastic!! Lasseter is a creative genius! I think this all has the potential be an exciting time of growth and tremendous creativity in the field of animation. This is just speculation, but I think that they will green light a traditionally animated or "2D" feature in the near future. Glen Keane has wanted to return to the art form ever since its departure from Disney a few years back. He is currently directing Rapunzel Unbraided and expressed a strong determination to return to tradition animation eventually.

Who knows where this will all go though? Change can be very scary but as I have said before I am really excited about the potential this has and I hope that many great things will come out of this.
Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

1 comment:

Annie said...

It is true you are an optimist.

Ok, on to the Pixar/Disney deal. I think it will be interesting to say the least. They are all saying that they are going to keep both Pixar and Disney open and running as they are now. This excites me, but from a business stand-point I don't completely get how that is best. I think that eventually (maybe even a couple years down the road) that they will change. It could be closing the Pixar studio up north but I don't think it does. I think it will be something more like spliting the projects some how. Maybe one will do mostly 3D and the other mostly 2D or maybe Pixar will get the bigger budget stuff. There are alot of possiblilities.

That said I think that if both locations take this time now to do really good and produce successful movies (whatever that is) then there is a chance that things will remain similar to now. I say watch in the future: when there is trouble in the animation industry or in Disney/Pixar land there will be some kind of big change.

I most conclude by saying that I am excited and eager to see this all unfold. What movies will be greenlighted in the next year for Disney and Pixar? How will Lasseter's new job title positively effect Disney Animation and the parks? So many questions so little time...