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Steve Jobs to Sell Pixar and Join Disney Board?

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the wherefor-will-apple-go? dept.

Movies 274

mikeisme77 writes "According to the Washington Post, Pixar Studios is in discussions with Disney for a possible merger/buy out. Disney would own Pixar in exchange for $6.7 billion worth of stock in the Walt Disney Corp. Speculation has also arisen that such a deal may lead to Steve Jobs earning a position on Disney's board of directors. He would likely become Disney's largest individual share holder. Further speculation sees Jobs using his new found power to leverage Disney into releasing more content to the iTunes media service." Details also available from the Time Magazine site. We touched on this issue near the end of last year as well.

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274 comments

Another reverse takeover? (5, Interesting)

chriss (26574) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521638)

It's funny that most speculation is about how well Apples digital media distribution would fit to Disneys movie and merchandising franchise, when Disney is considering Pixar, not Apple. And there are a number of interesting things Disney could gain from Pixar besides the movie franchise. People.

When Apple went looking for a new operating system to replace the classic Mac OS, they ended up (after looking inhouse and at BeOS and even WinNT) with NeXTSTEP from Steve Jobs new company NeXT [wikipedia.org] . They did not license NeXTSTEP (or the OpenStep Specification NeXT developed in corporation with Sun), instead they bought NeXT for $US 400 million. Steve Jobs came onboard as a consultant, but shortly after that replaced Gibert Amelio as CEO of Apple. He was not the only one, NeXTs Avi Tevanian became President of Software technology (I think), in charge of Apples OS development, other NeXT employees (Jon Rubinstein, Bud Tribble etc) got top positions at Apple. A lot of people considered this Apple paying money NeXT to take over Apple.

Disney is worth about 60 billion. If they buy Pixar for seven, the new Disney + Pixar should be worth about 67 billion (mind my non-existent knowledge about company evaluation), about 5% of which would belong to Steve Jobs (he owns 50% of Pixar). Apple was worth more than 20 times the $400 million they payed for NeXT when they bought it, they had seven billion in cash reserve alone, and they payed in cash, not stocks.

So maybe we will see another reverse takeover. I do not believe that Steve Jobs would want to become CEO (but will most likely join the board), but Edwin Catmull [wikipedia.org] could become head of the animation and feature film branch or John Lasseter [wikipedia.org] could become Disneys "creative director". He already worked there before joining Pixar (than Lucasfilm Computer Graphics Group). The quality of Disneys productions could only go up.

Re:Another reverse takeover? (5, Insightful)

Otter Escaping North (945051) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521716)

The quality of Disneys productions could only go up.

Or Pixar could go way down. I hope you're right, and that the Pixar folks will run wild into Disney - but it's a hell of a beast to tame. I'd actually fear that Disney would feel a need to "ensure Pixar's ongoing creative success" and then screw it up.

Just like when Dinsney's second golden age of animation was born (Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Lion King) - it became a valuble commodity, and the suits felt the need to 'protect' it. The next think you know, the creative guys are jumping ship, and you're left with drek like "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."

Re:Another reverse takeover? (3, Insightful)

IAmTheDave (746256) | more than 8 years ago | (#14522091)

and you're left with drek like "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."

Quite a legitimate fear. One of the reasons that Pixar does so well is the culture of the shop, developed by Jobs and run by Jobs. Take his somewhat psychotic nature out of the mix and allow Pixar to become just another Disney department overseen by the Disney corporate machine, and the brilliance that launced Toy Story, Finding Nemo, and The Incredibles may be lost forever.

Re:Another reverse takeover? (1, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521736)

The first thing I thought of when I saw the headline: Will Steve Jobs soon be the new CEO of Disney?

I wouldn't put it past him, though I'm sure that many would think it a strange idea. He's already shown that he can be very charismatic, and that he knows how to run a company. IHMO, having Jobs at the helm of Disney might actually be an improvement. Disney's been dying for years due primarily to poor leadership. Unfortunately, they're just to big to completely die off. So getting Jobs to inject some of his own magic back into the Kingdom might just be what the doctor ordered. :-)

Re:Another reverse takeover? (2, Funny)

mustafap (452510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521808)

The Apple/Next fiasco is well documented and I dont think you should use it as a historical yardstick here.

It does make a great read though. Life really is stranger than fiction sometimes, and Steve Jobs has a way of making it so.

My mother-in-law has a rather unusual claim to fame. At a dinner with Steve Jobs once ( my father-in-law used to work for Apple, ) Steve asked her if she used the Apple-II her husband had been given.

"Oh no, I just dust it", she said.

I'd have loved to have been a fly on the wall there :o)

Re:Another reverse takeover? (1, Interesting)

Edmund Blackadder (559735) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521832)

If Disney is worth 60 bill and buys pixar for 7 billion then they will still be worth 60 billion. They pay 7 billion and get a company that is presumably worth 7 billion so their total market valuation does not change.

And no Steve will not take over Disney. The corporate culture there is so tight, it is very unlikely they will let any outsider in. Disney shareholders have been trying to get rid of Eisner unsuccesfully for ages.

Re:Another reverse takeover? (1)

chriss (26574) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521915)

If Disney is worth 60 bill and buys pixar for 7 billion then they will still be worth 60 billion.

If Disney is worth 60 billions before and after the aquisition, and Pixar is worth 7 billions before and does not exist anymore afterwards, where did the 7 billion go?

Re:Another reverse takeover? (1)

rachit (163465) | more than 8 years ago | (#14522029)

If it was a stock transaction, Disney + Pixar would be worth 67 billion.

If it was a cash transaction, the 7 billion in cash went from Disney's bank account to Pixar's shareholders. Disney + Pixar would be worth 60 billion.

Re:Another reverse takeover? (1)

chriss (26574) | more than 8 years ago | (#14522137)

If it was a stock transaction, Disney + Pixar would be worth 67 billion.

Since Steve Jobs becomes the largest share holder of Disney, this seems to be a stock transaction, at least for the 50% of Pixar stock he holds.

Re:Another reverse takeover? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14522046)

To the (previous) owners of Pixar.

Actual Accounting Requires Knowledge (1)

KagatoLNX (141673) | more than 8 years ago | (#14522092)

Disney starts at 60 billion of assets - 60 billion of shareholder ownership.
Pixar starts at 7 billion of assets - 7 billion of shareholder ownership.

Disney gives the Pixar shareholders 7 billion of assets (cash) for their 7 billion of assets (Pixar).

Now Pixar shareholders have 7 billion of assets (cash) and Disney has 60 billion of assets (60 billion - 7 billion in cash + 7 billion in Pixar).

In other words, no money disappeared, assets just changed hands. As usual, this is all very subjective in terms of profit and loss, since the valuation of assets (the value of Pixar) can be very tricky, even if you aren't trying to overvalue yourself.

You essentially miss that they are buying Pixar from its shareholders. It doesn't own itself.

The reality of this particular trade is more complicated, since some of the payment will be in Disney shares, not cash, but the balance is the same.

Re:Another reverse takeover? (1)

wolfdvh (700954) | more than 8 years ago | (#14522116)

If Disney is worth 60 billions before and after the aquisition, and Pixar is worth 7 billions before and does not exist anymore afterwards, where did the 7 billion go?

Why to the shareholders (Owners) of Pixar, of course. They are free to keep part ownership of the new combined company or dump it if they think the merger is a bad idea.

60 billion - 7 billion payed to Pixar shareholders + the value of Pixar (7 billion again) means Disney is still worth 60 Billion. The 7 billion that Pixar is worth (purcahsed for) went to the owners of the thing being sold.

Now presumably Disney is willing to pay that price because they think they can increase the value over time to make it a good return on investment.

Re:Another reverse takeover? (1)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 8 years ago | (#14522136)

Let's look at it this way. Note - I don't want to simplify to the point of being insulting, just trying to help.

Let's pretend that each company is nothing more than a shell - a big ass bank account. This makes it easy to do the math. So Disney, Inc. has one assett - a checking account with $60B. Pixar has one assett, a checking account with $7B. Each company has issued stock to various people, which gives them the right to "control" the company (or, in other words, what it does with its cash).

The value of each company is pretty easy to determine in this case.

If Disney wants to acquire Pixar - for the sake of this grossly simplified sample, adding their $7B to the Disney account - they have to convince the people who currently control Pixar to let them. The easiest way to do this is to pay them cash:

Starting point
--------------
1000 Pixar shareholders with 1mm shares of stock each (stock price: $7) and no cash
1000 Disney shareholders with 1mm shares of stock each (stock price: $60) and no cash
Pixar with assets of $7B
Disney with assets of $60B

After cash transaction: Pixar bought by Disney for $7B in cash
----------------------
1000 ex-Pixar shareholders with $7mm cash each and no stock
1000 Disney shareholders with 1mm shares of stock each (stock price: $60)
Disney with assets of $60B

So, Disney has Pixar's assets (bank acct), but they had to pay out some cash to get them. Nothing has changed for DIS, which is why deals like this aren't cash-for-cash. So - they don't want to give up their cash - what else can they do?

Disney's board can make an offer to buy out Pixar for Disney stock instead. That way they end up with Pixar's $7B, but don't have to pay out any of their $60B, giving the new company a combined value of $67B. In order to do this, they will (with approval of their current shareholders (really the BOD, but for this example shareholders is fine) issue more stock in exchange for Pixar.

After stock transaction: Pixar bought by Disney for 116,666,666 shares of stock
------------------------

1000 ex-Pixar shareholders with $7mm cash each and no stock
1000 Disney shareholders with 1mm shares of stock each (stock price: $60)
Disney with assets of $60B

1000 ex-Pixar shareholders with 116,666 shares of DIS (stock price: $60)
1000 Disney shareholders with 1mm shares of stock each (stock price: $60)
Disney with assets of $67B

So each old Disney shareholder controls less of the company, as a percentage. This is important when it comes to voting. However, the company is worth more than it was before, so their individual cash positions are very similar. This would actually be a slightly bad deal for DIS shareholders though since there's more risk that the old Pixar guys, who can now vote on DIS issues, will do something they don't like.

In reality, you almost never see companies bought like this, for their cash. There's always something else, where the value of the new company is (in theory anyway) greater than the values of each company taken separately. That's almost a requirement, because:

a) In either of the first two examples, the Pixar guys probably wouldn't sell. They incur change (risk) and end up with much less control. This is why companies typically sell at a premium of their market valuation.

b) If the DIS shareholders didn't think that they were getting more than they were paying for, they wouldn't buy - they lose an amount of voting control as well due to the stock dilution.

To get back to your question:

If Disney is worth 60 billions before and after the aquisition, and Pixar is worth 7 billions before and does not exist anymore afterwards, where did the 7 billion go?

Into the pockets of the people who used to own shiny Pixar stock, and now don't.

Make sense?

Re:Another reverse takeover? (1)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521850)

I guess I see this is a path for an Apple/Disney merger. I'm not quite sure what that'd mean but it'd seem to be a better fit than the AOL/Time Warner merge. Apple and Pixar represent technology as art which is what Disney really needs to reclaim it's soul. Apple could leverage the Disney name and content to really make a strong move in the digital media market. I think Disney still owns ABC too which would just be more content at their fingertips. It seems it could be a powerful money making combination.

You don't get a much better child friendly combination than Apple and Disney. It'd present a lot of opportunity in the edutainment market in the least.

Re:Another reverse takeover? (5, Interesting)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521901)

I believe the set-up is as follows:

- Disney gains Pixar (the vast majority of hit (bread & butter) Disney films in the past decade have been from Pixar).

- Steve Jobs loses control of Pixar but gains a seat on the board + becomes #1 share-holder.

- Steve negotiates sweet deal with Disney (and don't ABC or something), for said movies to be made available on Apple iPod. (And you know that Yuppieville will start filling their 8 yr old's iPods with with Pixar films before every road trip). Lots of $$$ for Apple and even more cash for Disney.

- Disney's stocks increase, meanwhile Steve jobs acquires additional stock 5% to approx. 6-8%. The increased success of Disney stock builds near unanimous support for Steve Jobs to be CEO of Disney. (If you know anything about Steve Jobs his IDOL is Walt Disney! So this has likely been his life dream/goal since being young.

- Steve Jobs as CEO re-vitalizes Disney. Disney theme parks return to being places full of wonder, awe, amazing new technologies on Display for the common people to see. (And yes, all the displays have little rainbow colored Apples on them.)

In truth, I think Disney greatly needs an eccentric visionary like Steve Jobs to return it back to "dreams". To Steve Jobs, Disney is not just about $$$. It's about dreams. And for the past few decades Disney's dream has solely been $$$. The end result, no vision, no dreams. Nothing to stir up the human sole. Less interest and love for Disney. Equating to less $$$. Steve Jobs has the philosophy the $$$ will come as a by-product of the vision. And I believe he's right. In truth, I think there is an opportunity to see Disney re-vitalized in a kinda second birth. Steve Jobs loves show-casing. Loves grand-standing (in the style of a circus leader). A revitalized Disney allows him to do such. And would bring back a central character for the first time since the passing of Walt Disney himself.

I actually hope this all goes thru....

- Saj

Re:Another reverse takeover? (1)

frgough (890240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14522015)

True entrepreneurs know it's not about the money. The money is just the way you keep score.

I hope not.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14521647)

The Gay Day at Disney is bad enough...

Pedo-MAC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14521771)

New audience, new product line.

Jobs' newfound powers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14521657)

Steve Jobs has newfound powers? Oh dear...

That would be great (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14521659)

I bet Disney will be 4 times faster with Steve inside(tm).

SCNR! :D

Re:That would be great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14521839)

I bet Disney will be 4 times faster with Steve inside(tm).

Nice one indeed :-D

why not? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14521952)

I hear your girlfriend is...

Woo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14521660)

Yes!!! I can now buy the Bambi soundtrack on iTunes! Life couldn't be any better

Great News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14521662)

I can't wait for the new iMickey movies to come out!

Welcome (3, Funny)

shamowfski (808477) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521665)

I welcome our new media overlord! Hail Jobs!

Re:Welcome (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14522150)

I welcome our new media overlord! Hail Jobs!

More like Jobs proves the Peter Principle as the wretched hive of scum and villainy, which is Disney, would place in in a position where he would be doomed to failure and then easily sidelined. Kicking ass at Apple was easy, trying to change things at Disney will prove much harder.

On another note, you can pretty much kiss the quality of Pixar story lines and character development good-bye as the worn-out 'characters with attitude' crap takes over and stories become boilerplate.

Disney doesn't suffer for it's lack of ability to produce a decent product, it suffers from the same ideas and ways of thinking which have brought it down from its hey-day, when mean old Unca Walt was in charge.

Would be a great move. (5, Interesting)

Mahkno (887550) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521667)

Open up Disney's huge catalogue of short animations pieces, sell em for a $1. Nice... When is the last time you saw a short Mickey Mouse cartoon? Exactly.

Re:Would be a great move. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14521694)

Personally, I'd rather have them releaced under public domain.

Y'know, like they should be before they screwed up the system.

Teh MOUSE is teh EVIL!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14521933)

Free "Song of the South" and "Der Fuehrer's Face"!!

Re:Would be a great move. (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521828)

When is the last time you saw a short Mickey Mouse cartoon?

Never if Disney continues to corrupt the copyright laws. I'd rather consider anything published before 1986 to be public domain, but I'm not going to do anything large enough to warrant legal issues.

Re:Would be a great move. (2, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521970)

While I don't like what Disney did with the Mickey Mouse Protection Act, I can understand why they did it. Some property is so valuable that letting its rights lapse could do irreparable harm to its owners. Obviously, the founding fathers had intended for everyone to suck it up and deal with it, but modern history has shown that there can be some real value in controlling old property. (e.g. All those Plug 'N Play TV Games rely on old copyrights to compete in the market.) Yet at the same time, there is huge swaths of literature and entertainment that are being lost daily through overprotective copyright protection.

I'm really starting to think that what we need is a default copyright that's shorter than ever before, but is at the same time renewable. My idea is that the auto-copyright should be granted for 10 years. Should the owner of the property wish to extend that protection to 20 years, he must register his copyright. Once that 20 years is up, the current owner of the copyright must file for an extension every 5 years thereafter. The final cap on the copyright would be the life + 75 years used today.

That would allow for all the property that would otherwise be lost to be reclaimed. e.g. If a company goes out of business, you only have to wait a few years before you can start sharing an archive of their work. But at the same time Mickey Mouse gets the protection he needs to prevent freeloaders from misusing a copyright that is still very much alive. I'm not sure we could ever convince lawmakers, but it would solve a lot of problems.

Re:Would be a great move. (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 8 years ago | (#14522099)

e.g. All those Plug 'N Play TV Games rely on old copyrights to compete in the market.
i was under the impression that lots of those were completely pirate devices anyway (though there are probablly some legit ones too).

ads asdgwerer (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14521674)

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Jobs will never be a successful number 2. (4, Insightful)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521679)

Difficult individualists like Jobs are never successful taking a number 2 position at a company like Disney. Consider for example Turner at Time Warner.

Consider the man Eisner hired, who didn't last long. I forget his name.

Re:Jobs will never be a successful number 2. (1)

dirvish (574948) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521741)

I agree. I doubt this is really about Jobs joining the Disney board. The speculation about a iTunes content deal seems much more likely.

Re:Jobs will never be a successful number 2. (1)

urine (947631) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521929)

I agree. He's definitely more of a #1 kind of guy. I guess that's why I find him such an interesting man! Steve is #1 yeah!!!

stock (1)

squarefish (561836) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521685)

so, assuming this is true, which stock would be the best investment at this time? pixr is close to $60 right now and dis is about $25. thanks!

Re:stock (1)

InfoVore (98438) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521978)

which stock would be the best investment at this time?

Neither. Remember the old adage:
If you add a cup of wine to a barrel of garbage, you have a barrel of garbage. If you add a cup of garbage to a barrel of wine, you have a barrel of garbage.

Re:stock (1)

Onan (25162) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521984)


This really isn't the place to ask for investment advice. But speaking very generally, there's a tendency for the stock of the acquirer to see a slight dip and the stock of the acquiree to see a small spike.

But really, that's only a vague tendency. You shouldn't invest real money without investigating the particular companies and situation in more detail.

Wait.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14521687)

Does it means Steve Jobs will appear in cartoons?

The Steve Jobs Factor (5, Insightful)

nuckin futs (574289) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521691)

Steve Jobs is known to be a control freak. He controls Apple and Pixar. Unless he's able to control Disney if and when they merge, I don't think he'll be selling.

Re:The Steve Jobs Factor (1)

Carthag (643047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521846)

As far as I've been told, he's pretty hands off with Pixar.

Re:The Steve Jobs Factor (1)

nuckin futs (574289) | more than 8 years ago | (#14522048)

hands off, but he controls 50.1% of the company, which means he has the power to veto anything he doesn't like. it just happens that he likes the stuff they're producing.

Awesome! (4, Funny)

ChePibe (882378) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521702)

Now Disney movies will be sleek, easy to interface with, and pleasing to the eye! Disney toys will contain no small parts that could be snapped off! Disney rides will be stable, boring, and free of malfunction!

Sadly, Disney's video games will now suck - they'll all be stupid puzzles. And all Disney characters will be required to ditch the fancy costumes and go with oversized jeans and black turtlenecks.

That's the business world for you. It's all about compromise...

Re:Awesome! (1)

edbulldog (851508) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521899)

That's the business world for you. It's all about compromise...

Hey... at least is not all about developers, developers, developers ;P

Ask a question if you don't mind (1, Insightful)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521737)

What makes all these stories about Steve Jobs worthy of being on the front page of a webpage for geeks/nerds? "News for nerds, Stuff that matters," is the slogan right? Whether or not steve jobs sells his pixar stock or eats sushi for breakfast is irrelevant to any discussion here.

Re:Ask a question if you don't mind (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521862)

The answer is simple: Geeks/Nerds like stories about other geeks/nerds who made it big. I bet there are a lot of people on here who would love to be part of the next Jobs/Woz team.

Of course, I think we should have more Woz/Avi/etc. news articles, but guys like them don't enjoy being in the limelight like Jobs does.

Re:Ask a question if you don't mind (4, Funny)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521902)

What makes all these stories about Steve Jobs worthy of being on the front page of a webpage for geeks/nerds?

Yeah articles about a guy who runs one of the biggest and most innovative computer companies and one of the most well regarded computer graphics production houses has nothing to do with nerds. Computers and what happens with computer graphics and their affect upon the computer industry is more of a jock thing. I'm sure they're covering it on ESPN right now.

You can't buy talent (5, Insightful)

nagora (177841) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521740)

Disney can buy Pixar and have the rights to their back-catalogue to rape in the straight-to-video market alongside "Disney Buggers Winnie the Pooh Yet Again" and the rest of their tat but the last 15 years has shown that Disney can't recruit talent capable of making a good movie.

So, if Disney buys Pixar and Lassiter etc. walk out and start their own company Disney ends up with nothing more than a brand which they'll screw up as badly as they have their own.

TWW

Re:You can't buy talent (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521870)

So, if Disney buys Pixar and Lassiter etc. walk out and start their own company Disney ends up with nothing more than a brand which they'll screw up as badly as they have their own.

True, but from the summary, it looks like they might be buying Steve Jobs. He's pretty good at giving people what they want. Something that Disney has been struggling with recently.

Re:You can't buy talent (1)

WebGangsta (717475) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521964)

So, if Disney buys Pixar and Lassiter etc. walk out and start their own company Disney ends up with nothing more than a brand which they'll screw up as badly as they have their own.

Iger and Jobs aren't idiots. As mentioned in this morning's LATimes, it appears that they've already looked into Lassiter's role as head of animation. Disney has good animators and staff currently, but they need a visionary and leader like Lassiter to bring it all together. If he's given free reign (and with Jobs on the Board of Directors, he may very well get what he needs), we may see a new golden age of Disney animation.

Re:You can't buy talent (2, Informative)

nizo (81281) | more than 8 years ago | (#14522016)

Disney already owns the rights to pretty much all of Pixar's works:

Disney noted in its statement that it owns rights to all the Pixar movies, as well as two more animated features yet to be delivered -- "The Incredibles" due this year and "Cars", expected in 2005.

Disney will distribute those two films with Pixar getting its share of the profits. In addition, Disney probably will be able to make the sequels to all the Pixar films made under the current agreement, paying Pixar only limited royalties.

(Taken from here [cnn.com] )


Now if Pixar (as it is today) is in charge of later remakes they will actually be good; I shudder to think how Disney would do making sequals to The Incredibles or even Finding Nemo. This would be a good thing as long as Disney doesn't destroy Pixar.

Yeah, but will Disney destroy Pixar? (5, Insightful)

jupiter_ganymede (741242) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521744)

Pixar succeeds because they have the freedom to do things differently. I could see Pixar loosing that freedom and falling into the same trap Disney's animation branch did. Unless they could remain somewhat autonomous I can't see them continuing to innovate under Disney's control.

I see no mention of the fact they never liked each (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521834)

I see no mention of the fact they never liked each other. For a long time it seems that Pixar was doing all it could to get out of the deal it had with Disney to produce 5 movies. Now that it is close to get its freedom all of a sudden they want to be bought up?

Has disney made the u-turn or has pixar? Pixar succeeded because it was not disney, what makes the people think that it will not die a quick death when smothered by the disney giant?

Re:I see no mention of the fact they never liked e (1)

iroll (717924) | more than 8 years ago | (#14522071)

The hope lies in the fact that Eisner is out.

5 yrs ago Eisner was Disney; it'd be better to say Eisner and Pixar didn't get along. With Eisner out, Disney might get a chance to get a new corporate culture.

Re:Yeah, but will Disney destroy Pixar? (4, Insightful)

WebGangsta (717475) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521921)

Pixar succeeds because they have the freedom to do things differently

The LATimes article released this morning is the only one to mention that John Lassiter - major Pixar honcho, creative driving force, etc -- would head up the entire Disney animation division as part of the deal.

My guess is that Disney knows that Lassiter is the heart and soul of Pixar (as does Jobs), and they want to ensure that Pixar remains as devoted to creating quality work as possible along with reinvigorating the Disney animation arm as well with a new regime that Eisner so sadly dismantled over the years. As long as Pixar remains independent with Lassiter majorly involved in the merger-end-result, then all will be good in the end.

Re:Yeah, but will Disney destroy Pixar? (1)

nizo (81281) | more than 8 years ago | (#14522076)

This could actually be really good news then; Disney already owns the rights to pretty much all of the Pixar stuff, so now any sequals (The Incredibles comes to mind) would actually be good!

This Is Why Mac Hardware Doesn't Matter Anymore (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14521758)

The huge growth Apple has enjoyed is all because of the iPod/iTMS/media side of the company.

I would not be surprised if the Mac hardware using Intel chips is nothing more than a way for Apple to ease out of the computer hardware market over the next couple of years. Much better than outright dumping Apple computer hardware which would cause massive problems for the stock.

No matter what silly claims Jobs is making about the new Intel based Macs, he has to know that a luxury x86 OEM is the last thing the computing world is looking to for right now.

Re:This Is Why Mac Hardware Doesn't Matter Anymore (1)

Phroggy (441) | more than 8 years ago | (#14522100)

I would not be surprised if the Mac hardware using Intel chips is nothing more than a way for Apple to ease out of the computer hardware market over the next couple of years.

I believe you're mistaken. Switching to Intel hardware allows Apple to gain hardware marketshare, by being able to produce more powerful Macs for less money, and by being able to meet demand instead of having major shortages every time they announce a new product. Raw CPU speed for a reasonable price has been a major problem for Apple; their high-end $3000 machines perform nicely but the low-end consumer stuff (that people like me can actually afford) crawls, and once they've fixed this problem, I think Mac sales will really take off.

Re:This Is Why Mac Hardware Doesn't Matter Anymore (3, Funny)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#14522106)

Wow, nobody's heard that prediction before. Apple--proudly going out of business for 30 years.

So-called "synergy" never works (5, Interesting)

OnTheWay (529387) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521775)

We'll all lose out if Jobs sells Pixar to Disney. Here's one reason: I heard Albert Brooks talking about his new movie "Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World" on the radio. Sony was his original distributor, but they wanted him to avoid using the word "Muslim" in the title, probably because they didn't want to offend any potential buyers of their cameras, TVs, AV Gear, etc. So he took his film to another distributor, one who didn't have to worry about TV/camera sales etc. So much for "synergy" - just shows the bigger you are, the *less* you can do, 'cause you're always worried about how one subsidiary's actions will affect the biz of all the other subsidiaries. That's what's going to happen to Pixar if Disney englobs it. "Toe the line and cover all of our sizeable asses!"

Re:So-called "synergy" never works (1)

mike77 (519751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521918)

cause you're always worried about how one subsidiary's actions will affect the biz of all the other subsidiaries

hasn't stopped SONY yet!

Not gonna happen. (5, Interesting)

DysenteryInTheRanks (902824) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521783)

Guess what -- If this was going to happen, no one would be leaking it.

Now, to figure out what is really going on, think about who is incentivized to leak. Disney? Well, considering how incredibly weak this makes them look, and considering how expensive their supposed acquisition of Pixar just got due to this news breaking, I think we can safely rule them out.

On the other hand, Pixar in general and Steve Jobs in particular come off looking pretty great. There are all kinds of inflated numbers being thrown around about how much Disney will pay, which helps Pixar win concessions from other suitors who want to distribute its movies. Also, Jobs is practically crowned new king of Disney in these stories, which helps his public image.

Most importantly, all this chatter brings Pixar even with or above Disney in the public mind in terms of brand quality. If Disney is offering so much, Pixar must be their creative equal or superior, the thinking goes.

Only slightly less important, any big Pixar executives of shareholders (*cough*Jobs*cough*) just saw their stock options get even more valuable.

So by a wide margin, this leak appears to benefit Pixar and hurt Disney.

I wonder if Steve Jobs has the sort of media access and pull to do a leak like this? /sarcasm.

Re:Not gonna happen. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521852)

Another reason I think this is unlikely is that it would kill iTMS for video production. Music producers are already wary of its near monopoly position, and video producers are likely to be quite careful about allowing Apple to gain a distribution monopoly. If they secured a very good deal with Disney then this would make other studios very very cautious about entering into any kind of deal with Apple.

Re:Not gonna happen. (1)

DysenteryInTheRanks (902824) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521975)

++Good point. When Pixar was just a cool little company, it gave Jobs cred with the media companies, since he knew the value of copyright. If he becomes a Disney hotshot (even just on their board), suddenly he looks like a threat.

Disney + Pixar = Bad combination (1)

MonkeyCookie (657433) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521787)

Disney has been making a lot of crap recently. I predict that the acquisition of Pixar by Disney will eventually cause Pixar's very enjoyable movies to turn to crap as well.

I may take a few years to remove all the originality and cleverness from Pixar, but I'm sure Disney is up to the task.

Re:Disney + Pixar = Bad combination (1)

mozumder (178398) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521919)

Well, there's only ONE reason Pixar has been so good: Producer/Director/Writer John Lasseter.

If the merger causes Lasseter to leave, then yah, they're screwed. They should put him on the new board, instead of Jobs.

Re:Disney + Pixar = Bad combination (2, Informative)

Hitokiri (220183) | more than 8 years ago | (#14522132)

Pixar is so much more than just John Lasseter.

The last film Lasseter wrote and directed was Toy Story 2.

Brad Bird wrote and directed The Incredibles [imdb.com]
Andrew Staton wrote and directed Finding Nemo [imdb.com]
Peter Docter directed and Andrew Staton wrote Monsters Inc. [imdb.com]

While Lasseter served as Executive Producer on these films that role is mainly production management and not creative. I'm not saying Lasseter isn't talented, he is. Its just that Pixar's success is the union of great management, R&D and arists.

For some reason, my response is just (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14521790)

"I really, really wonder what Roy Disney thinks of this"

Jobs will make changes at Disney (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521792)

Speculation has also arisen that such a deal may lead to Steve Jobs earning a position on Disney's board of directors. He would likely become Disney's largest individual share holder.

It was also rumoured that Steve Jobs' first move as Disney boardmember is convincing the rest of the board to re-edit 'Snow White' so that the Queen [pins-r-us.com] feeds Snow White a poison banana.

Jobs To Take Eisner Job? (4, Insightful)

randomErr (172078) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521818)

I can see this happening. Jobs has a much better name in both the consumer and business world. Jobs has several companies that have been producing original products(iPod, Airport, The Incredibles) and making money(Apple and Pixar of course) for years.

Can Eisner say that (Home on the Range, Beauty and the Beast Princess Collect 2 Special Edition, Disney Land)?

I think it depends on access (5, Interesting)

Dark Paladin (116525) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521853)

If you're Steve Jobs, you have to be thinking "OK, if I own 5% of Disney, what will that get me?"

Better opportunities for Pixar movies and resources? Check.
Better control to keep Disney from making Toy Story 3 horrible? Check.

But more importantly, will this really give him what he really wants at this stage: media control. I think his goal now is to set up iTunes and Apple as the next Sony - make itself the "one stop portal" for all things music/tv/movie, so no matter what you want, you click iTunes and for over that credit card number to get it, then play it on your iPod/computer/Apple TV (or whatever they may call the rumored "Plasma TV's with OS X").

In this way, Apple can truly become the next Sony, including a strong movie/music lineup in its back pocket.

On the other hand, will 5% of Disney really get him there? It's a hard question. It will get him influence, but my bet it that he would want control of the whole pie so he can say "We *will* be putting these movies on iTunes at $9 a pop, and if you don't like it, go form your own animation studio".

It might also buy more problems with Sony, which has its own music/movie center. Right now, Apple is independant enough that it can go to Sony and say "Look, let us sell your music and movies on iTunes - we're not your competitor in the movie space". But if Jobs teams with Apple, how long until Sony decides its better to cut off its own nose rather than allow their entertainment rival to make money off of their products?

He may hold out for a little more, as in "5% of stock plus extra voting powers", and some control over the technology (which would let him walk into the software development area and say "See this stuff? Make it Mac compatible before the next version of 'Disney Horse Adventures' ship.").

I'm betting he won't take it - he's got what he wants on both sides of technology and entertainment, he has control, and it keeps him just independant enough where he can work with either side.

Of course, that's just my opinion - I could be wrong.

On Balance, Not a Nice Idea (4, Interesting)

ewhac (5844) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521859)

The idea of Steve Jobs as the biggest single shareholder on Disney's board is certainly entertaining to think about but, on the whole, I think Pixar is better off remaining an independent animation studio (and, to a lesser extent, graphics research company).

Among people in the entertainment industry, Disney is not well thought of. They have a reputation of being the most ruthless and shameless exploiters of talent. They are one of the loudest and most shrill voices in support of pervasive media copy protection (DRM), and have been instrumental in ram-rodding regressive copyright statutes through Congress. Frankly, I can't see Jobs doing much to change that. (It's also not clear that's something he would want to change.)

Schwab

ohhhh! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14521864)

The "imouse"

*sorry, had too*

Reality Distortion Field Ride... (2, Funny)

Ditch125 (645368) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521875)

will replace Space Mountain as the most popular ride in the parks. Will Mickey have to wear a black turtleneck??

George Lucas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14521884)

And to think George Lucas sold Pixar to Jobs for US$ 10 million (asked price was US$ 20 million, but apparently Lucas needed to settle a divorce case and needed money fast, and he didn't want to sell ILM.)

No thanks (1)

bobetov (448774) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521930)

Great, let's join something I love (Pixar) and something I admire (Apple) with something I despise (10 points for guessing that's Disney).

Pixar has done the unbelievable and released *only* great movies. They are the heir of the old, beloved, plowed-into-a-wall-and-burned-to-the-ground Disney animation studios.

Much as I'd love to see Disney stop sucking so hard, I'd rather they just *die* than take down Pixar with them.

Good thing I'm on the boards of both companies, so my opinion on this matter will be influential... or something.

Re:No thanks (1)

sharrestom (531929) | more than 8 years ago | (#14522065)

Sooner or later, Pixar will stumble. Not because of quality, but, because there are now some very good animation studios on the rise. The pie is only so big, and there are only a few good slots in the year to make bank on animation. Then again, taking the Disney crap out of the equation might be worth it.

Steve Jobs != Pixar (2, Informative)

vasqzr (619165) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521972)


Jobs came up with the original plan to start Pixar, and the money to do it, but he has basically no creative control there. It's run by other people.

Re:Steve Jobs != Pixar (2, Informative)

MetaPhyzx (212830) | more than 8 years ago | (#14522037)

Er, you mean came up with the money to BUY Pixar. Pixar was a Lucasfilm joint before that... Jobs isn't as hands on there as he is with Apple, but they do share a similar office culture.

The implications of self-dealing... (1)

jordandeamattson (261036) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521974)

Hi All -

What the speculation around the impact of Jobs selling Pixar to Disney and joining the Disney board (we would likely only settle for chairperson) falls to address, is the impact of restrictions on self-dealing, etc., on what a board member can do in this post-Enron and SOX era.

If Warren Buffet can be criticized for being on the Disney board and called a "non-independent" Director because Diary Queen (which BRKB owns) purchases a few million in Coca Cola syrup a year, imagine the furor that Jobs pushing a "good deal" for iTunes would face.

I actually believe that a sale to Disney followed by Jobs joining the board would make things more difficult and would limit his ability to get the famous "Apple terms" for contnet, et al.

One way around this, would be for the terms of the deal with respect to iTunes content to be hammered out now, and announced as part of the acquisition deal.

Yours,

Jordan

Taking a Disney board seat is unwise (2, Interesting)

lazzaro (29860) | more than 8 years ago | (#14521997)

If Pixar is sold to Disney, Steve should consider closing the door on that chapter of his life and moving on. The history of maverick outsiders taking a seat on the board of companies like Disney is that the maverick gets shunned until he throws up his hands and leaves. Yes, having such a big investment in Disney with no board seat is a dangerous thing for him ... but maybe the best way to solve that problem is for him to diversify out of his Disney holdings as quickly as legally permitted.

Is it really that big of a deal? (1)

NiteShaed (315799) | more than 8 years ago | (#14522002)

From reading some of the comments on this story you'd think the headline read "Steve Jobs Buys Disney Outright Using Personal Check". Granted having %5 of Disney is nothing to sneeze at, but he's hardly becoming the unchallenged dominant force in the company.....

Seriously, F--- that idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14522022)

Pixar creates original and compelling content. Disney makes shit and shit. Disney hasn't got the slight clue what content is anymore. Look at the large number of direct to Video crap disney produces the last 5 years. Pixar can kick disney's ass for 1 simple reason. Pixar has talent and knows how to make compelling content. For disney to turn around, they have to completely fire all their retard upper and middle management and bring in new blood.
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