Disney wants to buy Pixar?

Written by Brett Thomas

January 19, 2006 | 14:54

Tags: #acquisition #buy #digital-media #finding-nemo #itunes #mickey-mouse #pixar #shares #steve-jobs #toy-story

Companies: #disney

A brief little news bite from the entertainment industry might be of interest to digital media fans out there. More than rumour has it that the Walt Disney company is interested in buying Pixar studios, the digital backbone to many movies including Toy Story and Monsters Inc.

Why does this concern us? Because Pixar is owned by the one and only Steve Jobs, of Apple fame. The deal would set Jobs up to be one of the largest shareholders in the Walt Disney company.

Obviously, any real speculation on where this might lead Apple's digital empire points to iTunes - which could get some branding strength for its video downloads by one of the most well-known icons of all time: Mickey Mouse. It could also lead the way for feature film downloads, rather than just TV and music videos.

The Walt Disney fanbase is large and incredibly loyal, so the featuring of their favorite rodent and friends could bring an entire new sector into the digital distribution business model, and help advance the cause more towards mainstream. It would also boost the iTunes brand strength significantly, perhaps allowing Steve more power in calling the shots against record execs and the like.

Of course, Disney and Pixar have long been involved in a twisting saga of power. Disney used to distribute Pixar's films, before deciding that the animation company was getting too big for its boots and refusing to agree to a new, more lucrative deal for Pixar. Pixar has since rocketed with Finding Nemo, and Disney has... well, what has Disney done? (Isn't that rather the points?)

This latest move rather looks like Disney realises that it could get a piece of the digital action with Pixar, the studio that can do no wrong, it seems.

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