Monday, October 31, 2005

Well, this sounds intriguing..

Cartoon Brew reports that there's some rumblings that Steve Jobs may be willing to sell Pixar to an appropriate bidder. This article explains the details and points to Disney as a possible suitor for the Pixar holdings. Sounds like it could be a number of things to me.
To me it sounds like Steve is bored with the little studio that could. Pixar has settled into the maturity of its form. It's now the leader of the pack in what it does. No more giants remain to be slain there. There's always been something about Jobs that needs his Goliath so he can be the heroic David. But Pixar is now Goliath. At least in the sense of what Pixar is and is likely to be. Disney's trying to hang on and they sure hope Chicken Little firms up their ground as a movie making company. But ask anybody their honest opinion and they'll tell you that Pixar's currently top of the game in animated movie making. Dreamworks makes a bunch of money with their films, but those films often lack the ability to find a warm place in the cockles of children's hearts. Kids generally aren't asking mom and dad for a Shrek, Donkey, Alex the lion or Oscar the Fish costume this halloween. But I can guarantee there'll be bajillions of Buzz Lightyears a full decade after his introduction as a character. No, when it comes to making films that find an iconic place in the hearts of kids, Pixar is currently the giant. Disney is still far bigger overall as a company, but not in the core business of animated films. They have giant distribution systems, live action divisions, broadcast and network holdings, merchandising empires. But they're all ancilliary to the animate film biz. And I don't think Pixar has ever wanted to become the next Disney Company. Just the next Walt Disney Studio. Which they've pretty much done.
So the battle is kinda won. Perhaps for Jobs the game has gotten old. Steve has some fun things happening back at Apple again. He has his eyes on revolutionizing the content delivery and consumption markets of the world.

Or this could all be a ploy to drive up share prices. I can't see how selling to Disney gives him any leverage in striking a new deal with Disney. But if rumblings of a sale are coming out I think it's fair to say that could perk some interest in the Pixar stock. One thing is that if I were a Pixar employee this morning I'd have a little sick feeling in my gut if I'd heard The Steve was thinking of selling out to The Mouse. And maybe that's Steve's intention- inject a little hunger and fear back into the Pixar crew to keep them sharp.

But that's just my guess. It could all be hooey.


Anonymous said...

its seems: jobs need money to develop his new intel-mac#s ;)

Drew said...

the only challenge pixar has yet to meet is to foster healthy competition in animation. disney took the approach of a stranglehold, but hopefully there will be a little more competition with pixar firmly in the driver's seat.