Re: Pixar is History

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By tpault
January 30, 2004

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All that they proved is that they can take Pixar's craft -- and with the same marketing might and distribution (if not more so) -- still come up short.

Well, it's a new medium, not a Pixar craft. Now if you want to argue a "Pixar standard," that's another story and may be more accurate. But it is unreasonable IMO, to suggest that unless a movie makes a billion dollars (or $300 million domestically) that it falls far short of anything resembling success. That's a fallacious argument.

CG is still in its early stages. Someone charged that Disney has no experience or success in this area and I showed otherwise. The degree of that success in comparison to Pixar's thus far isn't comparable, agreed. But the argument wasn't that Pixar-only has runaway CG success. The argument was that Disney has no success, which isn't true. And whether or not PHF or anyone else is fond of the characters of the movie Dinosaur, [it] has no bearing in the actual revenue of the movie.

Forever is a long time. Disney basically pioneered and created the medium of animated features, and has long dominated the box office since. They've put out record setting performers, and disappointments. So? This will always be the case and Pixar will be no different. As far as partnership goes, Pixar is the one who walked, not Disney. Pixar is the one who sought to take hundreds of millions of dollars away from Disney on the current contract and potential billions away on future ones. Most arguments in here against Disney for the failed negotiations are based on the success Disney has garnered from the partnership. In other words, because Disney has smelled so sweet in the relationship, you believe the company is nuts not to continue. Where that argument falls short is in that Pixar would discontinue anything that resembles a sweet deal for Disney, yet you all would still insist Disney go for it. If you all are so very versed in what Disney is forsaking financially, based on Pixar's recent-most demands, then by all means please enlighten us. Just don't forget to subtract, oh, about a quarter-billion dollars from the existing contract and don't add a penny for future ones insofar as profit sharing, character ownership, &sequel rights.

I'm quite unimpressed and frankly, tired of hearing folks here bash Disney for the Pixar relationship to begin with. The more successful Pixar is, the more you all criticize Disney for relying on them. Now that the deal is souring, you fault Disney for moving away from the relationship. It's like you all just want to bash Disney, no matter what. In reality, Disney, Eisner was genius for the deal they've enjoyed. Disney knows how to identify, back, and profit from winning product. In as much as they do with movies at times when they chose up-and-comer actors and make some movies for $12 million, that make 10 and more times that at the box office, so has Disney done with Pixar. But like those actors who go on to become A-listers and commanding $20-30 million per flick, Disney moves on too. If Disney & Eisner were smart and financially blessed with Pixar, then Disney & Eisner are smart to cultivate that sort of blossoming success again. Either in-house, or through another studio.

And I don't think that any "Pixar presents" movies that are distributed by "Warner Bros" or "Sony" or whomever, are starting out with as much magic and appeal either. The Disney name helped make Pixar's popularity to start with. In fact, to this day, I'd bet dollars to donuts that people associate Nemo, Monsters, and Toy Story, with Disney, not Pixar.

What you'll see happen is Pixar will go on their own, they'll put out a few ho-hummers eventually, and Disney will put out more record breaking hits either from some secret lab studio or from forging a new Pixar-like relationship somewhere else. The sad part is that if Disney finds success with another studio, you all will fault them terribly for not doing it themselves. If Disney does not find the same success with another studio, you all will fault Eisner again, terribly. And finally, if Disney finds the same success with computer animation in-house, again, you all will fault Eisner terribly, for not doing it with hand-drawn.

Paul T.

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