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Thursday, January 26, 2006

$7.4 Billion

I have no reason to know anything at all about animation, so if you're looking for an informed opinion, look elsewhere. But this event is so historic that I can't pass up a chance to write about it.

I'm referring, of course, to Disney's acquisition of Pixar. Since, as implied, I have no personal knowledge of the field but for what I read on the internet and what I see in theaters, I will have to (for once) agree with the masses: This is the best thing to happen to Disney for a decade. They desparately need the paradigm shift they might get from bringing John Lasseter (and Steve Jobs and Ed Catmull) into the business. People are asking whether it's really worth all that money, but look at what Disney's released in the past few years. With a few rare exceptions (Treasure Planet and Lilo & Stich were both gems.), it's all been trash. Whatever the cost, Disney desparately needs to be fixed. Who better to do it than the guys responsible for some of the greatest works of animation of our time?

Lasseter's new position sounds like something out of a Roald Dahl book. As soon as they make friends with the big, influential character at the end, suddenly he's running the whole empire. The part which really strikes me as Dahl-esque is the part where he reports directly to Bob Iger with new ideas for theme park rides. Am I the only one who is reminded of The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me at this point? How often do you come across such a happy ending (or beginning, depending on how you look at it) in capitalist businesses? Here's a man who's spent his life striving for all sorts of silly, childish, beautiful things, and here he is being handed the mightiest (potential) factory of wonders in history on a celluloid platter. Wow- what a life.



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