The Critical 'I'

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Friday, January 30, 2004

see ya, mouse!
The end of an era, and maybe a lot more, is here as Pixar Animation Studios and Disney have severed their business relationship. That means that in a couple of years, after the remainder of the companies' working agreement is fulfilled, Pixar's computer-animated films will be released through some other studio, or (more likely) several studios.

It's kind of surprising, considering that Disney has recently made notable moves toward eliminating its hand-drawn animation units, with the intent of going completely over to computer-generated animation. The recent flops of traditional animation films, and the matching big-time success of computer-animated ones, indicated that this was the way for Disney to go. Now, it's seemingly suffered a setback by breaking with Pixar.

Then again, in the longer term, Disney would be better off growing its own in-house computer-generated production units. No longer having Pixar only spurs that.

Meanwhile, I wonder if Steve Jobs, the chief at Pixar, will use this development to increase linkage with his other company, Apple. I know there's been little crossing-over so far, but now that Pixar is more of a free agent, you never know.