Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Can't Beat 'Em? Buy 'Em!

Once upon a time, the Walt Disney Studios, producer of the world's most famous animation movies, met an exciting new computer animation company named Pixar. For years, the two companies worked together happily making some of the best animated features of the modern film era -- Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc., and The Incredibles. Then the two studios had a falling out, and went their separate ways. Now, $7.4 billion later, the two are hoping to live happily ever after, again. This gobble 'em up mentality is the way Hollywood (and most of corporate America) does business these days. There was a time, when talent was developed from within. in what seems to be a bygone era, there was nothing more impressive for an animator to say than he once animated for Disney. But this move by Disney reminds me of a similar merger implemented by Sony last year when it bought MGM. Sony wanted the Bond franchise. When they lost it, in court, Sony decided to just buy it, instead. Here, Disney obviously missed the magic Pixar brought to the mix. But rather than attempt to beat Pixar at its own game, Disney (like Sony) chose to buy the competition. Why? Well, I have two words: Chicken Little.

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