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Disney (Research) CEO Bob Iger and Pixar chairman Steve Jobs announced a surprise $7.4 billion deal in which Pixar Animation Studios, which brought the world the Toy Story movies, "Finding Nemo" and "The Incredibles," would become a wholly-owned part of Disney. The deal is surprising because Pixar's longtime distribution pact with Disney fell apart in acrimony and is due to expire after the release in June of "Cars," a kaleidoscopic celebration of racing, Route 66, and life in the slow lane. But in an amazing plot twist, not only is Pixar becoming part of Disney, but the upstart studio is also taking over the creative direction of Disney's own flailing animation operations - the people in this very room! For Iger, the deal is a bet-the-house gamble to save Disney animation from creative oblivion. It's as if Nemo swallowed the whale. When Dick Cook, the chairman of Walt Disney Studios, introduces Pixar's John Lasseter, the man who will soon be their boss, the crowd bursts into cheers and applause that goes on and on.The article is quite interesting as it chronicles his beginnings as a cartoon fanatic and a Disney animator who got fired for pushing computer animation before Disney was ready to accept it. Will John Lasseter be regarded in the same way as Walt Disney? Probably not, but he's probably the closest thing Disney the corporation has seen since its namesake had the controls.
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