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Disney and Pixar Back Together Again

Finding Nemo movie poster
Finding Nemo was one of the most successful movies produced by Pixar and Disney.
Disney/Pixar Movies

January 27th, 2006

Back in 1995, Disney found a gem in a little company named Pixar and released the first of their hits together on Thanksgiving weekend, which introduced everyone to a couple of toys named Buzz and Woody. Toy Story was the first fully computer animated feature film, and went on to make almost $192 million in domestic box office receipts and $362 million worldwide.

This collaboration of imagination and animation genius at Pixar and the distribution and marketing strength of Disney continued to produce hits like A Bug's Life, Monsters, Inc., and Toy Story 2. In 2003, Finding Nemo had the biggest opening weekend for any animated film on its U.S. release on May 30th, and it stayed on the top 10 box office rankings for 11 weeks.

But, as with many relationships, this one hit troubled waters and it appeared that the 2004 release of The Incredibles and the upcoming release of Cars in 2006 would be the last cooperative production between these two powerhouses. Disney started talking about making Toy Story 3 without Pixar's involvement, and news of conflicts between Pixar boss Steve Jobs and Disney head Michael Eisner occupied many headlines.

The question boiled down to: who needed whom the most? Pixar was largely responsible for the sensational product, and Disney's animation prowess was fading fast since the days of The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, with such animated disapointments as The Emperor's New Groove and Home on the Range. But without the marketing muscle, could Pixar stand on their own, or just be an acquisition target?

Fast forward to this week, with the announcement by both companies that the two shall be as one, and movie lovers around the planet can now breathe a sigh of relief. While there's no word on whether Steve Jobs and new Disney chief Robert Iger sang "You've Got a Friend in Me," it does sound like Pixar will be taking the creative reigns in many areas, and that the people that made Pixar what it is will be staying on. Disney has already announced that they are scrapping production of Toy Story 3 and will hand the project over to the Pixar team.

You can watch a video featuring Steve Jobs and Robert Iger talking about Disney's plans for Pixar by visiting the aforementioned article Pixar takes Toy Story from Reuters and CNN Money.

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