Who didn't see this coming?
Pixar has dumped Disney.
"After ten months of trying to strike a deal with Disney, we're moving on," Pixar CEO Steve Jobs said in a statement. "We've had a great run together -- one of the most successful in Hollywood history -- and it's a shame that Disney won't be participating in Pixar's future successes."
To repeat what I said
on December 1st:
Pixar could still renew their contract with Disney, but I wouldn't bet on it. The success of Finding Nemo alone should give Pixar the balls to venture out and find another studio to work with. Sure, they may end up staying with Disney but, if they don't, Disney will be left with nothing but a lot of memories and a pile of straight-to-video sequels that just won't hold a candle to what other studios (i.e., DreamWorks) are doing.
And to quite un-humbly quote myself even further: Eisner has shaped Disney into his own image and, in the process, has cut the animation giant off at the knees. I restate my declaration from this morning: If Eisner stays on, Disney will sink with him.
Two days ago, there was this:
Roy Disney, a former Walt Disney Co. board member who resigned amid his opposition to Chief Executive Michael Eisner, Tuesday urged shareholders to vote against Eisner and three other directors standing for re-election to the company's board.
"Now is the time for all Disney shareholders to take the first step to bring needed change to The Walt Disney Company," said Roy Disney and Stanley Gold, who also resigned from the board in protest, in a letter to shareholders sent ahead of the March 3 annual meeting.
The glory days of Disney are long gone. They will continue to release - and then withdraw from the shelves - remastered versions of old classics in the hopes of keeping the Disney animation cash flow from drying up. They've come a long, long way since the days when movies like The Little Mermaid made Disney all the rage again. A long, long way down, that is.
All hail Pixar, our new animation overlords.
Endnote: Pixar (PIXR: Research, Estimates) stock jumped in after-hours trading, according to Reuters, while Disney (DIS: Research, Estimates) stock sank more than 4 percent.