Pixar dumps Disney

Pixar Animation Studios Inc. said Thursday it ended talks with Walt Disney Co. to extend a five-picture deal for Disney to distribute Pixar films.

Pixar, the computer animation pioneer founded by Apple Computer Inc.'s Steve Jobs, said it would begin talks with other companies to distribute its films starting in 2006. "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."

The move was a clear setback to Disney, which reaped a financial and critical bonanza from the partnership and has struggled with its own strategy for animation. Disney said Pixar's final offer would have cost Disney hundreds of millions of dollars from the existing distribution deal and was not sweet enough going forward. "Although we would have enjoyed continuing our successful collaboration under mutually acceptable terms, Pixar understandably has chosen to go its own way to grow as an independent company," Disney Chairman Michael Eisner said in a statement.

News source: CNN

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