Pixar Fought Disney To Protect Its "Children," Says Lasseter

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John Lasseter, the co-founder and creative leader of Pixar, has acknowledged that he worried endlessly during the protracted negotiations with Disney about the possibility that Disney would produce sequels to the original Pixar films like Toy Story and Monsters Inc. if a deal extending their relationship wasn't concluded. In an interview with Fortune magazine, Lasseter said, "It would have been easier just to walk away, but Steve [Jobs] stayed in there for me, because I loved these characters that we have created. They're like family, like children. And if we didn't get a deal, Disney would own our children. Who knew what they would do? These were the people that put out Cinderella II. We believe that the only reason to do a sequel is if you have a great story, period. It's not 'Let's just keep cranking it out.'" Lasseter said that he and Jobs decided to wait until Michael Eisner left as CEO of the studio before resuming negotiations with Disney, and that he received a phone call from Robert Iger on the day he was named to succeed Eisner. "And that said a lot to us, because he was serious about wanting to make a deal with us to keep distributing our films. He understood that the biggest issue for us wasn't money, but to have control of our characters." When he heard that Disney wanted to take over Pixar, Lasseter recalled, "at first I was very nervous." However, he added, Jobs reassured him, saying, "Get to know Bob Iger. That's all I can say. He's a good man."




16/05/2006


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