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New Disney Toon Committee Features Three From Pixar

More details of the Walt Disney-Pixar merger have become public via the companys SEC filing on Jan. 26, 2006. Pixars Steve Jobs, John Lasseter and Ed Catmull will sit on a committee with Disneys ceo Bob Iger, Disney Studios chairman Dick Cook and Disney cfo Tom Staggs to oversee all the feature animation at the company. Lasseter, who will report to Iger directly, will have greenlight power, subject to the approval of the committee, which will work out R&D and budget issues. The committee will meet once a month at Pixars headquarters in Emeryville, California.

Most importantly, Pixar will be able to run its operations as it has previously, including how its employees are contracted and compensated. Previous Pixar releases will keep their original copyright language, but future releases after CARS will hold a Disney Pixar copyright. In addition, in what is a very symbolic detail, the Pixar sign that adorns the studios in Emeryville will retain unchanged.

One of the key stipulations to insuring the deal is that the key Pixar staff must remain at the studio at least through the merger, which should be completed this summer. This includes the companys key directors Brad Bird, Andrew Stanton and Pete Docter. Even the unexpected death of one of the key players was mentioned as a stipulation. If for some reason, Pixar decides to back away from the agreement, they will be obligated to pay Disney $210 million.

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