Pixar's creative team has garnered 20 Academy Awards, and its global box office success has made it a leader in quality family entertainment. The studio's track record includes the hits Toy Story, Toy Story 2, A Bug's Life, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo and The Incredibles. Disney will also have increased ability to fully capitalize on Pixar-created characters and franchises on high-growth digital platforms such as video games, broadband and wireless, as well as traditional media outlets, including theme parks, consumer products and live stage plays.
Pixar president Ed Catmull will serve as president of the new Pixar and Disney animation studios, reporting to Iger and Dick Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios. In addition, Pixar executive VP John Lasseter will be chief creative officer of the animation studios, as well as principal creative advisor at Walt Disney Imagineering, where he will provide his expertise in the design of new attractions for Disney theme parks around the world. Pixar chairman and CEO Steve Jobs will be appointed to Disney's board of directors as a non-independent member. With the addition of Jobs, 11 of Disney's 14 directors will be independent. Both Disney and Pixar animation units will retain their current operations and locations.
Disney first entered into a feature film agreement with Pixar in 1991, resulting in the release of Toy Story in November 1995. In 1997, Disney extended its relationship with Pixar by entering into a co-production agreement, under which Pixar agreed to produce, on an exclusive basis, five original computer-animated feature films for distribution by Disney. Pixar is currently in production on the final film under that agreement, Cars, to be distributed by Disney on June 9.