Sneaky; Slimy; Effin' Brilliant (2/3/04)

Check it out-- we're not the only ones wearing tin foil conspiracy hats! Remember last week when we reported that Pixar and Disney had called it quits? At the time, we had noted that Steve's timing with his announcement was interesting, to say the least; after ten months of negotiations and with almost another two years left in the current Disney-Pixar contract, Steve decided to tell the world about Disney's imminent Pixarlessness just a few days after former Disney directors Stan Gold and Roy Disney called for shareholders to toss CEO Eisner out on his big, circular ear. Coincidence? Ha! And if you think this is just some crazy paranoid theory, well, you may be right-- but at least we don't have to be crazy and paranoid alone.

See, faithful viewer wavedancer pointed out a San Francisco Chronicle article about the Pixar-Disney split which notes that, immediately after news of the breakup went public, Roy and Stan issued a joint statement using it as further proof that Eisner needs to be canned: "Michael Eisner's inability to manage and nurture crucial creative relationships, like the one Disney had with Pixar, is one of the main reasons we have maintained that we did not believe Disney's earnings were sustainable." And there's merit in that perspective, seeing as Pixar films have brought Disney $2.5 billion in ticket sales over the past nine years, while Disney itself has churned out features like Treasure Planet-- which would have been more appropriately named Set $100 Million on Fire and Throw It Out the Window of a Speeding Bus.

But here's where things get clever: the Chronicle hints that Steve Jobs may have purposely demanded way too much during negotiations, knowing that Eisner's ego would never let him agree. In other words, Steve may have scuttled the deal on purpose expressly to give Stan Gold and Roy Disney more ammunition to get Eisner dethroned. Why? Well, for one thing, it's no secret that Jobs and Eisner basically despise one another, and that might be motive enough; personally, we think there's also just the slightest chance that Steve might be clearing the Disney CEO spot for himself.

Either way, though, it would certainly make sense for Steve to help get Eisner fired for letting Pixar get away-- especially since, as the Chronicle points out, there's plenty of time to renew Pixar's contract with reasonable terms after Stan and Roy establish new post-Eisner leadership. Ron Diamond of Animation World Network puts it like this: "I wouldn't be surprised if Roy is successful. If Eisner goes out and Roy comes in, I think there is an extremely good chance that (Disney) could go back to Pixar and get them back."

Too nuts to be true? Maybe. But don't forget, Steve has experience in engineering the ousting of CEOs, and he has a lot to gain: a renewed contract with Disney without Eisner standing in the way of decent terms; the delirious gratitude of Walt's nephew, and all the future favors that brings; and the shiny satisfaction of watching Michael Eisner skulk off into the shadows. Oooh, we can hardly wait for Disney's shareholder meeting in March...

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The above scene was taken from the 2/3/04 episode:

February 3, 2004: Apple releases new versions of Safari and Java-- to Panther users, anyway. Meanwhile, reports fly that Microsoft's "Xbox Next" will be powered by three G5 chips, and we aren't the only ones wondering if Steve Jobs announced the Disney-Pixar split last week to try to get CEO Michael Eisner fired...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 4484: "It's Like A Whole New Web!" (2/3/04)   Friends, has your Internet experience lost that certain spark? Did you once surf with a spring in your clicking finger and a grin on your face, only to find that you're now surfing sans verve-- even to your once-favorite sites? Are pages that once put a wiggle in your tush now coming across as limp, lifeless, and lacking luster? Sounds like you might be suffering from... BROWSER BURNOUT....

  • 4485: Oh, Just Call It Xbox PiPPiN (2/3/04)   Hey, so you're all probably sick to death and beyond of that old standby plot element of Michael Dell's insane obsession with copying Steve Jobs's every move, right? Well, don't worry, we're not dragging that old chestnut out again...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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