A Semi-On-Topic Zingfest (2/5/04)
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Ahhh, so that's why things have been so quiet with Apple lately, Stevularly speaking: Mr. Jobs is a little busier than usual with his other gig as CEO of Pixar. You already know that Steve announced the unsuccessful conclusion to ten months of Pixar-Disney negotiations last week, and unsurprisingly, that topic reportedly came up an awful lot during Pixar's quarterly earnings conference call last night, at which Steve fielded questions from analysts, reporters, and his own CFO. Rather than bore you with all the piddling details, we've condensed Steve's diverse points and observations on the matter into a single, simple distillation of why he says the Disney talks broke down: Eisner's a grade-A ninny.

Oh, what the heck-- we will give you some details, because some of them are just too good to pass up. Faithful viewer Boesterific notes that a Reuters article can fill you in on most of the dirt, like Steve crowing about the LA Times reporting that Eisner had told Disney's board of directors "not to expect a blockbuster" when Finding Nemo came out; Eisner reportedly felt that Nemo would flop, giving Steve a "reality check" when it came to Pixarian demands during contract negotiations. Eisner, needless to say, was so far off-base with that prediction that he was actually playing badminton two counties over.

As for whether post-Mouse Pixar films will be hurt by the loss of Disney's "marketing prowess," Steve said nuh-uh, and managed to lay in a little smackdown at the same time: "Not even Disney's marketing and brand could turn Disney's last two animated films... into successes. Both bombed at the box office." Oooh, burn. He's also not a fan of Disney's case of sequel fever: "We feel sick about Disney doing sequels because if you look at the quality of their sequels, like 'The Lion King 1-1/2,' 'Peter Pan' sequels and stuff, it is pretty embarrassing." (It's well-known that Disney has been pushing for a Toy Story 3, and artistic objections aside, under the current contract terms, sequels don't count towards Pixar's contractual obligation to deliver two more features to Disney.)

Meanwhile, Disney's response-- meaning, of course, Eisner's, as he hides behind the corporate name-- has been to issue a statement expressing disappointment that "Steve Jobs has grossly mischaracterized" the contract negotiations, and stating that "it's also sad and unfortunate that he has resorted to insults and name-calling in the wake of the disagreement." Ooookay, there, Mr. I-called-Steve-a-Shiite-Muslim. Is it just us, or is watching Eisner try to take the high road in this crisp little snipefest sort of like watching a hippo try to squeeze into a pair of size 5 snow pants? It's an unnatural act and no one's buying it for a second, but hey, at least it's fun to watch.


 
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The above scene was taken from the 2/5/04 episode:

February 5, 2004: Nothing much is happening, so we're just putting together novelty iTunes Music Store playlists. Meanwhile, Steve goes off on Disney during Pixar's quarterly earnings conference call, and Apple has registered trademark rights to put its logo on lingerie, veterinary apparatus, and medical lasers...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 4490: "The Sound... Of Silence" (2/5/04)   Listen! Hear that? No, seriously, listen really carefully. Hear it now? No? Well, neither do we. That's how quiet things are right now. Forget about drama; we'd settle for an SEC filing. Another freakin' design award. Anything...

  • 4492: Apples, Undies, & X-Rays (2/5/04)   Since there isn't much happening of deadly urgency in the Apple realm right this second, how about we take a mellow poke around in the databases of the United States Patent and Trademark Office? C'mon, that's always good for a laugh...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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