Not to worry. No matter who paid what for which, in the end Pixar ended up acquiring Disney, not the other way around.

The Mouse House has been a giant in decline for several years now, living on lost glory and uncertain of how to deal with new audiences and new ideas.

Even Disney animation, for decades the standard by which the industry was judged, has fallen on hard times. Traditional cell-animated features like “Treasure Planet” and “Atlantis: The Lost Empire” were money losers that prompted Disney to get out of hand-drawn animation.

Not that the studio’s computer-animated efforts are any improvement, if last summer’s desultory “Chicken Little” is any indication.

Some will tell you that Pixar’s success is due to its pioneer work in computer animation. I disagree.

The hallmark of Lasseter’s reign at Pixar has been great storytelling and characters and a sense of humor we might call “Pixarian.” Whether a particular film is rendered in computer graphics, hand-drawn cels or conventional live action, it’s all about story and character.

Lasseter understands this. The entire Pixar model is predicated on getting the story and characters right, and the visuals will follow naturally.

Lasseter (a former Disney animator) also understands the astoundingly rich heritage of Disney characters like Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy. I cannot imagine that he’ll allow them to lie fallow.