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  1. #1

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    Robert Igers statement at the Bear Stams & Co media conference.

    Filed by The Walt Disney Company pursuant to Rule 425 promulgated under the
    Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and deemed filed pursuant to Rule 14a-12
    promulgated under the Securities Act of 1934, as amended.
    Subject Company: Pixar
    Commission File No.: 0-26976
    The following are excerpts from a transcript of an interview given by Robert A. Iger, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company at the Bear Stearns & Co. 19th Annual Media Conference on the evening of February 27, 2006. The excerpts contain only those portions of the transcript relating to discussions of the proposed acquisition of Pixar by The Walt Disney Company pursuant to the terms of an Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of January 24, 2006.
    First of all, Disney is the most valuable brand we have – the most valuable asset – even though it is multidimensional in terms of its businesses and touch points to consumers. It’s a true global brand. If you look at any study done of brands around the world, Disney shows up as one of the most known. So clearly there’s a lot of value there. High-quality family entertainment is the goal. Pixar certainly satisfies that. We saw a dangerous trend when we did our brand research, particularly among mothers with kids under 12, and realized that they were putting Pixar actually above Disney in some cases in terms of brand perception, which obviously is a concern. There is a list of about 15 things that I could give to justify this obviously.
    But animation – in terms of all of the creative pursuits at Disney – animation is probably the most important and the most valuable. It is what Walt Disney founded the Company on and it is in many respects a great wave maker for the Company. It creates more of a ripple effect across all of our businesses when it is good than anything else we do. So keeping animation strong was incredibly vital.
    In fact, the light bulb went off for me back in September in Hong Kong. I was at the opening of Hong Kong Disneyland and standing with a few thousand other people watching the parade go by and I realized that there wasn’t a character in the parade that had come from a Disney animated film in the last ten years except for Pixar. And although it was relatively known to me that we had exploited these characters across multiple businesses and multiple countries over time, it really hit me hard that we had had ten years of real failure in many respects in the business that I believe was the most vital to us.
    So I started to consider our options in terms of how we can turn it around fast, because I didn’t really feel that we could afford taking a lot of time, and Pixar loomed large in that regard because I felt that buying them could turn Disney animation around immediately in a lot of different ways. So getting animation right was important. Its impact on Disney around the world in all of its businesses was obvious as well as how quickly it could be done. And I began the process.

    The other thing that was pretty interesting to observe is that, as two companies, Disney and Pixar, we were not driving as much value as we could have driven out of those great franchises they were creating. Not just because we were two companies and two interests, but obviously the tension that grew over time in part over the uncertainty about the future of their relationship. With that tension came no cooperation. There was so much more value to be mined in my opinion as one company –given what we were able to do – which Steve and I talked about at length in this whole process. I’m incredibly excited about the possibility.
    When you think about these products, when you talk about them as films, they are not really just films. Cinderella is a great example. We released a DVD of Cinderella this past fall. It’s a 55-year-old movie and we’re on course to sell over 10 million DVDs – and it’s worldwide. You can buy Cinderella costumes at Wal-Mart and go to Cinderella Experiences at our parks and go to our castles and read Cinderella books and play Cinderella video games. And so thinking about these things – when they are right, I think just thinking of them as movies is very narrow minded.
    And what Pixar has managed to do is to create five great franchises, and it is on course to create many more and that is why we (indiscernible) of the Company.
    . . .
    I’m not sure what critical mass is in this day and age. We think with Pixar and with Disney animation and with higher quality Disney live-action films we will have enough clout in the marketplace – to the extent that’s necessary – to accomplish everything at least our company needs to accomplish in terms of breaking through and creating access and both pleasing the distributor in reach but also reaching the consumer.
    . . .
    First of all, the research we saw among mothers with kids under 12 – when they rated brands being excellent – put Pixar ahead of Disney, which was obviously of great concern. One of the things that we’re going to do is we’re going to continue to use the Pixar brand because we actually believe – as the study suggests – there’s value there. But we’re going to better brand Disney in the process. We have gotten fairly convoluted in terms of the application of brand. We looked the other day where, at Pixar, there had been five different ways we branded these things. Disney presents Pixar, Disney Theatrical Animation distributes Pixar – all these things. The films are going to be Disney Pixar Presents, so they will be front and center.
    We believe that there are some potential applications of the Pixar name and brand in other businesses like our theme parks for instance, but we’re taking a “walk before we run” approach. Pixar actually entered into a longer-term relationship with a videogame publisher, THQ, so near-term I don’t think there’s going to be that many opportunities there. But generally, through the system at Disney and the way we exploit a real high-quality franchise, there is going to be more opportunity for these Pixar titles.

    We’re not looking to ramp up production because we really believe that quality long-term will create more value for the Company – both brand perception and otherwise – than quantity. We are planning a schedule that we will release roughly a Disney animated film and a Pixar animated film every year and then – probably on an every other year basis – we will release a sequel to one of the Pixar films that has already been released.
    We’re not committing to that — that’s the general target that we’re looking at. And we feel that if we protect quality, that will be strong enough to create some good growth once these companies are one. Because when we were two, and the future was fairly uncertain, it was really hard to roll up our sleeves and talk about all kinds of different ventures. One area that we’re particularly interested in is online commerce, where we think we’ve got a great opportunity to really grow Disney online and have a direct relationship with our consumer. And we think Pixar will go a long way to actually helping us do that because of the brand, because of what it represents and the brand strength we believe it will create and a franchise potential that this creative activity is going to allow us.
    So we are very excited about it so far. Because the deal hasn’t closed, we’re limited to just talking about the integration, but even those talks have gone incredibly well and I would say our level of excitement, and what we feel the potential is, has grown measurably since we announced the deal two months ago.
    * * *
    Forward-Looking Statements:
    Certain statements in these excerpts may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are made on the basis of the views and assumptions of the management of The Walt Disney Company regarding future events and business performance as of the time the statements are made and the Company does not undertake any obligation to update these statements. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied. Such differences may result from legal or regulatory proceedings or other factors that affect the timing or ability to complete the transactions contemplated herein, actions taken by either The Walt Disney Company or Pixar, including restructuring or strategic initiatives (including capital investments or asset acquisitions or dispositions), as well as from developments beyond the companies’ control, including: adverse weather conditions or natural disasters; health concerns; international, political or military developments; technological developments; and changes in domestic and global economic conditions, competitive conditions and consumer preferences. Such developments may affect assumptions regarding the operations of the businesses of The Walt Disney Company and Pixar separately or as combined entities including, among other things, the timing of the transaction, the performance of the companies’ theatrical and home entertainment releases, expenses of providing medical and pension benefits, and demand for products and performance of some or all company businesses either directly or through their

    impact on those who distribute our products. Additional factors that may affect results are set forth in the Annual Report on Form 10-K of The Walt Disney Company for the year ended October 1, 2005 under the heading “Item 1A—Risk Factors,” the Quarterly Report of The Walt Disney Company for the quarter ended December 31, 2005, in the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q of Pixar for the quarter ended October 1, 2005 under the “Risk Factors” section of Part I, Item 2, and in the Registration Statement on Form S-4 containing a preliminary prospectus/proxy statement regarding the proposed acquisition of Pixar by Disney filed on February 17, 2006.
    For Additional Information:
    Disney has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission a Registration Statement on Form S-4 (Registration No. 333-131914) containing a preliminary prospectus/proxy statement regarding the proposed acquisition of Pixar by Disney. This material is not a substitute for the prospectus/proxy statement regarding the proposed acquisition. Investors are urged to read the preliminary prospectus/proxy statement, which contains important information, including detailed risk factors, and the final prospectus/proxy statement when it becomes available. The final prospectus/proxy statement will be mailed to the shareholders of Pixar. The prospectus/proxy statement and other documents which are filed by Disney and Pixar with the Securities and Exchange Commission are available free of charge at the SEC’s website, www.sec.gov, or by directing a request is made to The Walt Disney Company, 500 South Buena Vista Street, Burbank, CA 91521-9722, Attention: Shareholder Services or by directing a request when such a filing is made to Pixar, 1200 Park Avenue, Emeryville, CA 94608.
    Pixar, its directors, and certain of its executive officers may be considered participants in the solicitation of proxies in connection with the proposed transactions. Information about the directors and executive officers of Pixar and their ownership of Pixar stock is set forth in the proxy statement for Pixar’s 2005 annual meeting of shareholders. Investors may obtain additional information regarding the interests of such participants by reading the prospectus/proxy statement.

  2. #2

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    Re: Robert Igers statement at the Bear Stams & Co media conference.

    Quote Originally Posted by hammer, hitting a nail on its head
    I was at the opening of Hong Kong Disneyland and standing with a few thousand other people watching the parade go by and I realized that there wasn’t a character in the parade that had come from a Disney animated film in the last ten years except for Pixar. And although it was relatively known to me that we had exploited these characters across multiple businesses and multiple countries over time, it really hit me hard that we had had ten years of real failure in many respects in the business that I believe was the most vital to us.
    Um, yeah, we've been saying that for about ten years now.

    Oh, and here's a coincidence, from http://www.cjr.org/tools/owners/disney-timeline.asp :

    1996 - Capital Cities/ABC officially becomes part of the Disney Company. Disney.com is launched. Disney gains ownership stake in Major League Baseball's California Angels. Team later changes its name to the Anaheim Angels. Radio Disney is launched
    I guess that's when the distractions away from the core audience started.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  3. #3

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    Re: Robert Igers statement at the Bear Stams & Co media conference.

    Actually I see thirteen problems:

    Quote Originally Posted by WaltDisneyResource.net
    1. Pocahontas (1995)
    2. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
    3. Hercules (1997)
    4. Mulan (1998)
    5. Tarzan (1999)
    6. Fantasia 2000 (2000)
    7. The Emperor's New Groove (2000)
    8. Atlantis: The Lost Empire(2001)
    9. Lilo and Stich (2002)
    10. Treasure Planet (2002)
    11. Brother Bear (2003)
    12. Home on the Range (2004)
    13. Chicken Little (2005)
    The best and most marketed character of these films by far is Stitch...

    It started when Alan Menken worked with Steven Schwarts instead of Tim Rice...

    Basically everything after the Lion King has been problematic or disasterous...
    Last edited by cellarhound; 03-01-2006 at 12:23 PM.
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  4. #4

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    Re: Robert Igers statement at the Bear Stams & Co media conference.

    14. Dinosaur (2000)
    "I'm working on changing Hollywood...at the studio that fired me twice."
    --John Lasseter


  5. #5

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    Re: Robert Igers statement at the Bear Stams & Co media conference.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doopey1
    14. Dinosaur (2000)
    I still don't know if it really counts...

    I mean, I bet you if you asked most american's about this film they even remember that it was MADE by Disney...
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  6. #6

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    Re: Robert Igers statement at the Bear Stams & Co media conference.

    Pocahontas and Mulan were fantastic, and were, by animation and storyline and music standards, up with the classics. At least the renaissance classics.
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  7. #7

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    Re: Robert Igers statement at the Bear Stams & Co media conference.

    Mulan is near-great, although the tone was a little uneven. I'm a fan.

    Pocahontas is a revisionist, self-serious, pretentious mess but I agree that the animation is pretty.
    "I'm working on changing Hollywood...at the studio that fired me twice."
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  8. #8

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    Re: Robert Igers statement at the Bear Stams & Co media conference.

    I kinda liked these movies
    1. Hercules (1997)
    2. Tarzan (1999)
    3. Fantasia 2000 (2000)
    4. Lilo and Stich (2002)
    5. Treasure Planet (2002)
    6. Brother Bear (2003)

    Agreed they aren't on par with the classics as the characters are mostly forgetable (except for Stitch) and there wasn't any great songs (except for Phil Collins song in Tarzan), but I still found them enjoyable.

  9. #9

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    Re: Robert Igers statement at the Bear Stams & Co media conference.

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedway
    Pocahontas and Mulan were fantastic, and were, by animation and storyline and music standards, up with the classics. At least the renaissance classics.
    I learned 2 things from watching Pocahontas.

    1) That apparently all native Americans spoke fluent English.

    2) That Mel Gibson can NOT sing.

  10. #10

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    Re: Robert Igers statement at the Bear Stams & Co media conference.

    I think we all have films from that list that we may personally enjoy or appreciate. But the main point is that, apart from Stitch, none of these films or the characters in them have captured the public's affection or taken on pop cultural significance the way that the pre-1995 films and the Pixar films have.
    "I'm working on changing Hollywood...at the studio that fired me twice."
    --John Lasseter


  11. #11

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    Re: Robert Igers statement at the Bear Stams & Co media conference.

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedway
    Pocahontas and Mulan were fantastic, and were, by animation and storyline and music standards, up with the classics. At least the renaissance classics.
    Well, the public didn't think so... Sorry to be a by the number's thumper, BUT... this is a business thread...

    -----------------

    Film - Total Domestic Gross

    Lion King - $328,541,776
    Pocahontas - $141,579,773
    Hunchback of Notre Dame - $100,138,851
    Hercules - $99,112,101
    Mulan - $120,620,254
    Tarsan - $171,091,819
    Fantasia 2000 - $60,655,420
    Emperor's New Groove - $89,302,687
    Atlantis - $84,056,472
    Lilo & Stitch - $145,794,338
    Treasure Planet - $38,176,783
    Brother Bear - $85,336,277
    Home on the Range - $50,030,461
    Chicken Little - $134,637,797

    ------------

    Notice a trend?
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  12. #12

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    Re: Robert Igers statement at the Bear Stams & Co media conference.

    Quote Originally Posted by OogieBoogie
    Agreed they aren't on par with the classics as the characters are mostly forgetable (except for Stitch) and there wasn't any great songs (except for Phil Collins song in Tarzan), but I still found them enjoyable.
    The last true classic that was made really was The Lion King...

    I am not saying that the films that proceeded it didn't have great moments, memorable characters or great songs...

    I think the films became damaged... after Direct to Video sequels hit the market...

    Return of Jafar (1994)
    Aladdin and the King of Theves (1996)
    Beauty and the Beast: Enchanted Christmas (1997)
    Beauty and the Beast: Belles Magical World (1998)
    Pocahontas II (1998)
    The Lion King II (1998)
    Extremely Goofy Movie (2000)
    Buzz Lightyear of Star Command (2000)
    Little Mermaid II (2000)
    Lady and the Tramp II (2001)
    Cindarella II (2002)
    Hunchback of Noltre Dame II (2002)
    Tarzan and Jane (2002)
    101 Dalmations II (2003)
    Atlantis: Milo's Return (2003)
    Stitch! (2003)
    The Lion King 1 1/2 (2004)
    Mulan II (2005)
    Tarzan II (2005)
    Lilo & Stitch II (2005)
    Kronk's New Groove (2005)
    Bambi II (2006)

    ----------

    You may notice a trend here too... There where no direct to video sequels before 1994...
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  13. #13

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    Re: Robert Igers statement at the Bear Stams & Co media conference.

    I donno.. Lion King 1 1/2 was pretty damn funny. The rest were rental quality.

  14. #14

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    Re: Robert Igers statement at the Bear Stams & Co media conference.

    My thesis here is that it wasn't the ABC/Cap Cities purchase that distracted Disney... Rather the barage of Direct to Video Sequels that damaged the Disney Brand... And that damage is seen at the Box Office Returns of the Feature Animation over the last ten years...

    It has been so damaging that when something good came out of the Animation Studio (Lilo & Stitch) the product was seen as damaged to the public.

    Now contrast this with Pixar... Who if and when they do sequels. The bar is raised... Sequels are not done for the sake of doing sequels...

    The point is that every movie since the Lion King, movies need to be the type a sequel and animated show can be created from...

    The Lasseter Doctrine of "let the originators be alowed to create the sequel" is going to help...
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  15. #15

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    Re: Robert Igers statement at the Bear Stams & Co media conference.

    Quote Originally Posted by cellarhound
    The point is that every movie since the Lion King, movies need to be the type a sequel and animated show can be created from...
    I agree with this claim. (I don't know if it's true, but the evidence clearly shows this, even as we hear rumors of Home on the Range II.)
    What this does is that it waters down the characters. There's no great need to create a complicated backstory for a character, since someone will have to remember that in sequels, and that someone is not likely to be the originators. And, that backstory can be in the sequel. You might even have to save it for some unnumbered sequel. "Hey I got a great story for that chipmunk from 'Groove': he's really the emperor next door!..."
    With original, no-need-for-sequel movies, these backstories can be woven into plots.
    Quality does not stretched very well. It gets thin. that's what these sequels did.
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