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"Toy Story III" to be produced in Glendale? NOT Emeryville?! Say it isn't so.

Jim Hill

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"Toy Story III" to be produced in Glendale? NOT Emeryville?! Say it isn't so.

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God, I hope that this story is wrong.

Okay. How many of you saw that NY Post article? You know, the one where Steve Jobs supposedly admitted what has been whispered about for weeks now? That Pixar Animation Studio would be happy to hook up with the Walt Disney Company again, to extend its production deal with the Mouse House ... IF Michael Eisner were ousted as the corporation's CEO.

Did you give any thought as to why Pixar's CEO might have picked that particular moment to release this information? Well ... according to what Mouse House insiders told me this past weekend, Steve's people leaked this story to the post because they'd heard that Disney's already started setting up a separate CG studio to produce sequels to Pixar's films.

Yep. You heard that right, folks. The Mouse House is reportedly moving ahead with its plans to produce sequels to "Toy Story," "A Bug's Life," "Monsters, Inc." and "Finding Nemo." WITHOUT any help from the talented folks at Pixar who originally produced these much beloved film.

So where would this sequel studio supposedly be located? According to folks I've spoken with at Disney Feature Animation, Disney's allegedly looking at setting up a satellite CG facility in Glendale, CA. Just around the corner from where Walt Disney Imagineering is located.

Mind you, there are those folks at the Mouse House who suggest that all this sequel-studio talk is just some sort of twisted negotiating ploy on Disney's part. A last ditch, desperate attempt by Mouse House management to frighten the people at Pixar into returning to the negotiating table.

So will this gambit work? It seems extremely doubtful. To me, anyway. Both Steve Jobs and Michael Eisner ... they view this whole Disney/Pixar standoff as some sort of power play. An extremely personal power play. The first guy to give in here ... loses face somehow.

Which is why I see these guys continuing to play hardball. With Jobs now openly calling for Eisner's removal. While Michael authorizes WDFA to soon start hiring animators to work for this Pixar sequel studio.

Meanwhile, the countdown clock 'til when Pixar Animation Studio has to sign a new distribution deal with another studio continues to tick ...

It's a pretty strange time to be an animation fan, don't you think?

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