Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

Creativity and Culture at Pixar and Disney: A Comparison

Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

Creativity and Culture at Pixar and Disney: A Comparison

Article excerpt

INSTRUCTOR'S NOTES

CASE DESCRIPTION

This case studies the leadership and organizational dynamics of the Disney and Pixar companies and the events leading up to Disney CEO Robert Iger's offer to purchase Pixar. After analyzing the comparative histories and cultures of the two companies, students are asked to consider the advantages and disadvantages of accepting Iger's offer. If Pixar were to become a permanent part of Disney, would it lose its entrepreneurial spirit and become part of a corporate machine? If Pixar were to break ties with Disney, who would manage their marketing and distribution and how would the company have to change to handle the additional responsibilities?

CASE SYNOPSIS

In 2005, Pixar had a big decision to make. After struggling for years as a department of Lucasfllm and as an independent advertising agency and software company, Pixar had burst onto the scene in 1994 with the release of Toy Story, the first computer generated feature film. Following the film's release, the company became a publicly-traded corporation and grew into a studio large enough to produce more than one computer-generated feature at a time. The company's lucrative partnership with the Walt Disney Company gave it access to the larger firm 's marketing and distribution capabilities and led to the appearance of Pixar characters at Disney's theme parks. …

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