Pixar Stocks Fall with Cars Stall

Financial analysts downgraded stock in Pixar with yesterday’s announcement that the computer-animation house and distributor Disney are pushing the release of Cars back to summer 2006. The final feature film produced under the Disney/Pixar partnership, Cars was originally slated to race to theaters in time for the 2005 holiday season.

The fact that Pixar will not have a theatrical release in 2005 led to a 6.4% dip in the company’s stock, now valued at $85.23 per share. However, both Pixar and shareholders can count on huge profits to be generated from the 2005 home video release of The Incredibles. Meanwhile, Disney will still have Chicken Little for 2005. The company’s first in-house CG feature will slide into the slot left vacant by Cars.

Cars is described as a high octane adventure comedy that features an assortment of cars as characters who get their kicks on Route 66. Film legend Paul Newman leads a voice cast studded with stars from the worlds of film and auto racing, including NASCAR legend Richard Petty and actors Owen Wilson (Bottle Rocket, The Royal Tennenbaums), Bonnie Hunt (Monsters, Inc., TV’s Life With Bonnie) and Dan Whitney (Bravo’s Larry the Cable Guy). The film is being produced by Darla K. Anderson (A Bug’s Life, Monsters, Inc.).

The Walt Disney Studios Chairman Dick Cook explained that Cars is more of a summer movie than a holiday release. Pixar CEO Steve Jobs adds, "We plan to finish Cars on its original schedule, and look forward to Cars and our future films benefiting by summer theatrical releases and holiday DVD releases.”

Pixar fans will have to wait until June 9, 2006 to take a ride with Cars. Until then they can check out the trailer on Pixar’s web site at www.pixar.com/theater/trailers/cars/index.html.