Disney is poised to buy Pixar Animation Studio for an estimated $3.5 billion, according to people familiar with the deal.
Sources said Disney is looking at buying Pixar as well as Pixar Animation and its animation unit.
Sources say Disney has already made significant inroads into Pixar Animation, which has a strong core audience of animation fans.
The company also has a new studio, Pixar Animation BV, that it hopes will expand its animation capabilities.
Sources say Disney plans to use the purchase to accelerate its plans to acquire more than 70 of the studio’s Pixar Animation A-listers, who are among the most popular and influential artists on the planet.
The acquisition of Pixar is a significant milestone in Disney’s overall push to expand into animation and beyond.
Sources said Disney plans a new Pixar Animation studio that will be called Pixar Animation Production, which will be led by Pixar Animation COO John Lasseter and Pixar Production CEO John Lattner.
The Pixar Animation team will be a core group of talent in the Disney Animation Studios and Disney Animation B-team, the sources said.
The new studio will focus on building Pixar Animation’s global brand, the people said.
Pixar Animation has had a long and storied history in the entertainment world.
Its animation features have been nominated for numerous Oscars, including best animated short, for films such as “Toy Story 3,” “Toy World,” “Up,” and “Aladdin.”
Sources said the Pixar Animation division will continue to grow and will continue developing projects and animation experiences.
The animation studios also will continue making Disney Animation products.