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Breaking the Mouse

Pixar Studios -- Disney's last surefire hitmaker of animated films -- is going its own way:

Pixar Animation Studios Inc. said Thursday it ended talks with Walt Disney Co. to extend a five-picture deal for Disney to distribute Pixar films.

Pixar said it would begin talks with other companies to distribute its films starting in 2006.

"After ten months of trying to strike a deal with Disney, we're moving on," Pixar CEO Steve Jobs said in a statement. "We've had a great run together -- one of the most successful in Hollywood history -- and it's a shame that Disney won't be participating in Pixar's future successes."

And with that, I'd have to guess that Mike Eisner is history.