Toon house signs deal with Mouse for pic

Even if their acquisition deal goes sour, Disney and Pixar will remain partners through 2007.

In an SEC filing Thursday, the CGI animation house revealed it has signed a deal with Disney to release “Ratatouille,” its pic in production for summer 2007.

Pixar would cover all production costs and pay Mouse House a distribution fee.

Companies’ current distribution deal, in which they split production costs and profits, ends this summer with “Cars.”

Of course, Disney is expected to close its acquisition of Pixar by the middle of this year, meaning it will own all rights to “Ratatouille” along with every other Pixar film.

Since corporate mergers do occasionally fall apart, however, Pixar signed the deal as a backup, since there wouldn’t be enough time to find a new distribution partner for “Ratatouille” to come out as planned.

SEC filing is the first time that Pixar has publicly acknowledged the existence of “Ratatouille,” even though Daily Variety first reported on it three years ago.

Company has yet to formally announce the three films it has in production for 2007, 2008, and 2009.

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