Disney-Pixar merger is 5 years old today

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Max Nash/AFP/Getty Images

The four main characters (L-R), Jessie, Woody, Buzz, and the new one Lot's-O'-Huggin Bear arrive in London's Leicester Square on July 18, 2010 for the British Premiere of their Pixar/Disney film, Toy Story 3 in 3D.

One of the entertainment industry’s most successful marriages marks its fifth anniversary Monday. Walt Disney Studios and Pixar Animation formally tied the knot on this date in 2006 after a series of what you might call pre-nuptial agreements.

The union of producer Pixar and distributor Disney has teetered at times on the brink of irreconcilable differences. They maintain separate homes – Pixar up north in Emeryville and Disney in Burbank. But the two creative companies maintain enough common interests that they’ve stuck together.

There’s no denying they’ve produced some beautiful collaborations that are the envy of Hollywood. “Ratatouille,” “Wall-E” and “Up” have all garnered critical praise and boffo box office.

Then there’s the “Toy Story” franchise. Part One – the first result of a distribution deal Disney and Pixar signed early in their courtship – showed the world what their partnership could do. Part Two continued the antics of Woody, Buzz and their friends. And “Toy Story 3” won such acclaim that it just might deliver an anniversary gift – a Best Picture nod when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces its Oscar nominations tomorrow morning.

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