Family entertainment giant Walt Disney Co is reportedly in talks to buy its former partner Pixar Animation Studios.

America's Wall Street Journal newspaper reported today (19JAN06) Disney executives were considering paying a small premium to the animator's current stock market value of $6.7 million (GBP3.72 million).

Should the deal go ahead, Pixar Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Steve Jobs would become the biggest individual shareholder in Disney.

Disney formed a partnership with Pixar in the early 1990s and went on to make the box-office hits Toy Story 1 and 2, A BUG'S LIFE, MONSTER'S INC, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles.

In 2004, Jobs announced he would seek a new distribution partner after his deal with Disney ended, following a dispute with the latter's former chief executive Michael Eisner.

The companies currently splits costs on their movies and under the old deal, Disney has the sequel rights to any Pixar movies.