32 Facts About Pixar


Pixar Animation Studios, commonly known as Pixar, is an American computer animation studio known for its critically and commercially successful computer animated feature films.

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Pixar started in 1979 as part of the Lucasfilm computer division, known as the Graphics Group, before its spin-off as a corporation in 1986, with funding from Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who became its majority shareholder.

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Pixar is best known for its feature films, technologically powered by RenderMan, the company's own implementation of the industry-standard RenderMan Interface Specification image-rendering API.

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Pixar has produced 26 feature films, starting with Toy Story, which is the first fully computer-animated feature film; its most recent film was Lightyear (2022).

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Pixar has earned 23 Academy Awards, 10 Golden Globe Awards, and 11 Grammy Awards, along with numerous other awards and acknowledgments.

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Pixar got its start in 1974, when New York Institute of Technology's founder, Alexander Schure, who was the owner of a traditional animation studio, established the Computer Graphics Lab (CGL) and recruited computer scientists who shared his ambitions about creating the world's first computer-animated film.

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Pixar was then reunited with Smith, who made the journey from NYIT to Lucasfilm, and was made the director of the Graphics Group.

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In 1986, the newly independent Pixar was headed by President Edwin Catmull and Executive Vice President Alvy Ray Smith.

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Pixar eventually accepted after determining it impossible to find other investors.

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Pixar released some of its software tools on the open market for Macintosh and Windows systems.

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Pixar made a historic $26 million deal with Disney to produce three computer-animated feature films, the first of which was Toy Story, the product of the technological limitations that challenged CGI.

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Pixar demanded that the film then be counted toward the three-picture agreement, but Disney refused.

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Pixar was responsible for creation and production, while Disney handled marketing and distribution.

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The new deal would be only for distribution, as Pixar intended to control production and own the resulting story, character, and sequel rights while Disney would own the right of first refusal to distribute any sequels.

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Pixar wanted to finance its own films and collect 100 percent profit, paying Disney only the 10- to 15-percent distribution fee.

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Lasseter and Catmull were wary when the topic of Disney buying Pixar first came up, but Jobs asked them to give Iger a chance, and in turn, Iger convinced them of the sincerity of his epiphany that Disney really needed to re-focus on animation.

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Lasseter and Catmull's oversight of both the Disney Feature Animation and Pixar studios did not mean that the two studios were merging, however.

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In fact, additional conditions were laid out as part of the deal to ensure that Pixar remained a separate entity, a concern that analysts had expressed about the Disney deal.

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Also, the Pixar name was guaranteed to continue, and the studio would remain in its current Emeryville, California, location with the "Pixar" sign.

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Thus, for example, when Pixar had issues with Ratatouille and Disney Animation had issues with Bolt, "nobody bailed them out" and each studio was required "to solve the problem on its own" even when they knew there were personnel at the other studio who theoretically could have helped.

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Pixar paid tribute to Ratzenberger in the end credits of Cars by parodying scenes from three of its earlier films (Toy Story, Monsters, Inc, and A Bug's Life), replacing all of the characters with motor vehicle versions of them and giving each film an automotive-based title.

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However, when Lasseter was placed in charge of all Disney and Pixar animation following Disney's acquisition of Pixar in 2006, he put all sequels on hold and Toy Story 3 was canceled.

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Jim Morris, president of Pixar, produced Disney's John Carter which Andrew Stanton co-wrote and directed.

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Similarly, Pixar assisted in the story development of Disney's The Jungle Book as well as providing suggestions for the film's end credits sequence.

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Pixar representatives have assisted in the English localization of several Studio Ghibli films, mainly those from Hayao Miyazaki.

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In 2019, Pixar developed a live-action hidden camera reality show, titled Pixar in Real Life, for Disney+.

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Since December 2005, Pixar has held a variety of exhibitions celebrating the art and artists of the organization and its contribution to the world of animation.

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Pixar celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2011 with the release of its twelfth feature film Cars 2, and held an exhibition at the Oakland Museum of California from July 2010 until January 2011.

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Science Behind Pixar is a travelling exhibition that first opened on June 28, 2015, at the Museum of Science in Boston, Massachusetts.

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Pixar: The Design of Story was an exhibition held at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City from October 8, 2015, to September 11, 2016.

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Pixar celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2016 with the release of its seventeenth feature film Finding Dory, and put together another milestone exhibition.

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Pixar has a strong legacy with its reach on many different generations.

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