Pixar is a CGI animation production company based in Emeryville, California, United
States. The studio has earned many awards for their animated films, including twenty-two
Academy Awards, four Golden Globes, and three Grammys. Pixar is best known for
creating its animations using their own software Renderman.
Every Pixar movie has been praised for its great CGI effect, great animation and very well
developed story lines, the first feature length film was ‘Toy Story’ which was extremely
successful and inspired a sequel which was just as good as the first and another of that
which was also great.
Pixar uses their own software called Renderman to create their CGI effects and
animations and to bring their creations to life.
The Pixar Style
Pixar characters have a very unique look and feel to them, personally when I look at a
Pixar character I just think of a really joyful good film that the whole family can enjoy.
The way the characters are designed is very realistic as well, you can easily tell that they
are meant to be humans, or space rangers… or cars.
The sets designed for their films are rather beautifully designed, attention to detail is a
must in any Pixar film, the people at Pixar imagine what the world they are trying to
create would look like and they create it and it looks amazing.
How the idea forms and becomes a Pixar animation in their unique style
This process will be illustrated through pixtures (see what I did there?) other the next
When he was young he dreamt of being an animator for Disney but unfortunately his
drawing skills were not great so he decided to focus on computers instead, he went to
university and received a degree in computer science. He then went back to university to
gets his ‘doctoral degree’, he focused on computer graphics. He caught the attention of
George Lucas who hired him as vice president of computer graphic design, which was
eventually bought by Steve Jobs in 1986 and then founded Pixar.
While at Pixar Edwin Catmull was a key creator of ‘Renderman’ which is still used to
create all Pixar creations.
Steve Jobs purchased the graphics division of Lucasfilm Ltd as he saw a bright future for
this sort of animation and saw how this could change the animation industry.
He created Pixar and as the majority shareholder (50.1%) and as CEO, this was until Pixar
was purchased by Disney but this still made him the largest individual shareholder at
Disney with 7% and got him a place at the Disney Board of Directors.
Without Steve jobs Pixar would not exist and be where it is today, we’ve got a lot to
thank him for.
As animators, director, animator and writer. John is a big part of Pixar’s success, and he
now oversees all Pixar projects.
While working at Disney Lasseter realized that computers could be used to create 3D
backgrounds to add new depth and feel to feature animated films. After creating a short
of “Where the wild ones are” and pitched it to Disney who rejected it as it would not
save them money, he decided he wanted to carry on to make animation films this way,
but no long after he had pitched his idea he got a phone call announcing that he had
been fired, not long after this he went to meet up with Catmull he gave him a position
on his team at Lucasfilm LTD.
Pixar started in 1979 known as ”The Graphics Group”, which was a Division of Lucasfilm.
But it was bought by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in 1986.
Pixar at first created what was known as the “Pixar computer” which was used to create
animations and other graphical display qualities, though it never sold very well and
almost destroyed Pixar due to low sales, as the company started to fail Steve Jobs kept
investing more and more money into the company which in turn gave him more control
over the company but also kept Pixar alive.
Eventually though Pixar made a $26 million deal with Disney to create 3 feature length
animated films, the first being Toy story which was a GREAT success and really set Pixar
on its path for success, though before the creation of Toy Story Job had often thought of
selling Pixar to other companies as Pixar was losing a lot of money but after he had
learnt that critics were looking forward to Toy Story and that Disney were willing to
publish it in 1995 he decided to stick with Pixar.
Animation Example 1
Originally this was to be named “A Tin Toys Christmas” but “Tinny” was found to be to immobile
so he evolved into Lunar Larry or as we know him today… Buzz Lightyear.
Originally Woody had a very edgy personality, who had harsh motives and was not very attractive
to critics as they did not like this personality, so they made the change to give him good
intentions and a much nicer personality, but still he has a lot of pride which causes the events of
As Pixar was struggling to meet the deadline for this film they made a lot of mistakes, not
noticeable to the common viewer but to people who watch the movie over and over again to
look for mistakes, one of the mistakes is a handle changing colour between shots
Pixar has recently got great success from Toy Story 3, which fans have been waiting for, for a very
long time. Toy Story 3 met almost all positive reviews with 99% of the reviewers from rotten
tomatoes giving it a positive review with an average rating of around 8.8/10 and winning
Pixar was also bought by Disney back in 2006 as Disney saw the success Pixar was having and that
the future of animation was what Pixar was doing, so they decided to purchase Pixar from Steve
Jobs so it became a division of Disney.
Pixar had intended to release a feature length film called “Newt” but this never happened since
the plot line was to similar to “Rio” so the work on it got shelved and to possibly never be seen.
Animation Example 2
The main character Carl Fredricksen is based on Spencer Tracy.
Writing for UP started way back in 2004 and it didn’t get into cinema’s until 2009, this just shows
the amount of time and effort Pixar put into their productions, writing for UP began before they
were purchased by Disney.
UP was a huge hit just like every other Pixar film which has come out.
The writers thought it would be refreshing to know what a Dog actually wants to say rather than
want a human assumes it would think, so they talk normal dog behaviours like wanting to be
pack leader and incorporated into the characters dialog.
Current and Future Projects
Future project that Pixar are working on currently are; Monsters University, The Good Dinosaur
and Finding Dory.
Monsters university is set 10 years before the events of Monsters Inc and shows the characters
going through university, Monsters university will be coming out very soon.
The Good Dinosaur which follows dinosaurs living in our time, sort of living like us, being farmers.
Finding Dory takes place 1 year after the first film and is all about Dory finding her family.
Animation Example 3
Originally a sequel to Monsters Inc was going to made called Monsters Inc 2 Lost In Scaradise,
which would involve Mike and Sully lost in the human world trying to find Boo, as she has moved
house, though this project wasn’t even going to be made by Pixar but by Circle 7 Animations.
Luckily though this was cancelled and all other Circle 7 Animation projects when Disney
purchased Pixar in 2006 (Circle 7 Animation was nicknamed “Pixaren’t”). Circle 7 Animation had
created drafts for a Finding Nemo 2, Toy Story 3 and Monsters Inc 2.