Before entering in the animated field of toys, cartoons, monsters, and animals, Pixar was a high-end computer hardware company with big clients like the government and the medical community. The story of the formation of the company from technical to animation stuff is not that fascinating. But, it is now one of the most adored adorable animation studios of the world. The name Pixar was conceived from a Spanish word that meant “to make pictures.”
The basis of the origin of Pixar:
- Pixar was originated in the 1970s at the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT), by a team of computer scientists including Ed Catmull. In 1979, Catmull was hired by a California-based production company – Lucasfilm Ltd, to lead their computer division. After his hiring, many other NYIT students were employed in the same company to improve graphic technology. The team developed a Pixar Image Computer who can read 3D color images and high-resolution images. They offered the application to many more industries other than the film industry.
- Then in 1984, Lucasfilm hired John Lasseter, who earlier worked as an animator at Disney. He took advantage of the technological strides of the company to create short computer-animated films. In 1986, the computer division of the company was spun off as an independent business with powers acquired by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.
- Catmull became the CEO, and the president of the new company called Pixar and Jobs was the chairman of the board of the directors of the company. Earlier, Jobs handled the steering wheel of the marketing of the Pixar Image Computer, but in return, he got a prolonged rate of profit. Then in 1990, the hardware operations of the company were sold, and the setup was moved from San Rafael to Richmond.
- While all the above incidents were happening, Lasseter’s short films were produced by the company’s cutting edge software, and he also got acclaimed with an Academy Award for his short film Tiny Toy (1988).
- From 1989, Pixar set their hands in making computer-animated TV commercials, and with the following passage of two years, they signed a contract with Disney. Since then, they have been jointly producing, developing, and distributing the feature-length animated motion pictures.
- Then eventually, Pixar spent time and effort to reorganize and accommodate its focus on an original animated film – Toy Story. It was released in theatres in 1995 and became the first computer-animated feature film. It was a family film with humor that no one might have ever imagined that took place in the private lives of the toys. The movie was a critically acclaimed commercial hit. And it made Lasseter, the director of the film, win an Academy Award for extraordinary achievement.
The Toy Story movie of the Pixar production (1995), proved to help Steve Jobs to become a billionaire with a net worth of about $1.5 billion.