Pixar

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Pixar
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"To infinity and beyond!"
Formerly: The Graphics Group of Lucasfilm Computer Division (1979–1986)
Type: Subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios
Founded: 1979; 45 years ago (1979) (as Graphics Group)
February 3, 1986; 38 years ago in Richmond, California, United States (as Pixar)
Founder: Edwin Catmull
Alvy Ray Smith
Steve Jobs
Headquarters: 1200 Park Avenue, Emeryville, California, United States
Key people: Jim Morris (President)
Pete Docter (CCO)
Parent: Independent (1986–2006)
Walt Disney Studios (2006–present)
Notable works: See Category:Pixar movies
Website: https://www.pixar.com/

"From the beginning, I kept saying it's not the technology that's going to entertain audiences, it's the story. When you go and see a really great live-action film, you don't walk out and say 'that new Panavision camera was staggering, it made the film so good'. The computer is a tool, and it's in the service of the story."

John Lasseter, co-founder of Pixar

Pixar Animation Studios, commonly known as just Pixar, is an American computer animation studio known for its critically and commercially successful computer-animated feature films. It is based in Emeryville, California, and is a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios, a division of the Disney Entertainment division of The Walt Disney Company.

Pixar began in 1979 as part of the Lucasfilm computer division, known as the Graphics Group, before its spin-off as a corporation on February 3, 1986, with funding from Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who became its majority shareholder. Disney purchased Pixar in 2006 at a valuation of $7.4 billion by converting each share of Pixar stock to 2.3 shares of Disney stock, a transaction that resulted in Jobs becoming Disney's largest single shareholder at the time. It is a member of Disney's big three animation studios, the other two are Walt Disney Animation Studios and 20th Century Animation.

Pixar is best known for its feature films technologically powered by RenderMan, the company's implementation of the industry-standard RenderMan Interface Specification image-rendering application programming interface. Luxo Jr., a desk lamp from the studio's 1986 short film of the same name, is the studio's mascot, with their first feature film being created in 1995. It is currently one of the main four Disney branches, the other three being the Disney Animated Canon, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Star Wars.

The studio has earned 21 Academy Awards, 9 Golden Globe Awards, and 11 Grammy Awards, along with numerous other awards and acknowledgments.

Pixar has produced many short films and twenty-four feature films, as of 2023, which were all released by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures through the Walt Disney Pictures banner, so far, with their latest film being released Elemental in 2023. Their upcoming slate of films includes Elio and Inside Out 2 (both in 2024), an untitled film in 2025, Toy Story 5 and an untitled film in 2026.

Movies

# Year Title Director Music
Released films
1 1995 Toy Story John Lasseter Randy Newman 100%
2 1998 A Bug's Life John Lasseter Randy Newman 92%
3 1999 Toy Story 2 John Lasseter Randy Newman 100%
4 2001 Monsters, Inc. Pete Docter Randy Newman 96%
5 2003 Finding Nemo Andrew Stanton Thomas Newman 99%
6 2004 The Incredibles Brad Bird Michael Giacchino 97%
7 2006 Cars John Lasseter Randy Newman 74%
8 2007 Ratatouille Brad Bird Michael Giacchino 96%
9 2008 WALL-E Andrew Stanton Thomas Newman 95%
10 2009 Up Pete Docter Michael Giacchino 98%
11 2010 Toy Story 3 Lee Unkrich Randy Newman 98%
12 2011 Cars 2 John Lasseter Michael Giacchino 40%
13 2012 Brave Mark Andrews & Brenda Chapman Patrick Doyle 78%
14 2013 Monsters University Dan Scanlon Randy Newman 80%
15 2015 Inside Out Pete Docter Michael Giacchino 98%
16 2015 The Good Dinosaur Peter Sohn Jeff & Mychael Danna 76%
17 2016 Finding Dory Andrew Stanton Thomas Newman 94%
18 2017 Cars 3 Brian Fee Randy Newman 69%
19 2017 Coco Lee Unkrich Michael Giacchino 97%
20 2018 Incredibles 2 Brad Bird Michael Giacchino 93%
21 2019 Toy Story 4 Josh Cooley Randy Newman 97%
22 2020 Onward Dan Scanlon Jeff & Mychael Danna 88%
23 2020 Soul Pete Docter Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross 95%
24 2021 Luca Enrico Casarosa Dan Romer 91%
25 2022 Turning Red Domee Shi Ludwig Göransson 95%
26 2022 Lightyear Angus MacLane Michael Giacchino 74%
27 2023 Elemental Peter Sohn Thomas Newman 74%
Upcoming films
28 2024 Inside Out 2 Kelsey Mann Andrea Datzman TBA
29 2025 Elio Adrian Molina TBA TBA
30 2026 TBA TBA TBA TBA
31 2026 Toy Story 5 TBA TBA TBA

Why They Go to Infinity And Beyond

  1. The first fully computer-animated film was created by them in 1995, and to this day they keep raising the bar high (with some exceptions) when it comes to animated films.
    • Before it created its very own feature film, it created many television commercials and short films.
  2. Luxo Jr., Pixar's creation, is their mascot and he's still popular to this day much like Mickey Mouse.
  3. They have made fantastic animation for all of their films, with the animation improving and stepping up greatly in every film. Even the weaker film, Cars 2, manages to still have stunning animation.
  4. They are known for their unique, interesting, and creative concepts (despite some have unofficial story), such as making films based on the perspective of toys (Toy Story), bugs (A Bug's Life), monsters (Monsters, Inc.), fishes (Finding Nemo), superheroes (The Incredibles), vehicles (Cars), rats (Ratatouille), robots (WALL-E), dogs with speaker voice (Up), bears (Brave), emotions (Inside Out), dinosaurs (The Good Dinosaur), skeletons (Coco), mythic creatures (Onward), souls of human bodies, (Soul) and even sea monsters (Luca). There are also plenty of cool and unexpected premises for every movie.
  5. Tons of memorable characters from every different film:
    • Toy Story: Sheriff Woody Pride, Buzz Lightyear, Jessie, Bo Peep, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, Hamm, Rex, Slinky Dog, Aliens, and Bullseye.
    • A Bug's Life: Flik, Princess Atta, and Dot.
    • Monsters, Inc.: James P. Sullivan, Mike Wazowski, and Boo.
    • Finding Nemo: Marlin, Nemo, and Dory.
    • The Incredibles: Bob Parr/Mr. Incredible, Helen Parr/Mrs. Incredible, Violet Parr, Dash Parr, Jack-Jack Parr, and Lucius Best/Frozone.
    • Cars: Lightning McQueen, Doc Hudson, Sally Carrera, and Mater.
    • Ratatouille: Remy, Alfredo Linguini and Colette Tatou.
    • WALL-E: WALL-E and EVE.
    • Up: Carl Fredricksen, Russell, Doug, and Kevin.
    • Brave: Merida, Queen Elinor and King Fergus.
    • Inside Out: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, Anger, and Riley.
    • The Good Dinosaur: Arlo and Spot.
    • Coco: Miguel, Hector and Mamá Imelda.
    • Onward: Ian Lightfoot and Barley Lightfoot.
    • Soul: Joe Gardner and 22.
    • Luca: Luca Paguro, Alberto Scorfano, and Giulia Marcovaldo.
  6. The movies usually manage to have great voice acting, with John Ratzenberger voicing at least one character in every Pixar film, except for Soul and Luca.
  7. Amazing music for their every movie, especially from Randy Newman, Thomas Newman, Michael Giacchino, and Mychael & Jeff Danna.
    • Speaking about music, they often use composers known for live-action films or television show productions like Patrick Doyle (Brave), Mychael & Jeff Danna (The Good Dinosaur and Onward), Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (also known as Nine Inch Nails) (Soul), Dan Romer (Luca) and Ludwig Göransson (Turning Red), in which also makes it debut for Pixar films.
  8. Their films manage to have plenty of heartwarming moments, like the opening scene from Up.
  9. The opening and closing logos are easily one of the most iconic and recognizable logos of all time, with very nice CGI that still holds up for almost 25 years later and also inspired a meme template, such as controversy and top 10 favorite films or characters as well as becomes a meme.
  10. They often avoided real-world product placements, in which fictional companies are used as placeholders. Here is an example: Buy-n-Large (BnL) and Dinoco.
  11. Alongside their movies, they also make plenty of great CGI and traditional animation short films, with the shorts usually being paired with one of their releases. They also have many awesome SparkShorts short films that have many original concepts and premises and more mature themes, compared to traditional Pixar feature productions, which are available on Disney+.
  12. Most films have interesting teaser trailers that consist of footage created specifically for the trailer, spotlighting certain central characters in a comic situation. Though similar scenes and situations may appear, these sequences are not in the films being advertised but instead are original creations. They get us introduced to certain characters, starting with A Bug's Life, except The Good Dinosaur.
  13. Plenty of easter eggs for every movie, such as the famous Pizza Planet Truck easter egg (except The Incredibles, since it's too hard to see), the iconic Pixar ball, and A113. Many easter eggs teases reference an upcoming movie as well.
  14. Most of the movies spawned tie-in games. Also, they made their first LEGO video game based on the two Incredibles films.
  15. They have been very well known for animating effects that have never been done before, like this video of Moana showing two Pixar employees Kyle Odermatt and Brian Tong explaining how they figured out how to animate water more realistically.
  16. Many villains are awesome and entertaining.
  17. They spawned two TV shows: Buzz Lightyear of Star Command and Monsters at Work. A new show is planning to come, which is the original show entitled Win or Lose in 2024, released on Disney+.
  18. Unlike most other animation studios today, they rarely make sequels to their films, and instead focus on making original stories and concepts during the decade of the mid-1990s, 2000s, and 2020s. When they do, the sequels are usually well-received due to their improvements and originality from the previous installment. A big example would be Toy Story 2.
  19. Unlike most animation studios of today, just like its counterpart Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar continues making original stories that don't stay too much on the comedy genre or are littered with product placements or pandering to younger audiences, and sequelitis or even pop-culture references (unless if it used the pop-culture songs or not, considering how the trailers used the songs).
  20. Their movies have very surprising and unexpected plot twists like villain twists.
  21. They are also known for making their characters act and feel a lot more complex and human and not portraying any of them to act like flat one-dimensional stereotypes, and most of their movies usually do not have actual villains. This stems from the infamous "Black Friday Reel" of Toy Story where Woody was originally made to be a jerk, causing them to rework the film and rethink their film-making model.

Bad Qualities

  1. Cars 2, Lightyear, and The Good Dinosaur (even though the latter was well-received) are considered their weaker films, with the former often being considered the weakest of Pixar's films.
    • Besides Cars 2, Monsters at Work had only 2 bad episodes so far, which are "The Cover Up" and "The Vending Machine".
  2. While most films had box-office hits, some had underperformed at the box office either due to poor marketing or the fact that audiences would rather watch other films in theatres, like The Good Dinosaur and Onward, though the latter's failure can be justified, considering that it premiered during the on cinema start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  3. Some have perceived a decline in quality throughout the 2010s (mostly from 2011-2015), even to the point where Monsters University felt somewhat unoriginal.
  4. Along with their parent company Disney, the film industry is possibly the largest target for rip-offs, with the prime example being Finding Nemo. While Pixar rip-offs used to be much more common in the 2000s and early 2010s, afterward, it happens that there are fewer rip-offs, but mockbusters continue to be made by The Asylum, Vídeo Brinquedo, as well as a few other film industries, including WowNow Entertainment’s Finding Jesus.

Reception

All of the movies received mostly positive reviews, except for Cars 2, which received mixed reviews.

Trivia

  • All Pixar film features have a common theme. The setting of the film is always a world in which people/creatures/objects that are not commonly thought to have normal lives in societies resembling modern American society. For example:
    • Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Toy Story 3, and Toy Story 4 — Toys come to life and have adventures when their owners are away.
    • A Bug's Life — Insects live in harmony and have their hierarchy and tiny little cities.
    • Monsters, Inc. and Monsters University — Horrifying monsters live everyday lives in their own community. Scaring kids is just their day job.
    • Finding Nemo and Finding Dory — The ocean, like Earth's land mass, has its cities, schools, and communities ruled by fish.
    • The Incredibles and Incredibles 2 — Superheroes live among us and take ordinary jobs and have ordinary problems, such as a greedy boss or a troublemaking son.
    • Cars, Cars 2, and Cars 3 — Vehicles live by themselves without humans.
    • Ratatouille — A rat visits Paris and wants to cook.
    • WALL-E — A little robot finds adventure in space.
    • Up — An old man's house gets lifted by balloons and he finds adventure.
    • Brave — In a kingdom, a rebellious princess wants to live as freely as she desires.
    • Inside Out — Taking place inside a girl's mind, five emotions have conflict helping her adjust to a new life in a new place.
    • The Good Dinosaur — A young dinosaur tries to find his way home with the help of a strange caveboy.
    • Coco — A living boy ends up in the Land of the Dead, a place where people live as skeletons after they die.
    • Onward — Takes place in a world consisting of fantasy creatures that depend on modern appliances and abandon magic.
    • Soul — A jazz performer's soul wants to try and get back into his original body after an accident.
    • Luca — A young sea monster explores the surface above the ocean and shapeshifts into a human.
    • Turning Red — A confident thirteen-year-old "poofs" into a giant red panda whenever she gets too excited.
  • Pixar has released two movies, more than one in a single year:
    • 2015 has Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur.
    • 2017 has Cars 3 and Coco.
    • 2020 has Onward and Soul.
    • 2022 has Turning Red and Lightyear.
    • 2024 has two untitled films.
  • 1996, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2005, and 2014 are the years that Pixar hasn't released any movies.
  • The Pixar teaser trailers since A Bug's Life consist of footage created specifically for the trailer, spotlighting certain central characters in a comic situation. Though similar scenes and situations may appear, these sequences are not in the films being advertised but instead are original creations. They get us introduced to certain characters, except The Good Dinosaur. For the most example:
    • A Bug's Life: All the insects from the circus troupe and Flik gather onto a leaf right before Heimlich bites the end of it off, causing them to fall.
    • Toy Story 2: The green alien toys come up to a center with the claw coming down. First, the claw was carrying down Toy Story with the aliens doing their trademark "Oooh". Second, the claw brings down a "2" and the aliens turn around and look at the audience and say "Twoooo". Then Woody and Buzz come up with little greetings.
    • Monsters, Inc.: Sulley and Mike stumble into the wrong bedroom. (Also, in a preview show before the first Harry Potter film, Sulley is shown playing charades with Mike, but Mike is unable to guess the phrase 'Harry Potter', but the end states that Monsters, Inc. is playing right next door.)
    • Finding Nemo: Marlin asks the school of fish for directions and Dory scares them away.
    • The Incredibles: An out-of-shape Mr. Incredible struggles to get his belt on.
    • Cars: Mater, a rusty tow truck, talks to Lightning McQueen after hitting and killing a baby bumblebee.
    • Ratatouille: Remy, a grayish-blue rat, steals a piece of cheese from a food café.
    • WALL•E: Andrew Stanton talks about a time when they went to lunch in the summer of 1994 and had great ideas (Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, and WALL-E) WALL•E pops out of his yellow body. Then, he makes a cube out of trash. Then, when he puts the cube into a cube of trash square, he looks up at the sky turning to night. Then he says "WALL•E (Walla-Eee!)"
    • Up: A bunch of balloons lift a house and in the house we see Carl sitting on the front porch. He says "Afternoon".
    • Toy Story 3: All the toys in Andy's bedroom look like they're building something. Then they show that they have built the Toy Story 3 logo. Then Woody bumps into Buzz, who has built a more refined logo. Later, Woody puts up a set of magnets that say "June 18, 2010" (the release date). Then when Woody leaves, Buzz puts up another refined logo, and Woody; who is off-screen says, "I saw that!", then Buzz leaves nervously.
    • Cars 2: Lightning McQueen and Mater are caught in red lasers.
    • Brave: Merida, in her normal dress, stumbles into the hall of stones alone, sensing Mor'du's presence from a distance as she prepares to attack.
    • Monsters University: Sulley invites all the students of MU and they start throwing a party in Mike's room, much to Mike's dismay as he is used as a disco ball. There are four different versions of this where Mike says something different in his sleep.
    • Inside Out: The characters from Pixar's previous films display their emotions. Then Joy introduces herself, Anger, Fear, Sadness, and Disgust and they are seen doing a group hug in Riley's mind.
    • Finding Dory: The scene where Dory sleep-swims is played out differently, and she sleep-swims further than in the film.
    • Cars 3: Lightning McQueen's crash in the Los Angeles 500 race takes place during daytime and is grittier.
    • Coco: Dante gets a bone which brings him to a painful adventure to Santa Cecilia's graveyard, A visitor from the Land of the Dead takes the bone. Dante then chases the skeleton. The short ends with the skeleton walking away while dragging the Xolo who clings to him via the femur bone.
    • Incredibles 2: The animation of Jack-Jack using his eye lasers is used in creating the logo. Later, the scene where Bob Parr discovers Jack-Jack's powers takes place in the living room and a portion of his hair is cut by Jack-Jack's laser, which was not seen in the film.
    • Toy Story 4: Woody, Buzz, Jessie, Mr. Potato Head, Mrs. Potato Head, Rex, Hamm, one of the aliens, Slinky, and Forky move in a circle while holding hands until Forky panics about not belonging here and breaks from the circle, causing the other toys to crash into each other.
    • Onward: Ian has to fend off winged unicorns as he takes out the trash, before joining his brother on a quest (which he preferred to have been a small errand).
    • Soul: 22 does a funny cowboy dance after Joe's question "What would you like to be remembered for?" Which disappoints him.
    • Luca: A brief scene of Ercole spotting something in the water, which he says to Guido "Did you see that?"
    • Turning Red: TBA
    • Lightyear: TBA
  • Before the feature film directorial debut for Pixar, the directors made the Pixar short film:
    • John Lasseter directs not one, not two, not three, but four films, Luxo Jr., Red's Dream, Tin Toy and Knick Knack, before Toy Story.
    • Mark Andrews directed One Man Band, before Brave.
    • Peter Sohn directed Partly Cloudy, before The Good Dinosaur.
    • Enrico Casarosa directed La Luna, before Luca.
    • Domee Shi directed Bao, before Turning Red.
    • Angus MacLane directed BURN-E, before Lightyear.
    • Josh Cooley directs George and A.J. and Riley's First Date?, before Toy Story 4.
    • Rosana Sullivan directed Kitbull, before currently working on a feature film for Pixar.
      • In addition, some directors make short films for Pixar, before the feature film directorial debut for non-Pixar.
      • Gary Rydstrom directs Lifted and Hawaiian Vacation, before Strange Magic.
      • Doug Sweetland directed Presto, before Storks.
  • All Pixar movies have normal Disney/Pixar opening logo music. However, some movies do not as instead use the variant Disney/Pixar opening logo music.
    • Monsters, Inc. plays the main theme for the Disney/Pixar opening logo.
    • The Incredibles plays the opening logo music for the Disney/Pixar opening logo.
    • Ratatouille plays the short version of "Le Festin" for the Disney/Pixar opening logo.
    • Inside Out plays "Bundle of Joy" for the Disney/Pixar opening logo.
    • Coco plays the Mexican version of Disney's opening logo.
    • Incredibles 2 plays "Episode 2" for the Disney/Pixar opening logo.
    • Toy Story 4 plays the 30-second version of "Operation Pull Toy" for the Disney opening logo.
    • Onward plays "Quests Of Yore" for the Disney/Pixar opening logo.
    • Soul plays the jazz version of the Disney opening logo.
    • Luca plays "Un bacio a mezzanotee" for Disney/Pixar opening logo, before fading out in the opening scene.
  • Around 2018, Pixar and FC Barcelona (a soccer club) entered talks with Pixar to create a film.
  • Back when Pixar was still at Lucasfilm, they wanted to create a movie called Monkey. It was canceled due to technical issues. A few sketches of a monkey still exist.
  • Pixar, Disney, and Warner Bros. in 2005 attempted to make a live-action film based on James Dalessandro's novel 1906. It would've been Pixar's first time making a live-action film and their first collaboration with a major production company other than Disney. Disney and Pixar left the project due to script problems.
  • Aphton Corbin, Rosana Sullivan, Brian Fee, Kristen Lester, and Peter Sohn (according to the interview) have been working on their untitled feature films.
  • In July 2013, Pixar Studios President Edwin Catmull said that the studio planned to release one original film each year, and a sequel every other year, as part of a strategy to release "one and a half movies a year." On July 3, 2016, Pixar president Jim Morris announced that the studio would be moving away from sequels after Toy Story 4 and Pixar was only developing original ideas with five films in development at the time of the announcement.
  • While every Pixar movie is animated, WALL-E is currently the only film to have live-action, though it has many animated characters.
  • Around 2008, Pixar announced a film called Newt was set to be released in 2011 before 2012. The film was canceled before the release of Blue Sky's Rio because it felt too similar. In a March 2014 interview, Pixar president Edwin Catmull stated that Newt was an idea that was not working in pre-production. When the project was passed to Pete Docter, the director of Monsters, Inc. and Up, he pitched an idea that Pixar thought was better, and that concept became Inside Out.
  • In 2010, Henry Selick formed a joint venture with Pixar called Cinderbiter Productions, which was to exclusively produce stop-motion films. Its first project under the deal, a film titled ShadeMaker was set to be released on October 4, 2013, but was canceled in August 2012 due to creative differences. An adaptation of Neil Gaiman's novel The Graveyard Book was also planned. Selick was given the option to shop ShadeMaker (now titled The Shadow King) at other studios. In January 2013, Ron Howard was hired to direct The Graveyard Book.
  • Before Chicken Little, the co-production deal between Disney and Pixar was set to expire with the release of Cars in 2006. The result of the contentious negotiations between Disney and Pixar was viewed to depend heavily on how Chicken Little performed at the box office. If successful, the film would have given Disney leverage in its negotiations for a new contract to distribute Pixar's films. A failure would have allowed Pixar to argue that Disney could not produce CGI films. Turns out it was true when Chicken Little was a box office success, despite the mixed-to-negative reception.
  • Back when Circle Seven Animation was opened, there were already plans for a sequel to Finding Nemo (Pixar later made Finding Dory), Monsters, Inc. (Pixar later made for Monsters University, but rather prequel), and a different version of Toy Story 3. As you may have guessed, they were scrapped because Circle Seven Animation closed down. Pixar's later sequels had no basis in Circle Seven's projects and were created completely separately.

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