The History of Pixar Animation Studios




Pixar Animation Studios is a computer-animated film company that’s been around for 30 years now. This studio changed the world of animation as we know it. Frames had been animated one at a time in traditional hand-drawn animated films up to that point. With computers, many frames can be animated at once. Plus, animators can do more with computers than they could do in traditional animation, like rain. In my opinion, no other film company does computer animation justice like Pixar.




Pixar was created in February of 1986. Steve Jobs bought the Lucasfilm Computer Division from Lucasfilm, and the studio was founded by him, John Lasseter and Ed Catmull. Because of the limitations of computers at the time, the studio had to watch what they could animate. John Lasseter came up with the idea of their first short film, Luxo Jr., just by playing around with his office lamp. Lasseter and company experimented with rain and bicycles (and conveying emotion) in Red’s Dream. As a result of home videos of his nephew, Lasseter originated the short film, Tin Toy. Because that short was about toys being alive, it later provided inspiration for Toy Story. Finally, in 1989, Lasseter wanted to do something simple and silly. Therefore, their last short of the 80’s was the hilarious Knick Knack.



When the 1990’s rolled around, Walt Disney Feature Animation wanted to bring Lasseter to work for them. However, Lasseter stuck with Pixar. Regardless, Disney made a deal with Pixar to produce computer-animated feature films. Therefore, production began on the world’s very first computer-animated motion picture, Toy Story.

Inspired by Tin Toy, the idea was that it would be a movie about toys. The film would show what toys do when humans aren’t around. Directed by John Lasseter, the movie stars Tom Hanks as Woody (a cowboy doll) and Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear (a space ranger action figure). The movie deals with the value of friendship. It shows that we shouldn’t let jealousy overcome us, just because someone new is different from us.

When Toy Story opened, Pixar immediately had a hit on their hands. Critics and audiences alike raved about how amazing the film was. Toy Story got glowing reviews, and did very well at the box office.

As a result of the film’s success, Pixar continued to make great films. As the years have passed, the staff at Pixar continue to push boundaries to make their films great.

People all over the world have gone to see films like Toy Story 2Monsters, Inc. and Finding Nemo.



Because of disagreements between Steve Jobs and then-Disney CEO Michael Eisner, Disney ultimately decided to purchase Pixar in 2006. John Lasseter became CEO of Disney and Pixar Animation as a result of the deal. Despite these changes, Lasseter and both companies have continued to be profitable.


The company has had a few rough years with films like Cars 2 and The Good Dinosaur not doing so good. Regardless, they have also had more big hits. Toy Story 3Inside Out and Finding Dory have all become masterpieces.

As long as Lasseter and his team continue to work together, I think Pixar Animation Studios has a bright future ahead.

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