Call Now! 888-765-0942

Pixar Animation Studio: A Brief History

Pixar Animation Studio: A Brief History

For the past and current generations today, the name Pixar Animation Studio brings nostalgia and good memories every time. It is a name commonly associated with cartoons and all things animated. Its history is steeped in innovation and excellence and gives a solid insight into how Disney animation and the animated film industry itself has become what it is today.

The studio itself had its prestigious yet humble beginnings in the year 1979. At its inception, the studio was owned by George Lucas, who needs no introduction. The first person to be signed on in a managerial capacity was Ed Catmull, who would head the computer division of Lucasfilm, which was currently tasked with making advances in the technology of the film industry.

This was the beginning of several innovations in the film industry and editing in general. With many animated shorts already under their belt, nearly ten years later, Steve Jobs negotiated the purchase of Lucasfilm’s computer division from George himself and renamed it Pixar. From there, we saw innovation after innovation in technology and animated film, producing classics such as Luxo Jr. and Red’s Dream, which were the pinnacle of editing innovation and graphics rendering at the time. But its future in Disney animation was yet to begin. *

In 1991, Disney, who recognized the potential Pixar could have in the animation industry, partnered with the studio to create a computer-generated, feature length film. The result was a movie that we have no trouble identifying with: Toy Story. From there, we saw the almost seamless bond between Disney animation and the revolutionary studio that Pixar had become. They released Disney classics – A Bug’s Life, and Toy Story 2, each garnering their own respective awards and topping billboard charts all over the world with several commendations and honors as well.

The next few years would see even more releases from the company, and a marked increase in the popularity of Disney and their animated films. The team enters the new millennium, having set itself up in its new studio at Emeryville, California, and rooted itself in film culture as a true figurehead. At this time, Pixar has the ending to the Toy Story Trilogy, Ratatouille, Wall-E, Up, and many more true classics under their belt. This cemented their place in history as one of the most prestigious and prolific animation studios of all time, and an integral part of Disney animation as a whole. *

Looking back at the entirety of its timeline, Pixar has released fourteen animated films, all of which have garnered awards and achievements in their own right. The studio has the notable achievement of making profit on 100% of their releases, without exception. Critics also have nothing but praise for the studio and its works, with a low number of negative ratings for all its films.

The studio itself has garnered a total of 45 awards in the film industry, a solid half of them being Academy Awards for animated films and soundtracks. Nobody has made quite a mark in the history of animation and editing as Pixar Studio, a name that, as always, will remain in our hearts and memory for some time to come.


Want to pursue a career in animation? Get more information about programs in your area or online using our animation degree finder at the top of this page. ↑


If you would like more information, check out the links cited below.