Pixar™: The change in animations

As of May of 2017, four movies are in the wings schedule for release as soon as June 16, 2017 and as late as June 21, 2019. These movies are causing Pixar fans to become very excited that they are bringing the old movies back. These movies in order are Cars 3, Coco, The Incredibles 2, and Toy Story 4. These movies are creating a lot of hype because most fans have been waiting on these freshly unused ideas for awhile. This holds especially true in the case of The Incredibles 2, whose prior movie was released over a decade earlier, in 2004.

The Background

Pixar Animation Studios was founded in 1979 as a graphic designs group before fully developing into the Pixar we know and love in 1986. Immediately after their first film was produced, Toy Story, they had made a name for themselves, but even before that they were making a statement. Have you ever seen the movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan? Well, if you have, I bet you didn’t realized the original Pixar team completed the “Genesis Effect” sequence. The “Genesis Effect” was a scene in which an initially lifeless planet being rapidly transformed by lush vegetation, and is the first completely computer animated sequence in a feature film (1982). Closely following the event, in 1983, the team created their Computer Division’s Graphics Group creates their first film-resolution image, “The Road to Point Reyes.”

Pixar’s Introduction to the WorldLuxo_Jr._poster

After their work on Star Trek, “The Road to Point Reyes,” and a few other projects, Steve Jobs purchased the group in 1986 and established the group as an independent company, Pixar. At this time about 40 people were employed. Around this time is when Pixar and Disney began collaboration on CAPS, the Computer Animation Production System, which would revolutionize the creation of traditional animated films.

In August of 1986, the company produced their first short film, “Luxo Jr.,” was debuted at SIGGRAPH to critiques, but officially debuted to the public until November 1986. This sparked a change animation as it was the first three-dimensional computer animated film to be nominated for an Oscar®, receiving a nomination for Best Short Film (Animated).

Pixar to Infinity and Beyond

Fast forward nine years later, 1996, the Pixar team produced their very first full length film, that really changed animation. According to Pixar, “Toy Story, the world’s first computer animated feature film, is released in theaters on November 22. It opens at #1 that weekend and will go on to become the highest grossing film of the year, making $192 million domestically and $362 million worldwide.” It’s around this time Toy Story was recognized with Academy Award® nominations for Best Original Song, Best Original Score, and Best Original Screenplay—the first time an animated film is recognized for screenwriting. John Lasseter received a Special Achievement Oscar® from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his “inspired leadership of the Pixar Toy Story Team resulting in the first feature-length computer animated film.,” according to Pixar.

It was the production of this movie (Toy Story) that changed everything; this made every  animation company take interest in Pixar. The production of the movie caused Pixar to announce that they will stop making commercials in order to concendownload (5)trate on longer-format and interactive entertainment. In 1997, The Walt Disney Studios and Pixar Animation Studios announced an agreement to jointly produce five movies over 10 years, and in 1998 groundbreaking for Pixar’s Emeryville studio began.

Over the next two years or so, Pixar produced two movies, “A Bug’s Life” and “Toy Story 2,” accompanied by two short films “Geri’s Games” and “Luxo Jr.” Followed shortly after the release of “Toy Story 2,” Pixar moved to its new building in Emeryville, California in 2000. Then a new milestone was reached for Pixar, Disney opened “A Bug’s Land,” (Disneyland California) based off their movie “A Bug’s Life,” in 2002.

In 2005, Pixar’s first external exhibition of original artwork, Pixar: 20 Years of Animation, opened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.  In 2006, The Walt Disney Company announced that it agreed to purchase Pixar Animation Studios. This became the start of the Pixar we all know and love. As part of the deal, Ed Catmull and John Lasseter also assumed leadership of Walt Disney Animation Studios, followed by Pixar celebrating its 20th anniversary. Over the next decade, Pixar released 10 feature films, 10 short films, and a TV special.

Disney Pixar has been the childhood of almost every American born in the 21st century and has had an impact on many people. Not only has it affected the children, it has affected the film industry itself. It has changed the world as we know it from their first ever feature film released. While Pixar is adored by many, there are some people that oppose Pixar. Reasons people oppose Pixar are as follows:

  • A lack of strong female characters
  • An emphasis on story, meaning a lack of texture
  • Every movie ends in a chase sequence
  • Buddy movie overload

While these are a problem for some people, for others it just makes the movie more enjoyable. No matter your feeling towards Pixar there is one thing you can’t deny: Pixar has made a name for itself and it will forever remain in history as such.


Works Cited

Taylor, Drew. “The 5 Worst Things About Pixar.” IndieWire. N.p., 18 June 2013. Web. 18 May 2017.

“Our Story.” Pixar Animation Studios. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 May 2017.


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