The Pixar Touch– Finished

Posted: May 30, 2008 in Disney, Misc.
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Just finished reading The Pixar Touch.

What a ride! There is so much unique and interesting history behind the walls of Pixar. Here’s a brief summary (really brief, the book is like 310 pages). It started in a privately funded college, then George Lucas bought it for Industrial Light and Magic. It wasn’t making money and he tried to sell it numerous times, once for something small like five million to Disney! Eventually Steve Jobs bought it in 1986 for 10 Million Dollars. The studio partnered with Disney for Toy Story and five additional releases until relations became strained with then CEO Michel Eisner at which point Pixar didn’t reenter a contract with them. This helped to initiate the Save Disney campaign which ousted Micheal Eisner as CEO and brought in Bob Iger. After Iger saw a Disney Parade at one of the Disney Parks and realized that all of the characters from the past ten years were from Pixar films, he re-started attempts to purchase Pixar. Disney bought Pixar out, for an all stock option deal, in 2006 for roughly 7.4 Billion dollars to Steve Jobs, making him the largest share holder in the company with 7% of the Stock….. Mix all of that in with tons of stories of animators and managers clashing, leaving and retaliating and it is an amazing story! Definitely a must read for anyone interested in the computer animation business, Disney or of course Pixar.

One cool snippet from the book that I found very interesting is Stanton speaking on religion in Finding Nemo and other Pixar Films.

Stanton (Finding Nemo’s Director) also spoke of a spiritual aspect to the relationship of Marlin and Dory. Dory was, literally, an angel fish. “The protagonist’s battle was to overcome fear by discovering faith, and certainly Dory represented the angel, or the helper who showed him how to let go and not be consumed by his worries.” he told an interviewer for a Christian-oriented film Web site.

He observed that subtlety is critical in giving films such as Pixar’s a spiritual or religious dimension. “My personal view is that if you go into things on a pulpit or with an agenda in the creative world, it can easily get in the way of your creativity and quality… Be Christ-like in everything you do, not worrying about whether you’re furthering the cause”

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