Pixar and Disney go hand in hand to create some of the best films around, from Toy Story to Monsters Inc. They’re so much a part of Disney now that they even have their own ‘Pixar Pier’ at Disneyland.
But what do you really know about Pixar? Here are some facts to get you in the know before your next trip.
They started out as a side project for LucasFilm, the creators of Star Wars
That’s right; George Lucas himself was involved in the creation of Pixar in 1979. It started out with two animators – Edwin Catmull and Alvy Ray Smith – who helped Lucas work on the animation for the original Star Wars films.
The first animator for Pixar worked for Walt Disney Studios before he moved to LucasFilm
When he found out more about 3D animating, he pitched the idea to Disney. At first, they didn’t like the idea as they were worried about the computer taking over peoples’ jobs and let him go, but when Pixar started up and they learned more about it, they asked him to come back with it. He refused.
They were the first company to fully believe in computer animation
Just like Disney, other companies were worried that the computer animation would take peoples’ jobs, so quickly dismissed the idea. As Pixar grew and grew, other companies like Dreamworks finally realised it was a great idea, and 2D animation in films started to fade away.
Steve Jobs invested $10million into the start up
Yes, that’s THE Steve Jobs of Apple. When Pixar was starting up, they didn’t have a big enough budget to work on the shorts they wanted to, so they set out to find an investor. In 1986, Jobs was in his prime as Apple products had just boomed in the market. He liked the idea of 3D animation so much that he invested $10million towards its production.
Toy Story was originally going to be targeted at adults
Disney asked Pixar to make it ‘edgy’, which in the cartoon industry, means aimed at adults. So it included a lot more adult themes and Woody used worse insults and harsher tones. Halway through its creation, Pixar decided they didn’t like where it was going, so they turned it into the child friendly film it is today.
Toy Story 2 was completely rewritten over a single weekend
It’s always hard to make a sequel which is just as good or better than the original, especially with such a successful film. Just like it’s prequel, Toy Story 2 was completely changed too. When it was complete, Pixar decided they didn’t like the film they’d created, and wanted to rewrite it. But with only 9 months until the release date, they had to do it fast, which means that one weekend created the Toy Story 2 we know today.
The research for A Bug’s Life was done in the studio garden using a camera, a stick, and a lego wheel.
It’s hard to imagine what it’s like to be a bug and how they see the world, so the team got a tiny camera, taped it to a Lego wheel, and pushed it along with a stick. Because A Bug’s Life is made up of bugs, it was important to get an insight into what they see every day.
Side fact: they were originally only going to create a few ants, then 50 ants, but Pixar are always stretching boundaries and turned that into thousands.