Pixar Animation Studio: History - Essay Example

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This essay talks about the history of a famous animation studio Pixar which was established as The Graphic Group and launched in 1979 as one-third of the Computer Division of Lucas film. The essay also discusses how this animation studio came to such a success…
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Pixar Animation Studio: History
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Pixar Animation Studio: History According to Paik (207), Pixar, which was established as The Graphic Group was launched in 1979 as one third of the Computer Division of Lucasfilm. Dr. Ed Catmull from the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) was hired the same year. At NYIT, the researchers invented the alpha channel and other CG foundation techniques. Later, CGL produced their first experimental film “The Works”. The team moved to Lucasfilm where they created the precursor to Renderman and developed other critical technologies for CG in various animation tools. In the early 80’s, the team worked on film sequences with industrial light and magic on particular effects.
After years of research, the team was able to produce other films and later on Steve Jobs invested in the company and became the chairman of the board. Pixar was initially a high end computer hardware corporation with their product as they waited for Moore’s law to cut down the cost of computing a movie. The computer images never sold well, which threatened to put out the business, but Steve put in more capital and took more ownership of the corporation. Eventually he took over the management and it started producing computer animated commercials for other companies.
In April 1990 Pixar sold its proprietary hardware technology and imaging software division to Vicom and later moved to Richmond California from San Rafael where it did well with Walt Disney Feature Animation. In 1991, Steve was contemplating selling the company because it was making loses leading to the reduction of some employees but decide to give it another chance as the new CEO. In 1995, the company’s shares were priced at US$22 per share.
According to Paik (2007), “Toy Story” was the first full length film by Pixar production produced in 1995. It was also their first successful film. It was done in two dimensions, which was the common mode of production at the time. They later released “A Bugs Life” in 1998 and released “Toy Story 2” in 1999. Both of these two films were commercially successful grossing a total of $245,852,179 and $363,398,565 respectively (Paik, 2007). In 2001 they produced “Monsters, Inc” which grossed $255,873,250. After one year, they produced “Finding Nemo” which generated a gross income of $339,714,978 making it the second highest earning motion picture in that year. The film “The Incredibles” was produced in the following year grossing a total of $261,441,092. Subsequently, Pixar productions produced “Cars” which brought in a gross income of $244,082,982.
In 2007, they produced “Ratatouille”, an animated comedy which grossed a total of$206,445,654. According to Beane (2009), they produced “Wall-e” in 2008 which grossed a total of $223,808,164. The following year Pixar grossed an income of $293,004,164 from the animated film “Up”. The third film of the sequence “Toy Story” was produced in 2010. It became the film that earned the highest gross income with a record $415,004,880. In 2011 Pixar productions released the film “Cars 2” which grossed a total income of $191,452,396. Their latest film is the animation “Brave”, which until now has grossed an income of $230,174,296.
Beane, A., 2012, 3D Animation Essentials, John Wiley & Sons. New Jersey.
Chong, A. 2008. Basics Animation: Digital Animation, Bolton, AVA Publishing.
Milic, L., and McConville, L. 2006. The Animation Producers Handbook Authors. New York, McGraw-Hill.
Paik, K., 2007, To Infinity and Beyond! The Story of Pixar Animation Studios, Chronicle Books, San Francisco. Read More
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