The Pixar Touch: The Making of a Company

Alfred A. Knopf, 2008 - 308 .
The roller-coaster rags-to-riches story behind the phenomenal success of Pixar Animation Studios: the first in-depth look at the company that forever changed the film industry and the fraternity of geeks who shaped it.

The Pixar Touch
is a story of technical innovation that revolutionized animation, transforming hand-drawn cel animation to computer-generated 3-D graphics. Its a triumphant business story of a company that began with a dream, remained true to the ideals of its foundersantibureaucratic and artist drivenand ended up a multibillion-dollar success.

We meet Pixars technical genius and founding CEO, Ed Catmull, who dreamed of becoming an animator, inspired by Disneys Peter Pan and Pinocchio, realized he would never be good enough, and instead enrolled in the then new field of computer science at the University of Utah. It was Catmull who founded the computer graphics lab at the New York Institute of Technology and who wound up at Lucasfilm during the first Star Wars trilogy, running the computer graphics department, and found a patron in Steve Jobs, just ousted from Apple Computer, who bought Pixar for five million dollars. Catmull went on to win four Academy Awards for his technical feats and helped to create some of the key computer-generated imagery software that animators rely on today.

Price also writes about John Lasseter, who catapulted himself from unemployed animator to one of the most powerful figures in American filmmaking; animation was the only thing he ever wanted to do (he was inspired by Disneys The Sword in the Stone), and Prices book shows how Lasseter transformed computer animation from a novelty into an art form. The author writes as well about Steve Jobs, as volatile a figure as a Shakespearean monarch . . .

Based on interviews with dozens of insiders, The Pixar Touch examines the early wildcat years when computer animation was thought of as the lunatic fringe of the medium.

We see the studio at work today; how its writers, directors, and animators make their astonishing, and astonishingly popular, films.

The book also delves into Pixars corporate feuds: between Lasseter and his former champion, Jeffrey Katzenberg (A Bugs Life vs. Antz), and between Jobs and Michael Eisner. And finally it explores Pixars complex relationship with the Walt Disney Company as it transformed itself from a Disney satellite into the $7.4 billion jewel in the Disney crown.

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LibraryThing Review

  - Daniel.Estes - LibraryThing

The story of how Pixar Animation Studios came into existence is remarkable not just for the movies they make, but because its own history is in itself a Cinderella story. The Pixar Touch by David ...

LibraryThing Review

  - ALincolnNut - LibraryThing

Perhaps no motion picture company has had a more successful beginning than Pixar, whose feature-length computer animated films have all been hugely popular box office success; of these, several have ...



David A. Price was raised in Richmond, Virginia, and was educated at the College of William and Mary, where he received his degree in computer science. He graduated from Harvard Law School and Cambridge University. Price has written for The Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, Business 2.0, The Washington Post, Forbes, and Inc. and is the author of Love and Hate in Jamestown. He lives with his wife and sons in Washington, D.C.