The Pixar Touch: The Making of a Company

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"The Pixar Touch is a story of technical innovation that revolutionized animation, transforming hand-drawn cel animation to computer-generated 3-D graphics. It's a triumphant business story of a company that began with a dream, remained true to the ideals of its founders - antibureaucratic and artist driven - and ended up a multibillion-dollar success." "We meet Pixar's technical genius and founding CEO, Ed Catmull, who dreamed of becoming an animator, inspired by Disney's Peter Pan and Pinocchio, realized he would never be good enough, and
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The Pixar Touch: The Making of a Company

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Overview

"The Pixar Touch is a story of technical innovation that revolutionized animation, transforming hand-drawn cel animation to computer-generated 3-D graphics. It's a triumphant business story of a company that began with a dream, remained true to the ideals of its founders - antibureaucratic and artist driven - and ended up a multibillion-dollar success." "We meet Pixar's technical genius and founding CEO, Ed Catmull, who dreamed of becoming an animator, inspired by Disney's 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." The book also delves into Pixar's corporate feuds: between Lasseter and his former champion, Jeffrey Katzenberg (A Bug's Life vs. Antz), and between Jobs and Michael Eisner. And finally it explores Pixar's 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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Price is a smart reporter and a solid writer. He deftly makes computer arcana palatable, even interesting.... This is an inspiring tale." —-The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307265753
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/13/2008
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author


David A. Price has written for the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, and he is the author of Love and Hate in Jamestown.

David Drummond has made his living as an actor for over twenty-five years, and he received an AudioFile Earphones Award for his first audiobook, Love 'Em or Lose 'Em.

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Table of Contents

1 Anaheim 3

2 In the Garage 10

3 Lucasfilm 35

4 Steve Jobs 61

5 Pixar, Inc 86

6 Making It Fly - 1 117

7 Making It Fly - 2 139

8 "It Seemed Like All-Out War" 157

9 Crisis in Monstropolis 187

10 Emeryville 208

11 Homecoming 227

Epilogue 259

Appendix 1 Pixar Academy Awards and Nominations 265

Appendix 2 Pixar Filmography 269

Acknowledgments 271

Notes 273

Bibliography 289

Index 293

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 12, 2009

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    Astonishing history of an extraordinary company

    This copiously researched, vivid account covers the rise of one of the world's most successful entertainment companies. Experienced journalist David A. Price fills Pixar's history with implied lessons about patience in management and running a creative company, but he doesn't seem much interested in writing a how-to business book, so he sticks to the historic narrative and draws few conclusions. Notably, Price, whose education is in computer science and law, writes more energetically about (and finds more drama in) the origins of computer graphics and the occasional lawsuits Pixar endured than in the harrowing high-wire act it goes through to make each movie - a struggle Pixar's Ed Catmull and others have discussed and written about often. getAbstract reports that the early parts of the story are the most colorful and dramatic, though the book is an entertaining read and a fascinating business case study all the way through.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2011

    I love Pixar

    I love it more than anyone else , so if you love this company , you suck at loving!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 29, 2010

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    Great Book!!

    Very interesting. A must read for Pixar fans!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2009

    Fascinating and well-written

    This book presents a compelling and fascinating story of an amazing company. The author has done an amazing job of creating a book that is both an apparently factual historical document that is also a really fun and engaging read. I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in Pixar.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 20, 2008

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    The Rise of a Giant

    Fast paced, entertaing story of the rise of animation powerhouse Pixar and how it almost came to not be. Nice information on the films and the major players of the company including Steve Jobs, Ed Catmull, and John Lassiter. Intersting insight on how technology had to be constantly improved on to keep up with the the desires to animate more complex feature films-the cart pushing the horse so to speak

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  • Posted November 17, 2008

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    I Also Recommend:

    The Company That Almost Wasn't

    Nobody doesn't enjoy Pixar's movies, but (I hear you asking) why would anyone want to read a history of the company? The short answer, I suppose, is that only computer geeks and animation junkies need apply -- but if you've lived through the computer revolution and can remember life before the PC you may be intrigued at just how forward-thinking Pixar's founders really were. I mean, with powerful desktops everywhere and impressive digital video gimmicks a staple on YouTube, we take computer animation for granted. But The Pixar Touch reveals a gang of nerds who were keen to do Disneyesque animation on computers when these machines were still the size of refrigerators and crude graphical displays were an exotic, breathtakingly expensive technology. So Pixar's story is really a tale of visionaries hard at work trying to help technology catch up with their dreams -- and, after more than a decade hemorrhaging the money of successive owners George Lucas and Steve Jobs, barely getting there, with the landmark 1995 release of Toy Story, by the skin of their teeth.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2008

    A Non-Fiction Page Turner

    Most books of this genre often resort to rumor and intuition about what 'really happened.' David Price uses a combination of personal interviews, news stories, press releases, and content from Pixar DVDs to draw a detailed mosaic of what has made Pixar successful over the past twenty years. Price supplies a highly objective account of the most difficult years of the company and brings us all the way through the acquisition of Pixar by Disney. While the book does not dive deeply into the collaborative methods the company employs, it does focus the reader's attention toward the importance of 'story.' In this case, John Lasseter's insistence on 'getting the story right' and understanding audience responses to concepts and ideas. Great stuff for anyone interested in marketing, the entertainment business, and best practices of creativity.

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