The Pixar Story

Timeline created by facebooker_10156481863436745
In Film
  • 1st Sync-sound Animated Disney Short

    1st Sync-sound Animated Disney Short
    Steamboat Willie: The first sync-sound short animated film released by Disney, Steamboat Willie, featured Mickey Mouse. Animated by Ub Iwerks.
    [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBgghnQF6E4]
  • Turing Invents the Computer Age

    Turing Invents the Computer Age
    While completing his PhD at Princeton, Alan Turing publishes a paper that becomes the foundation of computer science and digital computing.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57xXSfG39i0
  • First Animated Feature: Snow White

    First Animated Feature: Snow White
    Disney's groundbreaking Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HI0x0KYChq4
  • Colossus: First Digital Computer

    Colossus: First Digital Computer
    The Colossus was developed to break complex wartime enemy code during WWII. It was the first programmable, digital computer.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knXWMjIA59c
  • 1st 3D Rendered Animation

    1st 3D Rendered Animation
    Catmull's hand: While attending graduate school in computer engineering at the University of Utah, Ed Catmull created a short 3D animated film of his left hand in 1972 with Fred Parke.
    https://vimeo.com/16292363
  • Catmull at NYIT

    Catmull at NYIT
    Ed Catmull becomes director of the Computer Graphics Lab at New York Institute of Technology after earning his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Utah.
  • Lasseter Studies Animation at CalArts

    Lasseter Studies Animation at CalArts
    John is the 2nd student to register in the Disney Character Animation Program at CalArts. Classmates include Tim Burton and Brad Bird.
    https://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2014/03/calarts-animation-1970s-tim-burton
  • Lasseter hired by Disney: 1979

    Lasseter hired by Disney: 1979
    Lasseter graduates from CalArts and begins working at Disney.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVnjOqL6n0U
  • Catmull Heads to Lucasfilm

    Catmull Heads to Lucasfilm
    Ed Catmull leaves NYIT for Lucasfilm's Industrial Light & Magic. He becomes Vice President of ILM and later recruits Lasseter to The Graphics Group.
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
    The Graphics Group (Lasseter, Catmull and others) create the CGI Genesis Effect for Star Trek II.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52XlyMbxxh8
  • Disney releases Tron

    Disney releases Tron
    The first feature film with significant amounts of 2D & 3D CGI. Creators had hoped it would be entirely animated. But...not...yet...Wait another 13 years.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tp8sAS1imS4
  • Lasseter Fired by Disney

    Lasseter Fired by Disney
    Lasseter experimented too much with computer animation techniques for Disney's liking, specifically developing Where the Wild Things Are. He was fired.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvIDRoO8KnM
  • Lasseter Hired by Lucasfilm

    Lasseter Hired by Lucasfilm
    Ed Catmull invites Lasseter to join The Graphics Group at Lucasfilm/Industrial Light and Magic
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imrliaThKrI
  • The Adventures of André and Wally B. released

    The Adventures of André and Wally B. released
    Animated by Lasseter and the Graphics Group, directed by Alvy Ray Smith. Released at SIGGRAPH summer 1984
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-L-WA-nQzI&t=7s
  • Young Sherlock Holmes CGI

    Young Sherlock Holmes CGI
    The Graphics Group (Lucasfilm) animates a strained-glass night and composites it over live-action sequence in Young Sherlock Holmes
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKb61j8P4fU
  • Hero's Journey Hits Disney

    Hero's Journey Hits Disney
    Christopher Vogle's memo "A Practical Guide to Joseph Campbell's Hero With a Thousand Faces" circulates widely at Disney. Nine years later, Vogler is given a story credit on The Lion King. He publishes The Writer's Journey in 1992, a book-form expansion of the memo.
  • Steve Jobs & The Birth of Pixar

    Steve Jobs & The Birth of Pixar
    Jobs purchases Graphics Group for $5million and invests another $5Mill to create Pixar Inc originally expected to be a hardware, software and rendering company.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgWdjvRgouk
  • Luxo Jr. Premieres to a Standing Ovation

    Luxo Jr. Premieres to a Standing Ovation
    Another successful SIGGRAPH screening in 1986. Luxo Jr first CGI film nominated for an Oscar. (It should have won, IMHO!)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6G3O60o5U7w&t=2s
  • Red's Dream released

    Red's Dream released
    The first and only Pixar film to use the Pixar Image Computer to create and render animation before the proprietary hardware was abandoned by the company. Red's Dream was released at SIGGRAPH in the summer of 1987. Written and directed by John Lasseter.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96xGUa1a_zs&t=36s
  • Oscar-winning Tin Toy Released

    Oscar-winning Tin Toy Released
    Another Lasseter/Pixar short wows the SIGGRAPH crowd. Despite the cement-baby-diaper, Tin Toy wins the first CGI Oscar and first Pixar Oscar for Best Animated Film.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffIZSAZRzDA
  • Knick-Knack released

    Knick-Knack released
    The Looney Tunes-inspired short was released at SIGGRAPH and was the last Lasseter short made before Toy Story's release. Bobby McFerrin created the soundtrack. This clip is the original, busty version. It was later re-released in 2003 with flatter-chested knick knacks:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3rgXLNi7Xo
  • Catmull wins RenderMan Oscar

    Catmull wins RenderMan Oscar
    Ed Catmull is awarded his first Oscar for Technical and Scientific achievement for RenderMan software
  • Toy Story Released: First CGI Feature Film

    Toy Story Released: First CGI Feature Film
    Toy Story released on US Thanksgiving day in 1995 to huge box office and critical success.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VdERcRJ3jI
  • Toy Story Record-breaking First Weekend: $30M

    Toy Story Record-breaking First Weekend: $30M
    Much rode on the first-weekend success of Toy Story. Pixar was hoping a financially lucrative first-weekend would set up the company for a successful IPO of November 29th, 2018. Pixar had a phenomenal first-weekend, grossing 30 million in the US domestic box office.
  • Pixar IPO

    Pixar IPO
    After ten years of waiting, Pixar's IPO (Initial Public Offering) was more successful than anticipated. The opening price was set at $22 per share but the stock started trading at $47 per share, finishing the day at $39 per share. This provided much-needed capital a company locked into a limiting 3-picture deal with Disney. Pixar's was the biggest IPO of the year, exceeding Netscape's and setting up Jobs for his comeback.
  • 2nd Pixar Oscar

    2nd Pixar Oscar
    John Lasseter wins a Special Achievement Oscar for Toy Story, the first CGI feature film.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmnyMuKmLTI&t=1s
  • Jobs Returns to Apple

    Jobs Returns to Apple
    After the success of Pixar, Steve Jobs returns to Apple. The company suffered a major decline in the 90s and bought NeXT from Jobs in February 1997 to help revitalize its operating system. Jobs returned as an unpaid advisor.
  • Oscar-winning Geri's Game Released

    Oscar-winning Geri's Game Released
    Geri's Game, written and directed by Jan Pinkava, wins the 1997 Oscar for Best Animated Film.
  • Oscar-winning For the Birds Released

    Oscar-winning For the Birds Released
    Ralph Eggleston wrote and directed the third short Pixar film to win an Oscar for Best Animated Film.
  • First Academy Award for Feature Animation

    First Academy Award for Feature Animation
    The Academy Awards only added Feature Animated Films as an award category in 2002, for films created in 2001. Shrek won the first award. Pixar now leads all animation studies in the feature animation category. Though celebrated by many as a sign of a robust animation industry, the award remains controversial for many reasons.
  • "Family-friendly" Knick-Knack re-released

    "Family-friendly" Knick-Knack re-released
    Knick-knack screened before Finding Nemo in theatres and a flat-chested version of the film was issued:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSD_zp8yZFo
  • Finding Nemo: First Feature Oscar

    Finding Nemo: First Feature Oscar
    With the inception of the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film, Pixar finally takes home an Oscar for a feature film and will dominate the Award until today.
  • First POC in a Major Role: The Incredibles

    First POC in a Major Role: The Incredibles
    The Incredibles supporting character, Lucius/Frozone is the first person/character of colour in a Pixar film—voiced by Samuel L. Jackson.
  • 2nd Best Feature Animation Oscar

    2nd Best Feature Animation Oscar
    One year later, Pixar captures its second Oscar for best animated Feature Film.
  • Disney buys Pixar: $7.4 billion

    Disney buys Pixar: $7.4 billion
    Steve Jobs $50 million investment pays off: he becomes the largest shareholder in Disney and a billionaire by 40.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgWdjvRgouk
  • 3rd Best Feature Oscar for Animation

    3rd Best Feature Oscar for Animation
    Ratatouille wins the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film.
  • 4th Oscar for Animated Feature

    4th Oscar for Animated Feature
    WALL-E, which many critics feel should also have been nominated for Best Film, brings home the 4th Pixar Oscar for Animated Feature.
  • 5th Oscar for Animated Feature

    5th Oscar for Animated Feature
    Winning three years in a row, Pixar takes home another Oscar for Up, which was also nominated in the Best Film category.
  • Toy Story 3 wins Oscar

    Toy Story 3 wins Oscar
    With Toy Story 3, Pixar brings home their first Animated Feature Oscar for the Toy Story franchise. The original Toy Story won a Special Achievement Award. Toy Story is the first sequel to win in this category and it marks a four year winning streak for Pixar.
  • Oscar-winning Piper released

    Oscar-winning Piper released
    Released alongside Finding Dorry, Alan Barillaro's Piper was praised for its photorealistic animation. Piper wins Pixar's fourth Oscar for Best Animated Short.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DW8T9nvitLI
  • Domee Shi: first female Pixar director

    Domee Shi: first female Pixar director
    Though Brenda Chapman co-directed Brave (and won an Oscar for it), Domee Shi is the first female solo Pixar director. Her short, Bao, was released alongside The Incredibles 2. It is set in Toronto where Shi attended Sheridan College's animation program. She earned a Pixar internship from Sheridan and directed Bao when she was 28. Will it bring home a fifth Pixar Oscar for Short Animation? (Yes, it did)
    https://www.cbc.ca/news/entertainment/canadian-female-pixar-short-shi-1.4603412
  • Bao Wins 5th short film Oscar for Pixar

    Bao Wins 5th short film Oscar for Pixar
    Domee Shi wins the Oscar for best animated short in 2019. She's the first woman to direct a short at Pixar (yup, since 1986) and the first solo female director to bring home the coveted statue.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5XvUOUwERk
  • Toy Story 4 Release

    Toy Story 4 Release
    Scheduled to be released June 20th, 2019.
    Directed by Josh Cooley. There is no sight of Andy in the film but teasers include Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key as ducky and bunny. Tom Hanks will be there, of course, and Bo Peep re-branded. The story picks up Bonnie and appears to follow chronologically from the last iteration on Toy Story.