Pixar

Pixar, in case you don't follow computeranimated movies, or have been hiding out in a cave on Saturn since the mid nineties, is the company responsible for your favourite movies. Yes they are.

Only a matter of time.

Just The Facts

  1. John Lasseter, VP of Pixar, was fired from Disney for suggesting that they use computeranimation, because it wasn't cheaper and faster than regular animation.
  2. John Lasseter has won two Oscars, has been nominated for four more, and is currently the chief creative director at both Pixar and Disney, and Principal Creative Advisor for Walt Disney Imagineering.
  3. Suck it Disney.

Cracked on Pixar

Once upon a time, there was a company called The Graphics Group. It was created as part of Lucasfilms. They made stuff like the Genesis effect in Star Trek II and similar early computer effects. But they were long gone by the Star Wars prequels, so you still don't have an excuse to hate them. In order to become better artists, they hired a recently fired Disney artist named John Lasseter. Back then, computer animated movies were stuff like "A ball bounces across the screen... The end" and "A square spins... That's it". Basically, what brought down the house at SIGGRAPH, which I gather is like the Sundance Festival for programming nerds, was what we today call a Screensaver.

Then Lasseter and his merry group of programmers, many of whom still work at Pixar, such as the freaking current president of the joint, Ed Catmull, made a little short called The Adventures of André and Wally B. It was a huge succes. The poor programming nerds had expected something like "Ball spins around" or "A Cylinder rolls across the screen", not an actual cartoon, and not one that revolutionized the business by inventing bendable shapes and teardrop shapes at that.

Then the company were sold by Lucas, whose divorce hearings were apparently precided over by a Star Wars fan who had travelled back in time from the far future of 1999, and bought by Steve Jobs, who had just been fired from his cozy job at Apple Computers. Freaking seriously. He made his own computer-making company, Pixar. Their flagline product was the Pixar Image Computer, and it was a huge succes. No, sorry, that was the wrong word. It was a gigantic flop. It was a high-end visualisation machine intended for markets like the medical community. It sold less that 300 in the four years it was made. Of course, it did cost 30.000 and Doctors were not trained to read CAT scan on computers and could get sued if they tried. Meanwhile, in another part of the building, the Animation group had apparently been hiding well, because they were still operating, making shorts for SIGGRAPH. Then, in 1988, they won an Oscar, and they were unable to hide anymore. Long story short, a year or two later, Disney signed a three picture deal with them, Pixar Computers were shut down and Pixar Animation was made a independent company, under leadership of Ed Catmull and with John Lasseter as VP and creative director.

And now, let us look at their feature films and their morals.

Toy Story: Based on the idea that your toys are sentient beings and they will have their vengeance for when you pulled the heads of your sisters Barbie dolls, you sick murderer!

A Bugs Life: Essentially The Seven Samurai and The Three Amigos, with insects. How do you feel about burning ants with a magnifying glass now?

Toy Story 2: What, you don't play with your toys? How do you think they feel about that?

Monsters Inc.: There are monsters in your closet, and at least some of them are evil.

Finding Nemo: So, we think that fish are pretty, do we. You monster.

The Incredibles: Being regular is hell.

Cars: Are you happy, people who drive the motorway? You are destroying small-town America. And right now you are encouraging Larry the Cableguy to continue his act.

Ratatouille: You don't want rats in your kitchen? You disgust me.

Wall-E: People are fat, lazy bastards.

Up: It is alright to wait six freakin' months between the US premiere and the europe premiere. So Cracked European Division haven't seen this one yet.

Alright, this might not be completely fair to Pixar. But it isn't completely fair that we have to wait months after the premiere to see Up, either, so I think that we are even.