THE PIXAR TOUCH: THE MAKING OF A COMPANY
Quality: * * * * Acceptability: +4
WRITER: David A. Price
DISTRIBUTOR: Alfred A. Knopf Publishers
CONTENT: (BBB Very moral worldview; and, nothing objectionable.
GENRE: Non-Fiction Corporate History
REVIEWER: Dr. Ted Baehr
David A. Price’s book THE PIXAR TOUCH: THE MAKING OF A COMPANY is fascinating reading. It traces the history of Pixar way back to the 1970’s, when a team of brilliant technological visionaries were brought together at the New York Institute of Technology to start developing technology for computer animation.
David notes on page 27 of THE PIXAR TOUCH that I knew the team who would become Pixar in 1977, and reflected to him that, “From the very get-go, they were working toward the point where they could be Disney.” He also notes that I told them at that time that they needed to “think about plot and story, and telling stories,” and it took years for them to get to that point of understanding what story really meant. At first, they just wanted to make an animated movie.
One of the great assets to their emerging company was bringing John Lasseter on board, who took all of the technological vision and added a Disney trained perspective toward telling stories through animation. Their first film, TOY STORY, in 1995 almost 20 years after they first got together, was a tremendous success. Today, Pixar is not only the most trusted name in filmmaking, but also has had more successful films than any other studio per release. They are batting 1000.
That said, this book is not just a cursory look at Pixar, it is an exciting, dramatic tale of the struggles, the heartbreak, the battles and finally the victories. The Pixar Team had to do battle with George Lucas, Alexander Schure, Steven Jobs, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Michael Eisner, and a host of others. Through it all, they kept their vision, their heart and their soul.
Pixar truly is a model of a great company, to which I can personally attest from having known some of them since the 1970’s. The behind the scenes hero is Ed Catmull, who has headed Pixar for all these years.
If any one wants to know how to make a great movie, or develop a great company, they should read THE PIXAR TOUCH: THE MAKING OF A COMPANY. If they just want great reading, they should do the same.
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