Backed by Steve Jobs and powered by a team of innovative individuals, Pixar achieved plenty of praise for its initial projects, including an Oscar for the short, Tin Toy. Despite its critical approval, the studio struggled financially and teetered on the brink of bankruptcy until Disney swooped in and made them a deal. They offered economic stability to the fledgling company in return for three computer animated productions.
Toy Story Trouble
The world’s first feature length film solely using computer animation had a tough start to life, with John Lasseter directing Toy Story under the supervision of Disney amidst a veil of bureaucracy and a storm of creative disputes. The result was a disastrous shambles of a film, with the project immediately cancelled after first viewing. Unnerved, the Pixar team retreated to adapt the script without observation and presented the new treatment three months after Disney pulled production. They decided to run with it, although hopes were not high for the movie’s success. The rest, as they say, is history. Toy Story was a box office smash like no other, grossing almost 200 million dollars in the US alone and wowing audiences across the planet with its spectacular animation and heartfelt story.
Partners in Crime
Pixar went on to create an array of mesmerising titles, from Monsters, Inc. to Finding Nemo, whilst Disney appeared to be slowing down somewhat, plagued by the same bureaucracy that threatened to derail Toy Story. A bold suggestion to merge the two animation giants was proposed by Disney and in 2006 they purchased Pixar for almost 7.5 billion dollars, which resulted in Steve Jobs becoming Disney’s largest individual shareholder. The union ensured Disney Pixar’s status as the premier animation company, producing a series of classics adored by kids and adults the world over.