|Acquired by||The Walt Disney Company|
|Description||Computer Animation Studio|
A CGI Animation Company. Pixar began as the computer graphics project of the Computer Division at Lucasfilm Ltd, created in 1979. The Computer Division was led by Ed Catmull and the graphics project (soon called Pixar) was run by Alvy Ray Smith. Pixar was a hardware company developing highend image processing tools - in particular the Pixar 2D Frame Buffer. In 1984 they hired John Lasseter to help them produce their first animated film, primarily to demonstrate the power of their hardware. Over the years Lasseter created more animated shorts to demonstrate the Pixar, in 1986 creating Luxo Jr. Pixar was spun out of Lucasfilm and was purchased by Steve Jobs in 1986, at which point it became an independent company, although still a hardware company, and run by Ed Catmull and Alvy Ray Smith. Failing to grow the hardware business, they became increasingly dependent on revenue from their animated projects, first doing commercials. Eventually they made a deal with Disney to produce the first full-length feature film entirely in CG. Jobs was not very focused on Pixar, and was trying to sell it in the early 90s. But on the strength of early viewings of Toy Story, he instead took Pixar public. The rest is history.
Pixar was acquired by The Walt Disney Company in 2006, making Jobs the largest shareowner in Disney.