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Top 10 Amazing Facts About Pixar

VO: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher
Even the biggest fans of the animation company may not know these facts. For this list, we’re looking at some of the most interesting little known facts about this much beloved animation film company. Our list includes Joss Whedon Worked on “Toy Story,” The Lamp Has a Name, It Was Originally Part of Lucasfilm, “Toy Story 2” Almost Never Was, A113 and more! Join MsMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Amazing Facts About the History of Pixar.
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Top 10 Amazing Facts About the History of Pixar


Even the biggest fans of the animation company may not know these facts. Welcome to MsMojo and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Amazing Facts About the History of Pixar.

For this list, we’re looking at some of the most interesting little known facts about this much beloved animation film company.

#10: They Produced Commercials


Before they were making multimillion dollar movies, Pixar needed a way to get their name out. So they worked for a variety of companies to create commercials for their brands. During a period of several years, they created ads for Levi’s, Tropicana, Lifesavers, and Listerine, just to name a few. You might even recognize some well known commercials from Pixar’s early days. What made these ads especially jarring at the time was that CG animation was still fairly new, which only helped to put Pixar on the map.

#9: Joss Whedon Worked on “Toy Story”


He may be better known for blockbusters like “The Avengers” and TV shows like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” but before that, he worked on Pixar’s first featurelength film. In the initial stages of drafting the story, the script looked very different from the final movie we’re all familiar with. Joss rewrote the exciting plotline and was key in reworking the character of Buzz. One aspect he didn’t get his way was havingm Barbie save Woody and Buzz from Sid. Sadly, Mattel wouldn’t allow the character to appear… until “Toy Story 2” that is. While we’re on the subject of big names, actress Rashida Jones is working as a writer on “Toy Story 4.”

#8: “Finding Nemo” Was an Easy Sell


Andrew Stanton had been involved at Pixar since the early days, working on “Toy Story,” “A Bug’s Life,” and “Monsters, Inc.” When he was pitching his latest movie idea to the head of the studio, John Lasseter, he prepared an exhaustive presentation complete with visuals, voice acting, and storyboarding. After going through the entire pitch, Lasseter reportedly told Stanton, “You had me at ‘fish.’” Considering the impressive quality of the visuals Pixar had created in the past, it can be presumed that Lasseter simply knew how stunning a fully underwater film would be.

#7: The Lamp Has a Name


In 1986, long before producing their first feature film, the animators at Pixar created this charming animated short. It ended up getting an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Short Film and was the first CGI creation to earn that honor. They went on to create many more short films in the following years, and have won that Best Animated Short Film Oscar a handful of times. “Luxo Jr.” is a story about two lamps, the smaller of which shares its name with the film itself. Luxo has gone on to become Pixar’s mascot and has appeared several times in Pixar created content.

#6: “Antz” & “A Bug's Life” Aren't a Coincidence


If you ever wondered how Pixar and DreamWorks both released ant-themed movies in 1998, we’re here to fill you in on the industry gossip. Jeffrey Katzenberg was a Disney chairman who had recently left the company due to a dispute with Michael Eisner and Roy E. Disney. He eventually founded DreamWorks SKG and the company’s first animated film was “Antz”. Considering Katzenberg’s knowledge of the already in the works Pixar project, later known as “A Bug’s Life,” the release was hotly contentious, with accusations of creative theft being thrown around. Though both films were critically well-received, “A Bug’s Life” earned much more in revenue despite the fact that “Antz” was fasttracked in order to come out first.

#5: The Disney/Pixar Deal Was Dependent on Bob Iger


In 1991, Pixar made a landmark deal with Walt Disney Feature Animation for three computer-animated films. For years, the two companies worked separately and even had some significant conflicts over the direction of their collaborative films. In 2006, however, a deal was made where Disney acquired Pixar for $7.4 billion. After the fact, it was revealed that then-CEO Bob Iger was the driving force behind the decision. He was at a parade at Hong Kong Disneyland when he realized that all of the characters present were either from old Disney movies or Pixar movies, showing that Pixar was the reason they had been successful in recent years.

#4: It Was Originally Part of Lucasfilm


While most people know about Pixar’s affiliation with Disney, their history before partnering with the company is less well known. Pixar actually had its beginnings in 1974, long before the name “Pixar” even existed. In 1979, it became the Graphics Group, a part of Lucasfilm, which produced the “Star Wars” movies. In 1986, it became a company in its own right and was purchased by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs for $5 million. Jobs invested much of his personal funds into Pixar during the same time that he was having conflict with Apple. It was his success with Pixar in fact that re-solidified his relationship with the company that would make him famous.

#3: “Toy Story 2” Almost Never Was


Initially, “Toy Story 2” was going to be a straight to home media release. During the time of its creation, the Pixar heavy hitters were all invested in “A Bug’s Life,” but it was eventually upgraded to be a full feature film. In 1998 when the team had already been developing the film for two years, an employee accidentally deleted almost all the work that had been done on the animation. It turns out the backups had failed as well. The only thing that saved “Toy Story 2” was that Galyn Susman, who had been working from home because she had recently given birth, had a backup of all the files on her home computer.

#2: A113


If you’re a serious Pixar fan, you may have noticed this Easter Egg that is present in almost every film the company has created. The history behind this oft seen figure is that it was the classroom number in which students took subject animation classes at the California Institute of the Arts where many Pixar employees got their start. A113 can be seen in various grades of prominence in “Toy Story,” “A Bug’s Life,” and many more. It has been a license plate number, a forbidden code, a room number, and even appeared in Roman numerals in “Brave.”

#1: The Pixar Theory


Have you ever considered the possibility that all the Pixar movies actually exist in the same universe? This theory originated back in 2012 in a video made by Cracked.com, but has since been expanded on by various sources. It would take an entire video of its own to explain the intricacies of this theory, but a highlight involves Boo from “Monsters, Inc.” creating a time loop and existing as the witch from “Brave.” If you’re not intrigued now, you will be when you read through a timeline of this alleged alternative universe.
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