The Pixar Touch
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The Pixar Touch

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  1,408 ratings  ·  185 reviews

The roller-coaster rags-to-riches story behind the phenomenal success of Pixar Animation Studios, and the first in-depth look at the company that forever changed the film industry and the "fraternity of geeks" who shaped it.

Audio CD, 0 pages
Published July 1st 2008 by Tantor Media, Inc. (first published 2008)
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David
This was a fascinating story. The company called Pixar made it big by being the pioneer in computer animation, replacing the "old-style" hand-drawn animation techniques of the Disney tradition. But it was a long, painful process to get to "fame and fortune." The book includes some early history of computer development, the gradual evolution of graphics hardware and rendering software, and the persistent and painstaking efforts that led to sophisticated computer animation. We meet the key persona...more
Benjamin
Honestly, this is probably a four star book but I have a bit of a soft spot if not just an immense amount of respect for Pixar as a company and (nearly all of) their movies (I'm looking at your, Cars...). The Pixar Touch is a very nice getting-to-know-you type of book, going through all of Pixar's history in less than three hundred pages. Of course the entire story can be summarized by mentions of Pixar software/hardware, Steve Jobs, and Disney drama.

Nevertheless, Price manages to expand on all...more
Michael Scott
The Pixar Touch tells the story of the establishment of Pixar as the leading 3D computer animation company. Sure enough, Price gives us a vivid account of the grinding and growth of what essentially is the success of a garage company (albeit an academic garage). We are told how Pixar started as an imaging branch of Lucasfilm, went on as a hardware company, awed at SIGGRAPH for years, and only later could focus on making feature animated movies. We get to learn about the process that led to the f...more
Judy
I really enjoyed the beginning of this book and was especially intrigued by the role the University of Utah (my alma mater) played in the earliest developments in computer animation. However, I have to confess I got a bit bored during the descriptions of one technological development after another, and then by the in-depth description of all the politics and feuds in the Disney and Pixar worlds. That was followed by details of the plot development of eight or nine Pixar films. Yawn. Still, the m...more
Faz
In Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs, there's a picture of Jobs with John Lasseter. They were both laughing (as people normally do in pictures that are featured in biographies) & the caption reads "With John Lasseter, August 1997. His cherubic face & demeanor masked an artistic perfectionism that rivaled that of Jobs." Chapter 22 of that book talked about Pixar, from the point where Lasseter & his team had had the first half of Toy Story ready to screen by November 1993. The...more
Gijs Grob
'The Pixar Touch' describes the development of the successful animation studio, from its humble beginnings as a dream of a bunch of visionary computer science students to its assimilation within the Disney Company in 2006, when somehow things became full circle for Pixar (this last chapter is titled 'homecoming' for obvious reasons).

Price goes at lengths to delve into the deep past, rendering the origins of Pixar's key players, Ed Catmull, Alvy Ray Smith and John Lasseter. It takes a long time b...more
Davis
Interesting history of Pixar's turbulent beginnings. The Pixar founders just wanted to make computer animated entertainment. But to keep the financing going, they had to masquarade as a hardware/software company for Lucasfilm and then later for Steve Jobs, who purchased Pixar for a mere $5 million from Lucasfilm. It's amazing how none of the financial backers (George Lucas & Steven Jobs) or potential buyer (Disney/Eisner/Jeffery Katzenberg) never saw the creative potential of Pixar. It's saf...more
Christopher Litsinger
If you are enough of a Pixar fan to watch the movies with the director's commentary, most of this will seem familiar.
One interesting omission comes early on in the book when discussing the failure of the first Toy Story script: Price does not mention Katzenberg's pushing for more "edge" which is well covered in the Jobs biography, and seems central to the story to me. This kept me from fully "trusting" the book.
Perhaps the most interesting bit for me was the description of The Incredibles charac...more
Alice
The Pixar Touch is a fascinating story of Pixar, from its humble beginnings in a garage to the animation powerhouse. The author deftly weaves together strands from business and corporate intrigue (Roy Disney vs. Michael Eisner! Disney vs. DreamWorks!), the history of computer animation and technology, and the personal stories of the major players in the history of Pixar. The book deepened my appreciation of the technical wizardry of the Pixar films and my admiration for the company. It's a quick...more
Jordan Goode
Pixar Animation Studios is a household name for most people these days. Even if the company's name doesn't ring a bell, you are almost certainly aware of some of their films. Toy Story, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, UP, and Wall-E are but a few of the successful movies that the company has brought us. While you may think that a company with a list like that was born just to churn out critically adored animated features, you would be wrong. Pixar had a long and difficult path to becoming what it...more
Charles Liu


A truly comprehensive journey through the history of Pixar. I thoroughly enjoyed John Lasseter's involvement in Pixar for leading the creative process. It allowed me to appreciate the films, knowing the background information.
Bookaholic
Pixar, un mic studio de animaţie, parte din Lucasfilm începând din 1979 şi înfiinţat de un grup de graficieni a căror viziune era cu mult înaintea timpului lor, s-a străduit multă vreme să-şi impună noua viziune asupra graficii computerizate. Nici în 1986, când a fost achiziţionat de Steve Jobs, perspectivele nu erau prea promiţătoare, căci direcţia pe care Jobs voia să pună accent, cea de dezvoltare de hardware, nu reprezenta cu adevărat menirea Pixar. A fost nevoie de încă douăzeci de ani, cân...more
Tania
Interesting book not only of the history of the computer animation in movies, but of computer graphics in general. Some interesting tidbits from the book include that when Steve Jobs first invested in Pixar he saw it as a hardware company, and that everybody would be rendering 3D graphics at their desktops as everyday tasks. There was also a point during the production of Toy Story that he shopped Pixar around to try to offload it, and nobody was interested, including Bill Gates and Larry Elliso...more
Jeff
If you've read the Steve Jobs book, this is a good follow-up. I've admired the vision of John Lasseter ever since seeing him give a tour of the Pixar studios in the bonus material of the Monsters, Inc. DVD. What I liked most about this book is the back story of the creative process of Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc., and other Pixar films. It sometimes got bogged down in technical details but I'm sure a book like this must dive into that for folks who understand that world.

A few takeaway...more
Simon
At first I thought this book would be as entertaining and humorous as "The Accidental Billionaires", I quickly realized that wasn't going to happen. The book became long and boring and I thought it would take forever. I wanted to just stop reading and give up on the book all together several times, but I kept with my personal self and read the whole thing. i did it, and I'm proud of myself for it.

The book wasn't easy, but it did get better. After the boring stuff about computers and stuff, I fi...more
Daniel Solera
The Pixar Touch, by David Price

I basically picked this one up because I believe that Pixar can do no wrong. How many large, ultra-profitable production studios are out there that consistently churn out beautiful stories of amazing depth and, to the joy of hollywood bigwigs, insane marketability? Very few. I can name a few that have one or the other, but a perfect track record for both?

So it was in pursuit of the answer to that question that I decided to read this book, which is by and large (tha...more
Ryan
I think anyone who's a fan of Pixar's films and computer graphics in general will enjoy this well-researched, readable book. Price begins in the 1970s with the backstories of the company's key members, and proceeds forward, providing an engaging condensed history of computer graphics and animation along the way (which might bore non-technical readers). We learn about Pixar's early days trying to find its way as a subsidiary of Lucasfilm, and its struggles to stay afloat after being purchased by...more
James
A hard journalism "biography" of Pixar upto 2007. This is as up to minute as you can get for this book. The story tracks the company from its origins at the University of Utah, to the NY Institute of Technology, to LucasFilm, to Jobs, and ultimately Disney. We are lead through the creative struggles and business fights over Toy Story, and then subsequent dramas with Eisner and Katzenberg. This is a riveting and informative walk through the history of the most storied movie studio of the last 15...more
David Glad
Excellent look into the history of Pixar up until its merger with Disney. (Fun fact, as I knew before was shortsighted and cheap*** Disney execs thought paying $16 million for Pixar in the 80s was too much but thought paying $7.6 billion in 2000s was a fair price for the business.)

Also was a nice glimpse at trying to give creators the freedom to create while hoping for essentially a wealthy benefactor to fund the business until the results (financially speaking) can be seen. Along with brief men...more
Douglas Hancock
I saw this book on the shelf at 1/2 Price Books a few months ago and decided to check it out. As a movie buff, especially Pixar movies, I thought that I would enjoy reading about the beginnings and the behind the scenes of Pixar. The author, David Price, does an excellent job of giving the reader a large amount of info without ever making it boring. I actually wished the book covered more of Pixar's history. (The book was published in 2007 so maybe there will be an updated edition some time down...more
Eoghann Irving
As a fan of pretty much every movie that Pixar has ever made and as someone who remembers being impressed by their early animated shorts when I saw them years ago, I was obviously eager to read all about the founding of the company.

So the early chapters of this book are great since the cover the pre-Pixar years as the company founders move from company to company building their knowledge and skills. It's really just as much a history of computer modeling as it is of Pixar.

The middle chapters tha...more
Jeremy Osborn
Although I've always loved Pixar movies, animation has been a spectator sport, I've never created or worked on animated pieces. However, this book was fascinating, especially the first half, as it details the rise of the Pixar company and brand. It's obviously very well researched and features lots of behind the scenes details and insights on the key players at Pixar: Steve Jobs, John Lasseter, George Lucas, Michael Eisner,and more.

This is more of a "business" book than a creative one I suppose,...more
Raza Syed
Having read a reasonable number of Apple and Disney corporate histories over the years, I found myself largely familiar with author David A. Price's documentation of Pixar's story-so-far, given the digital animation studio's longstanding residence at the intersection of the aforementioned companies' millennial trajectories. This familiarity lends a warmed-over air to Price's account, an impression exacerbated by the obvious fact that the author didn't have direct access to most of the story's ma...more
Craig
Starting this book, I thought it was going to be more about the movies and all the positive parts about the relationship with Disney and where the company plans to go in the near future.

What I actually got was a background on the development of computer animation and the history of John Lasseter. The unlikely story of a group of animation fanatics working together first at New York institue of technology, to Lucas Film, to having Steve Jobs purchase the company,and finally its interesting relati...more
Yune
I'm actually not the biggest Pixar fan -- I thought Toy Story was all right, never saw Cars, but adore Ratatouille -- but picked this up on a whim. As leery as I am of outsider descriptions of company doings (I've seen too many inaccurate news stories), I found this book -- what I'd call a biography of Pixar -- a well put-together read. It covers the founder's foray into computer science after he gave up on becoming an animator because of a lack of drawing skills; how he joined Lucasfilm; the Co...more
Justin Provost
Interesting and inspiring, The Pixar Touch tells the story of the founders of Pixar and their struggle to break technological barriers while building and maintaining an artistic image.

It is not the story I had expected when starting this book. Sure, I knew the company had struggled and I know that they now have an unheard of amount of artistic control over their productions. This is what makes them so successful and so critically acclaimed: they don't make compromises when it comes to their art....more
Irene
The first half of this book is filled with technical details on the development of the animation process and political details on the silly rich men in charge.

Once the book got to story development, I was much more interested. I liked hearing how the plots evolved. Hearing the technical bits in the context of story was fascinating. If the entire book had been the story of their stories, I think I would have loved it. However, most of this book is a story of in-fighting. Pixar employees were con...more
getAbstract
Astonishing history of an extraordinary company

This copiously researched, vivid account covers the rise of one of the world’s most successful entertainment companies. Experienced journalist David A. Price fills Pixar’s history with implied lessons about patience in management and running a creative company, but he doesn’t seem much interested in writing a how-to business book, so he sticks to the historic narrative and draws few conclusions. Notably, Price, whose education is in computer science...more
Leticia
I loved Reading about the making of these movies we all watched and enjoyed - the creation of Toy Story, the law suit that almost kept Monsters, Inc. from being released, the struggle that it was to align passion and Money and Mr. Jobs difficult personality. I just didn't love it more because the technical aspects were described somewhat at lenght, and my mind started wondering. Even then, I think David Price did a great job.
Krissy
Now you all know what a geek I am! I enjoyed this audiobook quite a lot. It was very interesting to learn more about how computer animation came to be. The dedicated computer scientists and animators who wanted only to make computer animated movies had to wait and work for about two decades for the technology to catch up with their vision.

Go back and watch Toy Story again and you'll notice how far they've come in the last 20 years, as they continue to push the envelope and create better technolo...more
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