10 things you didn't know about Pixar Animation Studios

Mike P Williams
16 June 2013

It's easy to see the wonderful achievements Pixar Animation Studios have created on screen, but what about their antics off it? They've won numerous awards (including regular Oscars) and have broken Box Office records along with way, but what about the things we don't hear about? How did they start out? Who comes up with the great ideas? Where do they do it? Here is a compilation of 10 things that've gone on behind the scenes you might not have been aware of.

Fact 1: Since 1995's 'Toy Story', computers have advanced somewhat. Their 2006 effort, 'Cars', used technology that was an incredible 1,000 times faster than that of their debut.

Fact 2: In 2003's hit 'Monsters Inc.', an astonishing 2,320,413 hairs were created to craft the fur of the film's lead Sulley.

Fact 3: 'Finding Nemo' is the number one bestselling home release of all time, shifting more than 40 million copies on DVD. The previous record stood at 14 million. 'Finding Nemo' sold eight million on its first day of release.

Fact 4: Since hiring John Ratzenberger as the voice of Hamm for 'Toy Story', they've used him in every single one of their subsequent movies and is regarded as their lucky charm.

Fact 5: In its early days, the company used to be a hardware firm catering for American government agencies within the medical profession. The technology they were using was apparently ahead of its time, and didn't prove successful in this sector. John Lasseter made the bold switch, after creating adverts, to begin work as a film animation studio.

Fact 6: The name Pixar isn't an acronym as some believe. It actually derives from a fictitious Spanish word meaning "to make pixels" or "to make pictures".

Fact 7: It was in fact George Lucas and not Steve Jobs that initially created Pixar. The company began in the late 70s as part of the Lucas Arts empire. Jobs subsequently stepped in 1986, paid $5 million for total ownership, and built it from there. The company sold to Disney in 2006 for a staggering $7.4 billion.

Fact 8: As of 2010, their 'Cars' franchise had made a whopping $10 billion for its merchandise, which is more than the entire Pixar film catalogue have grossed collectively.

Fact 9: Over a single lunch one afternoon way back in 1994, 'A Bug's Life, 'Monsters Inc.', 'Finding Nemo' and 'WALL•E' were all conceived.

Fact 10: In order to inspire creativity and a positive working environment, the staff at Pixar were encouraged to completely design their own office space. It clearly worked!

Were you aware of any of these interesting facts about Pixar Animation Studios?

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