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A great history of Pixar before 'Toy Story'
on August 22, 2016
'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 before the name Pixar drops by, and a large part of these chapters is more about computer development than about animation, but because of this it's all the more exciting. Price makes clear that the vision of a computer animated feature film originated very early, long before it was possible to realize. He clearly describes the erratic paths Catmull, Smith and Lasseter had to take to fulfill their dreams. He also manages to paint a vivid picture of the primitive yet exciting years of early computer development.
Surprisingly, the book becomes less exciting when describing the events after the release of 'Toy Story' (1995), when Pixar is on a more or less continuous winning streak. Price manages to present some interesting facts around 'A Bug's Life', 'Monsters, Inc.' and such, but he describes the subject of animation less well than company history. In all, 'The Pixar Touch' is more about its subtitle 'the making of a company' than about Pixar animation itself. But that's no problem at all, because the result is a very interesting read into the origin and development of the most innovative animation studio since Walt Disney.