Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pixar celebrates 25 years!

One of the most expected shows of 2011’s Anima Mundi was the 25 years retrospective of the biggest animation studio in the world, Pixar! The Pixar’s animation movies have been part of children and adults life all over the globe for the past one-fourth century. This special session not only represents the history of this important studio, but also shows us the growing process of the digital animation industry itself.

Pixar is an animation studio specialized in high technology for computer graphics. They not only do the animations, but also create the computer tools to develop then. There was a time , thought, where this balance did not exist. Initially, the company belonged to George Lucas, famous for the Star War saga. Lucas was far more interested in creating new computer graphics technologies that he could sell for big studios, such as Disney. For a long time, the company developed only computer programs. The sails weren’t taking of, so a few employees saw an opportunity to start doing what they loved the most: animation. John Lasseter was one of then. Graduated in Cal Arts, his biggest dream was to be able to develop animation through the computer. He found a way to do animated movies, without disobeying his boss: the first short film, Luxo Jr. was a great prototype to be showed for potential buyers.

In 1986 the company was bought by no one less than Steve Jobs and it was renamed after Pixar, a neologism that refers to the action of putting pixels. But not even the owner of Apple could help the company increasing the profits. Maybe because he was try to earn money with the wrong product, as the animation movies were still not consider commercially interesting. In 1991, the company was almost sold, because Jobs was spending too much money on it. Things started to change when they arranged a twenty-six million dollar contract with Disney to produce three animated feature movies. Toy Story, the first of its kind, was launched in 1995, setting the date were Pixar would start to become the giant it is now, winner of Oscars, Grammys and Globe Award. With the success of Toy Story, the doors for computer animations were opened forever and the industry started growing fast. We can see that Pixar is not only another company. It origins carries the very first seed of the dream of developing a computers graphic animation industry and with the stubborn of their employees this dream was turned into a fantastical reality.

The fourteen short movies in the Anima Mundi’s show allow you to take a dip in beautiful childhood memories. We brought films right from the beginning, such as Luxo Jr., the first episode of the life of the little lamp that became Pixar’s symbol, and the company’s first Oscar winner movie, Red’s Dream. The show comes also with some recent productions, like Day and Night. The short movie was produced in 2010 and was distributed to be exhibit just before Toy Story 3 in cinema rooms all over the world. The film is different from everything the company has done before, especially because of the mixing of 2D and 3D animation. Even when they are not using the most advanced technologies available, Pixar stills incredible. But the great surprise is that we brought two new films, never exhibit before: Hawaiian Vacation, a hilarious episode of Ken and Barbie’s frustrated holidays, and the beautiful and delicate La Luna, about the first steps of a little boy towards his adult life. Pixar’s movies continue to enchant kids and adults with its stories and we hope it will stay like this for another one-fourth century. When the time comes, I bet they will be doing 4D films!

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