The Pixar Touch is a lively chronicle of Pixar Animation Studios' history and evolution, and the "fraternity of geeks" who shaped it. With the help of visionary businessman Steve Jobs and animating genius John Lasseter, Pixar has become the gold standard of animated filmmaking, beginning with a short special effects shot made at Lucasfilm in 1982 all the way up through the landmark films Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Wall-E, and others.
David A. Price goes behind the scenes of the corporate feuds between Lasseter and his former champion, Jeffrey Katzenberg, as well as between Steve Jobs and Michael Eisner. And finally he explores Pixar's complex relationship with the Walt Disney Company as it transformed itself into the $7.4 billion jewel in the Disney crown.
©2008 David A. Price; (P)2008 Tantor
I enjoyed this book from beginning to end. I am a Computer Engineer by profession and so I couldn't get enough of the history of computer graphics at Pixar. More than a story of a company, this is the story of a collection of some of the greatest technical minds in graphics at the time who just happened to want to make films.
A must read for anyone in a technical field.
Although I was expecting more analysis of each film in relation to the history of the company, the overall content was presented with authority and frankness. The ending of the audiobook, however, seemed too quick without much of a conclusion. Details of Steve Jobs' struggle to keep Pixar during his lean years was of most value, as was the way Jobs' orchestrated the IPO of Pixar with flair for maximum value. All in all, a valuable listen.
If you want to know what personal events lie in the history of all the major players that contribute to Pixar's culture, both friend and foe, this is the book for you. It goes into many backstories of the Disney Feature Animation Studios, Apple Computer, Industrial Light & Magic and other such behemoths because they're all very relevant to shaping Pixar. I already knew much of this general story before reading, but I learned sooooo much more and found every chapter enlightening and reflective. I ended up buying this book as a gift for a fellow artist, I couldn't stop talking about it to him.
In short, if you enjoyed the Pixar Story on the WALL-E DVD, you'll find this even more delicious and much more detailed.
The book works through the details of how Pixar got it's start, the key people, the key funders, and then goes through the movies and how they got their start. It's well written, well read, and boring. Don't get me wrong, if you're an Apple fan boy and love all things Jobs you'll like this book.
I wanted to know why of all the failed computer graphics companies who this one made it. I was more interested in how company culture, or what decision were made that helped the company survive. Somehow the top managers convinces some pretty rich people to keep Pixar alive and pour money into it. They managed to keep people working for the sheer joy of working, etc. It's touched on briefly, but that's it. All in all a good documentation on the growth of Pixar, but that's all it.
Say something about yourself!
I loved the description of the rise of Lassitter and Pixar, but as they got into the individual movies after Toy Story 2, it felt like they were just skimming the subject material. I wish they would have gone into more depth about the later films.
And I wish the book covered the period that included the development of Cars 2, and what caused Pixar to release such a bad, bad, bad film. I guess I'll have to wait for a sequel.
Very entertaining book on the evolution of Pixar. Excellent historical research on the pioneers of computer animation as well. One negative...author spends a lot of time explaining the plot on some of the Pixar movies.
David Price has given us a current history of Pixar Animation Studios. This book will let listeners in on the technology allowing computer-aided animation which we are coming to enjoy in the theaters. It tells the stories of the back room deals, conflict between geeks and business people, financial maneuvering, and corporate feuds that tracked the growth of Pixar. The book is well written and well read. It will inform the technologically oriented and bring the novice up to speed on the industry.
Retired Political Science professor from a community college. Especially like Legal Thrillers.
It is not the type of book that warrants another listen. I have listened to books about Google, Apple, and Amazon and this account fits well with the other corporate histories.
Not only was the book a history of Pixar, it was also a history of computer animation and the problems that had to be overcome.
The book does not consist of scenes.
Some great characters in animation. It would have been nice to see visual examples of some of the technical problems and how they we're overcome.
The author spent considerable time discussing some of Pixar's greatest hits, such as Toy Story, Finding anemone, and Cars.
I found this book most interesting when it went into details about the making of Pixar's best films. Most of the specifics are about Toy Story, and the other films unfortunately get much less time. Most of the book is about how the company got started and stayed afloat and it's partnership with Disney, which will be of most interest to those curious about the 3D, tech, and film industries. But mercifully it does not get bogged down with excessive details about business deals and court proceedings like some company biographies do, so it moves along and remains entertaining throughout.
Computer graphics enthusiasts may not learn many tricks of the trade from this book, but it does get specific about who invented and developed a lot of the modeling, shading, and lighting techniques that we still use today. So it was more technical than I expected. Though it does emphasize the importance of story over technical achievement, which is a key aspect of Pixar's success.
David Drummond is a narrator I enjoy and he was part of the reason I bought this book. He did an excellent job.
IT Manager and life long learner
The story of Pixar's writings is almost too strange to believe. A hardware company saved by a financial in flow of capital lifeblood from Jobs as he was having his Apple ripped from his control that evolved into to cutting edge digital animation pioneer that has created an empire and endeared the hearts of generations of children. The artistic roots run deep to the grand old masters of Disney's past but the roots are nourished with the blood sweet and tears of the new generation of story tellers and artists armed with their evolving digital tool set.
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