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To Pixar and Beyond  By  cover art

To Pixar and Beyond

By: Lawrence Levy
Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
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Publisher's Summary

One day in November 1994, Lawrence Levy received a phone call out of the blue from Steve Jobs, whom he'd never met, offering him a job running Pixar, a little-known company that had already lost Jobs $50 million.

With Pixar's prospects looking bleak, it was with some trepidation that Levy accepted the position. After a few weeks he discovered that the situation was even worse than he'd imagined. Pixar's advertising division just about broke even, its graphics software had few customers, its short films didn't make any money and, on top of all that, Jobs was pushing to take the company public. Everything was riding on the studio's first feature film, codenamed Toy Story, and even then it would have to be one of the most successful animated features of all time....

Full of wisdom on bringing business and creativity together, and recounting the touching story of Levy's enduring friendship with Jobs, To Pixar and Beyond is a fascinating insider's account of one of Hollywood's greatest success stories.

©2017 Lawrence Levy (P)2016 Audiobooks.com Publishing

Critic Reviews

"This book, like Pixar's story, is truly remarkable." ( E&T Magazine)
"A magnifying glass held to the small print that is needed to make magic." ( The Sunday Times)
"A charming, upbeat tale...much like one of the studio's own animated features." ( Financial Times)

What listeners say about To Pixar and Beyond

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Profile Image for Rus Clark
  • Rus Clark
  • 10-15-17

Pixellent!

I don’t normally write reviews unless something really moves me to do so.

I have been a fan of Pixar ever since I saw Luxo Jnr featured on a Children’s animation show when I was about 8 years old, this was then followed by Tin Toy and then Knick Knack. These pictures I was seeing and the characters involved left a mark on me that I would never forget.

When I found this audio book I was taken back to how I felt when I was a kid but at the same time very much in the present as both a business owner and techie. No matter whether I was listening as an adult or as the child in me this story fascinated me on all levels. Hearing how Woody, Buzz and all the rest of the Pixar cast went from a sketch to being alive and making us fall in love with them was an amazing tale.

This book is beautifully balanced between business and pleasure and I cannot rate it enough. It is ok to dream and believe that anything is possible and this book proves that.


4 people found this helpful

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  • MR K R MARSH
  • 03-01-20

Not quite what I expected..

Ahhhhh.....this isn’t what I had hoped for. This is not a story of creativity, technology, story telling and animation. It’s a business discussion, as told from an accountants perspective.

Yes, it’s an interesting insight into the emergence of Pixar as a unique and global success but it’s more about the numbers than the films.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Ducarta
  • 12-07-18

Somehow I knew it would be great.

I finished this in just under 2 days. It was such a intriguing ride through the history of Pixar and I've come away with x10 more respect for the company and Steve Jobs.

From an avid android user, entrepreneur and storyteller.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Joe Plewis
  • 11-24-22

How this Company became what it is today.

An interesting look at the beginnings of a company that is now a household name from the inside. As it's written by a CFO it's a little heavy on the figures but still an interesting listen to see how this company became the success it is today.

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  • Jahren Stacey
  • 08-05-22

A refreshing and inspiring memoir

A great listen for all dreamers, visionaries and hard workers. Nuggets of inspiration, wisdom and history. I grew up watching all the films pixar brought to life, but never knew the story behind the work. Recommend highly.

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  • Isuru Wijewardene
  • 04-28-22

An exhilarating business and life journey!

The story itself and the lessons learnt of business, strategy and also life lessons are priceless! The narration is one of the best I've heard! Absolutely recommended for any avid student of business, strategy, philosophy and life in general!

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  • Salsera :-)
  • 04-21-22

A page turner :-) Insights from Pixar’s CFO

Loved the book. Amazing insights from Pixar’s CFO’s perspective - mentions of Steve Jobbs, aplenty of course :-)

By the time most of us heard of it, it seemed like Pixar was an overnight success but it was anything but! The book is well worth it and I finished it in under a week!!

Very well read. It would be nice if the publisher included chapter headings, which the narrator does read out at the start of each chapter.

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  • Sean
  • 07-27-21

Incredible.

One of the best books I’ve ever listened to. Loved it so much. Thank you Lawrence for creating it.

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  • Bryan
  • 07-23-21

Great book that tails off on the end

The first 90% of this book was amazing- had to 2X the speed to finish it though.

Highly recommend if you are interested in business relationships or the inner workings of how small companies grow into massive and

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  • Nabeel Ahmed Khan
  • 03-15-21

Sublime

Great insight into Pixar. Coming off the back of Creativity Inc this is another amazing look into the Pixar story but specifically Steve's role.

Before these two books I hadn't quite realised he was connected to them. I also particularly enjoyed hearing about another side of him, a more human side.

The narrator conveyed the emotions well and not once was he monotonous in his story telling.

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  • Looshbaby
  • 06-22-21

The Business Of Creativity

I really enjoyed this book, although I would have liked to have heard a little bit more about the creative process, but this is a book about the business side. I was pretty captivated by the story despite it taking a long time to reach the pivotal central moment. Do not expect movie characters and story plots, this is about the money, the legal issues, and battles to succeed.

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  • NIALL
  • 02-27-21

Pixar section is fascinating

Insightful 1st part.
Skipped the post Pixar section as it's not my cup of tea.
Gives a nice human side to Steve Jobs

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  • JPD
  • 01-14-21

Enjoyable book and story

Enjoyable story about Pixar and the great rise of the company written by someone involved in all aspects of the business. Worth the purchase and time to listen

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  • David
  • 03-24-20

A moving reflection on a culture changing company.

It is a humble and touching reflection on Levy’s time in a company that clearly touch his life as much as he helped them. Filled with nostalgia about the times of Pixar it holds plenty of awe about the early stages of the company and how fortunate it is to even exist. He brings it all together in a brief but thought provoking reflection on his spiritual journey. A book I am sure to go back to.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-31-19

A really interesting read.

A great journey into the world of silicon valley and Steve Jobs. Entertaining and fun.

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  • Dan Treasure
  • 11-25-19

Great story but...

Great story about the journey but I feel like it was a little lite on detail about the challenges the company went through to finally reach success. I still enjoyed the book - the reader was excellent at showing emotion throughout.

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  • W*BvK
  • 09-01-19

Thoroughly Enjoyed Listing To...Well, good luck.'

When I first started listening to "To Pixar and Beyond", I had hoped I was listening to an in-depth management outline by Lawrence Levy, the man who turned Pixar around and help make it the icon we know and love today.

I then thought the word "Fluff" but as I listened I became engrossed and listened to the whole book within a few days and feel I have lost a friend at the end of it. Although, light, LL goes over the essential changes that he and others made that changed a great company into a powerhouse in innovation. I smiled when LL spoke about the Pixar / Disney logos having to be exactly the same size. I had gone through exactly the same situation with a world power company and Cudos for the credits. I appreciated that innovation. I run a small group of companies and like Levy have recently launched a new company that is Responsible Fairtrade that embraces Buddhist principles ( i am a devote Christian but know Jesus and Buddha would have been "Great Buds" if they meet.). Kudos LL.

The book makes light of the IPO but I read a greater strategy in this section. Using Toy Story success as a launching pad to gain market value and independence. I would love to know more in-depth information about this. Jim Morris is a laser light for Disney and LL and SJ are extremely lucky to have had him at the helm.

It is now my objective to study, the culture of Pixar and hopefully adopt at least some of it into my companies.
Well done young LL
I appreciate your book,
Highly recommended.
Now for Creative Inc and the Harvard Business Review on Pixar, when a company is studied and then published in the HBR you know it is special.......


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  • colin m west
  • 08-30-19

Truly a great book!

I thoroughly enjoyed this account of the Pixar business and it’s trials and tribulations as it pressed forward following a challenging path which eventually led to its outstanding success.

The story is told in an unassuming style providing a unique view of the many hurdles and somewhat unusual path to success. Lawrence has written the story in a thoughtful way articulating the human aspects that contributed to the ultimate success which Pixar enjoyed.

Highly recommended and the most enjoyable business book I have listened to in a long time.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-27-19

Must Read...without a doubt

This is one of the best books I have read for a long long time. Captivating storyline and equally impressive narration. A treat for all Steve jobs fan as well.
Give a real insight on how Pixar became an animation behemoth from humble beginnings.

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  • Mad cow
  • 08-07-19

Love these hidden treasures

Well I didn’t know what I was downloading but it was worth every minute a must read if your a toy story fan
How these man stood up an made every Benefit from the movie for the employee and team around them

Shame more companies didn’t do this and the world would be a happier and wealthier place to be in
Narmassa 🙏🏻