Pixar

Today in Apple history: Pixar IPO makes Steve Jobs a billionaire

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The Pixar IPO is a key part of Steve Jobs' professional turnaround.
Photo: Ben Stanfield/Flickr CC

November 29: Today in Apple history: Pixar makes Steve Jobs a billionaire November 29, 1995: Capitalizing on the success of Toy Story, Pixar floats 6.9 million shares on the stock market. The IPO makes Steve Jobs, who owns upward of 80% of the animation studio, a billionaire.

After the windfall, one of the first people Jobs calls is his friend, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, who’s already a member of the billionaire’s club.

“Hello, Larry?” Jobs tells his friend on the phone. “I made it.”

Today in Apple history: Toy Story 2 arrives in theaters

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Toy Story 2 coincided with the start of Steve Jobs' own career second act.
Toy Story 2 coincided with the start of Steve Jobs' own career second act.
Photo: Pixar

November 24: Today in Apple history: Toy Story 2 arrives in theaters November 24, 1999: Steve Jobs gets another feather in his cap when Toy Story 2, the sequel to the 1995 Pixar hit, debuts in theaters. It goes on to become the first animated sequel in history to gross more than the original.

While more a piece of Steve Jobs history than Apple history, the release of Toy Story 2 caps a spectacular year for Apple’s CEO.

Today in Apple history: Fortune names Steve Jobs ‘CEO of the decade’

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Steve
Steve Jobs was rounding out a brilliant 10 years at Apple.
Photo: Stanford University

November 5: Today in Apple history: Fortune magazine names Steve Jobs CEO of the decade November 5, 2009: Fortune magazine names Steve Jobs “CEO of the decade.” The accolade comes just four months after Jobs returned to Apple after undergoing a liver transplant.

The business publication credits Jobs with transforming multiple industries, as well as continuing Apple’s meteoric rise. These achievements seem particularly noteworthy considering the tough economic conditions of the 2008 financial crash.

Apple, Pixar, Nvidia and more form alliance to ‘standardize the 3D ecosystem’

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Apple, Pixar, NVIDIA and more form alliance to ‘standardize the 3D ecosystem’ and back the Universal Scene Description standard
The Alliance for OpenUSD will promote the standardization, development, evolution, and growth of Pixar’s Universal Scene Description technology.
Photo: AOUSD

The newly announced Alliance for OpenUSD is a collection of industry heavyweights — including Apple — putting their influence behind Pixar’s Universal Scene Description technology.

The stated goal of the AOUSD is “to standardize the 3D ecosystem.”

Today in Apple history: Pixar gets out of the computer game

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The pricey Pixar Image Computers, including the Pixar P-II, powered the company's early animated works.
The powerful Pixar Image Computer II simply cost too much to thrive.
Photo: Wikipedia CC

April 25: Today in Apple history: Pixar stops selling computers April 25, 1990: Steve Jobs shuts down Pixar’s hardware division (yes, it used to have one!), ending production of the pricey Pixar Image Computer immediately.

Jobs sells the company’s hardware unit to Fremont, California-based imaging company Vicom Systems for a paltry $2 million.

Bad Luck for Apple TV+ and Skydance [Apple TV+ review] ★★☆☆☆

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Luck review: Skydance is going to need a lot of Luck to sell unimaginative movies with a problematic CEO.★★☆☆☆
Skydance is going to need a lot of Luck to sell unimaginative movies with a problematic CEO.
Image: Apple TV+

Apple TV+’s newest film is the streamer’s big flagship collaboration with Skydance Animation under the new leadership of disgraced former Pixar chief John Lasseter.

Can the film’s relative charms tip the scales in favor of a new endeavor, instead of back toward the hasty assembly of a company around a man who never really answered for his allegations? Unfortunately, Luck, which premieres Friday on Apple TV+, would have had to have a lot more going for it to get people talking about the movie on pure merit.

Cute animated sci-fi short Blush orbits planet Pixar [Apple TV+ review]

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Apple TV+ wants to make you Blush
Apple TV+ wants to make you Blush.
Photo: Apple TV+

Animated sci-fi short Blush is small, cute and full of heart. And it’s also a gauntlet thrown down to let the competition know Apple TV+ is getting serious about winning awards.

The long-in-the-making story debuted Friday on Apple’s streaming service, and it definitely swerves into Pixar territory — for better or worse.

Battle of the Steve Jobs companies: Pixar beats Apple TV+ at Oscars

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Apple TV+ enters the world of auteur animation with new animated film Wolfwalkers.
Close but no cigar for Apple.
Image: Apple TV+

Apple came up short at Sunday night’s Oscars, losing its Best Animated Feature nomination (for the great animated movie Wolfwalkers) to Pixar’s Soul.

As brilliant as it was (and Cult of Mac‘s resident reviewer hailed it as the best animated flick of the year) Wolfwalkers was very much a long shot. This would have been Apple TV+’s first Oscar. Instead, it was scuppered by Pixar winning its 11th (!!) award in the Best Animated Feature category.

Disney+ racks up 5 million downloads on launch day in Europe

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Disney+ has finally landed in the UK.
Photo: Apple

The Disney+ mobile app is off to a roaring start in Europe and the UK just days after it launched earlier this week.

Third-party app analytics firm App Annie revealed that the Disney+ app has been downloaded over 5 million times on launch day, possibly thanks to millions of residents having to shelter-in-place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Pixar pioneers win this year’s $1 million Turing Award

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Toy Story
Toy Story would never have existed without this dynamic duo.
Photo: Pixar

Ed Catmull and Dr. Pat Hanrahan, who created the 3D computer graphic breakthroughs that led to Pixar, have been awarded this year’s Turing Award, it was announced Wednesday.

The award, which is often called the Nobel Prize of computing, carries a $1 million prize.

Bob Iger: Apple and Disney might have merged if Steve Jobs were alive

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With Apple TV+ ready to compete against Disney+, Bob Iger resigns from the Apple board.
With Apple TV+ ready to compete against Disney+, Bob Iger resigned from the Apple board.
Photo: Josh Hallett/Flickr CC

Departing Apple board member and Disney CEO, Bob Iger, opened up about his relationship with Steve Jobs in an excerpt from his new book of life lessons coming out next week.

Iger and Jobs became close friends after Disney bought Pixar, making Jobs Disney’s biggest shareholder. According to Iger, he felt that if Jobs were still alive Apple and Disney would have combineded into one company, or at least been very seriously discussed.

Steve Jobs insisted every bolt on Pixar’s HQ be hand-tightened

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Steve Jobs sweated the details of the Steve Jobs Building on the Pixar campus in Emeryville, California.
Steve Jobs sweated the details.
Photo: Duluoz cats/Flickr CC

Breaking news: Steve Jobs was kind of a perfectionist when it came to design.

OK, so that’s not exactly the world’s best-kept secret. But a new story about the creation of Pixar’s headquarters highlights Jobs’ obsessive attention to detail. For anyone who remembers hearing about the creation of Apple Park, it will sound eerily familiar…

Pixar just posted a dream job for Mac nerds

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Toy Story
Do you have what it takes to join Pixar's posse?
Photo: Pixar

Pixar is looking for a good Mac nerd to join its support team.

If you’ve ever dreamed of working for one of the most iconic animation companies in the world, but don’t have any actual animation skills, this might be your best chance.

Beats headphones go full Mickey Mouse

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Mickey
Mickey Mouse now has his own Beats.
Photo: Beats

The Beats Studio3 and Beats Solo3 wireless headphone lineups both got updated with new color options today.

Apple is putting out a new Skyline collection of color options for the Studio3 headphones. The collection’s four color options are crystal blue, desert sand, midnight black and shadow gray. Meanwhile, the Solo3’s have a new Mickey Mouse themed option to celebrate the famous cartoon character’s 90th anniversary.

Take a look:

How Steve Jobs got employees to tell him what sucked about his companies

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Steve Jobs had ways of making you talk!
Photo: Ben Stanfield/Flickr CC

Would you have liked to be the person to tell Steve Jobs that something about his company sucks? If not, you may not have enjoyed the experience of working with him.

In a recent Medium post, San Francisco-based marketing pro Andy Raskin relates a story overheard from a well-known (but unnamed) CEO. The CEO described the somewhat unorthodox, but effective, way that Jobs rooted out problems at Pixar, the company he ran alongside Apple. Here’s what he did.

We talk iPhone SE leaks, Steve Jobs saving Pixar, and the brightest flashlight on earth on The CultCast

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MacBook Pro
Another episode of The CultCast, packed with this week's best Apple stories.
Photo: The CultCast

This week on a very feisty episode of The CultCast: New iPhone SE will steal one of iPhone X’s best features; how Steve Jobs saved Pixar, then stole all their stock; MoviePass ends its unlimited movie option; Gal Gadot promotes Huawei on Twitter … from an iPhone; and we wrap with the best iPhone camera lenses, wireless security system, and the most powerful flashlight on Earth in an all-new Under Review.

Our thanks to Udemy for support thing episode. Whether you’re looking to learn something new or just sharpen your skills, Udemy has over 65,000 courses starting at just 11.99.
Visit Ude.my/CULTCAST or download the Udemy app to learn anytime, anywhere.

Pixar co-founder takes leave of absence following misconduct allegations

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Steve Jobs surrounded by Pixar founders Edwin Catmull (left) and Peter Lasseter (right).
Photo: Disney

Pixar co-founder John Lasseter has become the latest high profile person to be accused of inappropriate behavior toward women. In a statement released today, Lasseter apologized for his alleged pattern of showering female employees with hugs and that he’s taking a six-month leave of absence.

As Chief Creative Officer of both Disney and Pixar, Lasseter is one of the most prominent persons in the animated film industry. Steve Jobs and Lasseter had a close relationship for years after the Apple CEO purchased Pixar from Lucasfilm.

Today in Apple history: Toy Story arrives in theaters

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Toy-Story-Theme-Song-1
The movie which helped make Steve Jobs a billionaire.
Photo: Pixar

November 12: Today in Apple history: Toy Story November 22, 1995: Toy Story, Pixar’s first feature-length movie, lands in theaters. The charming film wows the world with the wonders of computer animation.

The most successful of Steve Jobs’ business ventures during his wilderness years outside Apple, the box office smash hit makes his belief in the power of computer graphics pay off in a big way.

How this money man helped Steve Jobs turn Pixar into a powerhouse [Kahney’s Korner podcast]

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Lawrence Levy former Pixar CFO
Lawrence Levy, Pixar's former CFO and author of To Pixar and Beyond.
Photo: Lawrence Levy

In the early ’90s, Pixar was in the middle of creating its first movie, Toy Story, but the company was in disarray. It was bleeding cash and floundering around looking for a business model.

To help turn it around, Steve Jobs hired Lawrence Levy, a former corporate lawyer, to help figure out how to make Pixar a real business.

In this week’s episode of Kahney’s Korner, I talk to Levy about how exactly he and Jobs made Pixar into one of the most successful movie studios in history.

New book paints intimate portrait of Steve Jobs at work [Review]

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To Pixar and Beyond by Lawrence Levy
In To Pixar and Beyond, Lawrence Levy offers an insider look at Steve Jobs' early struggles at the animation studio.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

After his death, Steve Jobs became mythic. He’s remembered as an asshole and a technology seer: a Tony Stark-like figure who could uniquely divine the sci-fi future, conjuring magical products from whole cloth almost single-handedly.

He’s also seen as infallible: a business and technology genius with powers of divination beyond those of us mere mortals.

But To Pixar and Beyond, a new book by Lawrence Levy, the former CFO of Pixar, paints a very different picture.