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.

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.

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 percent of the company, a billionaire.

After the windfall, one of the first people Jobs calls is his friend Larry Ellison, 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.

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.