A Bug Farm's Life
Twenty years of buzz in the evolution of a toon shop
Disney animator John Lasseter joins filmmaker George Lucas' computer special-effects group, which later becomes Pixar.
Steve Jobs purchases Pixar from Lucas for $10 million, and Lasseter creates a short computer-animated film called Luxo Jr., which draws rave reviews at a technical trade show.
Lasseter's Tin Toy wins an Academy Award for Best Short Animated Film.
After giving Lasseter the go-ahead to make Toy Story, Disney signs Pixar to a three-film deal that gives Pixar roughly 10% of movie profits.
Jobs decides to de-emphasize computer-animated software and to focus Pixar on making movies. He seeks counsel from superagent Michael Ovitz, Universal chief Edgar Bronfman, and investment banker Herb Allen. Toy Story is released in November, and Pixar goes public, raising $140 million--nudging out Netscape Communications as the biggest IPO of the year. Lasseter later wins an Academy Award for Toy Story.
As Toy Story mania fades, so does Pixar's stock, dropping from 29 to 13 during the year. In March, Jobs and Eisner agree on a framework for a new agreement.
Disney and Pixar announce a five-film deal that gives Pixar roughly 50% of the profits on its films. Jobs scraps a CD-ROM game division to focus only on movies.
Pixar wins an Academy Award for Geri's Game, a short film with advances in animating human skin. On Nov. 25, after months of heavy marketing, A Bug's Life will debut.
Pixar plans to release Toy Story II.
Pixar plans to release a film code-named Hidden City--and take a year off from its flick-a-year pace in 2001.
John Lasseter's contract, a key reason Disney signed the 1997 agreement, will end.
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- COVER STORY: STEVE JOBS, MOVIE MOGUL
- COVER IMAGE: Steve Jobs, Movie Mogul
- TABLE: A Bug Farm's Life
- TABLE: Pixar's All-Star Team
- TABLE: Just How Big Will ``A Bug's Life'' Be?
- CHART: Thriller
- PHOTO: Pixar Animated Characters
- PHOTO: ``Tin Toy'' from Pixar
- GRAPHIC: How Flik Comes to Life
- PIXAR'S AMBASSADOR TO THE MAGIC KINGDOM
- ONLINE ORIGINAL: ANTZ VS. BUGS
- ONLINE ORIGINAL: A PLAY ON PIXAR?
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