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A Bug Farm's Life

Twenty years of buzz in the evolution of a toon shop

1984
Disney animator John Lasseter joins filmmaker George Lucas' computer special-effects group, which later becomes Pixar.

1986
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.

1988
Lasseter's Tin Toy wins an Academy Award for Best Short Animated Film.

1991
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.

1995
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.

1996
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.

1997
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.

1998
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.

1999
Pixar plans to release Toy Story II.

2000
Pixar plans to release a film code-named Hidden City--and take a year off from its flick-a-year pace in 2001.

2004
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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Updated Nov. 12, 1998 by bwwebmaster
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