Book Review: The Pixar Touch: The Making of a Company (David A. Price)
I’ve been a fan of digital animation studio Pixar’s work since I first saw Toy Story as a 5th grader. The world of animation came to life with their characters: Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Mr. Potato Head, even the little green Army men. When I first picked up David A. Price’s work The Pixar Touch: The Making of a Company, I already had high expectations and there was no disappointment.
Price does an exceptional job detailing both the timeline and the dynamics of Pixar’s early years. I love how he unpacks Pixar’s history in the context of Silicon Valley, Apple, Adobe, LucasFilm, Microsoft, Disney, and a variety of other world-changing tech enterprises. I knew that Steve Jobs owned Pixar at one point, but it was a completely different experience hearing the backstory and influence he had on its trajectory.
It’s easy for any biography-type work to get bogged down in the details of yesteryear, but I really like how Price used the natural timeline of Pixar’s movies to pace his work. From A Bug’s Life to Cars and The Incredibles, you can see the progression of Pixar’s work through the years as nothing short of fascinating.
The most impactful part of The Pixar Touch: The Making of a Company is how much Pixar learned from Disney’s storytelling process. I love studying the art of storytelling, so to see Pixar’s initial struggles (Ratatouille?) and wise decision to learn from the masters at Disney arrested my attention to the point where it almost felt like I was in their brainstorming meetings myself.
The Pixar Touch: The Making of a Company is a story of passion, creativity, and “throw it at the wall and see what sticks” bravery it takes to launch something as dynamic as a digital animation studio. Throughout this story you see more traditional, established entities push back against Pixar’s creative process, dragging their heels and even rejecting Pixar’s initiative in transforming the entertainment world.
This is the story of youth and innovation without the experienced wisdom of years screaming in its mind, “This cannot be done!” I’m inspired as a storyteller, innovator, creative, and entrepreneur by the courage and risks Pixar took to make something truly remarkable.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”