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Inspiration of the Month: Pixar Animation Studios


A new feature amongst the All About Food blog is going to be something that inspires the Foodies who work behind the scenes of the business. There’s a lot to be said for using an inspiration as a tool for pushing you through a tough situation and shaping how you go about work. When used right, inspiring people, businesses or groups can help define your attitude. The first in people for the AAF profile treatment is animation studio and all round good guys Pixar Studios.

If you haven’t heard of Pixar, then I’m not sure I can help you. They’re the most famous, revolutionary computer nimation company in the world. They make movies. Awesome movies, that is. Plenty of companies around the world do this, so what’s so special about Pixar? Why am I talking about Pixar? Because as a company and a culture, they’re fantastic.

Their story is one of massive hard work but they still come out of it looking and acting like the most creative, wondrous and fantastic bunch of people. And that’s reflective of the type of business that so many people would want to run.

Some of the world’s most famous and fantastic films have come from Pixar. Starting with Toy Story, through Finding Nemo and Monster’s Inc. they’re creating stories that have heart for children, adults and any age in between.

Throughout their time, they haven’t been without hardships. During their first feature film, Toy Story, the CG company were told that their story was, well, naff. It was naff because they had moved to please the people who they were making the film for - Disney - and not make the story that they had originally set-out to make. After being given an ultimatum by Disney on their first proper project, the animation, storyboard and directing team decided to start from scratch and make the film they wanted to make. A film with heart and character. Not something that tried too hard to be what was wanted at the time - edgy, cool and try-hard. The film turned out to be a massive success, breaking records for animated releases and winning awards along the way. An excellent example of sticking to and truly believing in your own ability.

Upon release, Pixar have 6 of the top 20 all time grossing animated films. That alone is inspirational, but it’s not really their output is inspiring, although it is mighty impressive. It’s the type of creativity and imagination that the Pixar-heads are allowed to foster that makes the business so wonderful.


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Within their huge creation space in California, there are huge areas for imagination and shooting ideas between employees, designers and writers that allows concepts to naturally flow without the strain of deadlines, offices and prying eyes. Soccer fields, ballet classes and, of all things, scooters, allow the people working at Pixar to unwind and take their mind away from the task at hand. It’s this approach to work that has drawn Pixar away from the usual studios in the film industry who think in terms of money, not in imagination, story and creation. And success has allowed them to do this.

There’s two fantastic quotes by Pixar Studios Commander in Chief, John Lasseter, that goes something like this:


“Every single Pixar film, at one time or another, has been the worst movie ever put on film. But we know. We trust our process. We don't get scared and say, 'Oh, no, this film isn't working.”


“At Pixar, after every movie we have postmortem meetings where we discuss what worked and what didn't work.”


These two quotes are important because they don’t judge your low points too readily, whilst staying realistic with your complete projects. This type of thinking is king. Staying fresh of mind keeps creative and people-led companies on their toes. This is why Pixar Studios keep on creating and keep on leading the way.