The Toy Story films are jam-packed with an incredible selection of great actors and actresses who have given memorable performances that have stuck with audiences for years. Among the cast was the legendary Don Rickles, a comedian with a unique voice – he voiced Mr. Potato Head in all three of the Toy Story feature films, and also appeared in many of the Toy Story shorts. There is sad news today that Rickles passed away earlier this morning. (Update: Pixar has issued a statement, which has been added to the story.) [Read more…]
We have lost one of the greatest and wiliest actors of the 20th century in Peter O’Toole, who passed away yesterday at age 81. He had announced his retirement from acting in the summer of 2012, but of course, he can’t really ever fully leave us. We will never see a new performance from this titan, but those he delivered over a 50-plus-year career are among the most memorable in all of cinema. Of course, any fan of Pixar Animation Studios knows O’Toole best as the voice of Anton Ego, the feared critic with whom Remy the rat clashes in the second half of Ratatouille. But well before he entered the recording booth for one of only a few voiceover performances, Peter O’Toole entered the pantheon of cinematic perfection with a string of roles most actors would kill for.
Pixar has been growing over the years, with one of its biggest increases represented by the opening of a branch in Vancouver, Canada in 2010. Pixar Canada was created to work on shorts and television specials utilizing established franchises such as Toy Story and Cars. The studio worked on the animation and technical aspects of several shorts such as PartySaurus Rex and Small Fry. Shockingly, though, news has emerged that the branch was officially closed down today. Read on for more details after the break.
Brenda Chapman was a well-known personality in the industry before she arrived at Pixar, as she was the first woman ever to direct an animated film from a major studio (The Prince of Egypt from DreamWorks Animation). She had also worked in the writing department on Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and Chicken Run. Excitement was in the air when she was hired by Pixar, considered by many to be the best in the animation business. She was to be the first female lead director at the studio when she came up with the idea for Brave before she was replaced by Mark Andrews. Now, a report has emerged that she recently left Pixar. [Read more…]
When Steve Jobs passed away earlier this year, some believed that he would be a strong contender for TIME’s Person of the Year. However, no one has ever gained that title posthumously, and that streak now continues this year. Still, Jobs was given a “fond farewell” in the magazine by friend John Lasseter. The Pixar Chief Creative Officer, who met Jobs in the 1980s, remembers the Apple and Pixar co-founder “almost as a brother.” Jump ahead for some more quotes from the brief piece. [Read more…]
While most of the news on the death of Steve Jobs is focused on his contributions to Apple and the consumer tech industry, he had a large effect on the entertainment industry as well. Without a doubt, one of his greatest accomplishments was funding Pixar during a time when computer animation in films was still a niche technology.
On yesterday’s post where I thanked Mr. Jobs for everything, a former Pixar employee (anonymously) shared a lengthy comment providing some amazing stories from the early days of Pixar and what Steve Jobs meant to the individuals working there.
Even though we knew that Steve Jobs had become more sick recently, his death has still shocked the world. Companies and leaders have been issuing statements describing what he meant to them. As a co-founder of Pixar, Jobs played a large role in helping Pixar become the most critically acclaimed movie studio out there. Pixar’s John Lasseter and Ed Catmull have just released a statement about the passing of their friend. [Read more…]
Apple has updated their home page to reflect the news that had seemed inevitable when Steve Jobs decided to step down as CEO of the company recently – the visionary has passed away at the age of 56. Along with being the face of Apple, he was instrumental in the foundation of Pixar Animation Studios. [Read more…]
Animation Magazine reports that Andy Witkin, a Senior Scientist at Pixar, passed away while scuba diving on September 12. His official bio on Pixar’s website states:
Andy Witkin received his BA from Columbia College in 1975 and his PhD from MIT in 1980. Witkin has published extensively in the areas of Computer Vision and Computer Graphics. Before joining Pixar in 1998, he was a Professor of Computer Science, Robotics, and Art at Carnegie Mellon University, and before that, a director of the Perception and Graphics groups at Schlumberger’s Palo Alto Research Lab. [Read more…]