Pixar Case Study Essay

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In 1975, Ed Catmull put together a team of people who formed the basis of what Pixar has become today. The group was hired in 1979 by Hollywood director George W. Lucas and developed as a graphics division for LucasFilms (Shamsie, 2001). This continued until 1985, when Catmull finally turned to Steve Jobs with the view to making full length feature films using computer animation. After more than a year of negotiations, Steve Jobs then purchased the graphics division and renamed it Pixar Animation Studios (Shamsie, 2001). A three year film contract with Disney was negotiated in 1991 which resulted in the movie Toy Story being released in 1995 (Shamsie, 2001). Toy Story became the top grossing movie of the year and won an Oscar, after…show more content…
Despite these actions, there is still concern about the pace of production and how far the company can grow without sacrificing quality for quantity (Shamsie, 2001). It has also been stated that the company relies on particular talent, such as Catmull and Lasseter, to create such highly regarded films, and that increasing production cannot continue with a finite amount of talent (Bary, 2003).

Despite its top position in the market, Pixar still needs to assess its future strategies based on the external opportunities and threats, and the strengths and weaknesses of the company. In its current position, Pixar has many opportunities to innovate, update and create new technologies to improve their development process (Rafi, 2011). Current technologies being used include the animation software “Marionette”, the production management software “Ringmaster” and the rendering software system “Renderman” (Dess, 2012). Other opportunities include the production of more sequels and short stories, and global expansion. The major threat to the company is the rising competitors, DreamWorks and Sony (Shamsie, 2001). Pixar needs to keep up with technological advancements in the industry in order to stay competitive, and it also needs to increase production without sacrificing the quality that has put it in its current position (Rafi, 2011).

The company currently has many strengths that it can use to its advantage, particularly after its merger with Disney in 1996.
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