Steve Jobs’ original intention for Pixar

When Steve Jobs bought Pixar from Lucasfilm in 1986, he had no intention of doing animation – he wanted it to make high end computers. Imagine what a different world we’d be in if Pixar was a hardware manufacturer instead of a movie powerhouse…

Jobs focused Pixar almost exclusively on developing and selling the Pixar Image Computer (PIC), which debuted a mere three months after Jobs bought the company. (The product was in development beforehand, but Jobs shut down virtually every Pixar project but this one when he took over.)

The PIC was very clearly a Job-esque product, right down to its clean, gunmetal grey cubical design that is eerily reminiscent of the original NeXT PCs Jobs also developed. The PIC originally cost $170,000 when it debuted in 1987. Later versions of the PIC retailed for a mere $30,000, though that price could jump tenfold if you included the world’s first RAID system, which offered a then-radical 3GiB storage capacity. The intended markets for the device weren’t movie studios, but aerospace and medical organizations that relied on highly detailed 3D modelling.

To little surprise, the PIC was a total commercial flop, selling less than 500 units during its entire production life. Fortunately, the aforementioned John Lasseter developed a few promotional computer animations to demonstrate the power of the product. Principal among these was the famous Luxo Jr. short, which gave Pixar its mascot and wowed animation festival observers who saw it. This led to Pixar creating computer-animated commercials, which in turn led to a three-picture deal with Disney to produce some straight-to-video computer-animated movies.

The first of those films was a little classic called Toy Story, which proved too good not to put into theaters. The rest, as they say is, history. (Or, for bemused Apple critics who note that Pixar’s marketing arm outperformed its manufacturing division, history repeating itself.)

10 year old girl with cancer too sick to see UP. Pixar flies a DVD to her home. She dies 7 hours later.

“I’m ready (to die), but I’m going to wait for the movie” – 10 year old girl with cancer too sick to see UP. Pixar flies a DVD to her home. She dies 7 hours later.


When Colby Curtin saw the Dream Works 3-D movie “Monsters Vs. Aliens” she was impressed by the previews for “Up.” “It was from then on, she said, ‘I have to see that movie. It is so cool,’” a family friend told the OC Register:

Two days later Colby’s health began to worsen. On June 4 her mother asked a hospice company to bring a wheelchair for Colby so she could visit a theater to see “Up.” However, the weekend went by and the wheelchair was not delivered, Lisa Curtin said.

By June 9, Colby could no longer be transported to a theater and her family feared she would die without having seen the movie.

At that point, Orum, who desperately wanted Colby to get her last wish, began to cold-call Pixar and Disney to see if someone could help.

Pixar has an automated telephone answering system, Orum said, and unless she had a name of a specific person she wanted to speak to, she could not get through. Orum guessed a name and the computer system transferred her to someone who could help, she said.

Pixar officials listened to Colby’s story and agreed to send someone to Colby’s house the next day with a DVD of “Up,” Orum recalled.

She immediately called Lisa Curtin, who told Colby.

“Do you think you can hang on?” Colby’s mother said.

“I’m ready (to die), but I’m going to wait for the movie,” the girl replied.

And she did…

“When I watched it, I had really no idea about the content of the theme of the movie,” said Curtin, 46. “I just know that word ‘Up’ and all of the balloons and I swear to you, for me it meant that (Colby) was going to go up. Up to heaven.”

Pixar officials declined to comment on the story or name the employees involved.

The content and theme of the movie, consequently is about death, loneliness, unfulfilled dreams and drive to complete long time ambition before your life is over.

Brief synopsis of this item in the first few seconds of this clip from the Register:


At about 12:30 p.m. the Pixar employee came to the Curtins’ home with the DVD.

He had a bag of stuffed animals of characters in the movie and a movie poster. He shared some quirky background details of the movie and the group settled in to watch Up.

Colby couldn’t see the screen because the pain kept her eyes closed so her mother gave her a play-by-play of the film.

At the end of the film, the mother asked if her daughter enjoyed the movie and Colby nodded yes, Lisa Curtin said.

The employee left after the movie, taking the DVD with him, Lynch said.

“He couldn’t have been nicer,” said Lynch who watched the movie with the family. “His eyes were just welled up.”

After the movie, Colby’s dad, Michael Curtin, who is divorced from Lisa Curtin, came to visit.

Colby died with her mom and dad nearby at 9:20 p.m.

Among the Up memorabilia the employee gave Colby was an “adventure book” – a scrap book the main character’s wife used to chronicle her journeys.

“I’ll have to fill those adventures in for her,” Lisa Curtin said.


In UP, 78 year old Carl Fredrickson buys a plane ticket for his wife and himself to visit South America like they always promised each other they would some day, but she dies shortly after the purchase.

UP is the story of Carl going to extreme lengths to fulfill his promise to his late wife after finding her “Adventure Book” from their childhood, so he may fill in the blank pages with the adventures in South America they never got to have…

Partly Cloudy

Preceding Pixar’s UP, a movie about lonliness, death and unfulfilled dreams, is a short toon called Party Cloudy, a movie about an abusive relationship by baby making cloud gods and their avian slaves.

SYNOPSIS: All day long, cheerful cloud people in the sky make baby boys and girls, kittens, puppies, and other creatures and give them to storks for delivery to the expectant parents. However, one lonely gray cloud named Gus sees all of his creations turn into dangerous animals, despite his best efforts. His delivery stork named Peck gets the worst of it, being bitten by a crocodile, butted by a bighorn sheep, and pricked by a porcupine. When Peck sees that his next delivery is to be a baby shark, he grows irritated and more than a little fearful, and flies away. Feeling rejected, despondent, and angry, Gus unleashes a brief thunderstorm, then begins to cry with rain pouring from below him. To Gus’s surprise, Peck soon returns with a football helmet and shoulder pads, created for him by another cloud to keep him safe, proving to the gray cloud that he wasn’t going to be abandoned. Gus instantly cheers up and gives Peck an electric eel to deliver, which still shocks him despite the protective equipment, except this time, Peck remains in fairly high (though slightly frazzled) spirits.

What Disney has in store for us

Disney/pixar’s animation release timeline (after WALL-E) is:

Bolt (2008): A German Shepard version of Buzz Lightyear in that he’s spent his whole life on the set of a tv show in the style of Thunderbolt (the dog-hero show that the 101 Damations puppies watch, which makes me wonder if the name Bolt is an homage/tip off for nerds like me to notice).

His isolated life makes him think his tv powers are real and probably has some self realization story arc similar to Buzz’s after he meets a cat named Mittens and a hamster that never leaves its ball.

The Princess and the Frog (2009): Disney’s first black princess. first return to traditional 2D animation since Emperors new Groove.

Rapunzel (2010): Originally, the film’s plot revolved around two ‘romantically challenged’, real-world teenagers who are transformed into Rapunzel and her Prince by a disgruntled witch who can no longer stand happy fairy-tale endings. However, since production was halted in 2004 for major retooling, Glen Keane has “promised” that the film will revert back to the fairy tale’s “literary origins” and be less of a steaming pile of shit than what was just described.

King of the Elves (2012): Based on Science Fiction writer Phillip K. Dick’s 1953 short story fantasy about a band of elves living in the modern-day Mississippi Delta who name a local guy working at a gas station their king after he helps save them from an evil troll.

Cars 2 (2012): Lightning McQueen and his pal Mater travel the globe in a series of excuses to make more inside references and jokes about or otherwise concerning non-american made automobiles. joy.