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24 Fun Facts About Pixar Studios

Ask any animator, illustrator, cartoon lover, or storyteller where there dream job would be…chances are most, if not all, of them would have Pixar Studios on their list.

Located in Emeryville, California, Pixar Studios is the genius behind such classics as Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., The Incredibles, and much more. Known for inspiring creativity and a super positive work environment, Pixar has become a beacon in the corporate hemisphere…treating their employees with respect and encouraging animators to think outside of the box – so much so that many animators decorate their workspaces to look like castles, tiny homes, tiki houses, and playrooms!

With a sprawling campus that includes a basketball court, several game rooms, and even a secret speakeasy hidden behind a bookcase, Pixar Studios is a playground for creative minds. Though it may have been more open to visitors back in the day, it currently does not offer tours of the campus…but you can take a little digital ride through the history of Pixar with these 24 Fun Facts About Pixar Studios!

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MORE PIXAR STUFF!!
Also, don’t forget to check out this collection of 51 Fun Facts About Your Favorite Pixar Movies or decorate your home with your favorite Pixar characters with this collection of Adorable Pixar Decorations You Need In Your Home.  Finally, you can learn more about Pixar and the start of this amazing company by reading Ed Catmull’s book, Creativity Inc.

24 Fun Facts About Pixar Studios 

Pixar was formed in 1979 and soon after became the computer graphics division of Lucasfilm.

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As part of Lucasfilm, they produced computer animation sequences for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983), and Young Sherlock Holmes (1985).

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Steve Jobs bought Pixar for $5 million in February 1986.  In today’s money, that’s roughly $11 million.

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Luxo Jr. was the first Pixar film to be nominated for an Academy Award.  It was a defining film for the company and involved a young, energetic lamp that struggles to play with a ball as an older lamp looks on.  The little lamp, Luxo Jr., would go on to become part of the iconic Pixar logo in later years.

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The first Toy Story film was the first full-length feature film to be made entirely using CGI.  It had a production budget of only $30 million, less than half of Disney’s The Lion King, made only the year before, which cost almost $80 million.

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Toy Story 2 made almost $245 million domestically, making it the first sequel to make more than the original.

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In 2006, Disney bought Pixar for $7.4 billion.

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As a way to both market its animation software and generate money, Pixar once produced commercials for various companies, including Tropicana, Listerine, and Lifesavers.

“A-113” is an Easter egg that appears in all Pixar films.  It is a tribute to a classroom number at California Institute of the Arts that was used by many animation students, including John Lasseter and Brad Bird.

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There is a secret speakeasy at Pixar called The Lucky 7 Lounge – it is hidden behind a bookcase.

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Cars is Pixar’s most profitable film.  It has generated $10 billion (!!!) in just merchandise sales alone.

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John Ratzenberger has been a voice actor in every single Pixar film.

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Collectively, as of 2015, Pixar has won 26 Academy Awards, 5 Golden Globes, and 3 Grammys…I mean, NBD.

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The entire staff of Finding Nemo had to take a graduate course on Ichthyology (the study of fish) before making the movie.

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Pixar Studios has more than 1,200 employees.

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A typical Pixar employee only animates about 3 minutes of film per year.

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Toy Story 3 was the first Pixar film to gross more than $1 billion.

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There is an annual event called “Pixarpalooza”, complete with a Battle of the Bands competition.

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Animators at Pixar Studios go crazy with their workspaces.

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Pixar has an ergonomist come in on a weekly basis to make adjustments to the animators’ workstations.

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The name Pixar came about as a result of a mashup between two ideas.  Co-founder Alvy Ray Smith though the name should be “Pixer”, since it sounded like a fake Spanish verb for “to make pictures”…but another co-founder, Loren Carpender, liked “Radar”, since that sounded futuristic.  So, they combined the two into Pixar.

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Pixar has a school, titled Pixar University, where employees can take free classes in sculpting, painting, ballet, and live-action filmmaking.

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When a Pixar movie succeeds at the box office, the leadership team hands out bonus checks by hand to congratulate everyone on the team.

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Pixar names the babies born during the making of each production in the credits.

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Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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51 Fun Facts About Pixar Movies

Whether they make you cry, laugh, or hug your toys just a little bit tighter, there’s no denying that Pixar has a way of tugging at the heartstrings.  Movies like Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., Up, and WALL-E have earned their spots on favorite film lists, Oscar lists, and on several “go-to-movies-when-you-need-an-ugly-cry” lists…I mean, if that opening marriage montage from Up doesn’t rip your heart out and feed it to the dogs…

Stah-ha-ha-ha-ha-haaaap!!

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Though each movie is a rollercoaster of emotions, whenever I see a preview with that little bouncing Luxo Jr., I instantly find myself smiling.  I have always enjoyed Pixar movies and a few Pixar films (Toy Story for sure!) would easily make it on my list of desert island flicks.

Of course there’s no denying that a TON of work goes into making these amazing movies…and teams of animators and designers often spend upwards of 5 years working on each Pixar film….and in those 5 years, a lot can go on behind the scenes!

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For lovers of any Pixar film or just Pixar in general, here are 51 fun facts about Pixar’s movie collection!  Plus, scroll down for even MORE Pixar fun!

 

51 Fun Facts About Pixar Movies

Toy Story (1995)

The toolbox on top of the milk crate that Woody is trapped in is a Binford, the same type of tool that Tim Allen used on his TV show, Home Improvement.

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The carpet in Sid’s house has the same hexagonal pattern as the carpet in the Overlook Hotel from The Shining.

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Billy Crystal was originally offered the chance to voice Buzz Lightyear, but declined.  After seeing the finished film, he said the decision was the biggest mistake of his career.  Jim Carrey and Chevy Chase were also offered the part, but were unable to sign due to the movie’s small budget.

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A Bug’s Life (1998)

The character of Thumper is named after Thumper the Rabbit from Bambi, one of John Lasseter’s favorite characters.

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A Bug’s Life only took three years to make, the shortest of all the Pixar film cycles to date.

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The two mosquitoes trapped in the light of the bug zapper are the voices of the co-directors of the film, John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton.

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Toy Story 2 (1999)

Toy Story 2 is one of three Disney movies to win a Golden Globe for Best Picture.  The other two are Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King.

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For the scene where Woody looks at the merchandise from “Woody’s Roundup”, mockups of the toys were shown to Tom Hanks in the recording studio.  His spontaneous reactions to the toys were recorded and used for Woody’s dialogue in the scene.

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The dust in the scene where Woody meets Wheezy set a record for number of particles animated for a movie by a computer.

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Monsters, Inc. (2001)

Sully had 2,320,413 animated hair strands!  It often took 11 to 12 hours to render a single frame of him for that reason.

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Monster’s Inc. is the first Pixar film to tease their next film by including a small cameo (in this case, their next film would be Finding Nemo).

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Unlike previous Pixar productions, each of the main characters (Sully, Mike, and Boo) were assigned their own individual animator.

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Finding Nemo (2003)

As of September 2015, Finding Nemo is the bestselling DVD of all time, with 41 million copies sold.

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The role of Dory the fish was specifically written for Ellen DeGeneres.

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Despite the fact that Marlin and Dory spend a good portion of the movie together, Dory never says Marlin’s name.  The two also have opposite personalities and are opposite colors on the color wheel.

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The Incredibles (2004)

The Incredibles is perhaps one of the most violet Pixar films, with 35 explosions, 189 buttons being pressed, and approximately 640 gunshots.

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The line Syndrome says to Mr. Incredible (“Too late!  Fifteen years too late!”) holds special meaning, as the sequel to The Incredibles is set to release 14 years after the first.

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Want to steal all of Edna’s fashionable costumes?  The code to her lab is 6395742.

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Cars (2006)

This was the last feature film of celebrities Paul Newman and George Carlin.  Both died shortly after the movie was released and, ironically, Cars would turn out to be Newman’s highest-grossing film of his career.

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More than 100 unique car characters were created for the film and the merchandising.

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One of the racing cars is white and sports an Apple logo with the number 84.  A nod to then Pixar owner, Steve Jobs, this racing car pays homage to the Apple Macintosh computer, which came out in 1984.

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Ratatouille (2007)

In order to nail down the movements of rats, Pixar animators kept rats as pets for more than a year to better study the movement of their fur, noses, ears, paws and tails.

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Director Brad Bird cast Patton Oswalt in the main role after hearing his stand-up routine about the menu at the Black Angus Steakhouse.

The window shop displaying dead rats actually exists.  It is the window of Destruction des Animaux Nuisibles, an exterminator established in 1872 located in France.

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WALL-E (2008)

Coincidently, composer Thomas Newman’s uncle, Lionel Newman, worked on the film, Hello, Dolly!.

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WALL-E takes place 700 years in the future.

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Andrew Stanton and the Pixar team watched every single Charles Chaplin and Buster Keaton movie during lunch breaks for about a year and a half to inspire the possibilities of pure visual storytelling.

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Up (2009)

Though only 20,622 balloons appear on the house when it first lifts off, Carl’s house would actually need 12,658,392 balloons to lift off the ground.

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Carl’s face and body were modeled after squares.  This was to emphasize how boxed in he was in life and in his home.

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Were you a hot mess watching that marriage montage in Up?  You’re not alone.  Even in storyboard form, the married life sequence that opens the film brought members of the production team to tears.

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Toy Story 3 (2010)

Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, both in love with the chemistry their characters shared on screen, insisted that they record their lines together in the same room, a style of recording rarely done with animated films.  Voice actors John Goodman and Billy Crystal did the same in Monsters, Inc.

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There are 302 characters in Toy Story 3 and it was the first animated film ever to make more than $1 billion worldwide.

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When Barbie is going through Ken’s closet, she comes across a blue and gold Letterman jacket with a “K” embroidered on it and a “State” pennant lying across the front.  Michael Keaton, who voiced Ken, graduated from Kent State University, whose colors are blue and gold.

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Cars 2 (2011)

Cars 2 was the first Pixar film not to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Film.

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After Mater and McQueen are done “cow tipping”, you can see them drive past the Drive-In.  The movie being shown in the Drive-In is The Incredimobiles, the cars version of The Incredibles.

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The British Intelligence seal in the private jet that McMissile and Shiftwell use says “Honor, Animus, Vis Equorum”, meaning “Honor, Spirit, Horse Power”.

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Brave (2012)

Even though she does not have a love interest, Merida was granted the status of Disney Princess, an honor that upset a lot of true Disney fans.  She’s the first Disney princess not to be based on any pre-existing character or historical figure and is the first princess to be represented from Pixar.

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Kelly Macdonald, Robbie Coltrane, Emma Thompson, and Julie Walters, who all starred in Brave, also had roles in the Harry Potter films.

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The only thing we ever see Merida eat is apples.  This might be a dedication to Steve Jobs, who passed away during production of this film.  Brave is also dedicated to him.

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Monsters University (2013)

When Sully enters Mike and Randall’s room with Fear Tech’s pig, a motivational poster can be seen above Randall’s bed that reads, “Winds of Change: Shh…Can you hear them?”.  Randall says this same line to Mike in the locker room in Monsters, Inc.

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Monsters University, along with Cars 2, are the only Pixar films not nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars.  Both of their predecessors, Monsters, Inc. and Cars are the only Pixar films not to win Oscars.

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As the students enter the School of Scaring building, they all touch the front paw of the statue in front of the building.  This is a reference to a tradition at Harvard University where students touch the left foot of the statue of John Harvard for good luck.  As a result, the foot of the statue of Harvard is shiny and polished down.  The animators included that on the statue in the movie as well.

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Inside Out (2015)

According to director Pete Docter, each emotion in Inside Out is based on a shape:  Joy on a star, sadness on a teardrop, anger on a fire brick, fear on a raw nerve, and disgust on broccoli.

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When Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera pitched the film to Mindy Kaling (Disgust), she was moved to tears and said, “I think it’s great that you guys are making a film that shows it’s difficult to grow up and that it’s okay to be sad about it.”

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Lewis Black was the studio’s first, and only choice to play Anger.

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The Good Dinosaur (2015)

Perhaps since it closely followed the release of Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur is the lowest-grossing Pixar movie ever, both domestically and worldwide.

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The Good Dinosaur is one of the few dinosaur films where T-Rex’s are not portrayed as villains.

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Since there were no dinosaurs to study while animating this film, young Arlo’s movements were based on those of young elephants.

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Finding Dory (2016)

The setting of the film was changed from an aquatic park to a Marine Biology Institute after the crew of Pixar screened the controversial documentary, Blackfish.

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Despite the 13 year gap between Finding Nemo and Finding Dory, Finding Dory only takes place 1 year after the prequel.

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Hank the octopus only has seven tentacles because the animators realized they could not fit eight onto his body.  His backstory was rewritten to account for the missing limb.

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Want even MORE Pixar?  Check out these other fun posts!

 

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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Toy Story Perler Bead Coasters

So for the last few days, we’ve been celebrating the release of one of my favorite movies, Toy Story.  And today I’m so excited to share this project with you!

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Made with Perler Beads (those little beads you used to play with when you were a kid…remember?  They go on the grid and then you burned yourself ironing them?  Yup!  Those beads!), these coasters are made to look like a couple of my favorite Toy Story characters.

This pack of 6 coasters contains one each of Woody, Buzz, Rex, Mr. Potato Head, Jessie, and a three-eyed alien.  Aren’t they just the cutest?  I think Buzz is probably my favorite!

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You can add a felt backing to these so they won’t scratch up the tabletop.  That part is optional, but I think the backing helps give these a completed look.

Want to make your own set?  Well, you’re in luck!  I’ve included a printable chart with the patterns to make all of these coasters, as well as how many beads you’ll need in each color.  If you want to change up the colors, go right ahead!  Just save the Excel sheet to your computer and edit away.

Toy Story Perler Bead Coasters

Materials:

  • Printable Toy Story Coaster Patterns
  • Perler Bead Large Peg Board
  • Perler Beads (amounts of each color are on the Excel sheet)
  • Parchment Paper or Masking Tape
  • Iron

 

Instructions:

  1. Following the printable patterns, arrange your design on your Peg Board.  You’ll do one coaster at a time.  There should be one bead on each peg…just follow the pattern, it’s super easy!  If you’re having trouble getting the beads on the board because you have chubby fingers like me, a tweezers works really well.
  2. Once your design is complete, cover your design with parchment paper.  If you buy a Perler Bead set, it may also come with ironing paper.
  3. Set your iron to the hottest setting and start going over your design with the iron.  Make circular motions, always moving your iron, until the beads have melted and molded together.  For a sturdy piece, keep ironing until all the bead holes close.  This shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes or so.  Just keep moving the iron and eventually all the beads will melt.  Once all the beads are melted, place your piece under  a heavy book to keep it nice and flat (do not remove the parchment paper or peg board…just place the book right on the parchment paper-covered coaster).  Once cool, remove the parchment paper and cover the back with felt, if desired.

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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To Infinity and Beyond!

toystory

Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

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Creativity Inc. Book Review

In my 30 or so years of existence, I’ve spent a good 15 to 20 years in the work force.  I’ve had good bosses and bad bosses.  I’ve had co-workers I’ve loved and who I consider family…and I’ve had co-workers I probably will never see again.  I’ve worked as a minion, a trainer, a key holder, and a manager.  I’ve had jobs that have changed me as a person and jobs that are completely weird and unique.  But in every job, no matter what it is, I need to be inspired.  I need to feel like I can make a difference and challenge myself to do better.  This is a feeling that has forced me in and out of companies and has helped influence several decisions I’m both proud of and ashamed of…

During a particular difficult time in my professional career, I was given the book, Creativity Inc. by my dad.  It was a pre-run copy that he got from the library where he worked and he allowed me to read it in the hopes it would inspire me to get out of my funk.  What resulted after reading Creativity Inc. was a life-changing moment…a defining moment…in my career.  It completely changed the way I view management, work life, and the humanity (or lack thereof) of corporate America.

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Written by Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios, Creativity Inc. sets out to explore how we can bring fun and creativity back into the workday.  Meant for managers who want to lead their employees to new heights, this manual of sorts aims to train individuals to inspire originality and positivity in the workforce.  By using examples of how he manages at Pixar, as well as how day-to-day operations are led at the studio, Catmull teaches readers how to build a creative culture, no matter what your company aims to do or sell.

It’s no secret that Pixar is a behemoth in the animation industry.  With 30 or so Academy Awards and movies that almost guarantee a box-office hit, Pixar knows what they’re doing.  So what’s the secret?  Why is Pixar so widely admired…and so profitable?  The answer is simple…the employees.

People at Pixar are encouraged to brainstorm.  They are encouraged to take risks.  They are encouraged to fail and encouraged to dream.  THEY LIKE WORKING THERE.  They’re committed to doing their best and pushing themselves because their success is everyone’s success.  There are no scary labels there.  No “rules” about who you can and can’t talk to.  Do yourself a favor and Google “Pixar Offices”…you’ll see that nearly everyone surrounds themselves with things they love, people they love, objects they love.  It’s a company that knows it’s only as good as the people that work there…and the people that work there love and respect that.

That’s not to say the path has been easy.  Pixar wasn’t always the amazing company it is today, and it took a long time, and a lot of training, to get leadership to where it is today…but when a company has leaders that believe in the message and that work WITH the team instead of ABOVE the team, well, then you are on the way to greatness.

At its core, Creativity Inc. begs to answer the following question:  What does it mean to manage well?  Everyone has their own idea of what a GOOD manager is, but what qualities in a leader make a team successful?  How does one learn those qualities and use them in a way that will encourage the team to motivate each other and encourage each other to succeed?  Filled with all kinds of helpful quips and tips, this book attempts to offer some suggestions on how to manage, how to lead, how to inspire, and how to motivate.  If a leader doesn’t lead or isn’t trusted, the results can be detrimental.

After I read Creativity Inc., I quit my job.  I came to realize that I was not happy and was not being encouraged and motivated in the ways I knew I needed to be.  After checking Pixar’s employment page (because I mean, I’d wash floors just to work there!), I embarked on a job search to find something I could stand behind, a company I believed in and a job I could be proud of…and I found it.  And everything changed.  My stress levels plummeted.  My interest in work and success improved.  Hell, my desire to just do my daily job was fueled by the fact that I was HAPPY.  This is the secret, folks.  Whatever it is that makes you happy, that will help fuel your success no matter what it is you do.  Pixar knows it.  Google knows it.  More and more companies are FINALLY coming to realize that when their employees are happy, the company benefits…and if companies big and small make this a priority in how to improve their business, well, I think corporate America can make a huge change for the better…and as individuals, we can make changes that will help us for the better, too…both personally and professionally.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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15 Fun Facts about the Toy Story Franchise

It’s been a little over 20 years now since the first Toy Story hit theaters…and with a fourth installment underway, Toy Story is just as beloved today as it was nearly two decades ago.

To help celebrate the anniversary of the release of the original Toy Story movie, I’ve gathered 15 fun facts that you might not know about the Toy Story franchise…starting with the fact that the original Toy Story is—by far—my favorite Pixar movie of all time. To infinity and beyond!

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15 Fun Facts You May Not Know About the Toy Story Franchise

The Pizza Planet delivery truck has appeared in every Pixar film, except The Incredibles.

During their most productive week during Toy Story production, the team only completed 3.5 minutes of animation.

Billy Crystal was originally offered the chance to voice Buzz Lightyear, but declined. After seeing the film, he said that decision was the biggest mistake of his career (he later got his chance to be a part of Pixar in the film, Monsters Inc.). Jim Carrey and Bill Murray were also considered, but were out of budget.
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For the original Toy Story, Tom Hanks recorded his dialog during breaks of Sleepless in Seattle and A League of Their Own.

A sweet nod to his Home Improvement days, the toolbox on top of the milk crate that Woody is trapped under in the original Toy Story is a Binford, the same type of tool that Allen used in his TV show.

Comedian Don Rickles was the first and only actor considered for the role of Mr. Potato Head. The popular line, “What are you looking at, ya hockey puck?” is one of the actors catchphrases.

The number “95” appears frequently throughout all three Toy Story films. It’s a reference to the year the original Toy Story was released, 1995.

The character of Andy is named for Andries “Andy” Van Dam, a Brown University professor and computer science and animation pioneer who taught many of the makers of this film series.

Toy Story 3
is the first sequel to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar without any of its predecessors being nominated.

Toy Story 3
is also the first animated movie to make over $1 billion at the box office worldwide. It’s the #5 highest grossing movie of all time, behind Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Titanic, and Avatar.
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Animators had to strap boards to their feet to figure out how to animate the toy soldiers.

The first Toy Story was completed on a $30 million budget using a staff of 110 people. In comparison, The Lion King, released just one year prior, required a budget of $45 million and a staff of 800 people.

Toy Story 2
is the best reviewed movie of all time on Rotten Tomatoes. The original Toy Story comes in at #4.

The Barbie and Ken dolls in Toy Story 3 actually existed! Barbie is modeled after “Great Shape” Barbie (1984) and Ken is based on “Animal Lovin” Ken (1988), which I’m pretty sure I had when I was little!

 

Tom Hanks’s brother, Jim, voices Woody on all Woody toys and video games.  Sneaky, sneaky, Tom…
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Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

 

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Disney Villains…Where Are They Now?

Everyone knows the best part of any movie is the villain…and for years, Disney has been making some of the best villains of all time!

But what ever happened to those awesome voices behind some of our favorite movie villains? With backgrounds in theater and radio, several of Disney’s most well-loved villains are actually celebrated actors and actresses with astounding and award-winning careers.

So get ready for the ultimate conclusion to our Disney Where Are They Now series with some of the most recognizable and hilarious characters we all loved to hate!

Don’t forget to check out these other Disney articles!

Disney Princesses…Where Are They Now?
Disney Princes…Where Are They Now?

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The Evil Queen
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Voiced By: Lucille La Verne
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latest-11Known for her silent, scolding, and vengeful roles in early color films, Lucille La Verne began her acting career in 1914. Best known for her role in Snow White, Verne was typecast into playing several older women, mothers, and aunts during her career. She died from cancer eight years after her work on Snow White, which would be her last film.

 

Lady Tremaine
Cinderella (1950)
Voiced By: Eleanor Audley

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audley-1-sizedA Broadway baby, Eleanor Audley was born in New York City and got her start acting in several Broadway plays and musicals. She spent a majority of the 1940s and 1950s doing radio and film and was given the chance to voice Lady Tremaine in 1950. Disney liked her so much that she was cast again a few years later to voice one of the scariest Disney villains to hit the screen: Maleficent. Audley’s likeness was used to create the characters of both her Disney villains. After her work at Disney, Audley went on to do some TV work, including appearances on I Love Lucy, Perry Mason, Dennis the Menace, The Twilight Zone, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Beverly Hillbillies, and many more. She was added as a series regular to Green Acres from 1965 to 1969, playing the disapproving mother, Eunice Douglas. She passed away in November of 1991 due to respiratory failure.
The Queen of Hearts
Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Voiced By: Verna Felton

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verna-felton-1-sizedWhile Verna Felton had a good slew of film and TV appearances, she is perhaps best known for her work on radio. She was a part of the popular radio show, The Cinnamon Bear, and also worked on The Jack Benny Program and The Abbott and Costello Show. Previous to her work on Alice in Wonderland, Felton also voiced Dumbo’s mother in Dumbo and the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella (1950). After Alice in Wonderland, she worked on three more Disney movies: Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, and The Jungle Book, which would be her final role.   Felton died in 1966, the day before Walt Disney passed away. She was married to another radio actor named Lee Millar, who also did animation voices, notably for Disney’s Pluto.

 

Captain Hook
Peter Pan (1953)
Voiced By: Hans Conried

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220px-Hans_Conreid_1977Best known for his voice acting roles, Hans Conried provided the voice for both Mr. Darling and Captain Hook in Disney’s Peter Pan. He started his career on stage, playing several classical major roles after his studies at Columbia University. As a voice actor, he had several roles in various radio productions and TV shows, including Mister Ed, Lost in Space, The Beverly Hillbillies, Gilligan’s Island, Laverne & Shirley, The Love Boat, Hogan’s Heroes, and many more. He was perhaps best known for his work on Make Room for Daddy, where he played Uncle Tonoose. He died of a sudden heart attack in January 1982.

 

Maleficent
Sleeping Beauty (1959)
Voiced By: Eleanor Audley

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See Lady Tremaine entry.

 

Cruella de Vil
101 Dalmatians (1961)
Voiced By: Betty Lou Gerson

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220px-Betty_Lou_Gerson_1941Another star of the radio, Betty Lou Gerson is best known for her role as Cruella de Vil in 101 Dalmatians, a role that made her a Disney Legend (the only villain on this list to achieve that honor). She got her start in radio dramas and soap operas before she moved to Los Angeles and got some minor roles in film and TV. Before her work on 101 Dalmatians, Gerson was cast as the narrator in Disney’s Cinderella. After her work as Cruella, she had a few more appearances in TV and film, including a small role in Disney’s Mary Poppins and a few guest appearances on The Twilight Zone, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and Hazel. She retired from acting in 1966 and passed away from a massive stroke in January 1999.

 

Madam Mim
The Sword and the Stone (1963)
Voiced By: Martha Wentworth

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Martha Wentworth, like so many before her, also got her start on radio…starring in popular radio shows such as The Cinnamon Bear, Crime Classics, and The Abbott and Costello Show. Her work on The Cinnamon Bear was perhaps her best, as she starred as the terrifying Wintergreen Witch.  She appeared in some westerns before her work at Disney and also voiced the role of Nanny in 101 Dalmatians two years before The Sword in the Stone.  Her work on The Sword in the Stone would be her final performance. She died 11 years later at the age of 84.

 

Shere Khan
The Jungle Book (1967)
Voiced By: George Sanders

MV5BMTgyODU3MDQ4NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTgwOTkxOA@@._V1_UY317_CR22,0,214,317_AL_With a career that spanned more than 40 years, George Sanders definitely made his mark in entertainment. An actor, singer-songwriter, music composer, and author, Sanders was involved in a little bit of everything. His amazing base voice often led him to be cast as sophisticated villains, both on screen and as a voice actor. A British actor who was drawn to films with British casts, Sanders had memorable roles in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, and All About Eve, a role that awarded him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. A few years before his work on The Jungle Book, Sanders released his autobiography, Memoirs of a Professional Cad, which gathered critical praise for its wit and humor. He suffered from dementia later on in life and grew severely depressed when he could no longer play his piano. He died of a drug overdose in April 1972.

 

Prince John
Robin Hood (1973)
Voiced By: Peter Ustinov

Sir_Peter_Ustinov_portrait_Allan_WarrenA renowned filmmaker, theater and opera director, stage designer, author, screenwriter, comedian, humorist, newspaper and magazine columnist, broadcaster, and presenter, Peter Ustinov was a noted and celebrated entertainer who won several awards for his work in entertainment. After his humorous work as Prince John and King Richard in Robin Hood, he continued acting in films, receiving Best Supporting Actor Oscars for his roles in Spartacus and Topkapi. His autobiography, Dear Me, came out in 1977 and was well received by critics. The later part of his life was spent working for various organizations, including UNICEF, for which he was a Goodwill Ambassador and fundraiser. Fluent in English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Russian, he also spoke some Turkish and modern Greek. Ustinov was also proficient in accents and dialects in all his fluent languages. He passed away in March 2004 from heart failure.

 

Madame Medusa
The Rescuers (1977)
Voiced By: Geraldine Page

529full-geraldine-pageGeraldine Page was a celebrated actress who was nominated for Academy Awards eight times between 1953 and 1985. She finally won an Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in The Trip to Bountiful. After her work as Madame Medusa in The Rescuers, she starred in several Broadway shows and was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1983. She has worked with Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, Maya Angelou, Lee Strasberg, and several other well-known stars of the theater and stage. After winning her Academy Award in 1986, Page was cast in a revival of Blithe Spirit, a role that landed her a Tony Award nomination. She did not win the award and passed away several days after the ceremony.

 

Ratigan
The Great Mouse Detective (1986)
Voiced By: Vincent Price

vincent-vincent-price-35944932-1080-960A stable in the horror genre, Vincent Price had an illustrious career in TV and film. Before his work on The Great Mouse Detective, Price starred in several popular films, including House of Wax, The Fly, House on Haunted Hill, Laura, and much more. Around 1975, after the horror film genre suffered a huge slump, Price transitioned to voice over work and theater. His role as Professor Ratigan was one of his last major roles, and one of his favorites. After The Great Mouse Detective, he did some small work on TV before passing away in October 1993. Price was also a noted gourmet cook and art collector and authored several cookbooks with his wife.

 

Ursula
The Little Mermaid (1989)
Voiced By: Pat Carroll

220px-Pat_Carroll_1972An Emmy, Drama Desk, and Grammy Award-winning actress, Pat Carroll is a voice actress who has enjoyed a long career on radio, film, and TV. Another regular on the sitcom, Make Room for Daddy, Carroll also appeared on several variety shows and even had a one-woman show on Gertrude Stein. In 1989, Carroll was cast as Ursula, a role she has referred to as one of her favorites. She has reprised the role in several video games and spin-offs as well. Currently Carroll can be seen on various game shows and theater productions.

 

Gaston
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Voiced By: Richard White


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A native of Tennessee, Richard White is an actor, opera singer, and voice actor best known for his role as Gaston in Beauty and the Beast.  He was nominated for a 1985 Joseph Jefferson Award for his role in Carousel at the Marriott Theater in Chicago (REPRESENT!!) and was in a national tour and Broadway revival of Jekyll and Hyde from 2012 to 2013.  White has starred in several regional and off-Broadway productions and most recently was in a Broadway production of GIGI.

 

Jafar
Aladdin (1992)
Voiced By: Jonathan Freeman

1Johnathan Freeman is best known for his role as Jafar in the Aladdin franchise, as well as in the Kingdom Hearts video game series and the 2011 Aladdin Broadway musical. Before his work on Aladdin, Freeman was a puppeteer for Shining Time Station and appeared in several Broadway revivals, including How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, The Producers, On the Town, and 42nd Street. Currently, Freeman is starring as Jafar in the musical adaptation of Aladdin on Broadway.

 

Scar
The Lion King (1994)
Voiced By: Jeremy Irons

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A golden child of the theater, Jeremy Irons has appeared in several Shakespearean shows and other Broadway productions. He has a long award-winning film career, filled with several movies where he played a villain. After his work on The Lion King, he won an Emmy and Golden Globe Award for his role in the TV mini-series, Elizabeth I. Despite his long and colorful career, he’s perhaps best known for his role as Scar. He has provided voice overs for three Disney World attractions and reprised his role as Scar in Fantasmic. Another fun fact…a 2008 study found “the perfect male voice” to be a combination of Jeremy Irons and Alan Rickman, both of whom played brothers in the Die Hard films. An advocate for several causes, Irons is celebrated both politically and professionally. Currently, Irons is performing in Long Day’s Journey into the Night at the Bristol Old Vic theater and has two movies coming out in 2016 and 2017: Assassin’s Creed and Justice League.

 

Governor Ratcliffe
Pocahontas (1995)
Voiced By: David Ogden Stiers

David_Ogden_StiersA native of Peoria, Illinois, David Ogden Stiers attended high school with film critic Roger Ebert and attended Julliard. He has performed with the California Shakespeare Theater, San Francisco Actor’s Workshop, and the improv group, The Committee. Before his work with Disney, Stiers was an actor on M*A*S*H, a role for which he received two Emmy nominations. After his work on Pocahontas, Stiers did additional voice work on The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Lilo & Stitch, Hoodwinked, and voiced several characters in various video games. He is the associate conductor for the Newport Symphony Orchestra and has guest-conducted more than 70 orchestras around the world.

 

Hades
Hercules (1997)
Voiced By: James Woods

JamesWoodsYet another actor who got his start on stage, James Woods appeared in 36 plays before finally making his Broadway debut in 1970. If he has a familiar face, that might be because he’s appeared in more than 130 films as of 2013 and has had several roles doing voice over work, including his favorite role, that of Hades in Hercules. After Hercules, he had roles in several other movies, including The Virgin Suicides, Any Given Sunday, Riding in Cars with Boys, John Q, and most recently, Jamesy Boy and Bling. Currently he plays the voice of Lex Luthor in Justice League Action.

 

Shan Yu
Mulan (1998)
Voiced By: Miguel Ferrer

'Iron Man 3' Los Angeles premiere

Another actor known for playing villains, Miguel Ferrer has starred as the guy you love to hate in several TV shows and movies. After his work on Mulan, he had roles in Traffic, Sunshine State, The Manchurian Candidate, Iron Man 3, and Rio 2. Currently he plays the voice of Death in Adventure Time. One of five children of the lovely Rosemary Clooney, Ferrer is also first-cousins with fellow actor George Clooney.

 

Dr. Facilier
The Princess and the Frog (2009)
Voiced By: Keith David

the-cape-9A fellow graduate of Julliard School, Keith David is an actor praised for his voice over work. He has appeared in several films and TV shows, including Armageddon, There’s Something About Mary, Barbershop, Crash, and Requiem for a Dream. He has narrated Ken Burns, The War, as well as several other Burns films. He’s voiced video games characters and was cast in the leading role in the 2015 drama series, Greenleaf.

 

Mother Gothel
Tangled (2010)
Voiced By: Donna Murphy

MV5BMjI2OTA5NTIzNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDY1MjM1Nw@@._V1_SX1024_CR0,0,1024,1457_AL_A five-time Tony Award nominee, Donna Murphy is a celebrated actress of the stage. She has won Tonys for her roles in Passion and The King and I and has appeared in a handful of films and TV shows. After her work on Tangled, Murphy appeared in the films Higher Ground, Dark Horse, The Bourne Legacy, and House of Versache. She’s also had roles on The Good Wife, Royal Pains, and Resurrection. She won a Drama Desk Award for LoveMusik in 2007 and was nominated for several awards in 2011 for her work in The People in the Picture.

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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