Pixar Animation Studios

From Audiovisual Identity Database


Credits
Descriptions by
Jess Williams, Matt Anscher, CNViewer2006, LogoZExtreame102 and TheLogoFan2004

Captures by
V of Doom, Mr.Logo, BenIsRandom, VPJHuk and EnormousRat

Editions by
V of Doom, EnormousRat, Nathan B., naxo-ole, and betamaxtheflyer

Video captures courtesy of
ConsoleZ and ClevergirlProduction


Background

Pixar Animation Studios (pronounced "pics-ar") was formed in 1979 as The Graphics Group of Lucasfilm Computer Division by Edwin Catmull, Steve Jobs, and John Lasseter. It was renamed to its current name in 1986, and originally produced CGI animated shorts, most notably The Adventures of André and Wally B., Luxo Jr., and Tin Toy. They later began working on feature films starting with 1995's Toy Story, a joint production with Walt Disney Pictures which was the first-ever full-length film to be computer-animated. In 2006, Pixar was acquired by The Walt Disney Company.

The company has released 26 films, all distributed under the Walt Disney Pictures banner, with their most recent film being Lightyear, released on June 17, 2022. Upcoming films from the studio include Elemental, Elio, and Inside Out 2.


The Graphics Group of Lucasfilm Computer Division

Contents

(July 25, 1984)  
(July 25, 1984)


Pixar Animation Studios


The Graphics Group of Lucasfilm Computer Division

(July 25, 1984)

Logo: On a background of leaves and sticks, the words 'The LUCASFILM COMPUTER GRAPHICS PROJECT presents' appear after the logo completely fades in. After a few seconds, the logo cuts to reveal the title card for The Adventures of André and Wally B.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: The theme to the short (taken from a rendition of "The Barber of Seville: Figaro's Aria").

Availability: Only seen on Pixar's first short The Adventures of André and Wally B., which can be seen on DVD and Blu-ray for Pixar Short Films Collection Volume 1.

Pixar Animation Studios

1st Logo (August 17, 1986-1990)



Logo: On a black background, we see a gray square with four circles in red, green, blue, and white respectively below. Suddenly, a white light hovers over them, making them 3-D. The circles then turn into spheres. A circle zooms in on the square and the four spheres zoom out. The word "P · I · X · A · R" fades in with each sphere and the end of the letter.

Trivia:

  • The square in this logo was based on the Pixar Image Computer, which is also where the company got its name.
  • On Tin Toy, the square can be seen on a bag.
  • The square can also be seen on the game box on Geri's Game.
  • This logo also makes a cameo in Toy Story 2 on a television channel seen by Andy's toys during the channel-changing scene.
  • This logo was created by director and executive producer John Lasseter on a stone-cutting machine.

Variants:

  • On Luxo Jr., an in-credit text is used with the square to the left of the text.
  • On a demo reel from 1988, the standard logo is still and gray diamonds replace the spheres. The end of the reel has the logo pushed up with the company's address below. The text style used in this variant is also used on all variants listed below.
  • At the beginning of another demo reel from 1990, Tinny from Tin Toy can be seen on the right side of the screen with the Pixar logo at the top left and a 1990 copyright stamp on the bottom left. At the end, it just shows the normal Pixar logo without the symbol but with a different address and phone number.
  • On Red's Dream, the Pixar square logo is seen, which fades into the text "PIXAR".
  • On Tin Toy, we see only the text and it scrolls from right to left.
  • On the original version of Knick Knack, the Pixar square logo zooms appears by a light and the text zooms up to the screen.
  • On the 1989 party video, the Pixar logo is rendered with a high specular and no wordmark.

Technique: CGI animation.

Music/Sounds: On original prints of Luxo Jr., and Beach Chair, it used a big band style tune (which is taken from the ending of "Take a Bow 1", composed by David Lindup for Bruton Music (now APM Music)). The same stock music is from a syndication promo Studio City made called "Spin City on Ice" which you may find at the beginning here. The variants use the short's opening theme. It can be listened here. It was also used on three episodes of Spongebob Squarepants ("Artist Unknown", "Suction Cup Symphony" and "Bobcook"). On newer prints of Luxo Jr. starting with the DVD and Blu-ray for Pixar Short Films Collection Volume 1, the standard logo is silent, likely due to the use of the 5.1 remix from the 1999 prints that accompanied Toy Story 2, which replaced the logo with the 1995 logo and a notice that reads "In 1986, Pixar Animation Studios produced its first film. This is why we have a hopping lamp in our logo." However, the Disney+ prints of the movie have an intact logo.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • On the 1989 party video, we hear a triumphant majestic fanfare followed by a voiceover (Pixar employee Craig Good) remarking "The 1989 Christmas Video, brought to you by Pixar. Nobody knows exactly what it is we do, but they know we do it better than anyone in the world."
  • On Tin Toy, a whimsical orchestral tune plays (taken from "Puffin' Billy" by Bruce Campbell).
  • On Red's Dream, a rainy sound effect plays, followed by a saxophone playing a sad tune.

Availability: Uncommon. Seen on Pixar's animated shorts from 1986 until 1989. It is usually plastered over on re-releases of these shorts, but it is intact on certain shorts released on Pixar Short Films Collection Volume 1. It has turned up on an original Australian VHS copy of Toy Story 2 which had the short Luxo Jr. before the film, and a music video after the film was done. Was also seen on the early short Beach Chair which can be found on the aforementioned Pixar Short Films Collection Volume 1 DVD (without the logo) as a bonus feature, as well as the rare Pixar employee DVD Made In Point Richmond (with the logo).

2nd Logo (November 19, 1995-)

Logo:

  • Opening: On a light blue background, we see the text "PIXAR" in a spaced-out Charlemagne Bold face (the "X" and the "R" appear to overlap the floor). Then, Luxo Jr. from the right hops by. He stops once he notices the "I" on the left side. He shakes his body and bounces on the "I" four times before squishing it. He looks around as the text "ANIMATION STUDIOS" fades in underneath the letters "A" and "R". He then faces the camera (presumably in embarrassment or to copy the I). Afterwards, the logo fades out.
  • Closing: Same as before, but the light slowly dims until it's completely dark at the end. This leaves just the light from Luxo Jr, which then switches off one second later.

Trivia:

  • The lamp is the titular character from Pixar's very first animated short, Luxo Jr., made in 1986. "Luxo" was trademarked by Jac Jacobsen Industrier A.S., also known as Luxo ASA. The sound effects are also taken from said short. Luxo Jr. was also an unlockable character in Lego The Incredibles, known simply as "Junior", due to a copyright issue with Luxo ASA, and was unlocked after completing a Family Build of a statue of Luxo Jr. and the Luxo ball. Both the build and the character are made with Lego bricks and are different than the one shown in the Pixar logo variant shown below.
  • The logo was designed by Pixar veteran Pete Docter and animated by Pixar subsidiary Hi Tech Toons.
  • This was done on an SGI Indigo workstation. The lamp and the letters were modeled with Alias/Wavefront PowerAnimator and textured with Amazon Paint. The logo was rendered with PhotoRealistic Renderman on a Sun Microsystems supercomputer with a SPARC processor. The logo was recorded to 35mm negative on Management Graphics equipment with Monaco Labs developing it to reversal.
  • The remastered 2008 version was animated and produced by Pixar employee Gini Cruz Santos.
  • The reanimated 2019 version was done with the Presto Animation System.

Alternate Descriptive Video Description: A logo reads "Pixar Animation Studios". Luxo Jr. hops in. The little desk lamp jumps on the letter I, squashing it down, then looks around.

Variants:

  • On original prints of Cars (opening only, the normal logo is seen at the end) and the video game adaptation of said film (Xbox 360 and Wii versions only, other versions have the normal logo), the text "20 YEARS" (with Luxo Jr.'s light replacing the 0 in "20"), with "CELEBRATING" above it in tiny letters, appears when the logo dims, using the closing version of the logo as its basis. Plastered by the remastered version on current prints of the film.
  • On theatrical releases of Cars 2, after the logo finishes, the letters disappear leaving just the lamp, a la the closing version. Then, everything fades out and "CELEBRATING" fades in and slowly zooms in on a black background. Behind the text "25 YEARS" (with "25" above the "YEARS") fades in behind the "CELEBRATING" and is in a light blue font. The normal logo is seen elsewhere.
    • This variant has been also translated in international territories, such as in Russian.
  • On Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, the Game Boy Color and Advance versions of the Monsters, Inc. video game adaptation (latter version with a purple background), and Operation: Camouflage for the iPhone and iPod Touch, a still version without Luxo Jr. on a white background exists.
  • On Toy Story trailers and TV spots, it's the same as above, but inverted.
  • On Toy Story 3 for the iPhone and iPod Touch and most handheld versions of Pixar games, a still version with Luxo Jr. exists, which is a still version of the completed logo.
  • There is a short version that starts with the completed logo and only includes Luxo Jr. looking at us. It usually appears in front of shorts and trailers, as well as at the beginning of Monsters, Inc.
    • For international releases of Onward, this version is extended to show the lamp's bulb shutting off.
  • From 2008 with WALL-E to 2018 with Incredibles 2, the logo was remastered in HD. Also, the closing variant now has "ANIMATION STUDIOS" fade in a little later than the opening logo.
  • At the end of some movies, the logo cuts in instead of fading in as it usually would. On Cars 3 and post-2013 prints of Cars, this also appears at the start instead of the standard logo.
  • Starting in 2018 with Incredibles 2, the remastered logo was re-animated and re-rendered with Pixar's current software. The changes include some minor color correction and the lamp being remodeled with a new base and an LED bulb. It made its normal debut on Toy Story 4. For the closing version starting with Luca (save for Lightyear, due to being released in 2.40:1), Luxo Jr.'s base is visible when the light is dimmed.
  • On Kinect Rush: A Disney/Pixar Adventure for the Xbox 360, the animation starts from the point where the lamp is already in place. However, the full opening version is used in Rush: A Disney/Pixar Adventure (the Xbox One and PC versions of the game).
  • On Toy Story 4 and at the end of Onward and Lightyear (2D versions), the words "ANIMATION STUDIOS" are already formed while the logo still plays as normal.
    • This also appears at the end of Soul, albeit using a variant.
  • On Pixar's 20th Anniversary Special, when the lamp has squished the I, we can see "CELEBRATING 20 YEARS".
  • On the 20th Anniversary Special, Jack-Jack Attack and Auntie Edna (the latter using the Incredibles 2 variant), the logo is shortened to where Luxo Jr. squashes the I.
  • At the end of series like Dug Days and Cars on the Road, the closing variant of the logo is shortened to Luxo Jr. looking to the viewer.
  • On films released in 2.40:1 starting with Onward, the background is slightly darker.

Technique: Very nice CGI animation that still holds up over 25 years later. All done at Pixar themselves. For the still versions, none (of course).

Music/Sounds: In order: the metallic sound of Luxo Jr. hopping, some whizzing sounds when Luxo Jr. shakes his body, squeaky rubber-like sounds when he jumps on the "I", and then some more squeaking sounds and a clunk as he looks around (in the closing variant, the logo ends with the click of a switch). Designed by Gary Rydstrom at Skywalker Sound, and mixed by Tom Myers.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • On some movies, the opening theme of the movie plays over the logo instead.
  • On Coco, the sound Luxo Jr. makes when he turns to us is replaced by a bell tolling, continuing into the film's intro.
  • At the end of some films, the closing theme plays over the logo, most times ending with the lamp's bulb clicking off.
  • On Turning Red, a guzheng plays after Luxo Jr. squishes the I, drowning out the last sound effects.
  • On Cars on the Road, the remaining part of the closing theme plays over the usual sound of the lamp turning off.
  • On Mike's New Car and Ciao Alberto, none.
  • For the still versions, none, although the trailer for Toy Story has the trailer's opening theme play over the logo.

Availability: Current and extremely common.

  • Seen on all Pixar movies, shorts, and trailers from 1995 onward, with the exception of the 3-D prints of most post-2009 movies, which use the next logo below.
  • It first appeared at the very end of Toy Story (and appears at the beginning of said film on most current prints, following the 2006 Walt Disney Pictures logo, and plastering the Pixar variant of the WDP logo) and has appeared at the beginning and end of all Pixar features starting with A Bug's Life.
  • Also seen on trailers and commercials for Pixar films.
  • Also appears on video games based on various Pixar films, either the still version or one of the animated versions.
    • For the Nintendo DS version of Cars, the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of Ratatouille and the console, PC, and PSP versions of both WALL-E and Up, it's albeit using variants.
    • There was also a variant of this logo in Lego The Incredibles, and it was rendered in-game, carrying over from the Disney logo, as an Omnidroid, made in Lego bricks, which was was turned into a ball as Luxo Jr., also made in Lego bricks, a la the Lego version of the second trailer for Cars 2, was bouncing onto it and destroys it. After Luxo Jr. looks at the camera, it zooms out to reveal the rest of the Pixar letters, which are all made in Lego bricks, as the "R" in "PIXAR" is being built before being covered up.
  • The original version was last used on Ratatouille, though it later made surprise reappearances on the teaser trailer for Cars 2 in 2010 and a TV spot for the 3D re-release of Finding Nemo in 2012.
  • The remastered logo debuted on WALL-E, and it was last used at the end of Incredibles 2, due to having a custom variant at the beginning. It still appears on some TV spots for post-2019 films, with the reanimated logo on other TV spots and the actual films.
  • The reanimated variant first appeared on the second trailer for Toy Story 4, and made its official debut on the movie itself, even appearing on the 3D version instead of the next logo, and then every film following it, most recently appearing on Lightyear. And for trailers, it was most recently seen on the teaser trailer for Elemental.
  • The white background variant is fairly rare, and was only seen on Buzz Lightyear of Star Command and the Game Boy Color version of Monsters, Inc.: The Video Game.
  • It plasters the previous logo on newer prints of Luxo Jr. (Disney+ prints of the movie have the original logo intact) and Knick Knack.
  • On current prints of the first two Toy Story films, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, and Cars, the original logo is replaced by the remastered one, though the original version is still intact on current prints of A Bug's Life, The Incredibles, and Ratatouille.
  • The shortened variant of the logo appears on Dug Days and Cars on the Road.
  • Strangely, this does not appear on the Disney+ series, Monsters at Work, as it was produced by Disney Television Animation and Pixar received an in-credit notice.

Legacy: This logo is one of the most popular logos in existence, and is cherished by many.

3rd Logo (3-D Alternative) (May 29, 2009-)

Logo: We start on a black screen. Then, the camera pans away from the "P" in "PIXAR", albeit with the lamp stopping on the right side of the "I" instead of the left side, and we zoom out as the animation plays. "ANIMATION STUDIOS" also zooms in underneath.

Variants:

  • On current prints of Monsters, Inc., the logo is shortened.
  • Just like its 2D counterpart, the logo has also been re-animated and re-rendered with Pixar's current software. So far, seen on Onward and Lightyear.
  • A sped up version (with a fade out effect at the end) of the closing variant is seen when you go to Pixar's brand page on the Disney+ website on browser. Furthermore, the finalized logo was shifted upwards to fit the page's style.
  • On the 2020 Disney Investor Day, transitioning from the Walt Disney Animation Studios panel via the static Pixar logo with clouds from Andy's room moving upwards, the logo is high toned and the "ANIMATION STUDIOS" text is not shown. After it's formed, the chief creative officer of Pixar, Pete Docter, walks in, as the logo is a background, as it fades to pictures of Pixar's history, then the logo was zoomed in and blurred to focus on Pete, cutting from the posters of Pixar's past films and shorts, then cuts back to the logo then showing some of the new members of the Pixar staff, covering the logo, then disappear to show the logo once again. Following that, it fades out as he announces the 1st film in this panel, Soul. After transitioning from the Disney+ and Pixar logos (with the static Pixar logo), showing the Pixar logo once again, it transitions to the announcement of the 2nd film in this panel, Luca. After that, it fades in, showing the Pixar logo once again, it zooms out and transitions to a red gradient background, as he announces the 3rd film in this panel, Turning Red, then it transitions back to the Pixar logo. After that, it cuts into the the logo for the 4th and final film in this panel, Lightyear. At the end of the Pixar panel, transitioning from the logo for Lightyear, it transitions back to the Pixar logo. After that, Luxo Jr.'s bulb is dimmed as he runs away, making the logo and its background dark as it's moving to the right, fading to black, and transitions over to the Marvel Studios panel.

Technique: Same as the last logo, with the addition of the moving camera.

Music/Sounds: Same as the previous logo or the opening/closing theme of the movie.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • The Disney+ website variant is silent.
  • At the end of the Pixar panel at the 2020 Disney Investor Day, the opening part of the 2016 Marvel Studios fanfare, composed by Michael Giacchino, was heard, transitioning from the generic music, as it continues onto the Marvel Studios panel.

Availability: Current and common.

  • Seen on most Pixar 3D releases starting with Up.
  • Also seen when the first two Toy Story films, Finding Nemo, and Monsters, Inc. were re-released in Disney Digital 3D, as well as the 3D Blu-ray of Cars.
  • This and the 2011 Disney logo plaster the previous logo on 3D prints of For the Birds.
  • It also appears on both 3D and even 2D prints of newer shorts, except for 22 Vs. Earth and Ciao Alberto, which use the previous logo instead.
  • The final movie to use the original version was the 3D version of Incredibles 2.
  • The reanimated variant debuted on the 3D version of Onward and later appeared on Lightyear, as well as the 2020 Disney Investor Day.
  • This does not appear on the 3D versions of Toy Story 4, which uses the previous logo due to said film using a variant. On a side note, it also did not appear on Soul, Luca, and Turning Red, as they were all released exclusively on Disney+ (except in countries where the service was unavailable at first, where they were also released theatrically, though it is currently unknown if it appeared on theatrical 3D prints of said three films in Bulgaria, Czechia, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Greece, Turkey, Baltic countries, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, the Middle East, Israel, Singapore (except for Luca and Turning Red which were released on Disney+ in that region), the Philippines, Thailand (except for Luca and Turning Red which were released on Disney+ Hotstar in that region), Russia (except for Turning Red, which dub for said film was completed before Disney pulled from the Russian market and was released outside of that region), China (except for Turning Red), Hong Kong & Taiwan (except for Turning Red, which was released on Disney+ in those regions), South Korea (except for Turning Red, which was released on Disney+ in that region), South Africa among others) due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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