With all the talk about Steve Jobs and his innovative role on technology in the world we live in, many seem to overlook the fact he was also responsible for the next generation of cartoons and family films as well.
After Jobs was let go from Apple in the mid 80s, he used the fortune he had amassed creating the company to purchase a small side studio from Lucasfilm, George Lucas' special effects department, called Pixar for $10 million.
Originally the company’s main feature was the Pixar Image Computer that was primarily sold to the military and hospitals, however, one of the early buyers was Disney.
After investing more of his time and money in the fairly unknown company, Pixar began experimenting with CGI (computer generated imagery) in the early 90s creating commercials and trailers for movies and products.
Jobs was contemplating selling the company in 1994, that's when Disney approached him on the idea of created an entire animated film. This film would later go on to be "Toy Story," and was originally going to be a just for video release. Jobs persuaded them otherwise and the film went on to gross $350 million worldwide.
After a slew of successful films over the next decade, Disney acquired Pixar from Jobs on May 5 2006 for $7.4 billion in an all-stock deal.
Disney Pixar CEO John Lasseter and the President of Walt Disney Pixar, Ed Catmull released a joint statement about Jobs on the company Facebook page saying:
"Steve Jobs was an extraordinary visionary, our very dear friend and the guiding light of the Pixar family. He saw the potential of what Pixar could be before the rest of us, and beyond what anyone ever imagined. Steve took a chance on us and believed in our crazy dream of making computer animated films; the one thing he always said was to simply ‘make it great.’ He is why Pixar turned out the way we did and his strength, integrity and love of life has made us all better people. He will forever be a part of Pixar’s DNA. Our hearts go out to his wife Laurene and their children during this incredibly difficult time."