A fascinating insight into the beginnings, ups and downs of Pixar.
*DISCLAIMER – I am a borderline obsessive Disney/Pixar fan.
I loved the idea of a brand new book all about Pixar, but I didn’t realise that this was a business book. So, when I picked it up I was a tad hesitant about whether I’d enjoy it and how long it would take me ’cause it would probably be a heavy slightly dull book.
I WAS SO WRONG.
I couldn’t put this down. Seriously, I got home from work and just read, read, read. It was addictive, entertaining and fascinating. I thought I knew a fair amount about Pixar (someone who wears Hawaiian shirts…I know exactly who you’re on about!) but this book truly opened my eyes. Pixar is such an incredibly innovative company, full of some of the most talented people in the world who are so passionate about Pixar that that emotion literally leaped from the page. Levy takes you on a journey from him joining the company during the production of Toy Story where you see a floundering company full of creativity but a lack of momentum, and we see this life injected into it. I felt transported back to 1995 and I cried at their triumphs and worried for Pixar during their difficult times. I honestly didn’t expect to cry at a business book. But there you go.
Taking aside the element of being a Pixar fanatic, this book was highly interesting to read to gain a better understanding of business and the insane money involved in finance and Hollywood. Pixar’s success has been aided by people taking chances and risks, and it could so easily have been a completely different outcome! It was fascinating to learn about how fundamental Pixar is to the world as we know it today – without Pixar, Disney would be a totally different company (my life would certainly be very very different!), Apple would be totally different or possibly not even exist and lots of the technological advances we saw in the 90s wouldn’t have happened.
I did think as I came towards the end that I was going to have one criticism, and that’s the way that after the Disney takeover is covered this book seemed to lose momentum. However, it turns out that those philosophical chapters were actually important, and carry one of the main messages of the book and of Pixar’s legacy.
Pixar definitely can be a way of life (I’m taking this book as evidence).