Pixar Animation Studios, pronounced /ˈpɪksɑr/, is an American computer animation film studio based in Emeryville, California. The studio has earned 26 Academy Awards, seven Golden Globes, and three Grammy Awards, among many other awards and acknowledgments. Its films have made over $6.3 billion worldwide. It is best known for its CGI-animated feature films created with PhotoRealistic RenderMan, its own implementation of the industry-standard RenderMan image-rendering application programming interface used to generate high-quality images.
Pixar began in 1979 as the Graphics Group, part of the Computer Division of Lucasfilm before it was acquired by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in 1986. The Walt Disney Company bought Pixar in 2006 at a valuation of $7.4 billion; the transaction made Jobs the largest shareholder in Disney.
Pixar has produced twelve feature films, beginning with Toy Story in 1995. It was followed by A Bug's Life in 1998, Toy Story 2 in 1999, Monsters, Inc. in 2001, Finding Nemo in 2003, The Incredibles in 2004, Cars in 2006, Ratatouille in 2007, WALL-E in 2008, Up in 2009, Toy Story 3 (to date, the highest-grossing animated film of all-time, grossing over $1 billion worldwide) in 2010, and Cars 2 in 2011. Eleven of the films have received critical and financial success, with the notable exception being Cars 2, which received substantially less praise than Pixar's previous films. The $602 million average gross of their films is by far the highest of any studio in the industry.
All the films produced by Pixar are among the fifty highest grossing animated films of all time. Finding Nemo, Up and Toy Story 3 made it to the top 50 list of highest-grossing films of all time, with Toy Story 3 at #7, Finding Nemo at #26, and Up at #43.
All eight Pixar films released since the inauguration of the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2001 have been nominated for that award, commencing with Monsters, Inc.. Six of the eight have won the award: Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, WALL-E, Up and Toy Story 3. Up and Toy Story 3 are among the only three animated films to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.
On September 6, 2009, executives John Lasseter, Brad Bird, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton, and Lee Unkrich were presented with the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement by the Biennale Venice Film Festival. The award was presented by Lucasfilm founder George Lucas.