11 Fun Facts You Didn’t Know About Pixar Animation

We love Disney and Pixar animation. Really, who doesn’t? It appeals to the kid in all of us and, in some cases, the grown up, too.

Toy Story 4 ©Disney Pixar

Pixar tends to be on the cutting edge of the animation scene and has been the recipient of many awards, including sixteen Academy Awards.

You probably know your fair share about this famous animation studio, but we’re looking at 11 fun facts you probably don’t know!

1. Pixar used to make commercials!

Before Pixar was a major animation studio, they used to be in the business of making commercials. They worked with major brands such as Tropicana, Listerine, and Lifesavers.


Who knew that Pixar’s main character was mouthwash way before it was Woody!

2. John Lasseter once drove an Oscar Meyer Wienermobile to the Oscars.

John Lasseter, Pixar’s former Chief Creative Officer, is one of the most famous names in the history of Pixar animation. Turns out this guy is also pretty young at heart.

©Disney John Lasseter

During one awards season, Lasseter actually arrived at the Oscars in an Oscar Meyer Wienermobile. Get it? Oscars, Oscar Meyer. Quite the joke there, Mr. Lasseter!

3. Sometimes the crew becomes the cast. 

Some of the most iconic voices in Pixar films actually come from those that typically hang out behind the camera. One of our favorite examples of this is The Incredibles director Brad Bird acting as the voice for Edna Mode!

Edna Mode showcases some of her greatest super suit creations (Disney)

Andrew Stanton, director of Finding Nemo and more, also provides his vocal talents to Crush the sea turtle in Finding Nemo and Finding Dory and Emperor Zurg in Toy Story!

4. Monster’s Inc.‘s Boo could’ve been very different.

Pixar went through several iterations for Boo before they settled on the adorable little gal we see in Monsters Inc. Initially, “Boo” was supposed to be a grown man who stumbled upon the monster world!

©Disney

Other potential versions include a little Irish girl (with as thick an accent as Merida!), and she even had the potential to be Pixar’s first Black main character.

5. Their biggest success made three times that of their biggest flop. 

Pixar tends to do pretty well when it comes to the box office — but not every time. Their biggest flop was The Good Dinosaur, bringing in just $329 million.

©Disney

On the other end of the spectrum, Toy Story 3 made almost three times that number raking in $1 billion at the box office. Whew.

6. Woody was originally supposed to be a ventriloquist’s dummy.

Okay, this fact is definitely one that we’re glad did NOT come to pass. Woody’s original design for the first Toy Story was supposed to make him a ventriloquist’s dummy instead of a cowboy figure.

Woody at Toy Story Land Entrance
Woody greets guests entering Toy Story Land 

Um, no thanks! Woody was actually supposed to be the evil villain as well, but Tom Hanks was super opposed to that. We’re glad he objected, and we got the lovable Woody we have today!

7. Toy Story 2 was almost accidentally deleted. 

This one’s a doozy! Did you know that Pixar almost lost a year of work on Toy Story 2? Someone accidentally ran a command to clear out the system at Pixar, and all of the files were deleted.

©Disney

Luckily, associate technical director Galyn Susman had been working at home to be near her newborn. She had all of the files they needed on her personal computer. Whew, that was a close one. Mom saves the day again!

8. Pixar changes movies to be relatable in other countries. 

We love this one! Disney actually changes some details and movies to be relatable to different cultures. The most well-known example of this is in Inside Out.

Joy and the other Emotions ©Pixar

The scene where Riley won’t eat broccoli was changed in some Asian countries since Asian cultures don’t have the same problem with broccoli that some Westerners do. Pixar also swapped out hockey for soccer in countries that aren’t as familiar with the skating sport.

9. One lunchtime brainstorming session conceived A Bug’s LifeMonsters Inc.Finding Nemo, and Wall-E.

Have you ever had a meal that just gets you inspired? Well, some of the Pixar greats sure did on one fateful day in 1994 at the Hidden City Cafe in Point Richmond, California.

©Disney

John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Joe Ranft, and Pete Docter were having a meeting about Toy Story when they began scrawling on napkins. Those scrawlings turned into A Bug’s Life, Monster’s Inc., Finding Nemo, and Wall-E. That lunch more than paid for itself.

10. Pixar wanted to make a Calvin and Hobbes movie.

At one point, Pixar turned to Bill Watterson in the hopes of bringing a Calvin and Hobbes movie to life. We would love to see this imaginative duo in Pixar animation!

©Bill Watterson

Watterson, though, rejected the offer, noting that he though Calvin and Hobbes were two characters that were best made for print.

11. Pixar has made some pretty big animation achievements. 

This one is a little more well-known, but we had to mention it. Pixar has made some huge animation achievements, many of them to do with hair! Yeah, you heard us.

©Disney Brave

Sulley in Monsters Inc. has over 5.5 million pieces of hair, and animating him was a challenge in the original film and in Monsters University. Another major feat was the creation of new animation software to animate Merida’s hair. The star of Brave has got some complex locks!

What Pixar fun fact do you think is the coolest one? Tell us in the comments!

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One Reply to “11 Fun Facts You Didn’t Know About Pixar Animation”

  1. I personally would love to see Calvin and Hobbes come to life. Here’s hoping someone with a persuasive tongue can take another stab at it!