Topics: Pixar, The Walt Disney Company, Steve Jobs Pages: 7 (2020 words) Published: February 7, 2014


This is a report about Pixar Animation Studio (Pixar, for brevity). Pixar is an American computer animation studio based on California, United States. The company is known for its produced films such as Toy Story, Finding Nemo, and Ratatouille (Wikipedia, 2008). Pixar is currently under a partnership agreement with Walt Disney Company (Disney, for brevity) for the former’s film or product distribution and marketing.

The scope of this report is the study on Pixar’s strategic management, basing on its technique on producing films based on the utilize computer animation, the need to have a committed storytellers and its dependency with Disney for distribution and marketing. Following that will be the critical assessment of Pixar’s resources, focusing on the financial, technological, organizational, human resource aspect of the company. Next, will be the basis of Pixar’s competitive advantage. The study will also touch on the strategy on the increase on its output without sacrificing quality; and whether the subject company will be capable on committing itself to a competing-on-the-edge approach. A recommendation will end the report in the report summarizing the whole document in relation to Pixar’s strategic management.


The success of a company depends upon the efficiency and effectiveness of its strategic management. Strategic management is defined as a set of managerial skills that should be used throughout the organization. According to Drejer (2002), the ultimate purpose of strategic management is to secure competitive advantage of the organization. However, theories in strategic management are on the process of constant change due to the development of the needs of the consumer, the birth of technology and the conduct of an economy. From this note, it is necessary to include a bit of Pixar’s background information.

Pixar was a product of artist and technologies. Edwin Catmull who loves animation teamed up with people of same interest. In 1979, the team of Catmull joined forces with George W. Lucas Jr., however their aim to make substantial progress in the art of computer animation did not generate profit, and Lucas was not willing to go beyond using computer animation for special effects. In 1985, Steve Jobs, after being ousted from Apple Corporation, bought Edwin Catmull’s unit. In 1991, Disney came into the picture after giving Pixar a contract that started with Toy Story, which has produced positive results. However, currently, the twelve (12) year contract will be expiring. Pixar also proclaimed its move on not renewing the partnership contract with Disney. Pixar acknowledge the contribution of Disney with its company because of Disney’s reluctance to agree with its proposition to have only a distribution agreement, wherein due to unequal share of profit, Disney, based on the proposition, will only act as a distributor of the Pixar’s films.

The success of Pixar in the cartoon film industry is attributed to its unique and modern way of making animated cartoons in the process called computer animation. As stated in their website, Pixar combines creative and technical industry to create original characters and stories in the new medium of computer animation. Pixar have seen the need to make a difference from all those cartoons animation that has been shown on television or on the movies throughout history, hence thru the innovation of science, the knowledge about computers, and the acceptance of creative people paved way to the success of Pixar.

Hence, Pixar’s success is not only based on computer animation, but thru the creative efforts of the company’s innovative culture. Catmull has been the tool to see to it that progress on the creative department is stable. In addition, to ensure that such will happen, Pixar new hire employees are expected to spend ten (10) weeks at Pixar University. As reported by Hempel (2003), Pixar...
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