Pixar Animation Studios
|Standard Logos||Logo Variations||Trailer Variations|
Pixar Animation Studios (pronounced "pics-ar") was formed in 1979 as The Graphics Group of Lucasfilm Computer Division by Edwin Catmull, Steve Jobs, and John Lasseter. It was renamed to its current name in 1986, and originally produced CGI animated shorts, most notably The Adventures of André and Wally B., Luxo Jr., and Tin Toy. They later began working on feature films starting with 1995's Toy Story, a joint production with Walt Disney Feature Animation which was the first ever full-length film to be computer-animated. In 2006, Pixar was acquired by The Walt Disney Company.
The Graphics Group of Lucasfilm Computer Division
(December 18, 1984)
Nicknames: "The Glory Days", "PixFilm"
Logo: On a background of leaves and sticks, the words 'The LUCASFILM COMPUTER GRAPHICS PROJECT presents' appear after the logo completely fades in. After a few seconds, the logo cuts to reveal the title card for The Adventures of André and Wally B.
Music/Sounds: The theme to the short (taken from a rendition of "The Barber of Seville: Figaro's Aria").
Availability: Very rare. This can only be seen on Pixar's first short The Adventures of André and Wally B, which can be seen on the DVD and Blu-ray for Pixar Short Films Collection Volume 1.
Editor's Note: None.
Pixar Animation Studios
1st Logo (August 17, 1986-1990)
Nicknames: "The Square", "The Pixar Square", "Beveled Square with a Dent"
Logo: On a black background, we see a grey square with four circles in red, green, blue, and white respectively below. Suddenly, a white light hovers over them, making them 3-D. The circles then turn into spheres. A circle zooms in on the square and the four spheres zoom out. The word "P · I · X · A · R" in Trajan Pro font fades in with each sphere and the end of the letter.
- The square in this logo was based on the Pixar Image Computer, which is also where the company got its name.
- On Tin Toy, the square can be seen on a bag.
- The square can also be seen on the game box on Geri's Game.
- This logo also makes a cameo in Toy Story 2 on a television channel seen by Andy's toys during the channel-changing scene.
- For the company's 30th anniversary, the square in this logo was used in place of the "0" in the 30th anniversary print logo.
- This logo was created by director and executive producer John Lasseter on a stone cutting machine.
- On Luxo Jr., an in-credit text is used with the square to the left of the text.
- On a demo reel from 1988, the standard logo is still and grey diamonds replace the spheres. The end of the reel has the logo pushed up with the company's address below. The text style used in this variant is also used on all variants listed below.
- At the beginning of another demo reel from 1990, Tinny from Tin Toy can be seen on the right side of the screen with the Pixar logo at the top left and a 1990 copyright stamp on the bottom left. At the end, it just shows the normal Pixar logo without the symbol but with a different address and phone number.
- On Red's Dream, the Pixar square logo is seen, which fades into the text "PIXAR".
- On Tin Toy, we see only the "PIXAR" text and it scrolls from right to left.
- On the original version of Knick Knack, the Pixar square logo zooms appears by a light and the text zooms up to the screen.
- On the 1989 party video, the Pixar logo is rendered with a high specular and no wordmark.
FX/SFX: The light, the circle in the square zooming in, the circles at the bottom zooming out and the fade in of the text.
Music/Sounds: On original prints of Luxo Jr., and Beach Chair, it used a big band style tune (which is taken from the ending of "Take a Bow 1", composed by David Lindup for Bruton Music (now APM Music)). The same stock music is from a syndication promo Studio City made called "Spin City on Ice" which you may find at the beginning here: https://vimeo.com/387020580 The variants use the short's opening theme. On newer prints of Luxo Jr., the standard logo is silent for some reason.
- On the 1989 party video, we hear a triumphant majestic fanfare followed by a voiceover (Pixar employee Craig Good) remarking "The 1989 Christmas Video, brought to you by Pixar. Nobody knows exactly what it is we do, but they know we do it better than anyone in the world."
- On Tin Toy, a whimsical orchestral tune plays (taken from "Puffin' Billy" by Bruce Campbell).
- On Red's Dream, a rainy sound effect plays, followed by a saxophone playing a sad tune.
Availability: Uncommon. Seen on Pixar's animated shorts from 1986 until 1989. It is usually plastered over on re-releases of these shorts, but it is intact on certain shorts released on Pixar Short Films Collection Volume 1. It has turned up on an original Australian VHS copy of Toy Story 2 which had the short Luxo Jr. before the film. Was also seen on the early short Beach Chair which can be found on the aforementioned Pixar Short Films Collection Volume 1 DVD (without the logo) as a bonus feature, as well as the rare Pixar employee DVD Made In Point Richmond (with the logo).
Editor's Note: While this logo may look simple, it is still well-animated, and it was very advanced for its time.
2nd Logo (November 19, 1995-)
Nicknames: "Luxo Jr.", "Pixar Lamp"
Logo: On a light blue background, we see the text "PIXAR" in a spaced-out Charlemagne Bold face. Then a lamp hops by. He stops once he notices the "I". He shakes his body and bounces on the "I" four times before squishing it. He looks around as the text "ANIMATION STUDIOS" fades in underneath the letters "A" and "R". He then faces the camera. Afterwards, either of the two will happen:
- Opening: (since A Bug's Life) The logo fades out.
- Closing: (since Toy Story) The light slowly dims until it's completely dark. Luxo Jr.'s light is still on though, but he then turns off.
- The lamp is the titular character from Pixar's very first animated short, Luxo Jr., made in 1986. The sound effects are also taken from said short.
- The logo was designed by Pixar veteran Pete Docter and animated by Pixar subsidiary Hi Tech Toons.
- The remastered 2008 version was animated and produced by Pixar employee Gini Cruz Santos.
- On Cars and its video game adaptation, the text "20 YEARS" (with Luxo Jr.'s light replacing the 0 in "20"), with "CELEBRATING" above it in tiny letters, appears when the logo dims.
- On theatrical releases of Cars 2, the logo plays but after the logo finishes the letters disappear leaving just the lamp. Then everything fades out and "CELEBRATING" fades in and slowly zooms in on a black background. Behind the text "25 YEARS" (with "25" above the "YEARS") fades in behind the "CELEBRATING" and is in a light blue font.
- A still version without Luxo Jr. on a white background exists on Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, the Game Boy Color version of the Monsters, Inc. video game, and Operation: Camouflage for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
- A still version without Luxo Jr., with white text on a black background, can be seen on trailers and TV spots for Toy Story.
- A still version with Luxo Jr. exists on Toy Story 3 for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
- There is a short version which starts with the completed logo and only includes Luxo Jr. looking at us. It usually appears in front of shorts and trailers. This short version also appeared at the very beginning of Monsters, Inc.
- Starting in 2008, the logo was remastered in HD.
- A 3D version also exists since 2009. The description can be found right below this description.
- At the end of some films such as Up, Brave, Cars 2, Finding Dory and Cars 3, the logo cuts in instead of fading in as it usually would.
- Starting in 2019, the logo was re-animated and re-rendered with Pixar's current software. Changes include some minor color correction and the lamp being remodeled with a new base and an LED bulb.
- On Kinect Rush: A Disney/Pixar Adventure, the animation starts from the point where the lamp is already in place.
- On Toy Story 4 and at the end of the 2-D version of Onward, the words "ANIMATION STUDIOS" are already formed while the logo still plays as normal.
- On Pixar's 20th Anniversary Special, when the lamp has squished the I, we can see "CELEBRATING 20 YEARS" in gold.
FX/SFX: Very nice CGI that still holds up almost 25 years later. This was done on a SGI Indigo workstation. The lamp and the letters were modeled with Alias/Wavefront PowerAnimator and textured with Amazon Paint. The logo was rendered with PhotoRealistic Renderman on a Sun Microsystems supercomputer with a SPARC processor. The logo was recorded to 35mm negative on Management Graphics equipment with Monaco Labs developing it to reversal.
Music/Sounds: In order: the metallic sound of the lamp hopping, some whizzing sounds when the lamp shakes his body, squeaky rubber-like sounds when he jumps on the "I", and then some more squeaking sounds and a clunk as he looks around. Designed by Gary Rydstrom at Skywalker Sound, and mixed by Tom Myers.
- On The Incredibles, Monsters, Inc. Ratatouille, Inside Out, Onward and Soul, the opening theme of the movie plays over the logo.
- The music varies at the tail end of Monsters, Inc. DVD (widescreen version), Blu-ray and TV airings of said movie have the closing music ("Walk to Work", an excerpt from Randy Newman's score), but on the 2002 VHS release, the 2002 Australian DVD and the fullscreen version on DVD, the music uses one of the songs ("If I Didn't Have You", sung by Billy Crystal as Mike Wazowski and John Goodman as Sulley) from earlier in the credits reel due to bloopers and a conclusion short being shown earlier on.
Availability: Current and very common. Seen on all Pixar movies and shorts from 1995 onward, with the exception of 3-D prints of most newer movies, which use the next logo below. It first appeared at the end of Toy Story (and appears at the beginning of said film on most current prints, following the 2006 Walt Disney Pictures logo, and plastering the Pixar variant of the WDP logo) and has appeared at the beginning and end of all Pixar features starting with A Bug's Life. The reanimated variant first appeared on the second trailer for Toy Story 4, and made its official debut on the movie itself, even appearing on the 3-D version. The white background variant is fairly rare and was only seen on Buzz Lightyear of Star Command. It plasters the previous logo on newer prints of Luxo Jr. and Knick Knack.
Editor's Note: This is one of the most popular logos in existence, and is cherished by many. The many variants that have been created are fun to watch as well.
3rd Logo (3-D Alternative) (May 29, 2009-)
Nicknames: "Luxo Jr. II", "Pixar Lamp II"
Logo: We start on a black screen. Then, the camera pans away from the "P" in "PIXAR", and we zoom out as Luxo Jr. appears and does his usual animation. Instead of "ANIMATION STUDIOS" fading in, it fades in, then zooms in until it stops under the Pixar logo. The rest of the logo plays as normal.
Variant: Just like its 2D counterpart, the logo has also been re-animated and re-rendered with Pixar's current software.
FX/SFX: Same as the last logo, with the addition of the moving camera.
Music/Sounds: Same as the previous logo.
Availability: Current and common. Seen on most Pixar 3-D releases starting with Up. Also seen when Toy Story and Toy Story 2 were re-released in Disney Digital 3-D. This and the 2011 variant of the 2006 Walt Disney Pictures logo plaster the previous logo on 3-D prints of For the Birds. It also appears on both 3-D and even 2-D prints of newer shorts. The reanimated variant appears on 3D versions of films starting with Onward, it also appears in the 2020 Disney Investor Day.
Editor's Note: A fun twist on the Pixar logo, perfectly taking advantage of the 3D format.