May 12, 2008
Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects - The Pixar Touch
Disney's The Sword in the Stone may have inspired some youngsters with dreams of becoming a knight or magician, leading them to a life of role-playing and dice-throwing. But, one little boy, John Lassater, thought instead about becoming an animator right then and there. He's now one of the people at the helm of Pixar, and yes, he did get to animate some pictures.
David A. Price's The Pixar Touch walks readers through the genesis of Pixar. Its beginnings reach far back into the 1960s, before computer technology was even a glimmer on the horizon of film making, let alone in our everyday workforce and home life. The book weaves the tales of not just one or two great masterminds behind Pixar, but actually dives into the contributions of the many different people who helped establish what it is today. This is no small feat, as there are literally thousands of such individuals to acknowledge (George Lucas, Tim Burton, Ed Catmull and Steve Jobs, just to name a few).
The author also takes on the huge task of talking about the technology, innovation and expertise that fueled Pixar into an Academy Award-winning company. He does so with great care, making the story accessible and easy to comprehend even though readers may not know anything about mainframes, pixels, frame buffers and other such computer hardware.
Detailing the histories of the company's huge hits (including Monster's Inc. and Finding Nemo) as well as some of its misses, Price shows how Pixar demonstrates the value in having faith not only in yourself, but also in those around you. The Pixar Touch never loses sight of the company's greatest renewable resource, the human spirit. Just envision that little boy looking up at the big screen, watching another little boy pull a huge sword out of a stone, thinking, "Hey, I could do that!"
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.