Pixar's early ads (partially lost CGI animated commercials; 1989-1998)

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Img 1993.jpg

Kellogg's All-Bran - Cello (1993) - Taken from an old version of Pixar's website.

Status: Partially Lost

To give the company funding and to build up their company, as well as give itself practice towards their animation and skills and to build up a production team for future projects, Pixar put their focus towards commercials in the late 1980s and early-to-mid 1990s for a better start for their company (as do many animators and animation companies starting out or continuing in the field of animation) at the decision of Steve Jobs after the company had been losing a lot of money for years, by opening up their commercial division in 1989.

These commercials would gradually help the company become stand alone and lead them to work their way to make a fully CGI-animated movie. The commercial brands, like Tropicana, Listerine, and Lifesavers, were impressed by Pixar's shorts so much that they came to them to propose the idea of them making CGI commercials for their brands. These commercials were different in that Pixar would only produce the ads if they could be part of the creative development on them, whereas most animated adverts would only have the animation company just make the animation. Thus, Pixar was given much more creative freedom, in advertising and in general. And as mentioned before, a lot of notable Pixar alumni worked on these in animation or directing, from John Lasseter to Pete Doctor to even Henry Selick, with the same couple people working in the producing and technical directing department. The advertisements' success helped Pixar gained $2 million per year from these while continually getting exposure to the mainstream public.

The commercial division was officially closed on July 8th, 1996; shortly after the success of Toy Story. However, they did still make some commercials for McDonald's coinciding with the releases of A Bug's Life and Toy Story 2 in 1998 and 1999 respectively, and the company continues to make commercials with their characters to this day. And despite all of this only some of the commercials have made their way to the internet in recent years, and even though they have mentioned and have shown clips of the commercials in documentaries (The Pixar Story and Pixar Shorts: A Short History) they have yet to properly re-release the commercials in a current format. There lies hope that Pixar may release these on one of their "Pixar Shorts" DVDs. But until something like that happens, we have to rely on personal VHS recordings for the old ads, with quite possibly not every single last one intact.

All of the original 79 Pixar commercials made by the commercial division are listed on pixartalk.com.[1] A playlist of the non-McDonald's ones (including variants) can be found on YouTube[2]. Notably, some of the Pixar commercials, including unresurfaced ones, can be briefly spotted in Toy Story 2 while the toys are flicking through the channels on Andy's TV, as well as some Pixar shorts.

Made in Point Richmond DVD

Some point after making For the Birds, Pixar made an employee exclusive DVD called "Made in Point Richmond" that contained most of the commercials listed by Pixartalk. The two Toppan Printing ads are not listed, suggesting they actually weren't Pixar, while one 1993 ad Apple Mac Classic "Introduction" not listed on Pixartalk's list is listed here.

On May 21, 2018, the whole DVD was uploaded as a disc image by LMW forum user jaret35 (ayeayematey on Discord), with the vast majority of Pixar's commercial work being on it.

Made in Point Richmond DVD insert listing Pixar commercials.

List of Pixar Ads

Bumper Name Year Status Description/Found By
Toppan Printing – “Dance of the Waterlilies” 1989 Lost
Toppan Printing – “Galaxy” 1990 Lost
Eggbeaters "Cracks" 1991 Found Found By: Chuck D's All-New Classic TV Clubhouse
Cellular One – “Moving Target” 1991 Found Found By: ayeayematey
Tropicana "Warehouse 1991 Found Found by: GloopTrekker
Tropicana - “Orange Kiwi Passion" 1991 Found Found By: ayeayematey
Tropicana - "Three Fruits Dancing" 1991 Found Found By: ayeayematey
Tetra Pak "Daydream" 1992 Found Found By: peetoons (starts at 0:31)
IncrediBites - "Comp Chomp" 1992 Found Found By: ayeayematey
Bunn Coffee Makers - "In the Mood" 1992 Found Found By: ayeayematey
Volkswagon Polo “Interview” 1992 Found Found By: Anonymous
La Poste "Ladybug 1992 Found Found By: Anonymous
Kellogg’s All-Bran "Balloon" 1992 Found Found By: Angel Milian (starts at 1:59)
Kellogg’s All-Bran "Hourglass" 1992 Found Found By:

The Collective Animation Archive

Kellogg’s All-Bran – “Cello” 1993 Found Found By: ayeayematey
Kellogg’s All-Bran – “Sprinkler” 1993 Found Found By: ayeayematey
Carefree "Bursting" 1993 Found Found By: barber747
Fresca "Chuckling Straws" 1993 Found Found By:

SuperNintendo96

Bank South – “Hungry” 1993 Found Found By: ayeayematey
Tetra Pak – “Stranded” 1993 Found Found By: ayeayematey
Jordan Magic Toothbrush "Launching Magic" 1993 Found Found By: The Collective Animation Archive
Nutri-Grain "We’ve Got Taste" 1993 Found Found By:

VHSgoodiesWA

Dow Corning – “Ideas at Work” 1993 Found Found By: ayeayematey
Bank South – “Chase” 1993 Found Found By: ayeayematey
Coca-Cola – “Kaleidoscope” 1994 Found Found by: ayeayematey
Arm & Hammer – “Here, There and Everywhere” 1994 Found Found By: ayeayematey
Arm & Hammer "About to Uncover" 1994 Found Found By: The Collective Animation Archive
Boston Chicken – “Fresh Salad” 1994 Found Found By: ayeayematey
Prime Option Credit Card – “Shaping Up Nicely” 1994 Found Found By: ayeayematey
Prime Option Credit Card – “Strong Option” 1994 Found Found By: ayeayematey
Paramount – “Logo” 1994 Lost
Ortho "Flamingo" 1995 Found Found By: The Collective Animation Archive
Chips Ahoy – “Circus” 1995 Found Found By: ayeayematey
Hershey’s – “Amazin’ Straws” 1995 Found Found By: ayeayematey
Coca-Cola – “Learning Lesson” 1995 Found Found By: ayeayematey
Tower Records "Christmas Conga" 1995 Found Found By: recordman33
Hallmark "Magnets" 1996 Found Found By:

VHSgoodiesWA

Twizzlers "Let Me In" 1996 Found Found By:

90s Commercials

Sun Microsystems – “Magic Desktop” 1996 Found Found by: Oracle Solaris
McDonald's – A Bug’s Life – “Belt Loop” 1998 Found There are two, "Belt Loop 1" and "Belt Loop 2." The second one shown is "Belt Loop 2."
McDonald’s – A Bug’s Life – “Nothing Good on TV Jr.” 1998 Found

Director: Doug Sweetland, Producer: Karen Dufilho Presumably not the version with a different audio track present in the compiled video

McDonald’s – A Bug’s Life – “Watches" 1998 Found Director: Bob Koch, Producer: Karen Dufilho

Toy Story 2 Ads

While the characters are flipping through the TV channels in Pixar's Toy Story 2, some Pixar commercials, as well as Pixar short films, can be seen as an in-joke. Whether the following screencaps of this scene all include Pixar commercials or not is unknown.

Gallery

See Also

References