Business Case Studies, Innovation and New Product Development Case Study, Pixar Animation Studio: The Success Story

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Innovation and New Product Development Case Study

Case Title:

Pixar Animation Studio: The Success Story

Publication Year : 2005

Authors: Bindu Kannan

Industry: Entertainment


Case Code: IPD0042B

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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Pixar was one the leading digital animation studio in the US. As of January 3, 2004, Pixar had created and produced five animated feature films, Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc. and Finding Nemo, which were marketed and distributed by The Walt Disney Company . All of these were blockbusters which grossed a total of $1.2 billion, with an average of around $200 million per film. With the success of all the films in a row, Pixar had built up a brand image for itself. The case discusses about various factors behind the success of Pixar studio. The case further highlights on the business model of Pixar and its unique work environment and culture.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • The state of the digital animation industry in the US
  • Pixar strategy of blend between the technical and the creative process
  • Pixar’s dependence on the senior management personnel
  • Pixar’s lack of diversification from the core business.

Keywords : Digital animation industry in the US; Pixar Animation Studio; Walt Disney; Dream Works; Ed Catmull; Steve Jobs; Apple computers; John Lasseter; Innovation Management Case Study; Animation Process; Renderman; Block buster movies; Business Model; Creative Process; Story line; Lucasfilms


  • Introduction
  • The Digital Animation Business
  • Profile of Pixar
    • Competition
    • Revenue Streams
    • Software Revenues

  • Business Model
    • The Creative Process
    • Story line
    • People Management
    • Jobs' Touch
  • Challenges Ahead

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