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It earned its very first Oscar with "Tin Toy" in 1988. The short film was created to show off Pixar's groundbreaking technology -- it was essentially an advertisement. Directed by John Lasseter, it was the very first film created entirely in CG to win an Academy award.
That came in the animated film category, and Pixar has cleaned up ever since, nominated for every feature film its made. It won for four of them: "Finding Nemo," "The Incredibles," "Ratatouille" and "WALL-E."
Pixar actually started as a computer company. The plan was to sell the "Pixar Box" to other animators and the early short films like "Luxo Jr." were just a way of demonstrating the technology.
Of course, the employees quickly realized it wasn't the movie technology but the movies themselves where they would be successful.
John Lasseter once commented to PBS, "It’s not about the technology, 'cause the technology these days could be so seductive, right? It’s about entertaining the audience with great stories and great characters. And I just fall in love with these characters."