To Pixar and Beyond, written by former Pixar CFO Lawrence Levy, is an essential look into the business of Pixar. However, the world of IPOs & finance provides a drier reading experience as learning the craft of artistry as more animation-centric Pixar history books are.
Levy details his tenure at Pixar when it went from a quaint animation company with an uncertain future to a pop culture powerhouse that became an official part of the Disney empire. While financial jargon isn’t exciting, Levy explains and relates terms well as he understands his story will reach non-CPAs, too.
Levy, who was such a friend to Pixar owner Steve Jobs that he could enter the Apple co-founder’s home through the back door, paints a pleasant picture of the man. Jobs is firm, but accepting of input. The climactic moment of Pixar’s initial public offering, where Steve Jobs moves from the 2-3% to the 1% in the wake of Toy Story’s massive success, feels vaguely hollow. The Pixar IPO is a notable success story for “comeback kid” Steve Jobs, but the feeling of jubilation seems like it’s for a wealthy man who sought Silicon Valley cred. To be fair, Levy gives props due to the many creative talents.
I like To Pixar and Beyond for its accessibility, but its receptive audience is limited.
**** out of *****