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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

12 TV Commercials You Might Not Realize Were Made by Pixar

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

During Pixar’s early days, the company was a hardware and software computer company that sold to commercial graphics and visualization markets. However, the computers and software were so expensive and advanced that Pixar was losing money on the business, so Steve Jobs—who was a majority shareholder—wanted the burgeoning studio to make commercials for other companies to generate more income.

Pixar hired Andrew Stanton and Pete Docter, two young animators who would go on to direct feature films like Finding Nemo and Inside Out, to help create new TV commercials. As a result of the new venture, the future animation giant made an additional $2 million a year that helped grow the company. Here are 11 TV commercials you might not have known were made by Pixar Animation Studios.

1. TROPICANA

In 1989, John Lasseter directed and Ralph Guggenheim produced “Wake Up,” a 30-second TV spot, for Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice. The pair later went on to make Toy Story (1995).

2. LIFE SAVERS HOLES

Lasseter also directed “Babies” (a.k.a. “Playground” or “The Park”) for Life Savers Holes in 1990.

3. COCA-COLA

In 1995—the same year that Pixar released Toy Story—Bob Peterson directed “Pin Box” for Coca-Cola. He would later co-direct Up (2009) with Pete Docter and co-write A Bug's Life (1998),Toy Story 2 (1999), Finding Nemo (2003), Inside Out (2015), The Good Dinosaur (2015), and the upcoming Finding Dory for Pixar.

4. HERSHEY'S

In 1996, Steve Segal (not that one) and Dave Feiten co-directed “The Tastetations” for Hershey’s.

5. TETRA PAK

Docter directed “Lunchbox” for food packaging company Tetra Pak in 1991. Ten years later, he directed Monsters, Inc. (2001).

6. CALIFORNIA LOTTERY

In 1990, animator Flip Phillips directed “Dancing Cards” for the California Lottery.

7. TRIDENT

At the age of 25, Andrew Stanton directed “Quite a Package” (a.k.a. “Piano”) for Trident gum in 1990. In 2004, he won his first Oscar, for Best Animated Feature for Finding Nemo. In 2009, he took home another Oscar in the same category for WALL·E.

8. VOLKSWAGEN

Also in 1990, Stanton directed “La Nouvelle Polo” for Volkswagen for French TV. The commercial also served as a precursor to A Bug’s Life, which was released eight years later.

9. PILLSBURY

Pixar animators Henry Selick and Flip Phillips co-directed “Pump” for Pillsbury in 1990. Selick would later direct The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach, and Coraline. He also created the stop-motion animation for Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

10. IBM

Animator Henry Anderson III directed a commercial for IBM via Pixar in 1992. Anderson would later take up jobs as the animation director for Mousehunt and Stuart Little, which was adapted by M. Night Shyamalan.

11. TOYS ‘R’ US

In 1991, Stanton directed “Grand Opening” for Toys "R" Us. The ad was produced by Karen Robert Jackson, who also—quite fittingly—produced Toy Story 2 for Pixar.

12. LEVI’S

In 1996, Shawn Krause directed “Shake It” for Levi’s. Kori Rae produced the commercial, which earned a CLIO Award. Currently, Krause and Rae are still at Pixar as a supervising animator and producer, respectively.

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MGM Home Entertainment
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entertainment
The Beatles’s Yellow Submarine Is Returning to Theaters for Its 50th Anniversary
MGM Home Entertainment
MGM Home Entertainment

The Beatles are coming! The Beatles are coming!

In early 1968, at the height of Beatlemania, The Fab Four lent their voices—and visages—to Yellow Submarine, a somewhat strange and slightly surreal animated film, purportedly for children, which saw the band travel to Pepperland aboard the titular watercraft in order to save the land from the music-hating Blue Meanies. (Hey, we said it was strange.)

Though it would be another year before the film’s iconic soundtrack was released, 2018 marks the film’s 50th anniversary. To celebrate the occasion, Pitchfork reports that the psychedelic cartoon will be making its way back into theaters in July with a brand-new 4K digital restoration and a surround sound remix, to have it looking—and sounding—pristine.

To find out where it will be screening near you, visit the film’s website, where you can sign up for updates.

[h/t: Pitchfork]

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DESIREE MARTIN, AFP/Getty Images
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science
Stephen Hawking's Big Ideas, Made Simple
DESIREE MARTIN, AFP/Getty Images
DESIREE MARTIN, AFP/Getty Images

On March 14, 2018, visionary physicist Stephen Hawking passed away at the age of 76. You know his name, and may have even watched a biopic or two about him. But if you've ever wondered what specifically Hawking's big contributions to science were, and you have two and a half minutes to spare, the animation below is for you. It's brief, easy to understand, and gets to the point with nice narration by Alok Jha. So here, in a very brief and simple way, are some of Stephen Hawking's big ideas:

If you have more than a few minutes, we heartily recommend Hawking's classic book A Brief History of Time. It's easy to read, and it's truly brief.

[h/t: Open Culture]

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