Nope, you’re not going to see some early versions of “Toy Story” or “Finding Nemo” in this demo reel. Back before Pixar was the Pixar we all know and love, the company was in the business of producing extremely high-end imaging computers. The demo reel that’s been unearthed shows almost 10 minutes of incredibly boring, outdated computer-speak and absolutely zero hopping lamps.
Pixar began as an offshoot of Lucasfilm called Graphics Group in 1979. However, in 1986, with the help of Apple genius Steve Jobs, Pixar became its own corporation and got into the image-computing business. In 1988, Pixar was hoping to ship a computer that cost $135,000, along with a completely necessary $35,000 workstation, to businesses in the meteorology, geophysics, and medical industries. Highlighting its computing power, as well as top-of-the-line imaging, the Pixar Image Computer was always going to be a tough sell at that price point. Ultimately, Pixar only sold less than 300 units, and eventually the company went into the movie-making business.
Interestingly enough, The Walt Disney Company bought dozens of the Pixar Image Computers and used them during the making of “Pocahontas” before buying the whole company in 2006 for a whopping $7.4 billion. Turns out that was a pretty good investment. [io9]