Back in 1995, John Lasseter (Cars, A Bug's Life) directed the first, full-length computer animated film, Toy Story. Lasseter, one of the first animators hired by Ed Catmull when George Lucas owned Pixar under its previous name, Lucasfilm Computer Graphics Group (it was purchased by Steve Jobs in 1986 and sold to Disney in 2006), spent the better part of two decades refining his skills as an animator while pushing for greater complexity and flexibility in computer animation software. A series of Academy Award-winning shorts led to Toy Story. Significant risk was involved for Lasseter and Pixar, but Lasseter's emphasized developing rounded, three-dimensional characters and a compelling action-adventure storyline to complement cutting-edge computer animation.
Note: Spoiler alert is in full effect.