Ed Catmull
Courtesy Catmull
United States

Walt Disney Animation Studios



In 1972, while at the University of Utah, Catmull created a four-minute film of computer-generated animation representing the state of the art, and as Hollywood would have it, George Lucas saw it and tapped him to bring his technical wizardry to Industrial Light & Magic, where he revolutionized effects-heavy moviemaking before co-founding Pixar in 1986 with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter. Catmull was a key figure in the development of the studio’s game-changing — and Oscar-winning — RenderMan VFX system, which was used in the world’s first CG movie, “Toy Story,” and forever changed the face of animation. The 73-year-old has announced his retirement at year’s end, though he’ll stay on in an advisory role until July 2019 — marking 40 years since his original Lucasfilm hire.


  • Lucasfilm Limited
  • Pixar Animation Studios
  • Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration


  • University of Utah (UT, USA)

Variety Honors

  • 2017 Variety500 Honoree
  • 2018 Variety500 Honoree
  • Creative Impact Award
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News from Variety

Pixar Co-Founder Ed Catmull to Retire

Pixar Co-Founder Ed Catmull to Retire

Ed Catmull, a longtime leader at Pixar and Walt Disney Animation, has announced plans to retire.Pixar president Jim Morris and Walt Disney Animation Studios president Andrew Millstein will continue in his place, as the 73-year-old transitions to an advisory role to end in summer 2019.Morris and Millstein will report up to Walt Disney Studios President Alan Bergman, while each studio’s respective chief creative officer, Pete Docter and Jennifer Lee, will continue to report to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn.Catmull...



What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given in your career?

“My best advice came by examples. A supportive environment at home, school, and grad school. Support at the New York Institute of Technology, then George Lucas, Steve Jobs and Bob Iger. The examples meant that I should support other people, even when things aren't going well. It will pay off.”

What or who inspires you?

“Walt Disney and Albert Einstein.”

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