Pixar films don’t get finished, they just get released

Mid-2008, hoping at best to receive a signed photo from his idol in return, a young man named Adam wrote to Pete Docter, the award-winning director of Monsters, Inc. and, more recently, Up. In the letter he spoke of his admiration for Docter and, as an amateur filmmaker and huge Pixar fan, mentioned his desire to work for the studio in the future. Lo and behold, months later the lovely handwritten note seen below arrived on Adam’s doorstep. Says Adam:

Here is what I received from Pete Docter, one of the most influential and important people at Pixar, the best animation studio on the planet.

Transcript follows. Many thanks to Adam for allowing us to feature his letter. Be sure to check out his blog, Disney, etc.

Recommended Reading: The Art of Up.



Hey Adam!

First off, let me apologize for taking so long to respond to your very kind letter. Things are pretty nuts around here. You had asked for an autographed photo of me; I don’t really have anything like that, not being famous. But here is a drawing of me for you.


I’m sure you can see the resemblance.

You are sure right about the importance of a good story in movies. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it sounds. It takes a lot of work (and rework, and rework and rework) to get it right. And even then quite often we’re not 100% pleased.

As John Lasseter likes to say, our films don’t get finished, they just get released.

Hope you enjoy “UP” next year!

Pete Docter