Even as Pixar’s hardware and software product lines foundered,

Even as Pixar’s hardware and software product lines foundered, Jobs kept protecting

the animation group. It had become for him a little island of magical artistry that

gave him deep emotional pleasure, and he was willing to nurture it and bet on it.



decree deep spending cuts across the board. When it was over, Lasseter and his

animation group were almost too afraid to ask Jobs about authorizing some extra


money for another short. Finally, they broached the topic and Jobs sat silent, looking

skeptical. It would require close to $300,000 more out of his pocket. After a few

minutes, he asked if there were any storyboards. Catmull took him down to the

animation offices, and once Lasseter started his show—displaying his boards, doing


the voices, showing his passion for his product—Jobs started to warm up.

The story was about Lasseter’s love, classic toys. It was told from the perspective

of a toy one-man band named Tinny, who meets a baby that charms and terrorizes


him. Escaping under the couch, Tinny finds other frightened toys, but when the

baby hits his head and cries, Tinny goes back out to cheer him up.

Jobs said he would provide the money. “I believed in what John was doing,” he later


said. “It was art. He cared, and I cared. I always said yes.” His only comment at the

end of Lasseter’s presentation was, “All I ask of you, John, is to make it great.”


Tin Toy went on to win the 1988 Academy Award for animated short films, the first

computer-generated film to do so. To celebrate, Jobs took Lasseter and his team to

Greens, a vegetarian restaurant in San Francisco. Lasseter grabbed the

Oscar, which was in the center of the table,


held it aloft, and

toasted Jobs by saying, “All

you asked is that we

make a great movie.”