The Man Who Named Pixar Quietly Retired Last Week

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We know so many of the names connected to the birth of Pixar: George Lucas, Steve Jobs, Ed Catmull, and John Lasseter, for starters. But the man who actually named the company is largely unknown. His name is Loren Carpenter, and he’s worked on virtually every Pixar film in some capacity, all the way from Toy Story to last year’s Monsters University. Carpenter, however, reportedly retired from the company last week at the age of 66.

Before actually being the first one to say “Pixar,” Carpenter wanted to call the company “Cinematrix,” but many people didn’t like that. Cartoon Brew pointed to the news of Carpenter’s retirement, and republished the story of Pixar’s naming from the book Droidmaker by Michael Rubin. Here’s a sliver, which comes late in a conversation some of the principals were having about a name for the company:

Loren thought for a moment.. It just sounds kind of…strange. What about pixar.”

“That’s good,” said Alvy.

Jim and Rodney didn’t stop eating, but their eyes registered consensus. Loren was mulling it over.

“Then it sounds a little more like ‘radar,’ and sort of astronomical, like ‘quasar’ or ‘pulsar,’” Loren added.

Did you know the story of the name “Pixar”?

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