Starting out with Luxo Jr - a humble little lamp with a life of its own - Pixar has gone on to create some of the most popular films ever made.
From Toy Story to Bug's Life, Monsters Inc, The Incredibles and the soon-to-be released Cars, a new exhibition lays bare each small, painstaking step involved in creating the animation company's uncannily lifelike characters.
Such is the draw (ok, pun intended) that, even on a slightly chilly Easter holiday morning, families are flocking to the Science Museum to get a measure of the careful artistry and creative perspiration that comes with the process.
The exhibition itself is small but perfectly formed, and it takes us (that's me and two chiddlers) at least an hour and a half to take in all the sights and sounds.
|Drawings help the characters to evolve|
Cosying up alongside detailed depictions of the wind rippling through Mr Incredible's hair are examples of the company's so-called "colourscripts". These visual style and tone-setters are displayed edge to edge with 3D resin models and the quirkier x-rays of well known characters.
Elsewhere, detailed studies of Monsters Inc's Sully and his fur reacting to different conditions (wet, windy, even scary!) complement a series of line-perfect charcoal drawings of the shark-infested ocean depths in Finding Nemo. There's also a chuckle-inducing storyboard about ... the making of storyboards!
All this, in common with so much else in the show, is the work of Pixar's stable of backroom artists and draughtsmen, rendered in a fine-art style and a world away from that stage in the animation process when the super-computers take over.
And as if this isn't enough to keep the kids interested, a side room contains the most talked-about element of the exhibition, a 3D Toy Story zoetrope.
Invented in 1834, this amazing piece of Victoriana gave viewers the opportunity to look through slits as a drum was spun and see a cartoon strip form a moving image.
|Toy Story's Woody on the zoetrope|
Pixar's technologically advanced version uses strobe lights to re-create the effect as Woody rides his horse, Jesse whirls her lasso and toy soldiers parachute to the ground, accompanied by miniature aliens jumping in and out of mysteriously appearing holes.
It's a heart-stopping moment of wonderment and there're disbelieving gasps from adults and children alike.
As a digital animation house, Pixar has always been known for pushing the boundaries. Extensive research and a hugely talented team have ensured they remain a cut above.
Disney, the most established name in animation, has seen the future and acted upon it, buying Pixar for $7.4bn. With the purchase they'll establish an important link between the old and the new: Disney itself on the one hand and on the other, step forward Pixar chief exec and Head of Apple, Steve Jobs.
As to whether Pixar will struggle to keep its sense of individuality, only time will tell. Meanwhile, as 20 Years of Animation demonstrates only too clearly, we can all continue to be awestruck by the company's triumph of technology and the pleasure it begets.
At the Science Museum, Exhibition Road SW7 until 10 June. Daily 10am - 6pm. Adults £9, children £7. Info: 0870 870 4868