While still in high school, wrote to The Walt Disney Studios to express his interest in the field
Became the second student accepted into the then new Disney-sponsored animation program at CalArts (an institution started by Walt Disney)
Made two animated films while at CalArts, "Lady and the Lamp" and "Nitemare" (both won Student Academy Awards)
Apprenticed at Disney during summer breaks
Hired by the Disney feature animation department upon graduation
Contributed animation to such films as "The Fox and the Hound" (1981) and "Mickey's Christmas Carol" (1984)
Co-created with fellow Disney animator Glen Keane, an experimental 30-second test film based on Maurice Sendak's classic children's book, "Where the Wild Things Are," to demonstrate how traditional hand-drawn character animation could be combined with computerized camera movements and environments
Invited by Pixar founder Ed Catmull to visit the computer graphics unit of Lucasfilm
Left Disney intending to work at Lucasfilm for a month; stayed for 6 months
Worked on the computer animation group of Lucasfilm's Industrial Light & Magic for the feature "Young Sherlock Holmes"
Joined Pixar, the computer animation company formed by entrepreneur Steven Jobs with his purchase of the computer animation division of Lucasfilm
Created the Oscar nominated animated short film, "Luxo Jr"
Gained notice for his Academy Award winning short, "Tin Toy"; credited for directing, scripting, animating and modeling
First TV credit, provided a film for NBC's "Super Bloopers & New Practical Jokes"
Feature directing debut, "Toy Story"; also credited for original story (with three others) and modeling & animation system development
Co-directed the computer-animated "A Bug's Life"
Produced the animated Pixar film, "The Incredibles"; directed and written by Brad Bird
Appointed Chief Creative Officer of both the Pixar and Disney animation studios when the Walt Disney Company purchased Pixar
Directed and co-wrote the animated feature, "Cars"; earned an Oscar nomination for Best Animated feature
Produced the Pixar animated feature, "Ratatouille"
Executive produced the Pixar animated feature, "WALL-E"
Executive produced the Disney animated feature, "The Princess and the Frog"
Returned to directing with "Cars 2"