By Steve Daly
Updated May 20, 2008 at 04:00 AM EDT

Long before it defined CG-animation excellence with films like Toy Story and The Incredibles, Pixar was a scrappy graphics-software and computer-hardware company, constantly in danger of extinction. Its saviors include cofounder Ed Catmull, who dreamed of being an animator but couldn’t draw; driven writer-director John Lasseter, a would-be innovator pushed out of Disney; and deep-pocketed patron Steve Jobs, who held on through years of huge losses. in The Pixar Story, David A. Price, a tough, unsentimental reporter, ferrets out lots of backstage drama from fresh sources, weaving a commendably unvarnished history. B+