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Alvy Ray Smith receives the first check for $1m to Pixar from Disney in 1986

Although he was about to faint from illness, Alvy wouldn't have missed this day for anything. This was the payoff day for his 18-month negotiation with Disney, particularly with Bob Lambert and working with Lem Davis there. The check was the first payment (for $1m) for the Computer Animation Production System (CAPS) that forever changed the way Disney made its "cel" animated movies. It was also the first income for the new company Pixar after the initial investment. Alvy had just received the check from Frank Wells who (with Michael Eisner) ran Disney. Frank was on a phone call so missed this photo op. The background is a giant tapestry of Mickey Mouse.

First Check From Disney 1986

Left to right: Lem Davis, Bob Lambert, Alvy Ray Smith, Peter Schneider, Roy Disney (Walt's nephew). Not shown: Frank Wells (taking a phone call). Photo courtesy: Bob Lambert