When Steve Jobs bought Pixar from George Lucas, he was likely to have bought it on a whim. He was amazed by what George Lucas had demoed to him and since he was then interested to sell workstations for institutions, he probably thought that the piece of technology shown by George Lucas could one day compliment his own products.
When reading Becoming Steve Jobs, I could not even figure out what was the final product that came out of Pixar. Was that something like 3D-max? Pixar started out more of a software company and they were selling software systems that ran on Sun Microsystems. The software system was hard to learn and one of their customers was actually Disney.
To show how powerful their software is, one of their designers, Lasseter developed a 3D animated story that featured a lamp known as Luxo.
The amazing thing about this was that at that point in time, Steve Jobs and his team did not see Pixar as a film making studio. Up at around that point, Steve Jobs had been shopping around Pixar and there were a few companies in his list for selling.
It was only when Disney wanted to poach Lasseter that Lasserter came out with this idea of making 3D animated movies with Disney. This was also how Toy Story was born.
And so as you can see, it was at the last moment that they decided that they wanted to make movies. Now, was that a stroke of luck?