For the first time in his life, Docter felt like he genuinely fit in among his fellow Pixar animators. As he told the Star Tribune, "Growing up, a lot of us felt we were the only person in the world who had this weird obsession with animation. Coming to Pixar, you feel like, 'Oh! There are others!'" Almost immediately after arriving at the fledgling animation studio, Docter, along with fellow Pixar animators John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, and Joe Ranft, hatched the storyline for what would eventually become the company’s very first full-length feature, Toy Story.
Docter and fellow Pixar filmmaker Bob Peterson came up with an idea revolving around an elderly man who attaches hundreds of helium balloons to his house and subsequently flies to South America. Their idea eventually became the Oscar-winning comedy/drama Up, which was not only another massive hit for Pixar but also a critics’ darling that topped many year-end Top 10 lists. Docter himself said it best when, while accepting the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, he remarked, "Boy, never did I dream that making a flip book out of my third grade math book would lead to this.”