Life can be stranger than computer animation. Going into last night's second-quarter earnings report, Pixar (NASDAQ:PIXR) had made a habit of showing up Wall Street. In three of the last four quarters, Pixar trounced analyst profit projections by 36%, 41% and 82%. Little wonder few took the bait back in May when Pixar announced that it was looking to earn just $0.12 a share in the June quarter.

A few weeks later, Finding Nemo was released and promptly become the highest-grossing animated feature film of all time. Analysts wouldn't be hooked again. Wall Street expectations ranged from $0.12 a share to as high as $0.22. Surely this time the financial community had found a way to net the elusive Pixar.

Sorry. Last night, Pixar reported earnings of $0.34 a share, on revenue that more than doubled to $48.9 million. For those who think Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) living the fat life, that translates into net profit margins of 39.9%. And while Nemo accounted for a little more than half the top line, that party's not over: The movie has yet to make it through global distribution channels, not to mention home video and DVD.

All of this might come as a surprise to investors but not to our own David Gardner. David highlighted Pixar months ago in Motley Fool Stock Advisor.

Meanwhile, Pixar continues to negotiate with partner Disney (NYSE:DIS) on a more equitable deal. Should Pixar escape, one can only imagine that rivals AOL Time Warner (NYSE:AOL), Sony (NYSE:SNE), Viacom's (NYSE:VIA) Paramount and MGM (NYSE:MGM) will cast their own nets.

Surprise. With management warning that marketing costs will bite into third-quarter results, Pixar is looking to earn a modest $0.07 a share this quarter. Analysts, as tempting as that worm looks dangling there, please learn from the past and don't bite too hard.

Where will Pixar go from here? Why are the company's net margins so juicy and will competition move in if Pixar keeps producing stellar numbers? What do you think of Pixar's next movie -- The Incredibles? Does it apply to Pixar too? All this and more -- in thePixar discussion board. Only on