A BUG'S LIFE
JOHN LASSETER (Director/Story) made motion picture history
in 1995 as the director of "Toy Story," the first-ever
computer-animated feature and the first animated film to ever
be nominated for a Best Original Screenplay Academy Award. That
film also earned him a special achievement Oscar for his "inspired
leadership of the Pixar 'Toy Story' team." With his latest
directing effort, he continues to push the boundaries of the art
form in the pursuit of great storytelling and entertainment.
An award-winning director and animator, Lasseter continues to
serve as vice president of creative for Pixar. He has written
and directed a number of short films and television commercials
at Pixar, including "Luxo Jr." (a 1986 Oscar nominee),
"Red's Dream" (1987), "Tin Toy," which won
the 1989 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, and "Knickknack"
(1989). Among his other big screen credits, Lasseter also designed
and animated the stained glass knight in the 1985 Steven Spielberg
production, "Young Sherlock Holmes."
Lasseter was born in Hollywood and grew up in Whittier, California.
His mother was an art teacher and as early as his freshman year
in high school he fell in love with cartoons and the art of animation.
While still in high school, he wrote to The Walt Disney Studios
about his passion and he began studying art and learning how to
draw human and animal figures. At that time, Disney was setting
up an animation program at CalArts, an innovative center for studying
art, design and photography, and Lasseter became the second student
to be accepted into their start-up program. He spent four years
at CalArts and both of the animated films he made during that
time ("Lady and the Lamp" and "Nitemare")
won Student Academy Awards.
During his summer breaks, Lasseter apprenticed at Disney, which
led to a full-time position at the Studio's feature animation
department upon his graduation in 1979. During his five-year
stint at Disney, he contributed to such films as "The Fox
and the Hound" and "Mickey's Christmas Carol."
Inspired by Disney's ambitious and innovative film, "Tron,"
which used computer animation to create its special effects, Lasseter
teamed up with fellow animator Glen Keane to create their own
experiment. A 30-second test, based on Maurice Sendak's book
Where the Wild Things Are, showed how traditional hand-drawn animation
could be successfully combined with computerized camera movements
In 1983, at the invitation of Pixar founder Ed Catmull, Lasseter
visited the computer graphics unit of Lucasfilm and was instantly
intrigued. Seeing the enormous potential that computer graphics
technology had for transforming the craft of animation, he left
Disney in 1984 and came to Lucasfilm for what was to be only a
one-month stay. One month turned into six and Lasseter soon became
an integral and catalytic force at Pixar. Working closely with
Pixar's Bill Reeves, Lasseter came up with the idea of bringing
believable characterizations to a pair of desk lamps and the genesis
for "Luxo Jr." was born.
Lasseter and his wife, Nancy, have five boys ranging in age from
1 to 18. They live in Northern California.
Home | Theaters | Video | TV
Your Comments and Suggestions are Always Welcome.
© 2018 Disney Pictures Inc.®, All Rights Reserved.