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JOHN LASSETER (Director) made movie history in 1995 as director of the first feature-length computer-animated film, "Toy Story,” for which he received a special achievement Academy Award®. He has gone on to further acclaim as director of "A Bug's Life” (1998) and Golden Globe®-winning "Toy Story 2” (1999), and executive producer of "Monsters, Inc.” "Finding Nemo,” and "The Incredibles.” Among his most recent milestones, Lasseter was honored by the exhibition community at this year's ShoWest convention with their first-ever "Pioneer of Animation” award, and received the prestigious "Georges Méliès Award for Artistic Excellence” in February from the Visual Effects Society.

An award-winning director and animator, Lasseter continues to serve as executive 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 1996 Oscar® nominee), "Red's Dream” (1987), "Tin Toy,” which won the 1989 Academy Award® for Best Animated Short Film, and "Knick Knack” (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 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 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” (1982), which used computer animation to create its special effects, Lasseter teamed with fellow animator Glen Keane to create their own experiment. A 30-second test, based on a well-known children's book, showed how traditional hand-drawn animation could be successfully combined with computerized camera movements and environments.

In 1983, at the invitation of Pixar co-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 of what ultimately became Pixar. Lasseter came up with the idea of bringing believable characterizations to a pair of desk lamps, and so the award-winning short "Luxo Jr.” was born.

Lasseter and his wife, Nancy, live in Northern California with their five sons.

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