28 January 2006

Creator: John Lasseter

My friend Z. suggests that John Lasseter is the crux of the recently announced acquisition of Pixar by Disney. Lasseter is likely the most important animator in the world: he has been animating his ideas for nearly 30 years, and he was the driving force behind the Toy Story films, A Bug's Life, and many more from Pixar. (He's also famous for always wearing crazy floral-print shirts.)

Some links to material about Lasseter:
--His corporate biography at Pixar.
--A feature on him from Animation World Magazine, 1998.
--From the Guardian, a long on-stage interview from a film festival in 2001.

My favorite quote -- from Lasseter's high school days, after he read a book on animation: "I realized that people make cartoons for a living. It had never dawned on me that you could do this as a career." This is so often the case with great creators who go on to great careers: they do what they love doing, what they can't imagine not doing, and then figure out that they can make a living at it.

If Lasseter's creative vision prevails as Pixar joins Disney, we may see a rebirth of Disney in the spirit of Walt Disney himself.

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