John Lasseter Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (4)  | Trivia (30)  | Personal Quotes (17)

Overview (3)

Born in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA
Birth NameJohn Alan Lasseter
Height 5' 7" (1.7 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Although born in Hollywood John and his twin sister, Johanna were raised in Wittier near Los Angeles. His parents were Jewell Mae (Risley), an art teacher, and Paul Eual Lasseter, a parts manager at a Chevrolet dealership. His mother's profession contributed to his interest in animation and particularly the Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck cartoons which he would watch on television. It was when he was in High School that he realized that he could have a career in animation and he wrote to the Walt Disney Studios but nothing happened then In 1975 the Disney company started an animation course at Calarts - The California Institute of the Arts- and John, with encouragement from his mother, was one of the first to sign up. He and his class mates, who included the future animators and directors Brad Bird, and Tim Burton were taught by some of Disney's veteran animators such as Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas. During his time there John produced two animated shorts - Lady and the Lamp (1979) and Nitemare (1980) - which both won the Student Academy Award for Animation. On graduating in 1979 John was taken on as an animator at the Disney Studios. In 1983, while working on Mickey's Christmas Carol some friends invited him to see some footage of Tron that they were working on using CGI and he immediately saw the potential of it to enhance animated films. John and a colleague made a short test film and satisfied with the result and full of enthusiasm started work on a feature without consulting their superiors who when they found out about it canceled it and sacked John. Having made contacts in the computer industry he was quickly taken on by Lucasfilm which was bought by Steve Jobs for $5 million with a further $5 million invested as working capital and the company renamed Pixar. John soon convinced Steve that the future lay in computer animation by bringing his desk lamp to life in the short 'Luxor Jr' which was shown at a computer graphics conference and got a standing ovation. The first computer animated feature soon followed in the form of 'Toy Story' winning John an Oscar for Special Achievement to go with one he got for Animated Short Film - Tin Toy. He's also had Oscar nominations for Animated Feature - Monster Inc and Cars, Original Screenplay -Toy Story, Animated Short Story - Luxor Jr while the short Knick Knack was selected by Terry Gilliam as one of the best 10 animated films of all time. In 2008, he was honored with the Winsor McCay Award, - the lifetime achievement award for animators. He oversees 3 animation studios - Pixar, Disney Animation and DisneyToon He spent 9 year (2005 - 2014) on the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, only relinquishing his seat due to term limits. He was presented with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood in November 2011.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Tonyman5

Spouse (1)

Nancy Lasseter (1988 - present) ( 5 children)

Trade Mark (4)

Nearly all of his films have hidden visual in-jokes with regards to Pixar, Disney, etc. Examples include: Toy Story (1995), A Bug's Life (1998), Toy Story 2 (1999) and Cars (2006).
Colorful visual design
Uses music by Randy Newman
Hawaiian shirts or shirts with colorful designs

Trivia (30)

His influences include Frank Capra, Preston Sturges, Walt Disney and Chuck Jones.
Educated at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia. He later received an honorary degree from the university in 2014.
Introduces the DVD release of Hayao Miyazaki's Castle in the Sky (1986), one of his favorite films.
Ranked #1 in Premiere magazine's 2004 annual Power 100 list with Pixar CEO Steve Jobs. They had ranked #23 in 2003 and #31 in 2002.
He won his first award at the age of five when he won $15.00 from the Model Grocery Market in Whittier, California, for a crayon drawing of the Headless Horseman.
While attending California Institute of the Arts, he produced two animated films, both winners of the Student Academy Award for Animation, Lady and the Lamp in 1979 and Nitemare in 1980.
In 2004, he was honored by the Art Directors Guild with its prestigious "Outstanding Contribution to Cinematic Imagery" award, and received an honorary degree from the American Film Institute.
He was a member of the Computer Division of Lucasfilm Ltd. (which was later sold and became Pixar), where he designed and animated the computer-generated Stained Glass Knight character in the Steven Spielberg-produced film Young Sherlock Holmes (1985).
Ranked #3 on Premiere magazine's 2005 Power 50 List with Pixar founder Steve Jobs. They had ranked #1 in 2004.
Member of the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Short Films and Feature Animation Branch) since 2005.
Is a huge fan of Hayao Miyazaki, who is a close personal friend.
Ranked #1 on Premiere magazine's 2006 "Power 50" list with Pixar/Disney executive Steve Jobs. They had ranked #3 in 2005 and #1 in 2004.
Admitted that whenever Pixar has encountered a creative problem, they look to Miyazaki's films for inspiration.
While at Lucasfilm, he worked with Sam Leffler, who was the author/editor of "The Unix System Manager's Manual". At Leffler's request, Lasseter created a cartoon version of "Beastie", the daemon mascot of BSD Unix, to appear on the book cover; Lasseter would reprise the character for two later books. Although Lasseter did not create Beastie, and several other artists have interpreted the character over the years, his rendering has proven to be one of the most popular and endearing versions.
Five days after Toy Story (1995) opened in theaters, he was on a trip with his family and upon getting off a plane, he saw a little boy with a Woody doll, which was enough to convince Lasseter how successful the film was.
He loves spy movies, especially the Jason Bourne trilogy. His favorite movie is Dumbo (1941).
Decided to be an animator as a child after spending $.49 to watch The Sword in the Stone (1963) in a theater.
His first job at the Disney Animation studio was the introduction of Copper in The Fox and the Hound (1981). He even collaborated with Glen Keane on the climactic fight scene.
He has an extensive collection of vintage toys and model trains. He also has an extensive collection of Hawaiian shirts, most of them have his iconic Pixar characters.
In Toy Story (1995), Woody was based on a pull string Casper that John owned when he was a child. Buzz Lightyear was based on a G.I. Joe action figure that John also owned when he was a child.
He wore a Scottish kilt to the premiere of Brave (2012).
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6834 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on November 1, 2011.
In Toy Story 2 (1999) the issue of the Life Woody's Roundup Magazine Issue is January 12th 1957 the day Lasseter was born.
In 2009 he was given an honorary Doctorate degree by Pepperdine University.
He collects classic cars, his favourite is a British black Jaguar XK120.
He owns over 1,000 Hawaiian shirts and wears one every day.
He and his wife own Lasseter Family Winery in Glen Ellen, California which includes a 2 mile narrow guage railway which includes a station and water tower and a locomotive the 'Marie E' which he bought from the Disney animator Ollie Johnson.
His favourite film is Dumbo.
He has directed three films that have been selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant: Luxo Jr. (1986), Tin Toy (1988) and Toy Story (1995).
Worked as a skipper at Disneyland's Jungle Cruise ride in the late 1970s.

Personal Quotes (17)

When I was in high school, I read this book called The Art of Animation by Bob Thomas. It's all about the Walt Disney studio and the making of Sleeping Beauty (1959). I read this and it dawned on me - wait a minute, people do animation for a living?
We make the kind of movies we want to see, we love to laugh, but I also believe what Walt Disney said "For every laugh there should be a tear." I love movies that make me cry, because they're tapping into a real emotion in me, and I always think afterwards "How did they do that?".
From the beginning, I kept saying it's not the technology that's going to entertain audiences, it's the story. When you go and see a really great live-action film, you don't walk out and say "That new Panavision camera was staggering, it made the film so good." The computer is a tool, and it's in the service of the story.
Andrew Stanton always said that 2-D animation became the scapegoat for bad storytelling. But you can make just as bad of a movie in 3-D.
Let me tell you a funny story. I took the family to see this film one weekend - I'll go to see almost any film that's good for the whole family. And so we're sitting there watching this film, which I won't name, and there are long stretches that are just not very entertaining. My little son - he was probably six at the time - was sitting next to me, and right in the middle of this dull section, he turns to me and says, "Dad? How many letters are in my name?" I must have laughed for five minutes. I thought, "Oh, man, this movie has lost this little boy." His mind has been wandering, trying to figure out how many letters there are in his name. So I told my wife, Nancy, what he said, and she started laughing, and then the story went down the row through my whole family, our four other sons, and we're sitting there as a family giggling and laughing. And I thought to myself, If ever a child anywhere in the world leans over to their daddy during one of my movies and asks, "How many letters are in my name?" I'll quit.
[on Hayao Miyazaki] Miyazaki is one of the greatest filmmakers of our time and he has been a tremendous inspiration to generations of animators at Pixar, when we have a problem and we can't seem to solve it, we often look at one of his films in our screening room. Toy Story (1995) owes a huge debt of gratitude to the films of Mr. Miyazaki.
[on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)] The animation of the dwarfs themselves is something pretty much impossible to achieve in computer animation. That fluidity, that squash and stretch, that kind of stuff - it just works in hand-drawn animation.
Everything I do in my life is because of Walt Disney, and how he entertained me as a child and as a young adult growing up.
The previous [Disney] regime had decided that their audience didn't want to look at hand-drawn art anymore and that they wanted computer animation. They didn't care about the artists, the history, the art form. They thought the world had grown too cynical for traditional fairy tales, but I was sitting at Pixar thinking, "No! Hollywood's grown too cynical for them! the rest of the world loves them!".
[on new directions in animated storytelling] You've got to tell them for today's audiences, You can't have a female character sitting around for a guy to come save her. There's not one woman I know - my mom, my wife - who is waiting around for guy to save them. For Tangled (2010), the story had to have a little something extra. This was a challenging story that involves child abduction and a poor girl raised in one room for her whole life. But her decision not to wait for someone to save her was what ended up driving the story. We switched Rapunzel from a damsel to an aspirational character.
Every technology that comes into filmmaking is first a gimmick. Think about sound with The Jazz Singer (1927) or the first colour or surround sound - it takes a while for filmmakers to understand how to use it.
I loved animation and cartoons, even when it was not cool when you were in high school. I raced home to see the Bugs Bunny cartoons.
One of the big moments of my life was watching Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) on its opening weekend in Hollywood. I was watching all these people enjoy this film, and I thought: animation can do this.
My father pulled into Pearl Harbor four days after the bombing, and he said, everything was still burning. He said they never told the public how bad it was. It was really bad.
The art challenges the technology, and the technology inspires the art.
Pixar is not about computers, it's about people.
I was born in 1957, so when I was a kid, there wasn't anything called a video game. When Pong (1972) came out, it was awesome.

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