Thursday, October 27, 2011

Full Circle . . . and Beyond!

On November 1, John Lasseter will become the 2,453rd star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. Here’s a leader that’s come full circle . . . and beyond!

Lasseter started his career as a Jungle Cruise Skipper at Disneyland in California. It was shortly after that when he became an animator at Walt Disney Feature Animation. He realized that computers could be used to make films with three dimensional backgrounds where traditionally animated characters could interact to add a new, visually stunning depth. So he began the push . . . but pushed a little too hard and was terminated.

Lasseter was then hired on at Lucasfilm Computer Graphics Group. Here he worked on their first computer animated short: The Adventures of André and Wally B. His original thought had been to create only the backgrounds on computers, but by the time it was all finished everything was computer animated, including the characters.

Most of what Lasseter had been working on had been considered “experiments” by George Lucas and his interest soon began to fade. Lucasfilm Computer Graphics Group was acquired by Steve Jobs in 1986, which then became Pixar. Lasseter oversaw all of Pixar's films and associated projects as executive producer. He personally directed Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, Cars, and Cars 2 – some of the biggest animated feature films of all time.

When Disney purchased Pixar in April 2006, Lasseter was named Chief Creative Officer of both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. He was also given the responsibility as Principal Creative Advisor at Walt Disney Imagineering. He bypasses Disney's studio and theme park executives and reports directly to Disney President and CEO Bob Iger.

Congratulations John Lasseter!!!

Do you have an idea . . . a dream . . . a plan? See it through and make it happen. You never know - it may take you . . . to infinity and beyond!

For the whole Pixar story check out, The Pixar Touch by David A. Price.

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