Animator Biographies
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John Lasseter

John Lasseter has become an award winning animator and director. Throughout his career he has made several landmark moments in computer animation including winning the first Oscar for a computer animated film, Tin Toy, and for the first computer animated feature, Toy Story. At a young age John loved to draw and was intrigued by animation and cartoons. While in high school, John wrote to Walt Disney Studios explaining his love for animation and his increased passion for the art. Little did he know that during that time Disney had started to set up an animation program at CalArts, of which John, once graduated, became the second student to be accepted into their animation program. During his time at CalArts, when he wasn’t apprenticing at Disney during the summer months, two of his student films became Student Academy Award Winners, these included Lady and the Lamp and Nitemare.

Once he graduated in 1979, he then went on to work for Disney Studios for 5 years where he became inspired by computer animation in the film, Tron. He then went on to work with Glen Keane experimenting in short hand-animated sequences meshed with computer generated camera movements and environments. Upon visiting Lucasfilm’s computer graphics unit in 1983, John became even more inspired and curious, and ended up leaving Disney for a 6-month stay at ILM. This eventually led him to become a director for Pixar, where he is today, when Steve Jobs purchased the computer animation department. Today with the help of Lasseter, Pixar has produced some of the leading and most groundbreaking shorts, commercials, and films in computer animation.

Animations Produced:

  • The Fox and the Hound, Walt Disney Pictures, 1981, 1:23:00
  • Mickey's Christmas Carol, Walt Disney Pictures, 1984, 25:00, Creative Collaboration
  • Young Sherlock Holmes, Amblin Entertainment/ILM/Paramount Pictures, 1985, 1:49:00, Animator and designer for Stained Glass Knight
  • Luxo Jr., Pixar Animation Studios, 1986, 2:00, Director/Producer/Screenwriter
  • Tin Toy, Pixar Animation Studios, 1988, 5:00, Director/Producer
  • Knick Knack, Pixar Animation Studios, 1989, 4:00, Director/Producer
  • Toy Story, Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Pictures, 1995, 1:21:00
  • A Bug's Life, Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Pictures, 1998, 1:36:00, Director/Screen Story
  • The Hand Behind the Mouse: The Ub Iwerks Story, Walt Disney Pictures, 1999, 1:30:00
  • Toy Story 2, Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Pictures, 1995, 1:36:00, Director/Screen Story
  • Monsters, Inc., Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Pictures, 2001, 1:32:00, Executive Producer
  • Spirited Away, Studio Ghibli/NTV/Dentsu Inc./Tokuma Shoten (Japan), Walt Disney Home Video (USA), 2001, 2:05:00, Executive Producer
  • Finding Nemo, Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Pictures, 2003, 1:40:00, Executive Producer
  • The Incredibles, Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Pictures, 2004 (Filming), Director/Screen Story
  • Cars, Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Pictures, 2005 (Filming), Director

IMDB Celebrity Biography John Lasseter
MSN Entertainment: Celebrity Information: John Lasseter
Lycos Celebrity: John Lasseter
John Lasseter @ Filmburg

Submitted by: Amy Seawick
as part of ARTC 400, History of Animation
Bowling Green State University
Prof. Bonnie Mitchell