"You can achieve all the things you want to do, but it's much better to do it with loved ones around you; family and friends, people that you care about that can help you on the way and can celebrate you, and you can enjoy the journey."
John Lasseter (born January 12, 1957) is an American animator, director, producer, and screenwriter, as well as the former chief creative officer at Pixar Animation Studios. He is known for his roles in various Pixar film series, including Cars, Toy Story, and A Bug's Life, and also worked on the Planes series.
Lasseter was born in 1957 in Hollywood, California, and was raised in Whittier, California. At an early age, Lasseter had an interest in animation, and enjoyed drawing cartoons. In addition to making them, he was also a fan of animated television programs, including Chuck Jones cartoons. In high school, Lasseter read a book titled The Art of Animation, and realized that he wanted a career in animation.
His education began at Pepperdine University, but he soon decided to leave and attend the California Institute of the Arts. There, Lasseter enrolled in a program created by Disney animators Jack Hannah and T. Hee, and was taught by members of "Disney's Nine Old Men". Several other well-known animators had also attended this class, such as Brad Bird and Tim Burton.
Lasseter's career began as an animator at The Walt Disney Company, though he was later fired for promotion of computer animation, leading him to join Lucasfilm, where he worked on projects that utilized computer animation. The Graphics Group of Computer Division of Lucasfilm was later sold to Steve Jobs, who turned it into Pixar, which was how Lasseter became a part of the animation studio.
In addition to overseeing all Pixar works, Lasseter also worked personally as a director for Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, Cars, and Cars 2, and worked on Cars 3 as an executive producer.
Lasseter is also a close friend of the Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, and as such, he stated that Cars 3 would feature a tribute to a character from Miyazaki's film The Castle of Cagliostro, in the form of a Citroën car.
In June 2018, Lasseter was confirmed to be leaving Pixar and Disney at the end of the year, but would remain as a consultant.
Academy Award for Best Short Film (Animated) (1989, Tin Toy)
Special Achievement Academy Award (1996, Toy Story)
Annie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement for Directing in an Animated Feature Production (2000, Toy Story 2)
Annie Award for Outstanding Writing in an Animated Feature Production (2000, Toy Story 2)
PGA Vanguard Award (2002)
Annie Award for Outstanding Writing in an Animated Feature Production (2002, Toy Story 2)
ADG's Outstanding Contribution to Cinematic Imagery Award (2004)
PGA David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures (2010, Toy Story 3)
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (2010, Prep & Landing)
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Short-format Animation (2011, Prep & Landing Stocking Stuffer: Operation: Secret Santa)
"Cars was about Lightning McQueen learning to slow down and to enjoy life. The journey is the reward."
"Computers don't create computer animation any more than a pencil creates pencil animation. What creates computer animation is the artist."
"The art challenges the technology, and the technology inspires the art."
"Sunday, for me, is all about being home with the family with no plans."
"People who get into animation tend to be kids. We don't have to grow up. But also, animators are great observers, and there's this childlike wonder and interest in the world, the observation of little things that happen in life."
"The greatest bad guys, you understand where they're coming from. They believe they're doing the right thing. Sometimes it's for greed, sometimes it's for other reasons, but they are what they call the center of good. They always believe they're doing the right thing."