Hello, beloved readers! Aren’t you glad it’s Friday?
At Yum Yum Videos we certainly are, because today it means we will be honoring a wonderful animator, who is also a tremendous pioneer. Meet the great John Lasseter!
Lasseter is responsible for the popularization of computer animated films and was the director of Toy Story. But before his rampaging success, he was fired from Disney in 1984 for promoting computer generated imagery! Discover his story and some of the amazing work of this visionary genius.
Lady and the Lamp
This cute and witty short film was the reason Jon Lasseter entered Disney in 1979, immediately after graduating from the California Institute of the Arts.
What we particularly love is the story: it is simple and short and involves almost no dialogue, but still manages to be incredibly witty and cute.
These attributes are emphasized thanks to the characters’ expressiveness. We especially love how the lamps interact with each other and show their emotions, which we can understand even though they don’t even have faces!
This one’s historical! Tin Toy was the risky movie released in 1988 by Pixar and financed by Steve Jobs to make a computer generated imagery movie. And yes, John Lasseter was the mastermind behind it. Turns out that, after he was fired from Disney, he started working for Lucasfilm, which eventually became Pixar.
Yummy fact: Tin Toy was the first film to win an Oscar for Pixar! It boats the 1988 Best Animated Short Film award.
Tin Toy was so important for the history of computer-animated graphics that it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2003.
Toy Story was the first feature-length computer-animated film produced by Pixar… and yes, it was directed by John Lasseter!
Yummy Fact: Initially, the main character in Toy Story was going to be Tinny from Tin Toy.
Released in 1995, it is of course most known for being groundbreaking when it comes to animation, but it is mostly still loved because of its story. And that’s a decision the filmmakers themselves took consciously. Keep in mind that Pixar’s contract with Disney had come as a result of its technological expertise, after all.
The decision to put the story first was key, and it would fuel the next two decades of the company’s creativity. That’s why at Yum Yum Videos, we always insist on this: animation is super important, but nothing can beat lovable characters and an excellent script!
Toy Story 2
In Toy Story 2, it is Buzz who rescues Woody. The 1999 sequel shows some improvements regarding the technical aspects of the animation, particularly humans, which are more natural in their looks and movements.
When it comes to the story, it introduces some cute characters which Pixar managed to make as lovable as the already existent: Jessie, Stinky Pete, Mrs. Potato Head and the famous Barbie herself!
Yummy Tip: Mattel originally didn’t want Barbie in Toy Story because they thought the movie would be a failure. But when it proved to be a massive success, they allowed the famous blonde doll to appear in Toy Story 2.
Wow! It is awesome to get to know who the magnificent people that created such important films are. Besides being a very skilled illustrator, animator and storyteller, John Lasseter trusted his futuristic vision of making animation livelier by referring to new technologies and he made history. The world of animation now loves him for having followed his gut!
We hope you listen to your instincts too! As for us, for the moment they are telling us to sit comfortably on our couch and enjoy our weekend by watching some more amazing animated videos. We shall follow through! ☺