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Pixar's John Lasseter has Oscar-winning "Toy Story 3"
Toy Story 3 won an Oscar for best Animated feature, and among the folks director Lee Unkrich thanked was executive producer John Lasseter, who is the creative force at Pixar.
Just a few days before, at the ICG's 48th annual Publicists Awards, Lasseter received a very special honor as the Motion Picture Showman of the Year. Actress Bonnie Hunt (who voiced a character in Pixar's Cars, and its upcoming June sequel) presented the award to Lasseter, who is the Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Annimation Studios, as well as the principal creative advisor at Walt Disney Imagineering.
Hunt said, "This year, we honor a two-time Academy Award-winning director who is a pioneer in the modern digital era of feature film animation." She added that it must be a relief for the publicists who work with Lasseter on his movies "to know that you are publicizing something you can really be proud of." Lasseter later noted with appreciation to the publicity professionals that many times when he's been jet-lagged on international promotional junkets that the publicists have "saved my butt."
Lasseter spoke about his goal of making movies that kids and their parents can enjoy together, "Not just the first time you see it, but watching the movie over and over, for the 100th time."
Lasseter has done that very well with his Pixar films from the Toy Story franchise, to Cars, A Bug's Life, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, The Princess and the Frog, and last year's Oscar-nominated Up. All incredible breakthroughs in high-tech animation.
But when I asked him about the great technology he has developed to helped him with his storytelling, the nice guy in the Hawaiian-shirt smiled and corrected me. "No, you've got that backwards. For me it's always the story that drives the technology. It's the story and the characters that give the movies a heart," Lasseter told me.
That's so true, and very obvious when I think back to why I laughed and cried during his movies. No wonder Lasseter keeps getting awards. What a pleasure it was to chat with him.
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