He initially worked as an animator at Disney in the late 70s before going on to join the computer animation division of Lucasfilm‘s Industrial Light and Magic.
In 1986 the department was purchased by Apple founder Steve Jobs who renamed the new company Pixar (a fake Spanish word meaning ‘to make pixels’) and gave Lasseter the freedom to direct, produce and create models for a variety of projects, many of which were television commercials.
In the late 1980s Lasseter made several award winning shorts before going on to direct the groundbreaking Toy Story in 1995, the first feature-length computer animated film.
As the chief of Pixar’s creative department, Lasseter became the key figure behind an extraordinary run of critically acclaimed, blockbuster animated films.
He directed A Bug’s Life (1998), Toy Story 2 (1999) and Cars (2006) whilst also serving as executive producer on Monsters, Inc. (2001), Finding Nemo (2003) and The Incredibles (2004), Ratatouille (2007) and WALL-E (2008).
If the success of Pixar was not enough, his career reached a new plateau in early 2006 when Disney officially acquired Pixar, and promoted Lasseter to Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney Feature Animation.
The first movie he has overseen for Disney is Bolt, the tale of a small white dog who, having spent his entire life acting in a TV series, thinks that he has super powers.
Directed by Chris Williams and Byron Howard, it was produced by Lasseter and I spoke to him in London recently about his career and the new film.
You can listen to the interview here:
You can also stream it here:
You can download it as a podcast via iTunes by clicking here
Bolt is out at UK cinemas on Friday 6th February
> Download this interview as an MP3 file
> John Lasseter at the IMDb
> Official UK site for Bolt
> Official Pixar site