Gratitude 2014 – A Storyteller

This month, leading up to Thanksgiving, I’m expressing my gratitude for people who have influenced me in someway—it’s all about the people.

John Lasseter has been in the news a bit today, so I thought I’d move him up on my list and express my gratitude for one of the best storytellers of our day. And, yes, he was already on my list before I found out the awesome news that he will be directing the fourth installment of Disney Pixar’s Toy Story, which I’m sure will be just as outstanding as the first three.

Anyway, why single out Mr. Lasseter? Because I feel like he is one of the biggest proponents for quality animated storytelling we have and that without him and his leadership we wouldn’t have some of the greatest movies of the last 15 years. At least not some of my all-time favorite films.

He began his career as an animator at Disney, and later founded Pixar. He saved Disney from nixing its hand-drawn animation for solely computer animated movies, and he’s had a hand as Executive Producer in several of my favorite movies including Up (the first 5 mins. of this film are some of the most powerful in all films) , Wall-E (who knew you could love and relate to a robot so much?), Winnie the Pooh (the 2011 version), all of the Toy Story films and other Pixar films and other Disney animated movies of the last few years. He even wrote and directed some of them.

In fact, just tonight I saw another film he Executive Produced–Big Hero Six–tonight, and it was awesome. I laughed. I cried. I really enjoyed myself.

Thank you Mr. Lasseter for continuing the art of animation and pushing the bounds of storytelling. Thank you for not making animation solely for children by bringing real grown-up emotions to the party. Thank you for making us think and feel while expanding our imaginations and being entertained. I know you couldn’t do it alone, but you’ve been a leader helping others in your field achieve greatness. So, while I’m at it, I say thank you to all of your compadres who have helped you do amazing things including Lee Unkrich, Andrew Stanton, Brad Bird, Pete Docter and the rest. I look forward to your many endeavors to come!

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