The Ichiro Suzuki of Hollywood, Pixar so far has batted 11-for-11 in feature film hits, generating $6.6 billion in worldwide grosses and 40 Oscar nominations. Woody and Buzz Lightyear to WALL•E and Lightning McQueen have yielded even more in ancillary revenue for parent company Disney from toys, clothes, DVDs, and theme-park attractions. Pixar has 1,200 employees so there’s a lot of credit to go around, but no single person has been more vital to the Pixar success story than chief creative officer John Lasseter. The 54-year-old, Hawaiian shirt-wearing filmmaker has directed five of Pixar’s features, including this month’s Cars 2. He’s also shepherded every Pixar production, and was the sole character animator when the company was founded in 1986.
For the studio’s 25th anniversary, Lasseter agreed to reflect on all 12 of Pixar’s features. His memories can be found in this week’s new issue (on stands June 17). But the animation wiz also discussed Pixar’s early days of struggle (when it made short films as a means to showcase its bulky graphics computer), his groundbreaking short films, and how director Tim Burton unintentionally paved the way for Toy Story. READ FULL STORY »