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- March 29, 2001
John Lasseter Given
10 Year Contract With Pixar
"John Lasseter, more than anyone else, has shaped Pixar into the world-class animation studio it is today," said Pixar CEO Steve Jobs. "With John leading our creative team for the next decade, our dream of nurturing a golden age of animation at Pixar may come true."
Lasseter, 44, has directed the studio's three animated feature films: Toy Story (1995), A Bug's Life (1998) and Toy Story 2 (1999), whose combined worldwide box office receipts total over $1.2 billion to date. Lasseter is currently in development on his fourth feature film and is overseeing all of Pixar's films as executive vice president of creative, including Monsters, Inc., due in theaters Nov. 2, 2001, and Finding Nemo, scheduled for release in summer 2003.
"It's the dream of every animator and storyteller to help build a studio from scratch that embraces the creative values we hold dear," said John Lasseter. "I love working with all of the other incredibly talented people at our studio. A place like Pixar doesn't happen often, and I feel like one of the luckiest guys on earth."
Part of Lasseter's success with his animated movies is the ability to make the fantasy production seem so real that people almost forget they are watching an animated film.
"The most important thing we look for in casting our films is great actors," says Lasseter. "We don't ask them to put on voices. We want them to be themselves. As I direct the actors, what I look for is believability, a natural performance. Everything has to feel right. They become the character. Since these films take years to make, we have the opportunity to adjust the personality and the design of the character to fit with the voice. The voice and the animation have to work together. The same thing is true with our creative team."
In 1996, Lasseter received an Academy Award (his second one) for Special Achievement through "inspired leadership of the Pixar Toy Story team, resulting in the first feature-length computer animated film."
Pixar was founded in 1986 for the purpose of creating a new generation of computer animated feature films. The studio has won many awards, including being named "Best Animation Studio" at the recent Animatasia Awards, which recognizes excellence in animated films.
Neither Pixar or Lasseter released the terms of his new contract.
Service to be Held for William Hanna
Hanna was a major force in the early TV cartoon industry. He started cartooning in the early 1930s, leaving an engineering career to pursue his passion. In the late 1930s, Hanna hooked up with Barbera and in 1957 they formed Hanna-Barbera Studios.
Miracle Maker to Air on ABC
The Miracle Maker is a religious story on the life of Jesus. It has received critical acclaim and several awards, including being named "Best TV Animated Feature" at the recent Animatasia Awards which recognize excellence within the animation industry.
At Moscow's Christmas Films, a team of 250 people filmed 3D model animations simultaneously on six sets for two years in order to create The Miracle Maker. At the same time, many of the United Kingdom's talented 2D animators at Cartwyn Cymru in Wales produced rich original art. The two techniques were united via visual effects techniques by the Digital Film Company at the Moving Picture Company.
April 15, 2001, is
Easter Sunday. The Miracle Maker will air from 7-9PM on all ABC
affiliates. People with HDTV sets will receive the broadcast in HDTV format.
News Link of the
Day - Bill Hanna, a Yabba-Dabba-Do Guy
"Saturday morning cartoon king William Hanna, 90, died at his North Hollywood home Thursday.
What follows are excerpts
from a never-finished British television documentary, an oral-history
account of the glory days of Hanna-Barbera animation studios..."
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