Wednesday, June 21, 2006

1979 John Lasseter Student Film

YouTube does it again! Someone has posted The Lady and the Lamp, a hand-drawn animated short that John Lasseter made in 1979 while a student at CalArts. It's an impressive work, showing the strong feel for character, especially in normally inanimate objects, that marks his later work in the Toy Story movies and his current offering Cars. And it's quite funny and inventive, too -- also Lasseter hallmarks.

I first noticed Lasseter way back in 1986 (!) when I saw his now-famous Luxo Jr., which was the first really great fully digital short animation (and Pixar's first film). I had seen plenty of other computer animation prior to Luxo Jr., but nothing succeeded dramatically the way this one did. The "adult" lamp dealing with the frisky "kid" lamp was priceless; the computer pretty much got out of the way.

Lasseter received an Academy Award nomination for the film, the first CGI film to do so. How exciting to see that he was animating lamps the old fashioned way years before Luxo Jr.!


Thanks again, BoingBoing!

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