A few weeks ago, we brought you a photo essay looking at a day in the life of John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios, as he worked on Cars 2. Now, Walt Disney Studios has released the documentary version of ‘A Day in the Life of John Lasseter’ which you can view below.
The documentary, which clocks in at just over 25 minutes, gives unprecedented access to Lasseter’s life both at his home and at work. From getting up close and personal with pet cat Moocher to exploring the secret staircase that leads to the train library and his personal screening room (which is connected to Pixar) to the storage area for wines meant for gifts and charities, decorated with labels celebrating the Pixar library of films. Lasseter also takes us inside his famed Hawaiian shirt closet, where he shows off some of his 370 shirts in ‘active rotation.’ While Lasseter describes his attraction to Hawaiian shirts as being ‘toys you can wear’ and having the added benefit of ‘you can spill something on it and no one’s gonna know,’ he also shares wife Nancy’s advice to ‘match what you’re doing in that day’ to determine his shirt du jour.
While being driven to the office, Lasseter demonstrates the custom iPad app written for him which allows him to review footage from Cars 2 as it’s being worked on, and make audio comments and notes that are immediately delivered via email to their intended recipients.
There, it’s time for a tour of Pixar Animation Studios from a non-traditional sense as Lasseter reviews and offers input on lighting, effects and more. We get to see animation in all stages and even catch glimpses of things we don’t get to see in the final film, such as an explicit reference to Paul Newman (jacket) and an executive decision that changes a line of dialogue in the film to be more sensitive to real-world concerns about radiation levels in Japan. We also see Lasseter at work preparing presentations of the film for CinemaCon, where things don’t go quite as hoped, and for the Wondercon ChromeA113 viral video introduction.
Other moments of note include Lasseter showing off some of the contents of his toy-filled office which include the custom LEGO bust, the custom Mr. Potatohead John Lassetater and a cat bus bust gifted to him by famed Japanese animation director Hayao Miyazaki.