Animation in modern storytelling is the focus of a new book by Wheatley Professor of the Arts in the Department of Theatre and Film Studies Richard Neupert on Pixar's "Chief Creative Officer," John Lasseter:
Lasseter films from Luxo Jr. to Toy Story and Cars 2 highlighted his gift for creating emotionally engaging characters. At the same time, they helped launch computer animation as a viable commercial medium and serve as blueprints for the genre's still-expanding commercial and artistic development.
Richard Neupert explores Lasseter's signature aesthetic and storytelling strategies and details how he became the architect of Pixar's studio style. Neupert contends that Lasseter's accomplishments emerged from a unique blend of technical skill and artistic vision, as well as a passion for working with collaborators. In addition, Neupert traces the director's career arc from the time Lasseter joined Pixar in 1984. As Neupert shows, Lasseter's ability to keep a foot in both animation and CGI allowed him to thrive in an unconventional corporate culture that valued creative interaction between colleagues. The ideas that emerged built an animation studio that updated and refined classical Hollywood storytelling practices--and changed commercial animation forever.
Dr. Neupert holds the distinction of wide ranging expertise in the study of cinema - from the French New Wave to early and now current innovations in animation. Congratulations to him on this new book, published by the University of Illinois Press. An indefatigable scholar and advocate for the arts and humanities, Neupert continues to create new resources that illumniate the world of film. Truly one of our best.