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Lunch with John Lasseter in the FT

With Walt Disney Animation Studios ‘Bolt’ released in the UK on February 6, the Financial Times conducts one of the famous lunch interviews with John Lasseter, of late “Savior of Disney Animation” (TM). It will be nice to see what ‘Bolt’ can do overseas without passionate vampires standing in its way. Much of the interview is old hat to those who have followed Lasseter’s career from Disney to Pixar and back to Disney. But there are a couple interesting passages. Here’s my favorite:

As he pours the wine, a Saint Emilion blend with a label bearing the Lasseter name, he explains how he and his wife Nancy began making wine. After he was fired from Disney, they moved to northern California. Nancy worked at Apple as a computer graphics engineer and he went to work for George Lucas’s Lucasfilm group, where he joined the division that would evolve into Pixar. “I was commuting north and Nancy commuted south and we started having babies.” The couple eventually had five sons. “We had so many babies that she decided to retire.”

The Lasseters often visited friends in Sonoma County, one of northern California’s finest winemaking regions. They liked it so much they moved there. “The woman who was cleaning our house was heading off one day to pick wine. Nancy went with her and came back splattered and covered in red wine.” He mimics his wife, breathless with passion. “She said: ‘We made wine! Make love to me!’”

Nice to see the sort of passion for life that reminds me so much of Marc Davis and other Disney animators from Walt’s age. Read more at the FT.

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