Toon Story: John Lasseter's Animated Life
As a follow-up to A Bug's Life, Disney and Pixar will release Toy Story 2 next year. In the sequel, Woody is stolen by an overzeleaous toy collector and Buzz and the other playthings must venture out to save their friend. Lasseter, who will serve as the film's executive producer with animators Ash Brannon and Colin Brady directing, says he had no qualms with handing his characters over to other people. "They are my `babies,' but they are also our `babies.' Everybody helps create these characters and films. They're in very capable hands."
Lasseter is now watching another "off-spring" grow up, as A Bug's Life enters theaters. "I always equate it to having a child and then raising it," he says. "At a certain point, your son or daughter graduates from high school and goes to college. You give them to the world and hope that you did okay. That's very much like these movies. When we get to the release date, we realize that the movie doesn't belong to us any more. It belongs to the world and you just hope that you did okay."
No doubt "proud parent" Lasseter will be hoping for a strong showing at the box office, a warm reception from critics and, most importantly, a child somewhere hugging a Flik doll.
Mike Lyons is a Long Island-based freelance writer, who has written over 100 articles on film and animation. His work has appeared in Cinefantastique, Animato! and The Disney Magazine.