John Lasseter Receives Honorary Doctorate Degree from CalArts

CalArts Graduation 5-16-2014

The California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) bestowed John Lasseter, animation director and chief creative officer of Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Animation Studios, with an honorary doctorate degree. Lasseter received the CalArts’ 2014 honorary Doctor of Arts degree “in celebration of his originality, creativity and extraordinary contributions to the art of animation and contemporary filmmaking.” Lasseter received the honor from CalArts president Steven Lavine in a ceremony held on May 16, 2014.

Lasseter is a graduate of the CalArts’ Character Animation Program. He completed the program in 1979. Lasseter attended school there with many of today’s most celebrated filmmakers, including Brad Bird, Tim Burton, Rich Moore, John Musker, and Chris Buck. Faculty members at the time included long-time animators and artists from the Walt Disney Studios. Lasseter took some time while back on campus for some cool photo ops (CalArts’ classroom “A113” is often included as an Easter Egg in many films).

Lasseter A113

Lasseter gave the crowd some good advice:

“Your voice is worthwhile. Have faith in it. It’s so important to create in your own voice … to hold onto what makes you unique and have faith in your vision.” And, “You need others. Too often people think that being unique means being isolated, and being a great artist means coming up with genius ideas out of nowhere. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

Source: Animation Magazine

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