Mr. Lasseter enjoys a visit to Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar
My favorite John Lasseter story is when he went to Disneyland with his kid. Eisner heard that he was there, and flew down from Burbank in a helicopter to give him a personal tour. John spent the time with Michael asking why certain things that were out of service on his last visit (like the suspension bridge on Tom Sawyer’s Island) were still out of commission this time around.
Eisner was put in his place.
And Lasseter forever ingrained himself in my mind as a man who “got” Disney.
By the way, I know the video is dark. But if you pause it during camera flashes, you can see him.
Yup, this is the guy I’m counting on to save Disney from corporate overlords. He just reminds me so much of Walt, without the mustache. Or the suit.
John Lasseter understands that it’s all about the story.
He’s been on my good side since he went to Disneyland one day with his family. As the story went throughout the park break rooms, Michael Eisney (who was still CEO at the time) heard that John was in the park and hopped on a helicopter to fly down from his office in Burbank. Michael wanted to be there to show John around.
As they walked around, John would ask questions. The right questions. “Hey, this barrel bridge on Tom Sawyer’s Island was closed last year when I was here, too. Why hasn’t it been fixed yet?” and “Why does Toontown look so drab? A new coat of paint could work wonders!”
Backstage, we loved hearing these things. They were the same questions we had, but couldn’t get answers to. The day that Disney and Pixar cemented their long-term relationship after Eisner left (it was actually Pixar’s dislike of Eisner that had been standing in the way), and Lasseter was named to the board, was the first day in years that I had any hope for Disney to be the company it once was.