It was one of those once-only days, a bright November day when I was on a wine bottling line opposite John Lasseter, Oscar-winning director of Toy Story and creative head of Pixar Animation Studios, whose latest release Up hit the screens last week. We two were the label-gluers, getting coated in PVA as we readied labels for sticking on bottles.
In a chicken shed on a back road in California that day were two dozen people, a tank of red wine, bottles, corks, labels, glue, foil, and boxes. It was 1995, a year after Toy Story had hit the movie headlines, and we were all singing and dancing to the mariachi band Lasseter had brought along, as we filled, corked, labelled and boxed the previous year’s vintage.
The bottling done, the partying began, back at the Lasseter house. With a large attic knee-deep in toys, two Oscar statuettes on the mantelpiece downstairs, five kids and another on the way, washable textiles, bounceable furniture and replaceable stuff, this was a child-centred house. Figured.
At some point, Lasseter asked if I wanted to come down to the studios for a look round. After I’d pinched myself very hard, Lasseter hadn’t disappeared and the invitation was still open. Read more…