Pixar founder John Lasseter accepted Steve Jobs' Disney Legends Award yesterday at the D23 Expo, an annual Disney event held for fans. In a video from YouTube channel WDWINFO, Lasseter can be seen emotionally talking about how Jobs had become like a brother to him after he lost his own brother to AIDS, going on to share several stories about Jobs' involvement with the animation company over the years.
In the speech, Lasseter recounted the early days of Pixar in 1984 when it was a technology company, noting that Jobs had liked what Pixar was doing and had tried to convince the Apple board to purchase the company. However, Jobs was soon fired from Apple and any potential purchasing intention or thoughts were dropped.
The Pixar founder then remembered a dinner he had with Jobs during one of the more troubling periods of production on "Toy Story", noting that Jobs saw how Pixar's work could be remembered far longer than any computer.
We were having dinner one day, in the middle of the hardest part of making 'Toy Story', and he started looking off again in the distance and he said: You know John, when we make the computers at Apple. He said the lifespan of that computer is what, 3 years? He said in 5 years it's a door stop. Ya know, that's how technology goes. But he said 'if you do your job right what you create and what Pixar creates can last forever.'
Lasster also noted that Jobs had "changed" significantly during his time at Pixar. He had married his wife and began to see and embrace the arts while also seeing the creativity and skills of Pixar employees. Lasseter explained that he could see Jobs growing into a wonderful leader who was constantly pushing Pixar's employees to aim higher than they ever thought was possible.
Under Jobs' leadership, Pixar grew to be responsible for a large part of Disney's success, with Jobs eventually selling the company to Disney for $7.4 billion in early 2006. Last November, Pixar named its main building in honor of of Jobs.
Disney Legends was a program that originated 26 years ago, and over the years the program has honored over 250 individuals who have made significant contributions to The Walt Disney Company. Jobs received the award for his "visionary attitude, and penchant for innovation", his work at Apple, his contributions to Pixar, and his work on the Disney board of directors.
In addition to Jobs, Dick Clark, John Goodman, Billy Crystal and more were be recognized at the ceremony. Honorees are awarded a two-foot-tall bronze sculpture that signifies "imagination, creativity and magic that they have brought to the company."