Thursday, January 23, 2014

Pixarian Start and Birth Dates, January 2014 Edition

It's been a long time since I've done one of these posts, but it's a new year, and this is an exciting month for Pixarian start and birth dates! Let's begin with some Pixarians whose Pixar career began in January:
  • Alan Barillaro (1997) - Alan has been with Pixar a long time, working on early films like A Bug's Life and Toy Story 2. He was also a supervising animator on The Incredibles, WALL•E and Brave.
    Casarosa, middle, with myself and
    my son Sam at the 2011 CAM Benefit
  • Enrico Casarosa (2002) - I discussed Enrico in the October 2012 edition of Start and Birth Dates. One thing I didn't mention is the book he co-authored with fellow Pixarian Ronnie del Carmen and well known illustrator Tadahiro Uesugi. The book is Three Trees Make a Forest, and is filled with awesome drawings and illustrations by the 3 authors. Most of the artwork was originally created for the Three Trees Make a Forest exhibit at the Nucleus Gallery in Alhambra, California. I love looking through this book; each of them brings a different style to the book. If you enjoy Casarosa's water-themed and watercolor art in this book, you'll also probably enjoy his book The Venice Chronicles.
  • Julian Fong (January 21, 1999) - Fong began his Pixar career in Emeryville doing technical support for RenderMan. He continues working to enhance and improve RenderMan and related tools. Prior to coming to Pixar, Fong studied Computer Science at the University of British Columbia. He has also worked at the National Research Council of Canada, Electronic Arts and Vertigo Software.
  • Austin Lee (2002) - Lee started at Pixar doing modeling and rigging for Elastigirl and the Underminer on The Incredibles. He has done modeling/rigging work on a number of other characters such as Colette from Ratatouille, WALL•E, and Buzz Lightyear and Molly from Toy Story 3. Lee received a Best Character in an Animated Feature award from the Visual Effects Society for his work on WALL•E. His latest work was on Brave. Lee studied at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and received a double major in Fine Arts and Computer Science.
  • David MacCarthy (2001) - David is a technical director, and has worked on many of Pixar's films including Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and Cars. He was also an effects supervisor on WALL•E and Brave. MacCarthy was born and raised in Cork, Ireland. After moving to the United States he studied sculpting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
  • Colin Thompson (2002) - Thompson started his Pixar career doing sets and character shading on Finding Nemo. He did similar shading work on The Incredibles, Cars and Ratatouille. He was the sets shading lead on both Up and Brave. Thompson graduated from Skidmore College in New York with a Bachelor in Fine Arts, specializing in painting, sculpting and computer graphics. Prior to coming to Pixar, Colin was a technical director on the Blue Sky Studios film Ice Age.
  • Derek Thompson (2005) - Thompson is a story artist at Pixar. He first worked on WALL•E and also worked on Brave. Previous to Pixar, Thompson worked at Dark Horse Comics, worked on video games at Rhythm & Hues and did storyboards for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith for Lucasfilm. Derek received his BFA in Illustration from Otis Parsons Art Institute.
Now let's look at some January birth dates:
  • John Lasseter (January 12, 1957) - John Lasseter is the Chief Creative Officer of both Pixar and Disney Animation Studios. He is also the Principal Creative Advisor at Walt Disney Imagineering. Lasseter started at Pixar before it was Pixar, back when Ed Catmull and Alvy Ray Smith were running the computer graphics lab at Lucasfilm. His first work was animating on The Adventures of André and Wally B. He was one of the forty original employees of Pixar when it was spun out of Lucasfilm in 1986. He has directed 5 Pixar feature films (Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, Cars and Cars 2), and has been executive producer on almost every Pixar film and all the Disney Animation Studio films since Pixar was bought out in 2006. Lasseter and his wife Nancy have 5 sons and own a winery in Glen Ellen, CA.
  • Bob Peterson (January 18, 1961) - Peterson is one of the earliest Pixar employees, hired in 1994 to do animation on commercials before moving over to animate on the original Toy Story. He was a story artist on both A Bug's Life and Toy Story 2 and was story supervisor for Monsters, Inc.. Peterson wrote the screenplay for Finding Nemo, along with director Andrew Stanton and David Reynolds, and they were nominated for a Best Writing Academy Award for that screenplay. He co-wrote and co-directed Up, which won the Oscar for Best Animated Film (you know, back when Pixar was being recognized by award organizations), and he was again honored with an Academy Best Writing nomination, along with director Pete Docter and Tom McCarthy. Peterson is also well known for voicing many memorable Pixar charaters, such as Roz in Monsters, Inc., Mr. Ray in Finding Nemo and Dug in Up. Peterson was scheduled to make his sole directorial debut on The Good Dinosaur but sadly was removed from the project late last year.
  • Jenifer Lewis (January 25, 1957) - Not a Pixar employee, but Lewis is well known in the Pixar universe as the voice of Flo in Cars and Cars 2. Lewis has done other voice work, such as Mama Odie in The Princess and the Frog, and Motown Turtle in Shark Tale.

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