John Lasseter - the man I thought was my hero

Hey pals!

Wow OK, so this is probably going to be a tough one for me to write, but at the same time, I felt compelled to say something, I'm not sure I have the right words to tackle this delicate subject, and I must stress that anything here is solely my own opinion from the news stories I've seen online.

So where do I start? If somehow you've been living under a Disney free rock for the last few days you may be confused as to what delicate subject I'm about to stick my foot in like a clumsy elephant, so just to clarify, reports have surfaced this week originating from the Hollywood Reporter from a leaked memo to Disney staff from the Chief creative officer of Disney's animation division and Pixar co-founder John Lassester, in this memo he announced that he is taking a 6 month sabbatical after becoming aware that some of his staff may feel disrespected or uncomfortable following some missteps by Mr Lasseter himself.

He later goes on to apologize if they feel he had over stepped the line through unwanted hugs or other gestures, and insures it was never his intent to cross anyone's personal boundaries. Disney haven't as yet said a huge amount on the issue, other than their acceptance of the apology and their support for John going forward.

First of all for me John Lasseter has by my hero for probably, well the best part of my life, as I've touched on before Disney has always played some role in my life, but Pixar was what really ignited my passion, Toy Story and Cars are probably 2 of my favouirte film series of all time and I have always admired the work that Pixar have created, as well as the story of how they came to be, even when things were stacked up against them. So this news comes as not only a huge shock to me, it also feels like such a disappointment, that something I am so emotionally invested in, could suddenly feel so dirtied by these allegations.

Honestly right now I still don't know what to make of it, he's obviously made a statement himself where he admits to doing things wrong, but the actual facts of what he's admitting to are scarce, reports go from overly long hugs, which could be deemed inappropriate but hey they're not the end of the world, to allegations of groping, which of course is totally unacceptable. So what do I believe? Well that's a toughy, I desperately want to believe he's a good guy who perhaps likes to hug a little too long and is a bit over friendly all in an innocent way. But I fear that's not the case, a six month sabbatical for some longer than comfortable hugs does seem like cracking a nut with a sledge hammer no? And I have no reason to disbelieve anyone who has spoken out against him.

So do I think John will ever come back to Pixar/Disney? I desperately hope so, but only if the "Missteps" mentioned in his memo turn out not to be the serious things he's being accused of, no matter how great the artist he is, I don't think welcoming him back to that position of power with open arms would be the right move.

And whats next for Disney's Animation Division? Honestly I'm not worried, sure short term the effects of this could effect Disney negatively, financially and in terms of shares if nothing else, but John isn't the only name that's responsible for the successes at Pixar and Disney over the last few years and I'm confident the studio can continue to excel without John at the helm if his actions are proved to have been inappropriate.

Coco has arrived in the US and most of Europe and is already doing well, Lee Unkrich has the lead directing credit and also a writing credit for the film, he's also credited on other success films including Toy Story 3, Monsters Inc, Toy story 4 and Finding Nemo to name a few, He is a huge up and coming name at Pixar and I'd love to see him progress to take on John's role when the time comes.

On the Disney animation side, Ron Clements who wrote and directed Last years box office hit Moana, also has credits for other Disney hits including princess and the frog, Hercules Aladdin and the Little Mermaid. this leaves me confident that there's plenty still to celebrate in Disney's Animation Division, and if we cut John Lasseter from the picture, it's still OK to enjoy Pixar and Disney animated films, and praise the many other individuals who have put so much into bringing these stories to life and to the silver screen.

So John, you may have let me down, though I'll always cherish the work you did and the environment and company you introduced me to, I'll always be thankful Pixar came to be and for the films and characters it's given me, but I think more than ever what you've made me realize is how important it is to speak out when something isn't right regardless of how big the name is, your story needs to be heard not just for yourself but for anyone else going through the same who can't speak out for themselves.

What are your thoughts? What do you believe really happened, do you think we'll ever find out for sure, and will you continue to support Pixar and Disney?

Hoodsie xx


  1. […] for example Hoodsie wrote a post about her feelings about the subject, which you can read here. It’s another opinion, and it’s more positive than […]

  2. I’ve clearly been living under that Disney-less rock you mentioned because I had NO idea about this! Like you said, a 6 month break for ‘slightly too long a hug’ does seem a bit severe doesn’t it. But maybe he genuinely feels a bit guilty for it? I don’t think Disney / Pixar would be under any strain in terms of their movies and quality if he goes but it would be a shame to see Disney tainted in this way if the allegations do come to light that they are worse. Thank you for the post bringing this to my attention! xx

  3. It’s just awful isn’t it!

    The thing is the lady who the original report says left Pixar because of this has made a statement that that’s not why she left. So I don’t know how to feel? 😔

    Thanks for reading! Xx