Lasseter's journey

TIMELINE: From student to studio head

1975 Graduates from Whittier High School and enters the first character animation program at the California Institute of the Arts.

1977-79 Works summers at Disneyland, as a sweeper in Tomorrowland and as an operator on the Jungle Cruise ride.

1979 His short film "Lady and the Lamp" wins a Student Academy Award. After graduating from CalArts, he's hired by Disney's feature animation department.

1980 His short film "Nitemare" garners him a second Student Academy Award.

1982 Creates a 30-second test film based on Maurice Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are," combining hand-drawn animation with computerized camera movements.

1983 Lasseter's contract with Disney is dropped.

1984 Now employed by the computer graphics division of Lucasfilm, he works on "The Adventures of Andre and Wally B.," the first computer-animated short.

1986 Steve Jobs buys Lucasfilm's computer graphics division for $5 million.

1988 Another Lasseter short, "Tin Toy," wins the company's first Oscar.

1991 Pixar signs a production agreement with Disney for three full-length, computer-animated features.

1995 Lasseter directs "Toy Story," distributed by Disney, the first feature-length computer-animated film.

1997 Pixar and Disney negotiate a new agreement, a 50-50 split of development costs and profits on five feature-length films over 10 years. The Pixar short "Geri's Game" wins an Oscar.

2003 "Finding Nemo" becomes the highest-grossing animated feature of all time, with $867.7 million worldwide. It wins the best animated feature Oscar.

2004 Brad Bird, the first outside director hired by Pixar, makes "The Incredibles." It wins the best animated feature Oscar.

2006 Disney agrees to purchase Pixar for $7.4 billion. Lasseter is named chief creative officer of both Pixar and Walt Disney animation studios. "Cars" is released.

2007 "Ratatouille" is released. It wins Pixar's third best animated feature Oscar.

2008 "Wall-E," Pixar's ninth hit in a row, is released.
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