John Lasseter to get Venice festival honor

Lifetime achievement award for producer-director

ROME -- The Venice Film Festival's 2009 Golden Lion for lifetime achievement is going to Pixar co-founder John Lasseter.

The 52-year-old director-producer, an Oscar winner for his work on "Toy Story," has been the force behind an uninterrupted string of Disney-Pixar successes including "A Bug's Life," "Monsters, Inc.," "Cars," "Finding Nemo" and "Ratatouille."

"Lasseter has not only contributed in a fundamental manner to bringing animation cinema to new heights ... but (he) has also become one of the symbols of the most precious, vital and inventive tradition of the great Hollywood cinema," Venice artistic director Marco Mueller said Monday.

Lasseter will be honored during a special ceremony at the 66th edition of the Venice festival, which is slated to run Sept. 2-12. Venice organizers said that longtime Lasseter collaborators Brad Bird, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich will be on hand for the event.