There are two guiding principles that have always served me well in life:

  1. Always make your boss look good
  2. If you don’t ask, you don’t get

That’s why I exercised guiding principle #2 and asked John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer, Walt Disney & Pixar Animations Studios, Principal Creative Advisor, Walt Disney Imagineering to help make #2 on my Tick Tock List a reality.

When I was a kid I remember starting the weekend with Saturday morning cartoons. I’d watch Mickey and his friends work through life’s little challenges. It didn’t matter how old the Disney cartoon was–the infectious happy jingles, sound effects, voices, colors, and lovable characters made each cartoon special. I also loved all the Disney films. Each movie was a timeless tale that encouraged me to imagine, create, and dream–BIG.

Quite frankly, I’m still inspired by Disney animation.

I have a lot of respect for animation, as a craft–a trade, in which talented people can re-imagine what life looks like, what people look like, the lessons, values, challenges and resolutions life has to offer. I loved animation so much, I decided to surround myself with it by working at the Disneyland Resort where I spent many years as a tour guide. Considering my respect and admiration for this alternate form of human expression, it led me to ask myself, what would I look like animated? Who would I become? What would my character be? How would my essence manifest in bits of color and a series of lines, circles, and triangles? Due to those unanswered questions, I’m adding Life in Animation as #2 on my Tick Tock List.

Tour with Stephen
The “Walk in Walt’s Footsteps” tour ended at what used to be the Disney Gallery.

The closest I’ve ever been to being animated was getting turned into a Laurel tree when portraying “Daphne” in a photo shoot inspired by the Greek myth Apollo and Daphne. I was washing green off my body for days–but it was great fun!

Photo by Vincent Brian Kirk

I know that I don’t have the tools, or talent to jump into animation. I don’t want to animate myself anyway. I want to see how someone else envisions me. This is why I’ve starting asking people–in this case John Lasseter, for help. After all, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.   

I’ve found that most folks are decent and generally willing to help if possible. I haven’t received a response from Mr. Lasseter yet, but I’m fairly certain he is a good-natured fellow who would help if he could. I haven’t put much thought into it since writing the letter, but the only things I can think of are:

  1. My letter never got past the gatekeeper (he never received it)
  2. He received my letter but hasn’t read it yet
  3. I’m just a crazy ol’ bat whose letter was worth a chuckle (no hard feelings)
  4. He read it, but hasn’t gotten to it yet 

I’m going to go with #4. Always assume positive intent–although being a crazy ol’ bat isn’t without it’s charm!

I would encourage you to add those “silly little things that you’ve always wanted to do” to your Tick Tock List. As I’ve said in my previous posts, Tick Talk Listers are doers. Life in animation is a “silly little thing” for me, but it’s also important. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Oh, and if you have an “in” with Mr. Lasseter, perhaps you could kindly mention my letter!

Here are a few of my favorite clips:

Fantasia (1940)

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (my favorite score)

Let It Go

The Princess and the Frog

For the Birds

Tick Tock Challenge #3: Get your “ask” in gear! Let others share and participate in your journey by asking for help when you need it!