As Charles Solomon recounts:
... [John] Lasseter showed some test footage in Brussels of the [Luxo] lamp hitting a ball with its shade. Raoul Servais, the noted Belgian animator, was impressed and asked about the story. When Lasseter said the work was "just a character study," Servais told him that no matter how short a film was, it should have a story, with a beginning, a middle and an end.
When Lasseter returned home, he began thinking about a story for his lamp character. Inspiration struck when co-worker Tom Porter brought in his infant son. ...
Few of us end up where we imagined we would, back in our starry-eyed youth.
More often than not, our successes and failures come from a combination of our genetic makeups, desire to succeed, work ethic, and ... let's be honest about this ... being in the right room at the right time with the right people.
Life might be a series of doors that we choose to open and walk through, but suppose the door we need isn't there in the first place. Not much we can do about that, is there?
So here's to Mr. Lasseter and Pixar, who found each other at the right moment for magic to result. And here's to Disney management for bankrolling the first animated feature, and (eleven years earlier) laying Mr. Lasseter off. Because if both of those things hadn't happened -- and a whole lot of others, besides -- I wouldn't be sitting here now linking to the Times story about Luxo junior and the beginnings of a new kind of animation.