Luxo, Jr. was the first short film featured by Pixar studio. It was first introduced in 1986 at a SIGGRAPH conference in Dallas, Texas. In the short film two Anglepoise lamp were featured as characters. The smaller lamp, Luxo, Jr., hops around and plays with a ball by bouncing and balancing on it. After a few bounces, the ball deflates and flattens under the lamp.
Luxo, Jr. is now a part of Pixar’s logo and appears in almost all of Pixar’s productions as the opening sequence. In the sequence, he hops from the right side to the letter “I” then jumps on it and squashes it, like the ball in the short film. Before Luxo, Jr.’s appearance the Pixar logo is a circular indentation on a beveled square with the letters P I X A R sitting on the bottom.
There are also many variations to the sequenced logo. For example, in the film Wall-E, the sequence featuresWall-E is seen interacting with Luxo, Jr., and when Luxo, Jr.’s lightbulb burns out, Wall-E helps him to change his lightbulb. In addition, in the opening sequence of Finding Nemo everything slowly fades out except for Luxo, Jr.’s lightbulb, and when the light bulb turns out an angler fish’s light shines in its place.
So why is Pixar using Luxo, Jr. in their logo and opening sequence? In the book To Infinity and Beyond!: The Story of Pixar Animation Studios, film critic Leonard Maltin said that “Luxo, Jr. still has significance to the people at Pixar” and remarked it as something like Disney’s Mickey Mouse. So perhaps that’s the reason why Luxo, Jr. is still serves as a symbol and mascot for Pixar Animation Studio.
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