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Andrew Stanton, Pixar, the Criterion Collection, and Me

This tweet…

…brought back a very specific memory. In 1995, I managed the website of The Voyager Company, a pioneer in multimedia CD-ROMs. It was a dream job, participating with a crew charting new digital media territory. Voyager was a sibling with The Criterion Collection, which at the time still only sold laserdiscs. In fact, Voyager was taking some Criterion titles (A Hard Day’s Night, This Is Spinal Tap, For All Mankind) and making them available as annotated movies on CD-ROM.

I was also an animation nerd. In college I had not just attended, but worked the Spike and Mike Festival of Animation, and had followed the development of Pixar through their shorts Luxo, Jr and Tin Toy.

In my webmaster role, I read every email that came through our contact form, and one day saw one from… Andrew Stanton at a email address. This was before Toy Story had come out (I think). It turned out he was a huge Criterion fan, and a burgeoning CD-ROM collector. I forget what he asked about, but I remember exchanging a few emails (and doubtless fanboy-ing him). I think I learned that Pixar studied classic cinema very closely, in their endeavors to create greatness in their new medium.

27 years later, I see that image above, and I think how great it must feel for him, someone who deeply appreciated the efforts of Criterion, to have one of his works given that gold star treatment. And I think about the young man I was, with no clue where my life and career would take me. I’m grateful and gratified for the experiences I’ve had along the way.