The little lamp

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German title The little lamp
Original title Luxo Jr.
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1986
length 2 minutes
Director John Lasseter
script John Lasseter
production John Lasseter,
William Reeves
cut Craig Good

The Little Lamp is a two-minute animated short film from 1986 that was produced by Pixar Animation Studios and is considered a milestone in computer animation .

In 2014 the film was included in the National Film Registry .


The film shows how two desk lamps (a larger one called Luxo, from Latin lux: light, and a smaller one called Luxo Jr.) play with a rubber ball. As Luxo Jr. jumps on and bounces on the ball, the air escapes. The little lamp looks a bit puzzled into the camera and then, ashamed, moves the flat ball to one side. The older one initially thinks the smaller one has learned the lesson - but shortly afterwards she is playing again, this time with an even bigger ball.


The film gets by with two spots and some ambient light and consists of only a few simple objects, many of which are solids of revolution. Since both spots are the light bulbs (and eyes) of the animated lights, there are many realistic shadow games . The physique and background noise also appear believable, even if they are limited to rolling, sliding and jumping balls, cables and rod systems (the lighting mechanism).

The small lamp was the first film by the animation studio Pixar and the directorial debut of John Lasseter , who is also responsible for most of Pixar's other successes (including Toy Story , Monster AG , Finding Nemo )

In 1986, Die kleine Lampe was the first completely computer-animated film to be nominated for an Oscar for best animated short film. He thus laid the foundation for the growing popularity of computer-animated films from the mid-1990s onwards, through which conventional animated films have now been almost completely displaced from the market.

The small Luxo Jr. lamp has been part of the animated Pixar logo since the early 1990s, where it hops around on the letter I, flattens it and then looks at the camera. References to the short film can be found in almost all of the studio's films (the blue ball that the lamps play with can be seen in the Toy Story films and Monster AG, for example). In 1999, Die kleine Lampe was shown in cinemas as a supporting film for the Pixar production Toy Story 2 .


  • John Lasseter : direction , animation , models
  • William Reeves: Technical Director, Fashion Rendering
  • Ostby: models, procedural animation, rendering
  • Sam Leffler: rendering
  • Rob Cook: rendering
  • Don Conway: Laser Output Scanning



Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Susan King: 25 titles added to National Film Registry , Los Angeles Times online, December 17, 2014, accessed December 18, 2014