August 20, 2022

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Luxo Jr., the mascot for Pixar Animation Studios

Luxo Jr. is the mascot for Pixar Animation Studios, which you have probably heard of before. 

Luxo Jr. typically appears alongside another Pixar protagonist, Luxo Sr., its larger counterpart. 

The small Luxo lamp has become an iconic image in computing and animation since its introduction in 1986’s “Luxo Jr.” short film,

 shown at the beginning of many of Pixar’s movie releases.

Luxo Jr. is a desk lamp, similar to the more well-known Luxo Sr. The younger version is smaller and has a more rounded shape. 

The original version was made with Luxo Sr.’s design in mind, but it has evolved into its own entity,

 and has been used for other purposes besides movie intros. In fact, the original version was actually designed before Luxo Sr., 

but was put off until 1987 when Pixar animator John Lasseter got his hands on it. Its design was improved upon,

 given a microphone (for “Luxo Jr.”s debut film) and wheels at the bottom so it could travel around (for the “Team Pixar” commercials).

 Luxo Jr. has become a mascot for the company, in addition to Luxo Sr., with the two representing Pixar’s innovative approach to technology and animation.

 often placed next to Luxo Sr., with the parent lamp usually occupying a small space on top of its offspring. 

The smaller lamp often has a surprised or confused expression on its face, as if embarrassed by the antics of its larger counterpart. 

Luxo Sr. shakes his head dejectedly at his errant child before trudging off in defeat (“Ohhh…Gee…”). 

Another notable example is in “For the Birds”, when Luxo Jr. gets upset with his bigger counterpart and sets off on a journey alone, 

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which results in the smaller lamp being chased by a couple of birds. The final scene of “Up” has Luxo Jr. sitting on a rock beside the larger object,

 which looks to him as if it has become very heavy, as he looks at his watch for the first time in ten years (since its debut film).

In “Brave”, during the opening credits, Luxo Jr. is shown blowing bubbles into the ocean from behind Luxo Sr., who is sticking out his tongue.

The Luxo lamp is an icon in computing and animation. 

According to Lasseter, the lamps were “…used as symbols of computer power in those days. 

Those computers were so big and [the lamps] were so small, and we were making such beautiful pictures with them…”.

Luxo Jr. has been featured on the packaging of Pixar DVDs as a sort of mascot, most notably on the cover of “The Incredibles” DVD

 (which shows a boy playing with his own version of a Luxo Jr.), but also in other places such as the back cover of “Monsters, Inc.”

 (which shows Luxo Jr. and his big brother getting ready for bed). The lamp has also been featured as 

the main character (and namesake) of its own self-titled “Luxo Jr.” game.

Both versions of the lamp can be seen during the opening title sequence for Pixar’s newly released film, “Brave”,

 at the beginning when Merida is rolling out her sleeping bag, and again during her archery training with her mother. 

The Luxo Jr. lamp is shown to be moving among a clan of primitive humans from prehistoric Scotland; 

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it was discovered in a cave in Wales by a boy who tells his father about it at breakfast, with Luxo Sr. coming to retrieve it later on.

Luxo Jr. has also been shown in “The Good Dinosaur” in a cave setting alongside a smaller version of the Disney Dinosaur, 

and even in “WALL-E”, when WALL-E is on Earth and its inhabitants are humans, a Luxo lamp can be seen inside the Axiom.

Luxo Jr. was also featured as one of the many Pixar characters that had a cameo at the end of Cars 2,

 during which it was sleeping next to Luxo Sr. while they were resting on Mater’s air filter. It can also be seen at the beginning of “Cars 3”.

In “Toy Story 3”, Luxo Jr. and his father

 are seen in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Pixar during the ending credits,

 alongside all their fellow Pixar characters, but is notably absent from Luxo Jr.’s own credits.

Luxo Jr. and Luxo Sr. were made into action figures as part of a promotional giveaway at some theaters to promote “Cars 2”, 

and were also released with a small statue of Merida as a play set in Disney Stores. 

The set included the two characters plus an articulated sit-down desk lamp, which can be used 

for mini-scenes featuring them in their windows on PixarPedia.com or on “The Incredibles” Interactive DVD

 (which also comes with a small figure of Bob Parr). The desk lamp and statues are all on display