JOHN Lasseter and the directors of DisneyPixar Animation Studios-Brad Bird, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich-received the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement on late Sunday at the 66th Venice Film Festival. This is the first time in the Festivals history that the Lifetime Achievement award has gone not to an individual filmmaker, but to a team of filmmakers, acknowledging the contribution of all the directors of this visionary studio, according to an official Festival press release. The Golden Lion was presented to Lasseter and his team of directors by director George Lucas. The artists of Pixar Studios are the creative minds behind an incredible string of animated movies, including Toy Story (the first feature-length computer animated film); Toy Story 2; A Bugs Life; Monsters, Inc.; Finding Nemo (the highest grossing animated feature ever); The Incredibles; Ratatouille; Cars; WALL-E; and Up. Bookending the presentation of the Golden Lion award was DisneyPixars next step forward - the premieres of 3D versions of Toy Story and Toy Story 2, which are set to open in the U.S. on October 2 . To celebrate DisneyPixars achievement, the Festival created a childrens play area using themes from Pixar movies, including two life-sized LEGO versions of Buzz Lightyear and Woody from Toy Story. Children and their families were also given free admission to screenings of Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, and Up. Pixar Studios has been noted for its collaborative teamwork since its founding in 1986 as a spin-off of Lucasfilm. After the studios first feature film, Toy Story, was released in 1995, John Lasseter received a Special Achievement Academy Award for his inspired leadership of the Pixar Toy Story Team resulting in the first feature-length computer animated film. Teams from Pixar have picked up 20 Academy Awards, reflecting excellent in a range of artistic and technical areas. A list of the more than 100 awards and nominations across the 20 year history of the studio can be found on the Pixar website. Pixar Studios and Disney Studios were regular collaborators, and began work together in 1991 to create what eventually became Toy Story. In January 2006, Disney officially acquired Pixar, with Robert A. Iger, President and Chief Executive Office of The Walt Disney Company, praising Pixars unique culture for having fostered some of the most innovative and successful films in history. The talented Pixar team has delivered outstanding animation coupled w/ compelling stories and enduring characters that have captivated audiences of all ages worldwide and redefined the genre by setting a new standard of excellence. Ed Catmull, one of the co-founders of Pixar and now president of Pixar and Disney animation studios, noted that Pixars culture of collaboration and innovation has its roots in Disney Animation, drawing from the original Walt Disney 'school of animated filmmaking. Examiner