Produced by Pierre Lachapelle, and directed by Lachapelle, Philippe Bergeron, Pierre Robidoux and Daniel Langlois, Tony de Peltrie premiered as the closing film of Siggraph'85 - the largest computer animation festival in the world.
As the lights dimmed, and Tony's wonderfully sad eyes first appeared on the screen, the stunned audience fell silent. They were witnessing history. For the first time, a computer-animated human character was expressing emotions. The following week, Time Magazine concluded a two-page article on the festival with these words:
"But the biggest ovations last week were reserved for. Tony de Peltrie. Created by a design team from the University of Montreal, it depicts a once famous musician. tickling the keys and tapping his white leather shoes to the beat of his memories. De Peltrie looks and acts human; his fingers and facial expressions are soft, lifelike and wonderfully appealing.
In creating De Peltrie, the Montreal team may have achieved a breakthrough: a digitized character with whom a human audience can identify."
-- Phillip Elmer-DeWitt, Time Magazine, August 5 th, 1985
John Lasseter, one of the festival's judges and future director of Toy Story, Toy Story 2, and A Bug's Life, declared: "Years from now Tony de Peltrie will be looked upon as the landmark piece, where real, fleshy characters were first animated by computer." (Maclean's, September 9 th, 1985)