Disney’s acquisition of Pixar is bringing back memories. I remember reading Ed Catmul’s papers in either IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications or in the SIGGRAPH proceedings in the mid 1980. I think I still have the paper on Luxo Jr that John Lasseter read at SIGGRAPH 87.
That conference focused on modelling physics. Lasseter gave his talk, and during the Q&A, someone asked him what algorithm he used to model the power cord trailing Luxo Jr. Lassiter replied that he didn’t use any. Rather, he took an extension cord and jerked it up and down and animated what he saw. Spoken like a true Disney animator