Friday, August 19, 2005

Sad News

From the LA Times (sub required):

Joe Ranft, one of the key creators of Pixar's hit animated features and the voice of Heimlich the Bavarian caterpillar in "A Bug's Life" (1998), was killed in an automobile accident Tuesday afternoon. He was 45.

Ranft was widely respected as one of the top story artists in the animation industry. He was one of seven writers nominated for an Academy Award for best original screenplay for 1995's "Toy Story."

"Joe was the undisputed storyboard master at Pixar: His boards were just inspiring," said "Monsters, Inc." director Pete Docter. "On 'Toy Story,' his boards for the 'army man' sequence, which went into film pretty much unchanged, became the model we aspired to on the film."

Docter added: "On 'Monsters,' he was a great mentor: constructive and supportive and always a pleasure to be around. Joe was really a major part of Pixar's soul. He was one of the key players who made all the films what they are."

At Disney, Ranft worked on "Oliver & Company" (1988), "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" (1988), "Beauty and the Beast" (1991), "The Lion King" (1994) and "Fantasia/2000." He oversaw the story on "The Rescuers Down Under" (1990) and was co-writer and supervising animator on "The Brave Little Toaster" (1987).

More recently, he served as executive producer on "Tim Burton's Corpse Bride," due this fall.


At 5:53 PM, Blogger PapaCool said...

Truly sad news as parent and kids alike have set together to enjoy the Pixar animations - PapaCool is depressed!


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