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Joe Ranft

Born: 1960-03-13 - Died: 2005-08-16
Cause of Death:
Car Accident


Death Summary: Ranft was killed on August 16, 2005 when the car in which he was a passenger crashed through a guardrail on California State Highway 1 and fell into the Mendocino River mouth 130 feet below. The driver of the car, Elegba Earl, also died; a third passenger survived.

Who was Joe Ranft : Ranft (born Joseph Henry Ranft) was an American animator, storyboard artist and voice actor whose work for Disney Animation and Pixar was acclaimed.

Ranft grew up in California and long had a love for storytelling and magic tricks. He studied character animation at the California Institute of Arts, alongside fellow future Pixar co-workers John Lasseter and Brad Bird. After graduating he joined Disney (who were impressed by his student film Good Humor) in 1980. He worked as a writer and animator on television projects, before being promoted to the feature film department, where he learnt under Eric Larson.

There he began writing, animating and performing voices for a number of projects. For Disney this included animation and story work on hits such as The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid and also James and the Giant Peach and The Brave Little Toaster for other companies. He also served as the storyboard editor for Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.

In 1992, Ranft was employed as chief story editor by Lasseter for his new CGI animation studio Pixar and would go on to help revolutionise filmmaking. There he worked on their entire feature film catalogue produced up to 2006, including the hits Toy Story, Toy Story 2, A Bug’s Life, Monster’s Inc, The Incredibles and Cars. He received an Academy Award nomination for writing Toy Story. He also provided a number of voices for the films including Wheezy the penguin and Lenny the binoculars in the Toy Story films, Jacques the shrimp in Finding Nemo and Heimlich the caterpillar in A Bug’s Life. His final works, Cars and Corpse Bride (which he executive produced), were both released posthumously and dedicated to him.

Leonard Maltin summarised: “Great storytelling is the foundation of every successful animated feature, and no one understood that better than Joe. . . he was one of the architects of Disney's animation renaissance and Pixar's emergence.” Henry Selick called him “the story giant of our generation.”
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15 Signatures in Joe Ranft's guestbook

  1. Markjens Says:

    Joe was a wonderful storyboard artist, magician and person. He was the guy who could make you feel like your day had just been lifted up because you got to spend time with him. By the way, people said these things of Joe while he was still alive, but he was totally humble. A regular guy.

  2. Arenah Says:

    thank you so much for pleasing kids all over the globe and thank you for sharing your life with the world.

  3. burnadude Says:

    great job Mr. Ranft. :) ) thank you for the inspiring movies and all the folks you’ve done.. i salute you.. Thank you.. ^______________^

  4. kit Says:

    a great man with a wonderful imagination…today we still enjoy his works…to his family go my appreciation and admiration for his talents

  5. Tiffany Says:

    Thank you

  6. randy Says:

    Actually I do not know joe ranft before but when I watched the “cars” I’ve seen the movie was Dedicated to him, then I’ve search some info I’ve seen him that he is the animator of the pixar’s movies. tnx joe ranft for the great job :D

  7. Gabriel Lek Says:

    Hope you can animate more in heaven
    R.I.P Joe Ranft

  8. oscar ambil jr Says:

    thank you for your inspiring life and your great stories! God bless you!

  9. marcus guerrero Says:

    i wish you alive but you die but your a great actress rip joe ranft .:(

  10. Charles A Rolls Says:

    May God continue to watch over your family and let them know you’re in heaven writing for god.

  11. Jamie Welch Says:

    Joe was a fantastic person, animator and voice artist. He was recognised all over the world, he made pixar what it is today, my love and thoughts go out to Joe, he’s family, friends and collegues

  12. thomas bjerkenås Says:

    Joe Ranft you is best. I and the rest of my family loves you. you are the best :-D ;-)

  13. rivo silman Says:

    I love everything that his is done, and i slute you. Thank you for everything you have done…

  14. valerinapaul Says:

    I love u mq queen lightning

  15. Jessica Says:

    I’m sorry. I hate to being the voice of WTF here, but WTF !??!Look. There’s nothing wrong with being gay . But, let’s get this in pripsecteve.What you do behind your bedroom door, is precisely that. Human beings should interact on a societal level equally, on every other level OTHER than sex.If men and women want to exercise male-female (or, as it’s called nature ) pro-activity, fine. If men or women want to exercise same-sex relationships, also fine. Bisexual, great.But, you know what?PEOPLE. This is about SEX! Are YOU defined by what you want to do with your bits , behind doors? In any or either gender or preference? This is madness! You should be defined by how you personally relate to people, or what you achieve with your life that stands testament to you after you’re dead and gone.People, societally, are about PEOPLE. They’re about ideas. And invention. And when you apply sex or gender, whatever their preference, it gets complicated and stupid.I applaud gender tolerance. But, positing this as such is almost Gay Propaganda. I hate to break this to you lovely folks out there, but despite scientific breakthroughs to the opposite the animal kingdom, with some interesting variances scattered about generally naturally espouses twin gender procreation, because that’s the way of the universe. Currently.Sex is about procreation. For human beings. Everything else is for jollies. And that’s perfectly fine. But please let’s not get outside our box and espouse that something that is a lifestyle choice for fun is evolutionary.Sorry. This Pixar message sucks, is mistimed, and ruins my outlook in the company.


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