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Disney/Pixar Animator Ralph Eggleston Passes Away at 56

Ralph Eggleston

Animator Ralph Eggleston, who enjoyed a long award-winning career with Disney and Pixar, passed away on Sunday of pancreatic cancer at his home. He was 56.


His Disney and Pixar Careers

Eggleston first started with Disney in the 1990s, working on animated films such as “Aladdin” (1992), “Pocahontas” (1995), “The Lion King: (1994), and “Fantasia 2000” (1999).

His first Pixar movie was “Toy Story” (1995), where he worked as an art director.

From there, Eggleston primarily worked on Pixar films, with the occasional Disney film thrown in the mix.

His filmography as an animator also includes:

  • “A Bug’s Life” (1998) (art director)
  • “Toy Story 2” (1999) (art director)
  • “For the Birds” (2000) (writer, director)
  • “Monsters, Inc.” (2001) (storywriter/Visual development)
  • “Finding Nemo” (2003) (production designer)
  • “The Incredibles” (2004) (art director)
  • “Cars” (2006) (art director)
  • “Ratatouille” (2007) (character designer)
  • “WALL-E” (2008) (production designer)
  • “Up” (2009) (character art director)
  • “The Princess and the Frog” (2009) (additional story material)
  • “Cars 2” (2011) (development artist)
  • “Inside Out” (2015) (production designer)
  • “Finding Dory” (2016) (special thanks)
  • “Incredibles 2” (2018) (production designer)

His final credited Pixar work was on 2020’s “Soul,” where he worked as a development artist.

In one of his last interviews, he told The Hollywood Reporter that Sadness from “Inside Out” was the Pixar character he identified with most.

Inside Out - Sadness

Recognition

Eggleston has received many awards and honors during his lengthy animation career.

He won the animated short film Oscar for writing and directing the 2001 Pixar film “For the Birds.”

He won his first Annie Award for “best individual achievement in production design” for his work on the Pixar classic “Toy Story.” He would later win three more Annie Awards for “Finding Nemo” in 2004, “Inside Out” in 2015, and the prestigious Winsor McCay Award for lifetime achievement in 2019.

Pixar - For the Birds

Remembrances

I was first alerted to Eggleston’s passing by a tribute Tweet from Pixar that read: “In memory of Ralph Eggleston—animator, director, art director, storyboard artist, writer, production designer, and our dear friend. Pixar and the world will be forever grateful. ❤”


Angus MacLane, director of Disney-Pixar’s “Lightyear,” also paid tribute to the late animator on Twitter: “RIP Raph Eggleston. Truly one of a kind. His massive talent was matched only by his kindness.”


Fellow Pixar artist Chris Burrows remembered his friend:

“RIP Eggman. The animation world is a lot darker today. I’m going to miss the way you would enthusiastically recommend old horror films – complete with a very anecdote about the art department – most of all. You liking me is one of my proudest achievements.”

And in a follow-up Tweet said: “very *specific” that should have read. Ralph’s encyclopedic knowledge of 60-70 year old Hollywood office politics was astounding.”


Ralph Eggleston helped shape the look of many of our favorite Disney and Pixar films, and his influence will be missed. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.