Oscar-Winning Pixar Animator Ralph Eggleston Dead at 56

Longtime Pixar animator Ralph Eggleston — the Oscar-winning director behind the 2000 short film For the Birds who also worked in the art departments of films like Toy Story, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles — has died.

Eggleston died in San Rafael, Calif., on Monday of pancreatic cancer at the age of 56, according to variety.

Pixar Animation Studios confirmed Eggleston’s death in a statement released on Twitter Monday. “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,” the studio tweeted.

Among his colleagues, Jorge R. Gutierrez, director of The Book of Lifealso honored the moviemaker with a tribute.


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“Adios Maestro Ralph Eggleston. A true titan of our art form. He reached out to me after Book of Life and I will forever cherish our conversations. Before many knew he was sick he was trying to donate his spectacular art book collection to a Mexican animation school. That’s Ralph,” Gutierrez wrote.

Besides his Oscar, Eggleston received numerous other accolades along his career path, including four Annie Awards, which honor excellence in animation. His work on Toy Story, Finding Nemo and Inside Out were recognized by the awarding body of the International Animated Film Association, ASIFA-Hollywood.

He stayed with Pixar for three decades, beginning in 1993, according to the Cartoon Brew blog. He’s also credited for helping come up with the original story of 2001’s Monsters, Inc.

When Andrew Stanton struggled to find a production designer for 1995’s Toy Storydue to the fact that the industry at the time was transitioning to computer-generated imagery or CGI, he shared his relief when Eggleston accepted his job offer, according to Cartoon Brew.

“The only person out of all those people I called that said yes right away was Ralph Eggleston, who came in to be our production designer,” Stanton said. “And thank goodness, because he really became a cornerstone of the look of our films.”

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