Joe Ranft

Even as a child, Joseph Henry Ranft was drawn to humor, great stories, and the magic of movies. Once Ranft graduated from Monte Vista High School in 1978, he pursued studies in a character animation program at the California Institute of the Arts. With two years of studies behind him, Ranft's student film "Good Humor" landed him a job at Disney. At Disney Ranft worked as a writer and storyboard artist. After being promoted to the Feature Animation department, he was mentored by Eric Larson. It proved to be an invaluable experience for Ranft. During the 1980s, he was writing stories for Disney, which included "Oliver & Company," "Beauty and the Beast," and "The Lion King." In 1987 he worked on "The Brave Little Toaster" for Hyperion Animation, and in 1996 on "James and the Giant Peach" for Allied Filmmakers. By 1991 Ranft was hired by Pixar and working as head of story. Ranft had a part in all of Pixar's films until 2006, responsible for story content in "Toy Story" and "A Bug's Life." Ranft also provided the voices for a number of characters in these films, such as "The Incredibles" and Peter "Claws" Ward in "Monsters, Inc.." On August 16, 2005, Ranft was killed in a car accident. "Cars" and Tim Burton's "Corpse Bride," which Ranft executive produced, are dedicated to his memory.