Academy Award-winning animator, art director, and production designer Ralph Eggleston has passed away at the age of 56 after battling pancreatic cancer.
Eggleston was best known for working at Pixar Animation Studios, including the 2001 animated short film For the Birds, for which he won an Oscar for writing and directing.
Another Pixar project on which Eggleston worked was the famous Toy Story, for which he received an Annie Award for outstanding production design. Interestingly, Ralph was hired by Pixar in 1992, during the developmental stages of the film.
Pixar took to Twitter to pay the animator a heartfelt tribute. The tweet reads:
"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."
Ralph Eggleston's career at Pixar Animation Studios
Animator Ralph Eggleston was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. in 1965. In 1983, he graduated from Sam Houston High School in Moss Bluff.
Eggleston has worked on a number of Pixar projects that are still popular today. Apart from From the Birds and Toy Story, he has helmed projects like Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, Wall-E, Cars, The Incredibles, and Inside Out.
His final project with the studio was the 2020 film Soul, where he worked as a development artist in the film's art department.
The animator also won several accolades, including the Annie award for Finding Nemo in 2004 and Inside Out in 2015. He was later honored with the Winsor McCay Award for lifetime achievement in 2016. Eggleston also won the VIEW Visionary Award in 2019.
Before his time at Pixar, the animator was a part of famous Disney projects like Aladdin, FernGully: The Last Rainforest, Pocahontas, and The Lion King.
Prior to his time at Pixar and Disney, Eggleston worked at Warner Bros. and Universal TV. He has also helmed marvelous projects like Scooby-Doo and Rugrats, which gave him good standing as an animator and art director in the industry.
Netizens react to Ralph Eggleston's demise
Social media users have paid tribute to the renowned animator. Among his industry friends, Jorge R Gutierrez, creator of El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera and The Book of Life tweeted:
"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"
Steven Clay Hunter, a former animator at Pixar, took to Twitter to mourn the loss of the famous animator. He said:
“Incredible talent. Wonderful human being. F**k cancer.”
Angus MacLane, director of Disney- Pixar Lightyear, tweeted:
"RIP Raph Eggleston. Truly one of a kind. His massive talent was matched only by his kindness."
Fans responded to Pixar's tweet about Ralph Eggleston's death by tweeting:
Some fans praised him for giving the Pixar films he worked on a "unique look," calling him "incredible."
Funeral arrangements for Eggleston have yet to be announced. He is believed to be unmarried and without children.