Longtime Pixar animator Ralph Eggleston – the Oscar-winning director behind the 2000 short For the birds who also worked in the art departments of films like toy story, The world of Nemo and The Incredibles – is dead.
Eggleston died Monday in San Rafael, Calif., of pancreatic cancer at the age of 56, according to Variety.
Pixar Animation Studios confirmed Eggleston’s death in a statement posted to Twitter on Monday. “In memory of Ralph Eggleston – animator, director, art director, screenwriter, writer, production designer and our dear friend. Pixar and the world will be forever grateful to you,” the studio said. tweeted.
Among his colleagues, Jorge R. Gutierrez, director of the book of lifealso honored the filmmaker with a tribute.
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“Adios Maestro Ralph Eggleston. A true titan of our art form. He contacted 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 collection of art books to a Mexican animation school. It’s Ralph”, Gutierrez wrote.
Besides his Oscar, Eggleston has received numerous other accolades throughout his career, including four Annie Awards, which recognize excellence in animation. His work on toy story, The world of Nemo and Upside down have been recognized by the International Animation Film Association’s awarding body, ASIFA-Hollywood.
He stayed at Pixar for three decades, starting in 1993, according to the Cartoon Brew blog. He is also credited with helping create the original 2001 story Monsters Inc.
When Andrew Stanton struggled to find a decorator for 1995 toy storydue to the fact that the industry at the time was transitioning to computer-generated or CGI imagery, he shared his relief when Eggleston accepted his job offer, according to Cartoon Brew.
“The only person out of all these people I called who said yes right away was Ralph Eggleston, who came on to be our production designer,” Stanton said. “And thank God, because he’s really become the cornerstone of the look of our movies.”