We are sad to share the news that PDC member Ralph Eggleston, an Academy Award-winning animator, art director and production designer at Pixar Studios, passed away last Sunday from pancreatic cancer. He was 56 years old.
Ralph Eggleston started his career in animation in the 1990s, and was hired by Pixar in 1992 during the development of the first computer-animated feature, that was to become "Toy Story". The film was released to universal acclaim and great box office success in 1995, and Ralph went on to win his first Annie Award for best art direction.
"They were actually writing the software and building the hardware to make 'Toy Story' as we were building the story," Ralph told The Hollywood Reporter in 2019. "I don’t think there were too many people at the time who thought we were going to pull this off, much less make a film that focused on exactly the right thing, which was storytelling."
Ralph continued to work as an art director on Pixar's "A Bug's Life", "Toy Story 2", "The Incredibles", "Cars" and "Up". He was a storywriter and visual developer on "Monsters, inc", a character designer on "Ratatouille" and a production designer on "Finding Nemo" and "Wall-E", "The Increidbles 2" and "Inside Out".
In 2000, Ralph wrote and directed Pixar's short film "For The Birds", for which he won an Annie and an Academy Award for best animated short. He was honored with the Winsor McCay Award for lifetime achievement in 2016, and the VIEW Visionary Award in 2019. His final credited Pixar work was on "Soul", where he served as a development artist.
Ralph's incredible talent and generosity inspired many artists within Pixar, through the animation world and in our own Production Designers Collective. He helped promote animation production design at the PDC by participating in forum posts and online events.
Ralph wrote us a few weeks ago, and we'd like to share his words here:
"Thank for letting me be part of your wonderful community! I’ve learned a lot - and have felt privileged to share the bits I know with your group.
Your endeavors to bring to light both the artistry and the craft of film designers, to share history, best practices, and new ideas to as wide an audience as possible is terrific. Best of luck as you continue to grow and move forward. As Jim Bissell once said, “Design Matters!”.