Ralph Eggleston, an Academy Award-winning animator, art director and production designer at Pixar Animation Studios, died on Monday after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 56 years old.
Eggleston won the animated short film Oscar for writing and directing the 2001 Pixar film “For the Birds.”
Pixar tweeted a tribute to him, saying, “Pixar and the world will be forever grateful.”
The animator also served as art director on the original “Toy Story,” and his work as an artist has been seen on numerous Pixar films including “Monsters, Inc.,” “Finding Nemo,” “Wall-E,” “Cars,” “The Incredibles” and “Inside Out.” His final credited work was in 2020’s “Soul,” where he served as a development artist within the art department.
“Adios Maestro Ralph Eggleston,” Jorge R. Gutierrez, the creative behind “El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera” and “The Book of Life,” wrote in a Twitter post. “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.”
Prior to his time at Pixar, Eggleston’s work was seen in “FernGully: The Last Rainforest,” “Aladdin,” “The Lion King” and “Pocahontas.”
Eggleston was born in Baton Rouge, La. in 1965. He won his first Annie Award for best individual achievement in production design due to his work on the Pixar classic “Toy Story.” He would later win three more Annie Awards for “Finding Nemo” in 2004, “Inside Out” in 2015 and the Winsor McCay Award for lifetime achievement in 2016. Eggleston was also honored with the VIEW Visionary Award in 2019.