The founding "Head of Story" at Pixar animated studios Joe Ranft has died after his car ran off the road and plunged off a cliff into the ocean in
Mendocino County. Ranft was often described as the cornerstone of Pixar Studios and he became a household name after co writing such classic
children's animations such as Toy Story and The Lion King.
The California Highway Patrol said the crash occurred at about 3 p.m. Tuesday as the driver tried to regain control of the car after swerving when he
headed into a tight left curve. The car fell 130 feet over the side of the road, overturning twice before it landed in the water near the mouth of the
Navarro River where it meets the Pacific Ocean, the CHP said.
The driver, identified by the Coroner's Office as Elegba Earl, 32, of Los Angeles, also was killed in the crash. The third person in the car, whom the
CHP identified as Eric Frierson, 39, of Los Angeles, survived by climbing through the sun roof. He was hospitalized with moderate injuries at
Mendocino Coast Hospital, according to officer Robert Simas of the CHP office in Ukiah.
Ranft was a co-writer on 1995's "Toy Story," for which he earned an Oscar nomination, and 1998's "A Bug's Life." Before Pixar, he was a leading member
of the story department at Walt Disney Feature Animation, where he was a writer on 1991's "Beauty and the Beast" and 1994's "The Lion King."
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The sad passing of a genius who created a world of make believe and stimulated the imagination of millions of children worldwide. He will be sadly
missed within the industry and his death has left a pair of large shoes for someone to step into.
So sad, that man has made stuff that has brough smile's to my face for years. In fact I still laugh when I watch Pixar movies (I'm a high
schooler), his work was that great. He was probaby the closest thing to Walt Disney there was in this day and age.
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