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Joe Ranft dead at 45
August 17, 2005 8:15 PM   Subscribe

Joe Ranft, co-writer of Toy Story, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, and many other animated films, and head of story at Pixar Animation Studios, died yesterday at age 45 when the car he was riding failed to negotiate an oceanside road in Mendocino County, California.
posted by cerebus19 (36 comments total)

 
"...when the car he was riding in...", that is.
posted by cerebus19 at 8:19 PM on August 17, 2005


perhaps a bit ironic.

Tragic irony.

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posted by thanatogenous at 8:26 PM on August 17, 2005


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

That's a pretty awful way to die.
posted by puke & cry at 8:31 PM on August 17, 2005 [1 favorite]


Lots of remembrance over at Cartoon Brew...
posted by Robot Johnny at 8:33 PM on August 17, 2005


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posted by Rothko at 8:33 PM on August 17, 2005


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posted by miss lynnster at 8:36 PM on August 17, 2005


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posted by kbanas at 8:43 PM on August 17, 2005


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posted by wakko at 9:00 PM on August 17, 2005


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posted by Busithoth at 9:03 PM on August 17, 2005


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posted by nj_subgenius at 9:04 PM on August 17, 2005


I loved Heimlich.
posted by nj_subgenius at 9:08 PM on August 17, 2005


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posted by djwudi at 9:17 PM on August 17, 2005


Terrible. What a blow to the Pixar family. I wonder what he had been working on lately...

He helped make Pixar what it is. And even though the rest of the animation industry has a hard time learning Pixar's lessons *cough*MADAGASCAR*cough*, Joe Ranft helped to prove that not only does story matter, story sells.

Thanks, Joe. We will all miss you.
posted by ulotrichous at 9:17 PM on August 17, 2005


This is sad.

However, "failed to negotiate an oceanside road"? What happened to "drove off the road"?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 2:37 AM on August 18, 2005


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How awful. My sympathies to his friends, family and co-workers. I hope Pixar is able to weather the loss.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:38 AM on August 18, 2005


"failed to negotiate an oceanside road"?

When I was a kid being driven down that road (southbound) scared the living shit out of me.

If any road in the US needs to be negotiated,not just driven, it is that one.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 3:52 AM on August 18, 2005


Wow, I think I know exactly where this is. I used to go to summer camps in the Scouts not far from there, and we'd often drive through that area on the weekend, when out being touristy.

I've never thought of that area as being particularly dangerous, it's mostly just very scenic. The cliff is a long, long way above the water, but the guardrails are fairly high. They must have been going REALLY fast to get over the guardrail.

From the description, and after some thought and Googlemapping, I think the driver might have blown it on this left turn... oversteered (easy in a Honda), lost control, and then missed the following hard right....just sailed over the railing on the other side of the road. It could also be one turn prior, which is quite a lot sharper, but I can't really imagine that he'd still have enough speed to vault the guardrail after a turn that sharp. Hondas are good, but not that good.

Highway 1 is one of the loveliest drives in the country, but it's easy to overestimate your skill and underestimate that road. It's also dangerous because the locals, who know the road very well, are always in a hurry, so you're always getting 'pushed' from behind... this tends to make you drive faster than you should. If you're ever up this way, take it slow, and just pull off and let people pass every once in awhile. It's a little more dangerous southbound than north (because you're on the coast side), though poor Mr. Ranft was killed in the 'safer' direction.

Man, what a bummer. :(
posted by Malor at 4:22 AM on August 18, 2005


What a shitty way to go . :(
posted by cavalier at 4:50 AM on August 18, 2005


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posted by briank at 5:26 AM on August 18, 2005


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posted by Silky Slim at 6:15 AM on August 18, 2005


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Wheezy! :(
posted by selfnoise at 6:24 AM on August 18, 2005


I hope he's a beautiful butterfly now...
posted by Scoo at 7:03 AM on August 18, 2005


Imagine the disucssion in that 130 feet. Couldn't have been good.

I wonder if you could ever design a car that could survive a fall like that (or a guardrail that could stop it).

How many people die on that road every year, I wonder. Is it higher then an average road? Lower?
posted by delmoi at 7:20 AM on August 18, 2005


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posted by killy willy at 8:16 AM on August 18, 2005


How many people die on that road every year, I wonder.

Not to sound callous, but as many as there are people speeding down that area as if they were in a sports car and they were the world's greatest driver.

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posted by linux at 8:31 AM on August 18, 2005


Well linux, that really just states the obvious, implies that this accident occured due to careless speeding, and basically, doesn't answer the original poster's question. So, yes, you sound callous.

. indeed.
posted by cavalier at 8:43 AM on August 18, 2005


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delmoi writes "guardrail that could stop it). "

The concrete no-post style of guardrail that is common in BC is very effective at keeping even speeding cars on the road. The metal rail with wood post style is much less so.
posted by Mitheral at 8:45 AM on August 18, 2005


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posted by papercake at 8:59 AM on August 18, 2005


It's worth remembering that he also performed several Pixar voices, including Heimlich in A Bug's Life, Wheezy the Penguin in Toy Story 2, and Jacques the fish in Finding Nemo.

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posted by mdeatherage at 9:04 AM on August 18, 2005


what does '.' mean?
posted by joecacti at 9:12 AM on August 18, 2005


joecacti: You can read about the . on the wiki.

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posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:21 AM on August 18, 2005


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posted by hopeless romantique at 9:49 AM on August 18, 2005


Imagine the disucssion in that 130 feet. Couldn't have been good.

Is there any good reason to assume it was anything more than "Aaaaaah... Aaaaaaaa!" ? I mean, it's going to take, what, four seconds?
posted by odinsdream at 10:44 AM on August 18, 2005


Poor guy. Seemed like he had it all. And Heimlich was my favorite character from A Bug's Life:" Von day I vill be a biootiful butterfly and everysing vill be bettah."
posted by Devils Slide at 11:06 AM on August 18, 2005


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posted by mistersquid at 11:43 AM on August 18, 2005


I hope he had a Little Feet MP3 playing...
posted by emf at 4:28 AM on August 19, 2005


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