Pixar's Joe Ranft Falls to a Tragic Death

Pixar Studios veteran Joe Ranft died on Tuesday after the car he was riding in broke through a guardrail and plummeted over 100 feet into the ocean, says The Hollywood Reporter.

"A spokeswoman for the Mendocino County Sheriff-Coroner's Office confirmed Wednesday that Ranft was one of two people who died when the 2004 Honda Element they were traveling in veered off the road while heading north on Highway 1. 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."

Joe was 45 years old at the time of his death.

Prior to joining the Pixar team, Mr. Ranft cut his teeth as a storyboard artist on "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" and "The Nightmare Before Christmas."

After finding a home at Pixar, he worked as a story editor on titles such as "A Bug's Life" and both "Toy Story" films. But fans of the patented Pixar magic will most likely remember Joe Ranft for his superlative character work: he provided the voice for Heimlich (the caterpillar) in "A Bug's Life," Wheezy (the penguin) in "Toy Story 2," and Jacques (the fish) in "Finding Nemo."

Everyone here at Rotten Tomatoes would like to extend our deepest sympathies to Mr. Ranft's family, as well as to his extended family over at Pixar.

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