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Joe Ranft
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    (March 13, 1960-August 16, 2005)
    Born in Pasadena, California
    Screenwriter, storyboard artist, animator and voice actor at Disney and Pixar
    Credits for story, story supervisor or story artist on 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit?' (1988), 'Oliver and Company' (1988), 'The Little Mermaid' (1989), 'The Rescuers Down Under' (1990), 'Beauty and the Beast' (1991), 'Aladdin' (1992), 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' (1993), 'The Lion King' (1994), 'Toy Story' (1995), 'James and the Giant Peach' (1996), 'A Bug's Life' (1998), 'Monsters, Inc.' (2001) and 'Cars' (2006)
    Provided the voices of Heimlich in 'A Bug's Life,' Wheezy the Penguin in 'Toy Story 2,' Pete 'Claws' War in 'Monsters, Inc.,' Jacques the Shrimp in 'Finding Nemo' and Red in 'Cars'
    In second grade, he was expelled from Catholic school for spitting on a nun.
    He spent his first five years at Disney working on TV projects that never got off the ground.
    He noted that when he tried to explain storyboarding to people 'they get this puzzled look. But when I say 'I'm the voice of Heinrich,' the light bulb goes on and they say 'Oh, great!''
    In a morbid irony, he died in a car crash while working on the film 'Cars.'
    In elementary school, he won a local art contest.
    As a teen, he was part of the Magic Castle's junior group.
    He got the role of Heimlich in 'A Bug's Life' when director John Lasseter noticed that his wife laughed harder at Ranft's temporary dialogue track than she did at the actor hired to do the voice.
    Lasseter said, 'Joe had a great passion for telling stories and he told them better than anyone. He was funny, poignant, original, and he had an infallible sense for how to structure a story.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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