It's with a heavy heart that I'm reporting the death of legendary writer/actor/Head of Story Joe Ranft. I've been a recent colleague of Joe's at Pixar, where Joe was Story Head on TOY STORY 1 and 2, A BUG'S LIFE, and CARS, as well as Head of Story for the company as a whole. He voiced the caterpillar Heimlich in A BUG'S LIFE and Wheezey the squeak toy in TOY STORY 2, among others. At Disney, he played an integral part in shaping BEAUTY AND THE BEST and THE LION KING, among other films.
Joe was an incredible person, a big teddy bear of a guy who always did his best to make you feel welcome and important to the company. I was looking forward to working more closely with him. His inspiration as a storyteller, and more importantly as a good person, will resonate with me always.
You can read more about Joe at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0710020/ , and more personal notes at http://www.ronniedelcarmen.com/blog1/blog.html .