It is with heavy hearts that we pass along the news that longtime and legendary Pixar employee Ralph Eggleston passed away (Sunday, August 28) from pancreatic cancer — he was 56. We learned that the news was announced early this morning to Pixar employees via a company-wide message.
Eggleston started his career at Pixar Animation Studios in 1992 working on Toy Story and ultimately won an Annie Award for his Art Direction of the film. In 2000, Eggleston released his short film, For the Birds (alongside Monsters, Inc.), which won him an Oscar.
It wasn’t just professional accolades and awards that Ralph won – it was his vision, work ethic, and kindness that won the admiration of those closest to him. Employees have already begun sharing personal messages on social media platforms (included below).
Eggleston was prolific and was easily one of the most inventive and imaginative Art Directors, Character Designers, and Production Designers at Pixar. He created imaginative worlds for Inside Out, Cars, and Incredibles – to name just a few.
We chatted with Ralph during the Inside Out press days (which you can listen to in Episode 37 of the Pixar Post Podcast), and it was one of the most intimidating interviews we’ve conducted to date. Not because Ralph was offputting in any way but because of the sheer talent and work he produced. We, rightfully so, placed him on a pedestal in our minds.
News of his passing is being shared on Twitter by current and former colleagues, both offering sympathies and praising Eggleston’s legacy and many accomplishments – but most notably, his friendship.
Back in 2019, Eggleston was the Winsor McCay recipient during the Annie Awards and he paraphrased one of his favorite films, Tucker the Man and his Dream. Eggleston noted the phrase, “When I was a kid my mom told me not to stand too close to people, you’ll catch their dreams.”
He then went on to say years later, he realized the line in the film was “germs” not “dreams.” As the crowd laughed, Eggleston went on to discuss the amazement of working in animation and how lucky he was to work alongside so many talented people and to catch their dreams.
Our thoughts go out to Ralph’s personal and professional families. We will miss you, Ralph.