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October 1
1842 - Proof of discovery: New York Observer (newspaper) reports on gold in Placerita Canyon. [story]
New York Observer


California Institute of the Arts alum, Academy Award-winning director, animator and art director Ralph Eggleston (Film/Video 1986), celebrated as a “cornerstone of Pixar’s visual style” by Cartoon Brew, died Monday, Aug. 29. He was 56. Eggleston died in San Rafael, of pancreatic cancer, according to Variety.

Pixar Animation Studios confirmed Eggleston’s death in a statement released on Twitter.

“In memory of Ralph Eggleston, animator, director, art director, storyboard artist, writer, production designer and our dear friend. Pixar and the world will be forever grateful,” the studio tweeted.

Born in Baton Rouge, La., Eggleston began his animation career at Bill Kroyer’s pioneering studio Kroyer Films, where he served as artistic director on the musical fantasy feature “FernGully: The Last Rainforest” (1992). He went on to join Pixar Animation Studios in 1992, where he earned credits in classic Pixar features like “Toy Story” (1995), “Aladdin” (1992), “The Lion King” (1994), “Pocahontas” (1995), “A Bug’s Life” (1998), “Monsters, Inc.” (2001), “Finding Nemo” (2003, “The Incredibles” (2004) and “Inside Out” (2015).

Though Eggleston spent the majority of his three decade-long career with Pixar Animation Studios, a name synonymous with computer animation, he was trained in the classic school of pen and paper.

“We mostly came from traditional animation,” Eggleston said in a 2019 interview with The Hollywood Reporter about the early Pixar team. “I knew nothing about computers. They were actually writing the software and building the hardware to make ‘Toy Story’ as we were building the story.”

In 2002, Eggleston won the Academy Award for Best Short Film, Animated for “For the Birds.” The humorous three-minute computer animated short about birds on a power line screened alongside the theatrical release of “Monsters, Inc.” (2001), on which he was also credited as a storywriter and visual developer.

Eggleston was also a three-time Annie Award winner for his work on “Toy Story” (1995), “Finding Nemo” (2003) and “Inside Out” (2015). In 2019, Eggleston was honored with the prestigious Winsor McCay Award at the 46th Annual Annie Awards for his numerous contributions to the field.

The news of Eggleston’s death prompted an outpouring of tributes from throughout the animation industry, many of whom remembered “Eggman”, as he was affectionately called by his Pixar colleagues, not only for his legendary talent, but for his friendship, mentorship and fierce passion for the arts.

“He was an absolutely incredible talent and will be greatly missed, a visionary artist who defined the look of Pixar films from the very beginning and led with great energy and compassion,” said CalArts School of Film/Video Assistant Dean Maija Burnett. “A wonderful person.”

CalArts School of Film/Video faculty and editorial cartoonist Ann Telnaes (Film/Video BFA 1985), who knew Eggleston during her studies at CalArts, shared the following remembrance as a thread on Twitter:

“While many who have been in the business for a long time stop growing creatively or become stale, Ralph continued to be passionate and excited about films & design as when he first started out. No doubt there will be many accolades and heartfelt tributes from his colleagues at Pixar but I’ll always remember him as that skinny little kid at CalArts standing by the video machine where we tested scenes from our student films.”

Among his colleagues, Jorge R. Gutierrez, director of “The Book of Life,” also honored the moviemaker with a tribute.

“Adios Maestro Ralph Eggleston. A true titan of our art form. He reached out to me after Book of Life and I will forever cherish our conversations. Before many knew he was sick he was trying to donate his spectacular art book collection to a Mexican animation school. That’s Ralph,” Gutierrez wrote.

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HIGHER EDUCATION LINKS
LOCAL COLLEGE HEADLINES
Friday, Sep 30, 2022
Two recent graduates of CalArts’ MFA Experimental Animation Program, Moon (Yuezhu) Wang and Dairys Escoto De León, have been selected for the 2022-23 Association for Independent Colleges of Art and Design Post-Graduate Teaching Fellowships.
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As California Institute of the Arts 2022-23 academic year kicked off on Sept. 12, 27 artists have joined CalArts as new regular faculty members.
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