Just forget the words and sing along

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Aww, man. I hate waking up to sad news.

Joe Ranft has died.

Joe Ranft was one of the better story men in Hollywood. Let me explain the job. See, animated films aren't made like normal films. Rather than start with a screenplay, animated films simply start with an outline. Then the story people come in. They start brainstorming ideas, drawing storyboards, and essentially hammer out the finished plot. That's a story person. And Joe Ranft was considered one of the best.

Ranft started out at Disney, where he worked on Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and even The Nightmare Before Christmas. But, he acheived his greatest fame when he packed up and moved to Pixar. There, he contributed to the plots of both Toy Story films, A Bug's Life, and Monsters, Inc..

At Pixar, he even moved behind the microphone and started doing voice work. He was Wheezy the Penguin in Toy Story 2. He was Jaques the Shrimp in Finding Nemo. But perhaps his best-known role was Heimlich the caterpiller in A Bug's Life.

Ranft was 45. He died in a car accident.

Going off in search of news to cheer me up, I swung by the official "Weird Al" Yankovic website. That's where I found this delightful bit:

"Al has just finished recording and mixing the first 6 songs for his next album. he's taking a break now, no word on when he'll be back in the studio, but we'll keep you posted."

Alright! From following the development of Al's other albums online, this is what's going on. The 6 songs that Al has just finished working on will be the 6 original, non-parody songs that appear on his next album. What he's doing now is taking a broad look at all of pop culture and deciding what to parody. The next 6 songs he does will be his parodies!

That cheered me up real good.

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