From the [“Hollywood Reporter”:http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr/people/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1001017139]:
bq.. Joe Ranft, Pixar Animation Studios’ head of story for more than a decade and a cornerstone of the company’s creative team, died Tuesday when the car he was riding in plunged into the ocean after running off the road in Mendocino County, Calif. He was 45.
A spokeswoman for the Mendocino County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office confirmed Wednesday that Ranft was one of two people who died when the 2004 Honda Element they were traveling in veered off the road while heading north on Highway 1.
Ranft was a co-writer on 1995’s “Toy Story,” for which he earned an Oscar nomination, and 1998’s “A Bug’s Life.” Before Pixar, he was a leading member of the story department at Walt Disney Feature Animation, where he was a writer on 1991’s “Beauty and the Beast” and 1994’s “The Lion King.”
Ranft’s voice-over work for Pixar included such characters as Heimlich in “A Bug’s Life” and Wheezy the Penguin in “Toy Story 2.”