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Nik Ranieri
Nik Ranieri 2015.jpg
Ranieri in 2015
Born August 23, 1956 (1956-08-23) (age 64)
Toronto, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Alma mater Sheridan College
Occupation Animator
Employer Walt Disney Animation Studios (1982–2013)
Awards Annie Award, 1995
Annie Award, 1997
NCS Division Award, 1997

Nik Ranieri (born August 23, 1956) is a character animator who is primarily known for his work at Walt Disney Animation Studios. He has been supervising animator of many characters, and remained so until his layoff in 2013.

After graduating from the Classical Animation Program at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, Ranieri went to work for Atkinson Film-Arts animation production studio (in Ottawa, Ontario).

He began animating for Disney in 1987 on the London, England-based animation crew of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, working with director Richard Williams. Soon after that he moved to Disney's feature animation studio in Glendale, California, where he animated on The Little Mermaid (working primarily on the character of Ursula the sea witch, under directing animator Ruben Aquino). On his next film, Ranieri was promoted to supervising animator on the character of Wilbur in The Rescuers Down Under.

In 1995 he won an Annie Award in the category 'Individual Achievement in Character Animation' for his animation of the raccoon "Meeko" in Pocahontas.

In 1997 he won an Annie Award in the category 'Individual Achievement in Character Animation' for his animation of Hades in Hercules.

While Ranieri is regarded as one of the modern-day masters of hand-drawn character animation (especially excelling in subtle dialogue scenes and facial expressions) he also successfully made the switch to animating in CG on films such as Chicken Little, Meet the Robinsons and Bolt. Ranieri returned to his roots in classic hand-drawn animation for the 2009 Disney animated film The Princess and the Frog.

On April 6, 2013, The Walt Disney Company announced that Ranieri, along with eight other animators working at Walt Disney Animation Studios, had been laid off in an effort for the company as a whole to cut costs.

He later worked at Studio Roqovan, where he worked on the video game World War Toons, up until the studio closed in 2019.

Filmography

Year Title Credits Characters
1975 The All-Night Show (TV Series) Animator
1978 Common Problems (Short Film) Animator
Actor
1980 The Body Electric (TV Movie) Animator
The Raccoons (TV Series) Animator - 7 Episodes
1986 The Great Mouse Detective Animator Basil
1988 Who Framed Roger Rabbit Animator Roger Rabbit
1989 Cranium Command (Short) Animator
The Little Mermaid Character Animator Ursula
1990 The Rescuers Down Under Supervising Animator Wilbur
1991 Beauty and the Beast Supervising Animator Lumiere
1992 Aladdin Animator Jafar
1994 Chariots of Fur (Short) Animator
1995 Pocahontas Supervising Animator / Additional Story Development Meeko
1997 Hercules Supervising Animator Hades
2000 Fantasia 2000 Character Designer - Segment "Piano Concerto No. 2, Allegro, Opus 102"
The Emperor's New Groove Supervising Animator Kuzco and Kuzco Llama
2002 Treasure Planet Animator Doctor Delbert Doppler
2005 Chicken Little Supervising Animator Buck "Ace" Cluck
2007 Meet the Robinsons Supervising Animator Lewis
2008 Bolt Animator
2009 The Princess and the Frog Supervising Animator Charlotte "Lottie" La Bouff
2010 Tangled Animator Mother Gothel
2011 Winnie the Pooh Additional Animator
2012 Wreck-It Ralph Animator
2014 The Prophet Hand-Drawn Animation Supervisor
2016 World War Toons (Video Game) Animation Director

Awards

  • 1995 Best Individual Achievement: Character Animation for 'Hades' in Hercules
  • 1997 Best Individual Achievement for Animation for 'Meeko' in Pocahontas
  • 1997 'NCS Division Award' in Feature Animation (for Hades)


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