News broke yesterday that long-time Walt Disney Animation Studios effects animator and producer of titles like Chicken Little and The Emperor’s New Groove, Randy Fullmer, had passed away.
- Yesterday, July 10th 2023, word passed through colleagues and fans that long time animator and producer at the Walt Disney Animation Studios, Randy Fullmer, had passed away at the age of 73.
- A CalArts alum, Fullmer found himself at Don Bluth Studios in the early 80s, crafting special effects for Dragon’s Lair and Space Age after running his own animation business producing education films and segments for Sesame Street.
- In 1987, he joined the team at Walt Disney Feature Animation (now Walt Disney Animation Studios) after a three-month contract working on Who Framed Roger Rabbit (reportedly, working on the Toontown sequences in the film) that extended into an 18 year career at the studio.
- There, he served as an effects animator on Oliver & Company, The Little Mermaid, and moving to effects supervisor on The Rescuers Down Under, and visual effects supervisor on Beauty and the Beast. After that, he was an artistic coordinator on The Lion King and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
- It was after Hunchback that Fullmer worked on a project he is most recognized by animation and Disney fans everywhere, serving as producer for a film called “Kingdom of the Sun” which was notoriously troubled and under Fullmer’s control, became the fan-favorite film, The Emperor’s New Groove.
- Teaming up with New Groove’s director Mark Dindal once again, the collaborative pair also created one of the first 3D Computer Animated films for the studio, Chicken Little.
- After Chicken Little, Fullmer retired from animation in favor of a different artform you can see in his documentary that he produced, Restrung, where we see him crafting small-batch bass guitars. In the film (and a moment you can see in the trailer below) Fullmer says that it was his time as a producer at Disney that made him realize he wanted to be an artist again, turning his passion for crafting guitars into a full-time occupation.
- Stephen Anderson, director of a film that was being produced around the same time as Chicken Little, Meet the Robinson, shared condolences on his Twitter page when he heard the news.
- Our hearts go out to the friends and family of Randy Fullmer in this difficult time.