Longtime director, writer and story artist for Pixar, Rob Gibbs, has died at the age of 55. His cause of death has not been confirmed, but people began sharing the news of his passing on April 24. Gibbs contributed to many well-known and successful Pixar films, including Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo and more.
The producers at MovieBrats Pictures, who worked with Gibbs on one of his upcoming movies, Hump, posted a tribute to the artist on April 24:
The team at MovieBrats Pictures wrote:
Our hearts broke this morning when we learned of the sudden passing of Rob Gibbs, co-director on our animated film HUMP. We’ve not only lost a creative partner, but also a wonderful human being, always in a good mood and never short of a joke that made it a joy to work with him over the past few years. Before we met Rob, he already looked back at an impressive career at Disney and Pixar, a veteran story artist on classics like Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, or Inside Out, he directed many of the Pixar shorts in the Cars franchise and kept entertaining us with his anecdotal stories from his many years in the industry. He loved spending time with his daughter, and he loved old classic cars and zombie stories. You’ll be dearly missed, Rob.
Gibbs is survived by his daughter Mary, who was the well-loved voice of Boo in Monsters, Inc.
Gibbs Worked in the Animation Industry for 22 Years, Including on Some Major Projects
Gibbs started his 22-year career in film with Disney, starting with writing and story elements on movies such as Pocahontas and Fantasia 2000. He then moved to Pixar and worked as a story artist on many high-profile animated movies like Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc., Finding Memo and Up, to name a few.
He also worked as a director for Tokyo Mater, a Cars tie-in short, as well as episodes on TV shows like Mater’s Tall Tales and Tales From Radiator Springs.
At the time of his death, Gibbs was working on different projects. He was working for Disney+ on a Monsters, Inc. spinoff called Monsters at Work which will feature the voices of the original cast. He was also working on an animated movie called Hump.
Gibbs Grew Up in California & Was Always Interested in Cartoons & Animation
Gibbs was born in Escondido, California, and according to the Hollywood Reporter, he was always interested and inspired by cartoons and animation, first with Looney Tunes and Popeye when he was a child. He attended a Spike and Mike’s Festival of Animation in La Jolla, California, which sparked his interest in short films.
Animation Magazine said that Gibbs grew up drawing a lot and was an artist throughout high school. He went to Palomar College for two years then transferred to CalArts to study character animation.
Upon hearing the news of his death, many former colleagues and friends posted their condolences and tributes to the artist: