Joseph Henry "Joe" Ranft (March 13, 1960 - August 16, 2005) was a magician, animation storyboard artist, and voice actor who worked for Pixar and Disney. His brother Jerome Ranft is a sculptor who also worked on several Pixar movies.
During his first five years with Disney, Ranft worked on a number of television projects that never got made. Furthering into his Disney career, he was bumped up into the Feature Animation department, where he received training from Eric Larson. Ranft remembers his training under the Disney Legend as, [Eric] always reminds me of just the fundamental things that I tend to forget. You know it like, animation is so complex; how many drawings are in there? and stuff, but Eric always comes back to like; What does the audience perceive?  Around this time, he studied under and began performing with the improvisational group, The Groundlings. He stayed with Disney throughout the 1980s, doing story work on animated features including The Lion King a