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Nik Ranieri

Nik Ranieri is a former character animator for 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)." [1]

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, CA where he animated on The Little Mermaid (working primarily on the character of Ursula the sea witch, under supervising animator Ruben Aquino). On his next film Ranieri was promoted to Supervising Animator on the character of "Wilbur" in The Rescuers Down Under.

In 1997 he won an Annie Award in the category 'Individual Achievement in Character Animation' for his animation of Hades in Hercules.[2]

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 and Meet the Robinsons. 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.[3]


  • Credits 1
    • Supervising Animator 1.1
    • Animator 1.2
    • Character Designer 1.3
  • Awards 2
    • Annie Awards 2.1
    • National Cartoonist Society 2.2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Supervising Animator


Character Designer


In 2011 Nik Ranieri was named the 20th most influential animator in Disney history on the blog the 50 Most Influential Disney Animators (

Annie Awards

  • Best Individual Achievement: Character Animation for 'Hades' in Hercules
  • Best Individual Achievement for Animation for 'Meeko' in Pocahontas

National Cartoonist Society


  1. ^ Great Animated Performances: Meeko as Supervised by Nik Ranieri - July 25, 2003
  2. ^ Annie Awards: Legacy - 25th Annual Annie Awards
  3. ^ The Disney Blog: Walt Disney Animation Studios Lets Most of Hand Drawn Team Go

External links

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