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Bud Luckey: Designer of Woody from ‘Toy Story’ Has Died

The animator, who was nominated for the Oscars for directing the 2004 Animated Short film Boundin’, also designed characters for Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, and Cars among other animated movies.

Bud Luckey, the man who introduced the world to Woody from Toy Story, has died in Newtown, Connecticut, his son has confirmed.

Luckey was born in Billings, Montana in 1934, Luckey was best known for his work at Pixar as an animator who worked as the character designer for Toy Story, Finding Nemo, and Cars among other movies.

Apart from designing characters, Luckey also lent them their voice in several animated films. He provided a voice to characters including Rick Dicker in The Incredibles, Chuckles the Clown in Toy Story 3, and Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh movie.

Early in his career, Luckey created songs and cartons alongside lyricist Donald Hadley for Sesame Street. One of the most famous songs that came out of their combination included ‘’The Lady Bug Picnic’’.

He’ll be deeply missed by his friends, family and colleagues to whom he was just ‘Bud’,” Andy Luckey, Bud’s son, wrote on Facebook. “His kind and easy going demeanor led his Pixar colleagues to dub him ‘Bud Low-Key.’”

Not many people know that Bud’s first job in his life was in the U.S. Airforce, which he served during the Korean War. Back from the war, he went to attend Chouinard Art Institute – which would later become the California Institute of Arts.

So brilliant was his performance during the studies that Luckey went on to become a Disney scholar, after which he received training in professional animation at the University of South Carolina. Once graduated, Luckey worked under Art Babbitt – another of Disney’s veteran animators, as his assistant for some time.

Still, while his abovementioned works kept Luckey occupied, the present generation came to know about Luckey and his animations only after he joined Pixar in 1990.

On joining the animation company as a storyboard artist, animator and a character designer, Luckey’s first project under Pixar was Woody from Toy Story. Originally, the cowboy was to be a ventriloquist’s dummy, but it was only after Luckey took the charge that he turned Woody into a talking doll.

As expected, his death has left scores of his fans and friends in grief, with a large number of them taking to Twitter to express their sadness.


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