Randy Fullmer, an effects animator, VFX supervisor and producer at Walt Disney Animation Studios, has passed away. He was part of renowned films like The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast. He was 73 and battled cancer for a long time. According to the studio, he passed away on 10 July at his home in Woodland Hills, CA.
Over the course of his nearly 20-year tenure at Disney’s animation studio, Fullmer worked on a variety of animated films, earning credits for his work as an effects animator on Oliver & Company (1988) and The Little Mermaid (1989), an effects supervisor on The Rescuers Down Under (1990), an artistic coordinator on The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), and a producer on The Emperor’s New Groove (2000) and Chicken Little (2005). He worked as the VFX supervisor on 1991’s Beauty and the Beast and as the artistic coordinator on The Lion King in 1994.
Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King producer Don Hahn said, “Most people are good at one thing in their lives. Randy was good at a lot of things. He could draw and paint beautifully, but he had the mind of an engineer and the heart of an artisan. He was great at animation; great at producing movies, too. He was at the very center of the Disney renaissance in animation. … I miss him, but I carry his passion and joy with me every day. Always will.”
Fullmer, who was born in Richland, Washington, on 27 April 1950, studied at Washington State University from 1968 to 1970. During his second year, he took a film course that sparked his interest in animation.
After that, Fullmer had his own animation company for around seven years, creating animations for films about medical, science and other subjects, as well as for Sesame Street segments, TV commercials, and Saturday morning programs. He worked with Don Bluth Studios between 1983 and 1984, producing special effects for the first Laserdisc video games, Space Ace and Dragon’s Lair. He also worked at John Dykstra’s live-action special effects studio Apogee before moving on to Filmation, where he worked as an animator from 1985-87 on television shows and movies such Ghostbusters, BraveStarr, She-Ra: Princess of Power, and Happily Ever After.
Fullmer commenced his 18-year career at the Walt Disney Studios in 1987 after being hired by Walt Disney Feature Animation, the forerunner of Disney Animation Studios, on a three-month contract to animate on the Toon Town segment of the 1998 epic Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
Since he was a kid, Fullmer loved guitars and in 2006, after retiring from the animation industry, he established Wyn Guitars.
Fullmer is survived by his wife Diana, stepchildren Becky Kuriyama and Nick Kuriyama, stepbrother Scott Landon and sister Cathy Lou Tusler.