Bud Luckey, the Oscar-nominated Designer/Animator who designed Woody from Toy Story, has died, his son has announced.
Luckey, who was born in 1934, also worked on films like A Bug’s Life, Monsters Inc and Cars. He also voiced characters including Chuckles the Clown in Toy Story 3, Rick Dicker in the Incredibles and Eeyore in the 2011 Winnie the Pooh film.
He made his name working for sesame street, where he was responsible for the popular animated counting songs. Bud Luckey joined Pixar in 1992 – he was the fifth animator hired by the company.
Pixar and Disney animator chief John Lasseter has previously called Luckey “one of the true unsung heroes of animation”.
Before the first Toy Story film came out in 1995, he suggested making Woody – voiced by Tom Hanks – a cowboy instead of a ventriloquist’s dummy, which was the original idea.
“People had kind of a spooky feeling about ventriloquists after The Twilight Zone,” Luckey said. He was nominated for an Oscar in 2004 for his short film Boundin’.
Toy Story 3 and Coco director Lee Unkrich was among those playing tribute.
His work touched and continues to touch new generations every day. No word on whether or not Luckey was involved in the upcoming Toy Story 4.