Disney's partnership with Pixar has been a recipe for success for decades, starting with the triumphant release of Toy Story. Since then the partnership has never been far from theaters, and usually result in the audience openly weeping. That type of emotionality might one again occur, but this time due to a very real-life turn of events. Because long-time Pixar employee Rob Gibbs has passed away at the age of 55. And he's leaving behind a legacy of contributions to film.
Rob Gibbs spent more than 20 years working at Pixar, so his death is sure to be felt throughout both the studio and the rest of the world. The studio itself revealed the news of his death to the public, but there are sure to be plenty more reactions and tributes making their way online as time goes on. He is survived by his daughter Mary, who actually voiced the character Boo in the Monsters Inc. franchise.
The report of Rob Gibbs' death by THR doesn't give any indication of cause of death. But more details will likely follow in the given days. His death is no doubt a shocking one for his colleagues and loved ones, as well as the many lives he touched through his work at Pixar. And his contributions were significant over the years, helping to make a variety of beloved projects into a reality.
Before beginning his work on Pixar, Rob Gibbs worked on an animator in iconic animated movies like FernGully: The Last Rainforest. He was eventually hired by Disney and contributed to the story and visuals of classics like Pocahontas and Fantasia 2000. Eventually he started working with Pixar, where some of his most iconic work occurred.
After joining Pixar in 1998, Rob Gibbs worked as a storyboard artist for the beloved animated sequel Toy Story 2. He also worked on the art for Monsters University, Inside Out, The Incredibles 2, and most recently as an animator for Onward. The latter blockbuster ended up released early on Disney+, allowing for his work to enter countless homes as families self-isolate.
Before his death, Rob Gibbs was gearing up to make his big directorial debut in the animated blockbuster Hump. The movie was set to star Simon Pegg and
Stranger Things' Gaten Matarazzo, playing a creatures who are trekking across the Arabian desert. There's no telling what status that project has now that Gibbs has passed, as well as most film projects being put on indefinite hold.
Given the current global health situation, there will no doubt be more questions about Rob Gibbs' cause of death. But the reason for his passing is ultimately up to his loved ones, who might choose to keep that information private. But there will no doubt be plenty of re-watched of Gibbs' work, especially Onward which tackles the subject of grief.
Movies like Onward and Toy Story 2 are currently streaming on Disney+. Our thoughts are with Rob Gibbs' loved ones at this time.