By Arré Bench Apr. 30, 2020
Veteran director, writer, and the very talented story artist from Pixar, Rob Gibbs, whose work filled our younger years is no more. Gibbs was behind iconic creations like Finding Nemo, Toy Story 2, Wall-E and Monsters, Inc, and spent 20 years at Pixar.
Even though we have all mutually agreed by now that 2020 is the worst year to ever exist, it does not make accepting the dire events it brings along on the daily any easier. We are now presented with another heartbreaking news that shatters the magical image of our childhood.
Veteran director, writer, and the very talented story artist from Pixar, Rob Gibbs, whose work filled our younger years is no more. Gibbs was behind Pixar’s iconic creations like Finding Nemo, Toy Story 2, Wall-E and Monsters, Inc. A company spokesperson said that the cause of his death remains unknown.
Having spent 20 years with Pixar, the 55-year-old’s career spanned several successful and highly popular animations.
However, before committing to Pixar in 1998, the California-resident started out his career as an animator with the musical fantasy FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992) only to be hired by Disney later on. In his five years working at the Walt Disney Feature Animation, Gibbs has been credited with working on both the story and distinct visual developments of Pocahontas (1995) and the “Pomp and Circumstance” segment in Fantasia 2000 (1999).
For the entirety of Monsters, Inc. series, his daughter, Mary Gibbs voiced the nauseatingly adorable and ever so curious character Boo.
Heartbroken over the loss of Rob Gibbs. If you or your kids have seen any Pixar CarsToons shorts, Rob directed most of 'em. His daughter was the voice of Boo in Monsters, Inc. He was such a positive, hilarious, and heartfelt guy, who cared a lot for his crew. Will miss him. pic.twitter.com/EefgQrHNRr
— Daniel Chong (@threebarebears) April 24, 2020
In fact his storyboard art for Monsters, Inc. is considered iconic for its colourful and differently stylised characters. A fan grieves Gibbs passing with his own Boo storyboard.
I'm grieving through his own Boo board drawings from his portfolio. pic.twitter.com/ZVVW8OKp5t
— CJM (@KingMcdaniel20) April 25, 2020
Besides marking our childhood with the memorable “P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney” in Finding Nemo, after 14 long years we were reunited with The Incredibles all thanks to Mr. Gibbs.
In a much lesser known fact, Gibbs also directed many of Pixar’s Car Toons shorts in the Cars franchise featuring the cocky but a fan-favourite Lightning McQueen along with Mater.
At the time of his death, Gibbs was working as the co-director of the upcoming Germany/Belgium/Canada co-production under MoveBrats Pictures’ film Hump, which would have marked his feature directorial debut.
Many of his colleagues remember him both for his easy-going nature and dedication towards his craft.
Rob Gibbs was the 1st person to befriend me when I came to Pixar. He always made sure that no one felt left out. He made sure that everyone was invited to the party. He was a great artist, a loving parent, a dedicated teacher & a thoughtful, reliable, joyful friend. I miss u Rob. pic.twitter.com/18ULh3XI0g
— Dan Scanlon (@MrDanScanlon) April 25, 2020
Only worked with #RobGibbs on one film but it was my first feature animation gig & a formative one. In an ocean of intimidating talent & a few raging egos, Rob was not. He was lovely & talented. Very sad to hear of his passing today. #pixar #storyboarder #director #ripRobGibbs pic.twitter.com/YDWsnHUXuX
— Melanie Cordan (@CartoonCatalyst) April 24, 2020
Thank you for the invaluable life lessons and joy that you imparted with your creations, Mr Gibbs! We’ll just keep swimming.