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Ron Clements
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Ron Clements

Ron Clements is one of the top creative talents in the field of animation today and his gentle humor, visual integrity and strong story sensibilities have helped to attract a wider audience than ever for animated features. Clements has successfully added to the Disney legacy and taken the art of animation in exciting new directions with his four previous films, The Great Mouse Detective, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Hercules. Treasure Planet marks his fifth directorial effort for the studio.

Born and raised in Sioux City, Iowa, Clements traces his interest in animation to his first viewing of Pinocchio at the age of ten. As a teenager he began making super-8 animated films, which led to a part-time job as an artist at a television station, where he animated commercials for the local market. While there, he made a fifteen-minute featurette (which he animated single-handedly) entitled Shades of Sherlock Holmes. Several years later, his animated Sherlock Holmes project helped him get a job at Disney and also served as the inspiration for The Great Mouse Detective, which Clements wrote and directed (with John Musker).

After graduating from high school, Clements came to California to try his luck at animation. As there were no openings at Disney, he went to work for several months at Hanna- Barbera while spending his evenings studying life drawing at Art Center.

With a little persistence and determination, Clements was finally accepted into Disney's Talent Development Program, a training ground for young animators. His self-taught experience and ambition made up for his lack of formal training.

After successfully completing the training program, Clements served a two-year apprenticeship under Disney animation great Frank Thomas. He quickly progressed through the ranks from inbetweener to assistant to animator/storyman. His credits include Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too, The Rescuers, Pete's Dragon, The Fox and the Hound and The Black Cauldron.

Clements made his writing/directing debut alongside John Musker on the 1986 Disney animated feature The Great Mouse Detective. Following that, he successfully pitched an animated version of Hans Christian Andersen's classic fairy tale The Little Mermaid and went on to write and direct the film (again with Musker), which became an instant classic upon its release in 1989. The film won Academy Awards for best song and original score and helped to inspire a new generation of moviegoers and animators.

Clements and Musker continued to make animation history with their next collaboration Aladdin in 1992. Both served as writers, producers and directors on the film, which went on to earn $486 million at theaters all over the world, and become one of the most popular animated films of all time. The 1997 release of Hercules, continued their collaboration with composer Alan Menken and applied a stylish satirical approach to the classic myth.

Clements and his wife, Tami, live in the San Fernando Valley.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2002.

Ron Clements Facts

OccupationDirector, Producer, Writer
BirthdayApril 25, 1953 (68)
BirthplaceSioux City, Iowa, USA

Selected Filmography

Not available.