Ron Clements Biography

Ron Clements photo

Born: April 25, 1953

RON CLEMENTS

Date of Birth: April 25, 1953

Born and raised in Sioux City, Iowa, Ron Clements' interest in animation can be traced back to his first viewing of Disney's Pinocchio when he was ten years old. He began making animated movies using a super-8 camera when he was a teenager, which led to a part-time job creating animated commercials at a local television station. During this time, he also single-handedly animated a 15-minute film called Shades of Sherlock Holmes.

After graduating from high school, Clements headed straight for California to break into the business. Although there were no openings at Disney, he landed a job as an animator for Hanna Barbara while continuing his studies by taking evening classes at Art Center.

Soon after, he was accepted into Disney's Talent Development Program, a training ground and workshop for young animators. After graduating, he served a two-year apprenticeship with Disney's renowned Frank Thomas, who worked as supervising animator on many classic Disney films.

Clements began his career as a feature film animator on The Rescuers (1977) and Pete's Dragon (1977). Soon after, he began working with John Musker, another Disney animator, and the two provided additional story material for The Black Cauldron (1985). In 1986, along with other collaborators, they not only wrote the story, but made their feature film directorial debut with The Great Mouse Detective, based on the short film Shades of Sherlock that Clements had made while still a teen.

Clements and Musker next co-directed The Little Mermaid (1989), based on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson. The movie was a huge hit for Disney, and the team next wrote, directed and produced Aladdin (1992), another enormous hit for Disney that went on to earn $486 million at theaters all around the world. The film was nominated for numerous awards, including several Oscars and went on to win two, for Best Music and Best Song.

Their next project was Hercules (1997), which they directed, wrote and produced, and although it wasn't as big a hit as their previous films, they won an Annie award together for "Best Individual Achievement: Directing in a Feature Production." Their biggest achievement to date came in 2010 when they were nominated for an Academy Award for their work on The Princess and the Frog. Though the film didn't win in any of the three categories it was nominated for, it picked up several Annies and was a box office success.

In 2016, Clements reunited with Musker to direct the animated adventure Moana, which follows a Polynesian princess tasked with saving the world.

Clements lives in the San Fernando Valley with his wife, Tami.

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