Jeff Ranjo

United States

Jeff Ranjo has worked in the Animation Industry for 28 years. As a character designer, production designer, and story person, he has helped develop many major animation films. He’s known for creating memorable musical moments and characters in many films, including Disney’s Frozen and Moana and Sony’s Surf’s Up. At Netflix, he co-executive produced and was Head of Story on the epic Maya and the Three mini-series. Currently, he is developing several unannounced projects at Netflix.

Visual Development

Comic Art

Character Design

Storyboard

Story Development

Biography

 Jeff Ranjo is known for creating characters and story moments that make audiences laugh and cry at the same time, tugging at their heartstrings. As a character designer, production designer and story person, Jeff Ranjo has helped develop many major animation films. In his years at Disney Animation, he was known for his inventive storytelling, and his particular skill at storyboarding songs in animated musicals. While there, he helped bring to life the stories of the adorable Olaf in Frozen and the mighty Maui and his mini from Moana. Many more Disney films have his fingerprints on them: Hercules, Fantasia 2000, Emperor’s New Groove, Tarzan, Chicken Little and Meet the Robinsons. At Sony Pictures Animation, Jeff played a role in creating Surf’s Up and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. His experience working in major animation film studios added sweeping cinematic storytelling style to Netflix’s recent epic hit, Maya and the Three. For that show, Jeff wore several hats as.Co-Executive Producer, Head of Story and Voice Actor. Currently Jeff is working on several new (unannounced) projects for Netflix. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences, the Television Academy and ASIFA (Association Internationale du Film d’Animation), where he has served as a judge for the industry awards, “The Annies.” He speaks frequently to audiences across the world about how to create compelling characters and stories, most recently in Manila, Taiwan and China and at the San Diego Comic-Con. Teaching is a passion of his; he taught for six years at California Institute of the Arts, and still guest lectures there. Fun fact: Jeff taught Maya and the Three director Jorge Gutierrez principles of character design when Jorge was a student at CalArts. Jeff is a graduate of CalArts himself. His journey to CalArts started when he realized, after endlessly doodling on his homework, that he could make a living doing what he loved. His getting a paying job as an artist was both a surprise and a relief for his parents, who had put up with his drawing cartoons and playing with toys for years. As a middle child in a big Filipino family, he learned the importance of collaborating to get things done while having fun along the way. Jeff enjoys working with other talented creatives to bring projects to the screen. As a way of paying tribute to his Filipino heritage, his Maya and the Three character, Zapote, casts spells in Tagalog, the official language of the Philippines. In addition to his animation interests, Jeff has contributed to comic-books, including “Dark Horse Presents,” “What Is Torch Tiger?,” and “When is High Moon?” He edited and contributed to the Will Eisner nominee for best Anthology, “Where is Dead Zero? Having grown up in San Diego, Jeff enjoys beach life, especially riding his boogie board whenever he can. His other not-so-secret passion is sculpting, building and collecting toys.

Portfolio

Frozen: Olaf's In Summer Song - Storyboards

Frozen: Olaf's In Summer Song - Storyboards

Hercules: Titans  Character Design

Hercules: Titans Character Design

Maya and the Three - Maya VS Zatz storyboard

Maya and the Three - Maya VS Zatz storyboard

Sketchbook sample

Sketchbook sample

Ken Morrissey - Caricature

Ken Morrissey - Caricature

Kitsune - Kauiju Illustration for #Kaijune

Kitsune - Kauiju Illustration for #Kaijune

Work Experience

Present day

Puppet Designer

Jim Henson

Present day

Head of Story

Warner Animation Group

Present day

Head of Story

Sony Pictures Animation

Present day

Head of Story/Storyboard/Character Design

Walt Disney Feature Animation

Present day

Head of Story/Co-Executive Producer

Netflix Animation

Education

1991 -1994

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Cakifornia Institute of the Arts

Character Animation

Sandbox - 1st year film selected for Producer's Show Cartoon Shenannigans - Producer's Show Intro and bumpers The Mighty Tor - 3rd year film selected for Producer's Show

Skills

Visual Development

30 Years of Experience

Comic Art

30 Years of Experience

Character Design

30 Years of Experience

Storyboard

30 Years of Experience

Story Development

30 Years of Experience

Caricature

30 Years of Experience

Illustration

30 Years of Experience

Voice Over

20 Years of Experience

Teaching

18 Years of Experience