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Iconic Character Designer Bud Luckey Passes Away

Toy Story 3 copyright Disney Pixar (Bud Luckey obit)
image c Disney/Pixar

Bud Luckey’s Legacy

Collaboration makes the entertainment industry go round. Every film or television show has a veritable army of folks working behind the scenes. These people work tirelessly to ensure our media is as polished as possible. Even though their names appear in the credits of their work, they aren’t household names. Such is the case with Bud Luckey. Luckey was an animator and a character designer for decades.

Bud Luckey Disney Pixar cr. Deborah Coleman
William “Bud” Luckey, character designer

He began his career as an uncredited animator on Don Bluth’s The Secret of NIMH. Following his work with Bluth, he animated dozens of commercials for recognizable brands. Eventually, he landed a job on Sesame Street and animated shorts for them including the award-winning mini-series Longie and Shortie the Rattlesnakes.

In 1990, Luckey joined Pixar as a character designer. He designed countless characters for the company, including Woody. He based Woody on classic ventriloquist dummies like Howdy Doody and Charlie McCarthy, but opted for a pull-string toy design instead. Furthermore, he found a small career as a voice actor for several Pixar projects. He wrote and designed Boundin’, the animated short featured before The Incredibles, and served as the story’s narrator. Also, he composed original banjo music as the score for the short.

That same year, Luckey voiced special agent Rick Dicker in The Incredibles. He went on to voice Chuckles the Clown in Toy Story 3 and the Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation short. Lastly, he provided Eeyore a voice in the 2011 Winnie the Pooh film.

Bud Luckey passed away of natural causes at his home in Newtown, Connecticut on February 24th, 2018. He lived a long, full life and leaves behind a legacy of iconic character designs and animated shorts. He even brought his son, Andy Luckey, into the family business. Andy serves as a producer on Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Though he’s gone, Bud Luckey’s body of work will be enjoyed for generations to come.


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About the author

MJ Smith

MJ Smith makes his home in California, and when not listening to Hamilton, podcasts and writes about pop culture on the internet. He loves board games, Swamp Thing, and The Wachowski's SPEED RACER.

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