He is one half of America's leading contemporary animation team with John Musker. Clements began his career as an animator for Hanna-Barbera. After a few months there, he was accepted into Disney's Talent Development Program, an animator training ground and workshop. After that, he served a two year apprenticeship with famed animator Frank Thomas, a supervising animator in classic Disney films such as Peter Pan (1953), Lady and the Tramp (1955) and The Aristocats (1970).
Clements made his feature debut as a character animator on The Rescuers (1977) and Pete's Dragon (1977). In 1981, he became the supervising animator on The Fox and the Hound. Future partner John Musker worked as a character animator under him. Clements later teamed up with Musker as story artists on the ambitious animated flop The Black Cauldron (1985). In 1986, Clements made his directorial debut alongside Musker and two other collaborators on the feature The Great Mouse Detective. This feature was based on a pre-Disney short made by Clements.
Together, Clements and Musker wrote and directed The Little Mermaid (1989), a touching retelling of the Hans Christian Andersen tale. With dazzling animation and Oscar-winning music by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, it brought back critical and commercial clout for feature animation. Later on, the two wrote, directed and produced Aladdin (1992), which was an even larger success. They also directed Hercules (1997), which while not as successful as their last two films, was still well-received by critics and audiences.
Their next directorial collaboration would be the sci-fi Treasure Planet (2002), critics reviews were generally positive but it was unfortunately a commercial failure. The film lacked the songs and colorful characters which were crucial to the success of Aladdin and The Little Mermaid although he was nominated an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
However, after Disney's acquisition of Pixar in early 2006, the studio has rekindled interest towards 2-D animation thanks to new leaders John Lasseter and Ed Catmull. A new upcoming 2-D animated feature, The Princess and the Frog, is currently in development, with Musker and Clements directing and Randy Newman handling the music. The film promises to return to the Broadway-style musical which Aladdin, The Little Mermaid and other successful Disney animated films of the late '80s and early '90s were.
Review Not one to treasure Treasure Planet (U) Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker Voices: Joseph Gordon- Levitt, Laurie Metcalf, John Murray, David Hyde Pierce, Martin Short, Emma Thompson
Feb 13, 2003; IF LAST year's wickedly funny Lilo & Stitch was Disney's attempt to strip back 2D animation and give it an anarchic Tex Avery...
Film: Also Showing ; DAREDEVIL MARK STEVEN JOHNSON (15) TREASURE PLANET RON CLEMENTS & JOHN MUSKER (U) REVENGERS TRAGEDY ALEX COX (15) UNDERCOVER BROTHER MALCOLM D LEE (12A) DEATH IN VENICE LUCHINO VISCONTI (12A)
Feb 14, 2003; Superheroes tend not to make a song and dance about religion. Batman. Superman. Spiderman. One assumes they're not Mormons....