Nik Ranieri is a former character animator for Walt Disney Animation Studios. He has been supervising animator of many characters, and remained so until his layoff in 2013.
After graduating from the Classical Animation Program at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, Ranieri went to work for Atkinson Film-Arts animation production studio (in Ottawa, Ontario).
He began animating for Disney in 1987 on the London, England-based animation crew of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, working with director Richard Williams. Soon after that he moved to Disney's feature animation studio in Glendale, CA where he animated on The Little Mermaid (working primarily on the character of Ursula the sea witch, under supervising animator Ruben Aquino). On his next film Ranieri was promoted to Supervising Animator on the character of "Wilbur" in The Rescuers Down Under.
While Ranieri is regarded as one of the modern-day masters of hand-drawn character animation (especially excelling in subtle dialogue scenes and facial expressions) he also successfully made the switch to animating in CG on films such as Chicken Little and Meet the Robinsons. Ranieri returned to his roots in classic hand-drawn animation for the 2009 Disney animated film The Princess and the Frog.
On April 6, 2013, The Walt Disney Company announced that Ranieri, along with eight other animators working at Walt Disney Animation Studios, had been laid off in an effort for the company as a whole to cut costs.
He currently works at Reload Studios where he worked on the video game World War Toons.
- Wilbur - The Rescuers Down Under (1990)
- Lumiere - Beauty and the Beast (1991)
- Meeko - Pocahontas (1995)
- Hades - Hercules (1997)
- Kuzco/Kuzco Llama - The Emperor's New Groove (2000)
- Buck Cluck - Chicken Little (2005)
- Lewis - Meet the Robinsons (2007)
- Charlotte - The Princess and the Frog (2009)
- The Body Electric (TV) (1985)
- "The Raccoons" (7 Episodes) (1985)
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (TV - Opening Title, One Shot Only) (1987)
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit ("Roger Rabbit") (1988)
- The Little Mermaid ("Ursula") (1989)
- Aladdin ("Jafar") (1992)
- Treasure Planet ("Dr. Doppler") (2002)
- Bolt (2008)
- Tangled ("Mother Gothel") (2010)
- Winnie the Pooh (2011)
- Wreck-It Ralph ("Wreck-It Ralph") (2012)
- Best Individual Achievement: Character Animation for 'Hades' in Hercules
- Best Individual Achievement for Animation for 'Meeko' in Pocahontas
National Cartoonist Society
- 'NCS Division Award' in Feature Animation (for Hades)