Ron Clements graduated from Bishop Heelan High School in 1971. But he was working on animation before he even left Sioux City for California, working here at KCAU.
“I had done some little super 8 films on my own and brought them down to Channel 9 with the idea of maybe we could some commercials,” Clemens said. “And then I asked them if I could use the equipment to do my own film, and they said ‘sure!'”
Using that film he made at KCAU, Clements was able to earn a job at Disney’s animation studio. From there he directed movies such as The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and most recently, Moana.
Clements was at Heelan Thursday to talk to art classes and share his story. It’s the first time he’s been to Sioux City in more than a decade.
“It’s very very nostalgic for me to be back. I was just in the room where I took art class at Heelan,” he said.
Clements also visited with preschoolers, answering their questions and even drawing a few pictures for them and signing their picture books based on his movies.
“The films that we make are meant to be films for everybody and they’re films that I think are for all ages and for people everywhere and we want those films to resonate,” the famous animator said.
The Film Festival will be showing Moana at the Orpheum, the very theater Clements watched Disney movies in his childhood before he would impact millions of childhoods across the world with his films.