Ron Clements

Animation Director, Screen-Writer & Producer


American animation director, screenwriter and producer. He often collaborates with fellow director John Musker.

Ron 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 and Disney Legend Frank Thomas.

Clements made his feature debut as a character animator on The Rescuers and Pete’s Dragon in 1977. In 1981, he became the supervising animator on The Fox and the Hound.

While Ron was working on The Great Mouse Detective, newly appointed Disney CEO and chairman Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg issued invitations to the animation staff for their first held “gong show” session. Demanding only five new ideas, Clements went to a bookstore and discovered Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid. With Mermaid in production in 1986, Clements and co-Director John Musker were later joined by Off-Broadway musical composers Howard Ashman and Alan Menken who collaborated on the song and musical score. Released in November 1989, The Little Mermaid was praised as a milestone in rebirth of Disney animation by film critics and collected a domestic gross of $84 million, cumulatively receiving $184.2 million worldwide. Ron Clements and John Musker were offered three projects in development: Swan Lake, King of the Jungle, and Aladdin. The directors chose Aladdin because they thought the story would suit a wackier, faster paced, and more contemporary mood than that found in then-recent Disney animated films. Released in November 1992, Aladdin received positive reviews from critics, and became the first animated film to gross over $200 million domestically.

Following work on Aladdin, Clements, along with Musker, were informed of animator Joe Haidar’s pitch for a Hercules feature, and signed onto the project. During production on Hercules, in 1995, Clements and Musker signed a seven-year contract deal with the studio which stipulated following Hercules, the studio would produce Treasure Planet or another project of their choosing.

With Treasure Planet completed in 2002, Clements and Musker were later invited by Eisner to oversee production on The Frog Princess and were officially confirmed as directors in the following July. Later re-titled The Princess and the Frog, the film received positive reviews and grossed $267 million worldwide.


After directing The Princess and the Frog, in July 2013, Ron Clements & John Musker revealed that a new Original film, titled Moana, would be “a Polynesian tale involving the island folk and the idols made famous the world over”. On November 10, 2014, Disney confirmed Moana would be released on November 23, 2016.

Films co-directed by Ron Clements with John Musker:


Year Film
1986 The Great Mouse Detective
1989 The Little Mermaid
1992 Aladdin
1997 Hercules
2002 Treasure Planet
2009 The Princess and the Frog
2016 Moana

We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Ron Clements to the 2019 Pacific Northwest Mouse Meet!

Videos, Books & More

Check out the video interview below!

John Musker & Ron Clements Interview – Moana

Jimmy Martin chats with John Musker and Ron Clements about directing Disney's Moana.