Director of hit Disney animation films returns to hometown of Sioux City

SIOUX CITY (KTIV)- It all started when Ron Clements was just 9-years-old.

He was watching “Pinocchio” at the Orpheum Theater in Sioux City, when he fell in love with animation.

“That’s always where they showed the Disney movies, was at the Orpheum Theater and, that’s where I saw “Pinocchio” when I was 9 years old. I sort of decided somewhere in my head that’s what I want to do with my life. I want to be an animator, I want to work at Disney and that’s what led me there,” says Director Ron Clements.

Clements makes a return to his alma mater, Bishop Heelan.

He met with students.

Some “Kiddie Crusaders” had a chance to sing the hit song “How Far I’ll Go” from the movie “Moana”, which Clements directed.

He even drew pictures for the kids in a room that holds a very special meaning for Clements.

“It’s very, very nostalgic for me to be back. I was just in the room where I took art classes at Heelan now, there were pre-schoolers there who were doing their pre-school thing and that was really fun,” says Clements.

A trip down memory lane for Clements to his former high school and, the new Bishop Heelan High School.

“That brings me back to my high school years. Once again, things have changed a lot but, kids seem the same and the Heelan vibe seems the same,” says Clements.

Now, everything goes back to where it all began for Clements: The Orpheum Theater.

“On Saturday they’re showing ‘Moana’, at the Orpheum Theater, where I saw Pinocchio so everything goes full circle,” says Clements.

He’s also worked on hits like “The Little Mermaid,” “Aladin,” and “Hercules.”

Ashly Richardson

Ashly Richardson

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