The Prince of Princesses

John Musker on the Art of Animation at PFA and Disney Museum

Animation director John Musker has written and directed some of Disney’s most beloved films, including The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and The Princess and the Frog, along with The Great Mouse Detective, Hercules, and Treasure Planet (All were made with collaborator Ron Clements). John helped revitalize the art of hand-drawn animation at Disney.

On Wednesday, August 3, 6:30 pm, Musker will discuss his animation work at Berkeley’s Pacific Film Archive, from early experiences studying at CalArts alongside classmates John Lasseter, Brad Bird, Henry Selick, and Tim Burton, through lessons learned from Disney’s legendary Nine Old Men, as well as more recent inspiration from director Ron Clements, lyricist Howard Ashman, and executive director Jeffrey Katzenberg. Creating animation features is a collaborative process, and Musker has worked with a host of brilliant artists for over thirty years on a series of remarkable films, noted for the wit and ingenuity of their stories and the beauty of their hand-drawn animation. Then, on Thursday, August 4, 6:30 pm, John Musker will present a 35mm print of The Princess and the Frog also at the PFA.

But Wait, There’s More: On Friday, August 5, John Musker will cross the bay to the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco. He will present a series of events in cooperation with the San Francisco Film Society and the museum. He will introduce The Great Mouse Detective, host a youth workshop, and present a master class on the animator’s art. For details, go to

Then to wrap up a fantastic week of behind-the-scenes presentation, he will return to the PFA to host a showing of Disney’s Pinocchio (directed by Norm Ferguson, T. Hee, Wilfred Jackson, Jack Kinney, Hamilton Luske, Bill Roberts, Ben Sharpsteen, 1940) in 35mm on Sunday, August 7. If you’re a fan of hand-drawn animation—make sure you catch one of these fascinating shows!

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One Response to The Prince of Princesses

  1. animator says:

    Wow, this was the best kind of presentation, lots of inside information lavishly illustrated by Mr. Musker himself. He may be a better director than animator (his words) but he’s also a fantastic caricaturist and he brought his stories to life with portraits and cartoons of Tim Burton, Eric Larson, John Lassiter and Brad Bird, among others!

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