The number of artists still with us who were part of a landmark time period of animation have now become smaller. Legendary animator Don Lusk has passed.
Born in 1913, as a young artist, Don began at Disney Studios in 1933. A visual artist whose first love was acting, Don's talents proved the perfect blend to advance him within the burgeoning art form of animation. One of the last surviving artists who worked on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Don then animated the endearing characters Cleo and Figaro in Pinocchio. Expanding on his aquatic animation experiences, Don beautifully shaped the seductively-swimming goldfish within the Arabian Dance segment from Fantasia. You'll see his work on the lead character from Alice in Wonderland, Wendy from Peter Pan, and tiny Tinker Bell in her commercial television debut!
Following a lay-off after 27 years at Disney Studios, Don continued animating on the Chuck Jones feature Gay Purr-ee at UPA, followed by work at some of the leading animation studios including Walter Lantz, DePatie-Freleng, and animating on several of the Peanuts specials at Bill Melendez Studios. Don finally wrapped his animation career directing on a number of television series at Hanna Barbara before retiring at the tender age of eighty years young.
It was always a joy to spend time with Don. Though advanced in age — living to see 105, Don was so full of life. His humor and talents kept him optimistic and forward-thinking with such great stories and observations. Fortunately for us, we only have to turn to these classics to re-enjoy the work of this master animator. I take heart in knowing Don's vibrant spirit lives on and his talents will continue to delight audiences for generations to come!
Godspeed Good Sir!