Disney animator Don Lusk has passed away at the age of 105. He was one of the last remaining animators from Disney’s ‘Golden Age.” The news came from his close friend Navah Paskowitz-Asner on Facebook. Lusk worked on Disney classics like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Bambi, Song of the South, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, and Sleeping Beauty.to name a few. He also worked on some Charlie Brown specials throughout his career.
Don Lusk worked for Disney between 1933-1960. He began his career at Disney as an ‘in-betweener’ working on Goofy shorts. “He wasn’t easy. Goofy has too much detail on him,” Lusk shared. He would then go on to work on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as a cleanup artist. Throughout his time at Disney, he helped bring to life some favorite Disney characters and moments. Some of the highlights include working on Cleo and Figaro in Pinocchio. He also worked on Fantasia where he brought to life the Arabian Fish Dance in the Nutcracker Suite. He also worked on the mice in Cinderella, the dog chase in Bambi, Alice floating down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland, and even Wendy in Peter Pan.
Following his run at Disney, Lusk went to work at Bill Melendez Productions. While there, he worked on A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1969), Snoopy, Come Home (1972) and Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown (1977). In the coming years, he would work on ten Peanuts programs through the 70s, including A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.
Lusk also worked at Hanna-Barbera where he directed 136 episodes of The Smurfs. He also directed Challenge of the GoBots, Pound Puppies, The Addams Family. He also directed 1987’s The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones. Then in 1993, he retired at the age of 80.
Beyond being a part of Disney’s ‘Golden Age,’ Lusk was a part of other historical events throughout his career. He was part of the Disney strike and then spent three years in the Marines during World War II. In 2015, he was the recipient of the Winsor McCay lifetime achievement award.
Disney artist Michael Peraza Jr. summed up Lusk’s legacy the best with a Facebook post saying, “As with so many animation veterans he was as talented (and he was) as he was generous to others with his advice and help over the years. He will be missed but his wonderful work will live on.“