Happy 97th Birthday, Don Lusk!

It’s always sad to say goodbye to our animation heroes and inspirations, so any opportunity to wish them well in their later years is worth the effort.

Veteran animator Don Lusk turned 97 on October 28th and we wish wish him a Happy Birthday and continued good health. Lusk worked for Disney for many years, starting as an inbetweener in 1933, and became an animator in 1938 on Ferdinand The Bull. He is best known for his work on the Fish Dance in “The Nutcracker Suite” in Fantasia (above), and Cleo the goldfish in Pinocchio, the title character in Alice in Wonderland, Wendy in Peter Pan, and on Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty and 101 Dalmatians.

After his stint at Disney’s Lusk worked on UPA’s Gay Purr-ee (1962), A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1969), freelanced for Bill Melendez and Walter Lantz studios, then spent 23 years at Hanna-Barbera, directing everything from Scooby Doo to Yo Yogi!, working well into the 1990s. Congratulations, Don, and best wishes from all of us at Cartoon Brew!

(Thanks Steve Hartley and Dan Adler)


  • jordan reichek

    wow! don lusk is around and kickin! how great!

    happy birthday, don!!!

  • http://yeldarb86.deviantart.com Mr. Semaj

    Happy Birthday, Don Lusk!

  • http://2dwannabe.blogspot.com robcat2075

    Fantasia… Charlie Brown… Scooby Doo… that’s a resume that puts all others to shame. Happy Birthday to Don!

  • http://hand-drawn-animation.blogspot.com David Nethery

    Happy Birthday Don !

    ( Jerry : I think a Don Lusk interview is waiting to happen … one of our few remaining living links to that past golden age period. I don’t recall that I’ve ever read or heard an interview with Don Lusk and I’m sure he has some great memories to share.)

    • Carmen Lusk

      Dear Mr. David Nathery, Your comments on Don Lusk
      as one of the few remaining living links to that past
      golden age period of animation,really caught my attention. I totally agree that an interview with this gifted gentleman would open up so many memories
      that only he can discuss and share.
      Carmen Lusk
      Rancho Mirage

  • http://bobrob.blogspot.com/ Bob Hilgenberg

    What beautiful, amazing, timeless work. Happy Birthday Mr. Lusk!

  • The Scarlet Pumpernickel

    That fish dance is absolutely stunning. Happy Birthday, Mr, Lusk, and best wishes for the future!

    (On a side note, I now know that I share my birthday with one more personality!)

  • eeteed

    happy birthday mr. lusk! much thanks for all the great animation you gave to us!

  • William

    Happy birthday, Mr. Lusk, and many more!

  • http://new-savanna.blogspot.com/ Bill Benzon

    Happy birthday, Mr. Lusk! Your work on Fantasia will live forever.

  • RODAN

    Pure astonishment in this milestone achievement of Don’s… one more for his treasure trove of many.

    Congratulations (albeit, a week late.) It warms my heart to read the long list of your works. Thank you for all the beauty you have given to us animaniacs!

    The clip above of the Goldfish in Fantasia has always amazed and astonished me.
    I do hope that your Birthday was one of pure joy and love…

    Thanks Don!
    RODAN in Phoenix

  • Brad Constantine

    Jerry, any way to contact Mr. Lusk? He’s one of my faves.

  • John Tebbel

    It’s a killer. Happy Birthday Mr. Luske.

    By the way, Deems Taylor came to me in a dream last night and made me promise to post that it’s not the fish dance, but the “Arabian Dance.” He says to tell you all that he’s doing fine but that he didn’t realize pedants had their own circle in hell.

  • http://www.blabbingonartsandculture.blogspot.com Steven Hartley

    I see that you’ve noticed my article on my Don Lusk article – thanks for noticing!