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Behind the Scenes: The Art and Craft of Cinema John Musker on the Art of Animation


Event Details:

August 3, 2011 – August 7, 2011
Pacific Film Archive Theater, UC Berkeley

Animation director John Musker has written and directed some of Disney’s most beloved recent films. The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and The Princess and the Frog, along with The Great Mouse Detective, Hercules, and Treasure Planet, all made with collaborator Ron Clements, feature stories drawn from fairytales, myths, and literature, reshaped for our times. Musker knew he wanted to be an animator from the time he was a boy; inspired by comics, cartoons, and Disney classics, he was an avid caricaturist before going to work at Disney, where he helped revitalize the art of hand-drawn animation. In an illustrated lecture, he will take us behind the scenes of his animation features. Musker will also introduce The Princess and the Frog, and has selected a favorite Disney classic for a Sunday matinee.

Musker will present a series of events with the San Francisco Film Society at the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco. On Friday August 5, 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

Kathy Geritz
Film Curator

Wednesday, August 3, 2011
6:30 p.m. The Animator’s Art: Lecture and Clips
John Musker in person. In a lecture and film-clip presentation, John Musker (animation director of such Disney films as Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and The Princess and the Frog) takes us behind the scenes to show how an animator transforms words on the printed page into drawings and pixels for the big screen. (90 mins)

Thursday, August 4, 2011
6:30 p.m. The Princess and the Frog
John Musker, Ron Clements (U.S., 2009). John Musker in person. Introduced by Russell Merritt. Disney’s latest princess, an African American career girl living in New Orleans in the early 1920s kisses a frog, expecting it to transform into a handsome prince—but instead she is turned into a frog! An old-fashioned cartoon feature—all hand-drawn—that moves with contemporary verve and bounce, with music by Dr. John and Randy Newman. (97 mins)

Sunday, August 7, 2011
3:00 p.m. Pinocchio
Norm Ferguson, T. Hee, Wilfred Jackson, Jack Kinney, Hamilton Luske, Bill Roberts, Ben Sharpsteen (U.S., 1940). John Musker selected this early Disney masterpiece for our Sunday all-ages matinee. “Told with warmth, winning characters, and wonderful songs, Pinocchio still shines like the evening star” (John Musker). (88 mins)

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