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Don Lusk, ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Pinocchio’ Animator, Dies at 105

Don Lusk, an animator behind “Alice in Wonderland,” “Peter Pan,” and many more classic animated Disney movies, died Sunday morning, according to a Facebook post by Ed Asner’s daughter, Navah Paskowitz-Asner. He was 105.

Lusk’s 60-year career touched countless classic works from Disney, where his career began in 1933. There he worked his animation magic on famous titles including 1938’s “Ferdinand the Bull,” 1942’s “Bambi,” 1950’s “Cinderella,” 1955’s “Lady and the Tramp,” 1959’s “Sleeping Beauty,” and 1961’s “101 Dalmatians.” Some of his most memorable work includes Cleo the goldfish in 1940’s “Pinocchio” and the “Nutcracker Suite” fish dance in “Fantasia.”

After leaving Disney in 1960, he continued freelancing throughout the decade, working on several Charlie Brown specials beginning with 1969’s “A Boy Named Charlie Brown” and throughout the ’70s with “It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown!” and “Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown.” He also freelanced for UPA on the animated story of a cat and mouse visiting Paris called “Gay Purr-ee.”

Lusk continued to freelance for Bill Melendez and Walter Lantz studios for a time before moving to Hanna-Barbera in the 1970s, where his work touched episodes of “Scooby-Doo,” “The Flintstones,” “The Jetsons,” and “Tom and Jerry.” On top of being a gifted animator, Lusk also directed several television shows including “The Addams Family,” “Yo Yogi!,” “The Smurfs,” and the ’80s cartoon series of “Paddington Bear.” He retired in 1993 after directing his last children’s animated television series, “The Pirates of Dark Water.” He received the Winsor McCay Award for lifetime achievement in 2015.

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