Visiting Artist: John Musker

Friday, Feb. 16, 2024 | 5:30–7 p.m.

Columbus College of Art & Design
Canzani Center Auditorium
60 Cleveland Ave.
Columbus, OH 43215
United States


Columbus College of Art & Design welcomes Disney animator, writer, director, and producer John Musker for a free, public lecture and presentation about his career and the making of his new Oscar-shortlisted work, I’m Hip, 5:30–7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16, in the Canzani Center Auditorium. 

Free, RSVP via Eventbrite here.

John Musker Caricature by Pablo Lobato

About John Musker
“In the field of animation, the name John Musker is synonymous with greatness.”

Rocío Ayuso, the Golden Globes

John Musker is a 40-year veteran of Walt Disney Animation, where he was an animator, writer, and producer. The Chicago native earned a degree in English Literature from Northwestern University, then studied for two years in the mid-70s at California Institute of the Arts as part of the school’s then-new Character Animation program. At Disney, Musker was mentored by Eric Larson, one of Disney’s fabled “Nine Old Men” whose distinguished career included bringing Figaro the cat to life in Pinocchio.

Musker was an animator on The Fox and the Hound (1981), and later joined Ron Clements to direct The Great Mouse Detective (1986) alongside Disney veterans Burny Mattinson and Dave Michener. Clements and Musker paired up to write and direct The Little Mermaid (1989), which Musker co-produced with Howard Ashman. Following that, Clements and Musker wrote and directed several Disney features, including Aladdin (1992), Hercules (1997), Treasure Planet (2002), and The Princess and the Frog (2009). Musker’s final feature for Disney was Moana (2016), which he once again directed with Clements, along with co-directors Don Hall and Chris Williams. Musker retired from Walt Disney Animation Studios in 2018. 

About I’m Hip
In John Musker’s self-produced I’m Hip, a self-absorbed cat proudly and comically proclaims his “hipness” to the world by way of jazzy song and dance. The world is less convinced than he is.

Musker completed the hand-animated short I’m Hip in 2023, and the work was subsequently selected to be one of the 36 shorts (out of 3,200 submissions) screened at Annecy International Film Festival in France that summer. I’m Hip went on to be short-listed for the 2024 Academy Awards.

I’m Hip on IMDB
John Musker talks I’m Hip with the Golden Globes
John Musker and I’m Hip in Cartoon Brew
John Musker Q&A in Animation Scoop