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Chicago man behind some of the most legendary Disney animated movies – WGN

CHICAGO — You may not know the name “John Musker,” but you definitely know his work.

He’s the Chicago man behind some of your favorite Disney films.

Musker grew up as one of eight in an Irish Catholic family on Chicago’s Northwest Side. He is a graduate of Loyola Academy.

“There’s a warmth to the city of Chicago,” he said. “There’s a sarcasm in Chicago that I think is part of our movies that – my dad grew up here, he’s a Chicago guy – I inherited his sense of humor.”

As a boy, he was enchanted by the book “Disney’s Art of Animation.”

‘When I was a kid, like 7 or 8, I really did get interested in animation. I read a book on Disney animation and I used to watch the Disney Sunday Show and I learned how animation was done. And I thought I would like to be an animator,” he said.

He started doodling, then drawing, and became a cartoonist for his high school newspaper, the Loyola Prep. Then in college he did the same for the Daily Northwestern.

“I did political cartoons for the Daily Northwestern, I thought maybe I would do that,” he said. “But as I got into college, I reawakened my interest in animation.”

After graduating from northwestern, the road took him to the California Institute of Arts and applied to Disney.

“I sent them my portfolio and I got rejected,” he said. “And I had to sort of had to back up and run at the wall again a few times.”

His portfolio had a glaring omission for anyone applying to work in the home of Mickey Mouse. It didn’t include drawings of animals.

So he went to Lincoln Park Zoo to sketch and then to the Field Museum to practice dinosaurs.

He applied again to Disney, just as the legendary “Nine Old

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