Walt Disney’s The Jungle Book (1967) changed the industry and inspired many of the talented Disney artists that have influenced or contributed to the animated films of today including Disney Legend and Exhibition Curator Andreas Deja. Join Deja for an exclusive conversation with some of biggest names in the animation industry—Brad Bird, Pete Docter, John Musker, and Bruce W. Smith—as they discuss the film’s artistry, impact, and legacy. Please note: Due to unforeseen circumstances, Disney Legend Don Hahn is no longer able to attend.
The talk will be followed by a fundraiser reception with Andreas Deja, John Musker, and Bruce Smith. Enjoy food and beverages and a silent auction with exclusive, original artworks. All guests will also receive a special Jungle Book poster.
Proceeds from the fundraiser reception and silent auction will benefit the museum’s educational initiatives, including The Walt Disney Family Museum Animation Academy. A portion of the ticket is tax deductible: $50 for members, $75 for non-members.
Tickets for this event will be available as follows:
- Walt's Circle Donors: Reserve tickets beginning Tuesday, December 13 at noon by calling 415.345.6810 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Supporter, Founding, and Friend-level members: Reserve tickets beginning Wednesday, December 14 at noon by calling 415.345.6810 or emailing email@example.com.
- All member levels: Reserve tickets online beginning Thursday, December 15 at noon.
- Public (non-members): Remaining tickets available online beginning Friday, December 16 at noon.
Become a member to receive priority access to purchase tickets. Membership dues and Walt's Circle donations may be paid as monthly installments or as a one-time annual payment. For more information, please email the Membership Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Speakers
Brad Bird is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, and voice actor. He has worked in both animation and live-action, and is known for: The Iron Giant (1999), The Incredibles franchise (2004, 2018), Ratatouille (2007), Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011) and Tomorrowland (2015).
After seeing The Jungle Book (1967) as a child, Andreas Deja remembers immediately writing to The Walt Disney Studios and asking for a job as an animator. In 1980, he was encouraged to apply upon showing his work to one of Walt’s “Nine Old Men,” Eric Larson. Deja went on to do early character design, costume research, and animation for The Black Cauldron (1985), The Great Mouse Detective (1986), and Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988). He also oversaw the animation of King Triton in The Little Mermaid (1989), and served as the supervising animator for such infamous Disney villains as Gaston in Beauty and the Beast (1991), Jafar in Aladdin (1992), and Scar in The Lion King (1994). He was then given the opportunity to create some much-loved heroes and heroines, including the titular character in Hercules (1997), Lilo of Lilo & Stitch (2002), and Mama Odie in The Princess and the Frog (2009). In 2007, Deja was honored with the Winsor McCay Award from ASIFA-Hollywood, the International Animated Film Society, and was later named a Disney Legend in 2015. The Walt Disney Family Museum celebrated his prolific career with the exhibition Deja View: The Art of Andreas Deja in 2017. Deja is currently working on Mushka, his own independent animated short film.
Chief Creative Officer / Director, Pixar Animation Studios
On October 9, 1968, a handsome, mightily muscled, breath-takingly talented child was born. We don't know his name or what happened to him.
But Pete Docter was also born on the same date, a fact which vitally concerns us as this is his biographical sketch.
Docter is the Chief Creative Officer at Pixar Animation Studios and the Oscar®-winning director of Monsters, Inc. (2001), UP (2009), Inside Out (2015), and Soul (2020).
Starting at Pixar in 1990 as the Studios’ third animator, Docter collaborated with John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton in developing the story and characters for Toy Story (1995)—Pixar’s first full-length animated feature film, for which he also was supervising animator. He served as a storyboard artist on A Bug’s Life (1998) and wrote initial story treatments for both Toy Story 2 (1999) and WALL-E (2008). Aside from directing his three films, Docter also executive produced Monsters University (2013), Brave (2012), Onward (2020), and Luca (2021).
Docter’s interest in animation began at the age of eight when he created his first flipbook. He studied character animation at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Valencia, California, where he produced a variety of short films, one of which won a Student Academy Award®. Upon joining Pixar, he animated and directed several commercials, and has been nominated for nine Academy Awards® and won three, including Best Animated Feature-winners UP, Inside Out, and Soul, and Best Original Screenplay for UP, Inside Out, and WALL-E. In 2007, UP also was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He co-wrote Marc Davis: In His Own Words and the upcoming Directing Disney: The Original Directors of Walt Disney’s Animated Films.
John Musker is a 40-year veteran of Walt Disney Animation Studios where he was an animator, writer, director, and producer.
Musker grew up in Chicago, Illinois, as part of a large Irish Catholic family. He followed up his English Literature studies at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois with two years at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) as part of the new Character Animation Program in the mid-1970s, where he learned not only from Disney and Chouinard veterans like Elmer Plummer, Bill Moore, and Ken O’Connor, but also his fellow classmates there, many of whom have gone on to direct distinguished films—folks like Brad Bird, Henry Selick, John Lasseter, Tim Burton, and Chris Buck. At Disney, he was mentored by Disney Legend Eric Larson, the veteran animator and one of Disney’s fabled “Nine Old Men,” who brought Figaro the cat to life in Pinocchio (1940), among many other characters throughout his distinguished career.
Musker became 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. Ron and John paired up to write and direct The Little Mermaid (1989), which John co-produced with Disney Legend Howard Ashman. Ron and John also wrote and directed a number of subsequent animated features including Aladdin (1992), Hercules (1997), Treasure Planet (2002), The Princess and the Frog (2009), and Moana (2016), the latter also with co-directors Don Hall and Chris Williams.
Musker retired from Walt Disney Animation Studios in the spring of 2018 and is currently animating his own short film by hand and chasing around his three granddaughters Lucy, Gwen, and Marigold.
Musker resides in La Cañada, California, with his wife Gale, a former researcher at Disney, not far from two of his grown children Jackson and Julia and her husband Michael. Son Patrick and Andrea and the three granddaughters have recently relocated to Columbus, Ohio, where the chasing continues.
Bruce W. Smith
Creator & Executive Producer
Multiple award-winning animation artist Bruce W. Smith is creator and executive producer of the Disney+ original series, The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder (2022), the acclaimed revival of the groundbreaking animated series The Proud Family (2001).
An accomplished director, producer, and animator, Smith has been part of the animation industry for over three decades. He is best known for creating and executive-producing Disney Channel's hit series The Proud Family and The Proud Family Movie (2005). Most recently, Smith served as one of three directors of the Academy Award®-winning short Hair Love (2019).
During his tenure at Walt Disney Animation Studios, Smith supervised animation on many animated feature films including The Princess and the Frog (2009), specifically for evil villain Dr. Facilier; Winnie the Pooh (2011); Tarzan® (1999), and The Emperor's New Groove (2000). His gift for unique character design led him into visual development for the Studios’ other projects such as Wreck-It Ralph (2012) and Frozen (2013). He was also lead animator on the short film Tangled Ever After (2012).
A California Institute of the Arts alumni, Smith co-founded Jambalaya Studio—an animation company whose goal is to generate both racially and ethnically diverse projects for all mediums—to produce over 50 episodes for Disney Channel's The Proud Family and The Proud Family Movie.
His additional credits include A Goofy Movie (1995), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), Bébé's Kids (1992), Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child (1995), and Space Jam (1996).
In December 2020, Smith and his producing partner, Ralph Farquhar, entered a wide-ranging, multiyear overall deal with Disney that calls for them to produce animated and live-action series and movies for Disney Branded Television. The agreement provides separate funding for them to find and develop emerging talent as well as leverage their combined experience to bring unique projects and voices to Disney
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