The world of animation, rife with long-lived legends, is mourning the loss of the incredible Don Lusk, a Golden Age of Disney animator who passed away December 30 in a San Clemente, California, retirement home at the age of 105.
THR reports Lusk's son Skip confirmed his passing.
He was among the last surviving Disney animators of his era; Ruthie Tompson, age 108, is still with us.
Lusk worked at Disney from 1933-1960, and was by all accounts a prolific artist whose work includes in-between work on Goofy for shorts, clean-up work on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), drawing Cleo and Figaro in Pinocchio (1940), the Arabian fish dance in Fantasia (1940), a dog chase in Bambi (1942), Cinderella's mice in the film of the same name (1950), as well as Alice's journey down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland (1951) and some of the pups in 101 Dalmatians (1961).
His time at Disney was not always a Disney story — he joined other artists to go on strike, an action that succeeded but that also embittered the big boss; Lusk and others were crowded out over time, and given less credit even if they had earned the right to receive higher wages.
He departed Disney in 1960, working for Bill Melendez Productions on several classic Peanuts specials, including A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1969), Snoopy, Come Home (1972) and A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973).
He went on to work for Hanna-Barbera, including directing 136 The Smurfs episodes (1985-1989).
Indefatigable, he worked until age 80, retiring after directing 21 episodes of The Pirates of Dark Water (1991-1993), capping off an astounding 60 years in the business.
Lusk was preceded in death by his longtime wife Marge, also a Disney employee, and is survived by his son Skip and daughter Marilyn, two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.