Artist Talk: Brushstrokes of Animation with Legendary Animator Willie Ito

Event description

  • Arts and entertainment
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Family friendly
  • Open to the public

In this Artist Talk, animation legend Willie Ito shares the brushstrokes of his illustrious career, spanning the Golden Age of Hollywood to his recent work on the upcoming short film, "Hello Maggie!"

Don't miss this rare opportunity to connect with a true animation pioneer.

Event Highlights:

  • Insider Insights: Explore the fascinating tales behind working on iconic hand-drawn animated films like "Lady and the Tramp" and beloved characters such as Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.
  • Personal Narratives: Willie delves into his own experiences, from his early days at Disney to his contribution to groundbreaking animated tv shows like "The Jetsons" and "The Flintstones."
  • Behind-the-Scenes: Get a sneak peek into the animation process as Willie discusses his current project, "Hello Maggie!", a poignant exploration of his wartime experiences.

Willie Ito's Remarkable Journey: In 1954, Ito began his career at Walt Disney Studios as an assistant animator on the film "Lady and the Tramp." He later collaborated with animation legends Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng at Warner Bros., contributing to iconic cartoons featuring Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. The 1960s saw him at Hanna-Barbera Productions, working on beloved shows like "The Jetsons" and "The Flintstones." After 14 years, he returned to Disney in 1977, leaving an indelible mark in its consumer products division.

A Personal Tale of Resilience: Born to Japanese immigrant parents, Willie and his family faced incarceration during World War II under Executive Order 9066. From the Tanforan Assembly Center in San Francisco to the Topaz Relocation Center in central Utah, Willie's childhood was marked by hardship. He beautifully captures this time in the children's book, "Hello Maggie!" illustrated by Willie, the book shares the words of author Shigeru Yabu, recounting his own experience at Heart Mountain Relocation Center in Wyoming. The short film, also animated by Mr. Ito, is currently in post-production.

Book Signing: Stick around for a chance to have your copies of Willie's children's book, "Hello Maggie!" signed by the artist himself.

Presented by: ASU Film and Media Studies, Asian Pacific American Studies, Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, and Arizona Humanities.

Earlier in the day, Ito will give a presentation at Burton Barr Central Library in Phoenix.

Event contact

Kevin Sandler

Saturday, January 27, 2024


1:30 pm2:30 pm (MST)


Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix