John Musker, Co-Director of ‘Aladdin,’ ‘The Little Mermaid,’ and ‘Moana,’ Retires After Four Decades With Disney

One of the Disney Renaissance’s key figures is stepping down.

John Musker, who’s responsible for such classics as “Aladdin” and “The Little Mermaid,” has announced his retirement after a 41-year tenure.

Musker joined the company in 1977 and, alongside creative partner, also co-wrote and -directed “The Great Mouse Detective,” “Hercules,” “Treasure Planet,” “The Princess and the Frog,” and “Moana.”A retirement party was held for him yesterday, according to the Cartoon Brew; that he’s far from a household name despite several of his creations attaining that status speaks to the unique plight of animation directors.

Musker received two Academy Award nominations in the Best Animated Feature category, though neither “Moana” nor “The Princess and the Frog” won the prize.

Had the award (which was introduced in 2001) existed earlier, it’s difficult to imagine “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin” not winning it.

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