Animation director and screenwriter John Musker became a jazz fan early on, hearing some of the greatest jazz musicians playing in many of his favorite animated shorts. With fellow director Ron Clements, John has won multiple awards for writing and directing, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, The Princess and the Frog, Moana and many other films.
After 41 years with Disney, John has retired and realized an idea he had years ago: that Dave Frishberg’s song, “I’m Hip” would make a wonderful animated short. Four years on, John’s film, I’m Hip, is a hilarious romp staring a hipster feline, singing, dancing, and making mischief to Dave Frishberg’s classic recording. This is John’s second appearance on Jazz Inspired. We talk about I’m Hip and John’s many adventures in animation. I talked to John from his home in Los Angeles in November 2023.