Cartoonist, animator, Disney, WB, and Hanna-Barbera cartoons
Willie Ito hails from San Francisco, California. At the age of five, he realized that cartooning and animation were in his future.
In 1954, he received a scholarship from Chouinards Art Institute in Los Angeles and moved down south. While a student, Willie decided to visit the Disney Studio. He had his student's portfolio with him and was asked to present it. Two weeks later he found himself hired and started his career on Lady and the Tramp. His very first assignment was the iconic spaghetti kissing scene. He went on to the infamous Termite Terrace at Warner Bros. and worked with Chuck Jones on the classic short cartoons One Froggy Evening and What's Opera Doc? He also did layouts for Friz Freleng and received his first screen credits on Prince Violent.
Over the years, Willie has worked on The Beany and Cecil Show, numerous Hanna-Barbera cartoons, and at various other animation studios as a freelance artist. He returned to Disney in 1976 and joined their comic strip department and eventually the Disney Consumer Products division, where he became director of character art international.
After 50 years in the business, Will retired and now illustrates and publishes children's picture books.