Destinations: Museum of Flight January 21 Program with Japanese American Animator Willie Ito

Friday, January 13, 2023

As a boy, Willie Ito learned to draw while incarcerated in an American concentration camp with his family during WWII. He became a Disney animator.
Illustration: Cover image of Hello Maggie by Willie Ito. © Disney

SEATTLE, Jan. 10, 2023—On Saturday, January 21, 2023 Japanese American Willie Ito will tell his inspiring story of how as a boy he learned to draw while incarcerated in Utah with his family during World War II, and later became an award-winning animation artist for The Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros. and Hanna-Barbera. Joining him in the program will be animation historian Mindy Johnson.

In addition to providing a personal perspective of life in the camps under Executive Order 9066, Ito will share stories about working on classics including The Lady and the Tramp, The Jetsons, The Flintstones, The Yogi Bear Show, and Hong Kong Phooey. The 2pm program, From Internment to Inbetweening, is free with Museum admission.

The program is presented in association with the Museum’s The Walt Disney Studios and World War II exhibition, a retrospective of The Walt Disney Studios’ extensive contributions to the Allies’ World War II effort. The exhibit closes February 5.

The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E Marginal Way S, Seattle WA Exit 158 off Interstate 5 on Boeing Field halfway between downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport. The Museum is open every day from 10am to 5pm. Museum admission for adults is $26. Youth 5 through 17 are $18, youth 4 and under are free. Seniors 65 and over $22.  Admission is free from 5:00 to 9:00pm on the first Thursday of every month. Parking is always free. There is a full lunch menu cafĂ© operated by McCormick and Schmick's. For general Museum information, call 206-764-5720 or visit


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