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James F. Murphy, Jour '86

At Marquette, Jim Murphy was a cartoonist for the Marquette Tribune and creator of the comic strip “Murphy’s Law.” 

Today he’s a directing animator at Pixar Animation Studios and chair of the animation department. He has animated on “A Bug’s Life”; “Toy Story 2”; “Monsters, Inc.”; “Finding Nemo”; “The Incredibles”; and “Cars,” which will be released on June 9th. He was also part of the team that made “For the Birds,” which won an Academy Award in 2001. 

After Marquette, Jim worked as an art director for Jockey International and a freelance illustrator before landing a job at Calabash Animation in Chicago. It was at Calabash where Jim learned traditional animation by working on commercials for clients like Little Caesars, General Mills and Hallmark. 

Jim attributes a lot of his success and unique artistic approach to Marquette, where he learned how to find the essential components of a story and assemble them in a way that communicates its essence in an informative and entertaining way. 

 Jim says that he’s the only animator at Pixar who can claim to be a “rugby playing, self-taught artist with a journalism degree who lived with Chris Farley and met his wife (Kathy Karas, Arts ’88) at Marquette.” 

Jim and Kathy live in Sonoma, Calif., with their children William, Jack and Louise.

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