Andreas Deja Legendary Animator
Title: A Conversation with Legendary Animator Andreas Deja
Andreas Deja was born 1957 in Gdańsk, Poland. Deja moved with his family to Dinslaken, Germany in 1958. After graduating from Theodor-Heuss Gymnasium (secondary school), he studied graphic design at the Folkwang-Schule in Essen, Germany. A lifelong fan of Disney animated films, Deja was hired by the studio in 1980 after he had corresponded with Eric Larson. The first film on which he worked was The Black Cauldron, during which time he shared a cubicle with the film director Tim Burton.
During his rookie days at Disney, Deja sought mentorship and practical advice from seven of the then-living Nine Old Men (who were already retired before his tenure). On an interview with Clay Katis on the Animation Podcast, Deja stated that if the podcast needed anything on the Nine Old Men, to refer to him because of the vast amount of information he has collected over the years. He later revealed that one of his ambitions is to publish one book for each of the Nine Old Men.
Deja is best known as the supervising animator of some of the most memorable Disney villains: Gaston from Beauty and the Beast, Jafar in Aladdin and Scar from The Lion King. He also animated Roger Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit, King Triton from The Little Mermaid, the title character from Hercules and Lilo from Lilo & Stitch. In addition, he is the owner of Deja View the amazing blog that he contributes to daily.
In 2006, at the 35th Annie Awards, Deja was awarded the Winsor McCay Award for outstanding contribution to the art of animation.