Andreas Deja (born April 1, 1961) is a Polish-born German-American character animator.
He is most famous for his work at the Walt Disney studio, and a key player in The Renaissance Age of Animation, having designed the era's favorite Disney villains plus three major heroes and mascot Mickey Mouse.
He currently runs an art blog dedicated to the work of Disney animators, Deja View.
- The Black Cauldron: Animator and character designer on Dallben, Gurgi and the Fair Folk.
- The Great Mouse Detective: Character animator on Queen Mousetoria.
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit: Supervising animator on Roger Rabbit. Richard Williams gave him a Shout-Out in his Academy Award acceptance speech.
- Oliver & Company: Character designer.
- The Little Mermaid (1989): Character designer, directing animator, supervising animator on King Triton.
- The Prince and the Pauper: Supervising animator on Mickey and the Prince.
- Beauty and the Beast: Supervising animator on Gaston.
- Aladdin: Supervising animator on Big Bad Jafar.
- The Lion King (1994): Supervising animator on Big Bad Scar.
- Runaway Brain: Supervising animator on Mickey.
- Hercules: Supervising animator on adult Hercules.
- Fantasia 2000: Animated part of the Rhapsody in Blue sequence, and animator for Mickey Mouse in the host sequences.
- The Emperor's New Groove: Initially worked on the film when it was Kingdom of the Sun, as supervising animator of Big Bad Yzma, but left after it was revamped. He also appears in the documentary about it, The Sweatbox. In the final film, he's credited for Additional Visual Development.
- Dream On Silly Dreamer (2002): Makes appearances in interview clips.
- Lilo & Stitch: Supervising animator on Lilo.
- Home on the Range: Animated on Alameda Slim and Junior.
- Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas : Worked as an animation consultant on the film.
- Bambi II: Animation consultant for the film.
- Enchanted: Animator for Big Bad Queen Narissa.
- How to Hook Up Your Home Theater: Animator for Goofy.
- Waking Sleeping Beauty: Appears in interview clips.
- The Princess and the Frog: Supervising animator of Mama Odie and Juju.
- The Ballad of Nessie: Supervising animator.
- Winnie the Pooh (2011): Supervising animator of Tigger and also a visual development artist. Currently the last Disney film he's worked on, as he retired from Disney after its release.
- Mushka (TBA): An independent short film in the works by him.
Tropes & Trivia about his career:
- Author Appeal: Big cats, especially tigers. He's repeatedly praised Milt Kahl's animation on characters such as Shere Khan and Tigger, and served as the supervising animator on both Scar and a later version of Tigger, as well as creating the independent short Mushka about a girl befriending a tiger.
- Creator Backlash:
- He's been very critical of the later Disney Renaissance movies for their homogeneity. In one interview, he recalled meeting a woman in a supermarket and telling her what he did, having to hold his tongue when she winced and asked if he was working on yet another musical.
- He is also a die-hard fan of Bambi, so when asked to help with Bambi II, while he didn't hate the project outright and did like the effort demonstrated, he was naturally very skeptical to the idea of making a sequel to what he considered an already perfect film.
- Doing It for the Art: Like many Renaissance-era animators, Deja is a fierce advocate for keeping 2D animation alive in the age of CGI. When the Disney higher-ups tried to pacify him by saying that Uncle Walt himself didn't just stay with one medium, he (politely) shot back by saying that Walt was simply building his portfolio, not giving up one thing to pursue another. Later, he took it upon himself to create an indie featurette simply because nobody else would.
- Playing Against Type: He's mostly known for animating villain characters such as Gaston, Jafar, and Scar. He was originally going to animate Hades when working on Hercules, but was tired of being typecast as a villain animator, and instead worked on the titular hero. He also got out of his comfort zone when animating Lilo and Mama Odie and Juju.
- What Could Have Been: Deja is one of the few big-name 2D animators who at least tried to transition to CGI, but he reportedly gave up after working one-on-one with a tutor for a week, saying that he simply couldn't get a feel for the tools.