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Andreas Deja is a Polish animator, who joined the animation department of Walt Disney Productions in the 1980s, and soon established himself as a supervising animator on several villains in Disney animated features. He is also known for his work for animating Mickey Mouse in his more recent animated appearances.

Early life

Deja was born in Gdańsk, Poland on April 1, 1957, but moved with his family to Dinslaken, Germany, in 1958. He credits seeing Disney's The Jungle Book as an 11-year-old with inspiring him to become an animator. After graduating from Theodor-Heuss Gymnasium (secondary school), he studied graphic design at the Folkwang Hochschule 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, one of Disney's senior Nine Old Men of animation who ran the studio's training department. The first film on which he worked was The Black Cauldron, during which time he shared a cubicle with future 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. Deja has collected information on the Nine Old Men over the years, and has stated 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 titular character from Hercules, Lilo from Lilo & Stitch, Queen Narissa from Enchanted, Mama Odie in The Princess and the Frog, and Tigger in Winnie the Pooh. In addition, he is the current resident specialist for the animation of Mickey Mouse.

In 2006, at the 35th Annie Awards, Deja was awarded the Winsor McCay Award for outstanding contribution to the art of animation. Recently, he began a blog where he shares some of his collection of the work of the early Disney animators.

In 2015, he was named a Disney Legend at the D23 Expo.

In 2017, The Walt Disney Family Museum hosted the one-man exhibition: Deja View: The Art of Andreas Deja. [1]

Personal life

Deja is openly gay. His sexuality has been discussed as an influence on the development of some Disney characters.

Disney Filmography Credits

Year Film Position
1985 The Black Cauldron Supervising Animator: Taran, Eilonwy, Dallben, Gurgi, Doli, Horned King, and Fair Folk/Character Designer
1986 The Great Mouse Detective Character Animator: Queen Mousetoria
1986 The Animated Atlas of the World Character Animator: Atlas
1988 Who Framed Roger Rabbit Supervising Animator: Roger Rabbit
1988 Oliver & Company Character Designer
1989 The Little Mermaid Character Designer/Directing Animator/Supervising Animator: King Triton
1990 The Prince and the Pauper Supervising Animator: Mickey Mouse and The Prince
1991 Beauty and the Beast Supervising Animator: Gaston
1992 Aladdin Supervising Animator: Jafar
1994 The Lion King Supervising Animator: Scar
1995 Runaway Brain Supervising Animator: Mickey Mouse
1996 Quack Pack Animation Director/Supervising Animator: 1 Episode: Ducky Dearest
1997 Hercules Supervising Animator: Adult Hercules
2000 Fantasia 2000 Animator: Segment Rhapsody in Blue / Character Animator: Mickey Mouse in the Host Sequences
2000 The Emperor's New Groove Additional Visual Development Artist
2002 Lilo & Stitch Supervising Animator: Lilo
2004 Home on the Range Animator: Slim and Junior
2004 Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas Animation Consultant
2006 Bambi II Animation Consultant
2007 Enchanted Animator
2007 How to Hook Up Your Home Theater Animator: Goofy
2009 The Princess and the Frog Supervising Animator: Mama Odie and Juju
2011 The Ballad of Nessie Supervising Animator
2011 Winnie the Pooh Visual Development Artist/Supervising Animator: Tigger
2017 Happily Ever After Animator: Snake Jafar


External links


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Disney's Nine Old Men: Milt KahlFrank ThomasOllie JohnstonLes ClarkJohn LounsberyMarc DavisWard KimballEric LarsonWolfgang Reitherman

Animators: Bill TytlaArt BabbittLee BlairPreston BlairFred MooreShamus CulhaneCy YoungDon LuskNorman FergusonHal KingJack HannahDick KinneyHal AmbroKen O'BrienJudge WhitakerBill JusticeDon BluthGary GoldmanCharles A. NicholsBlaine GibsonJohn EwingWalt StanchfieldFred HellmichAmby PaliwodaWilfred JacksonXavier AtencioBen SharpsteenEarl HurdDale OliverEric CleworthDavid HandFred SpencerJulius SvendsenEd BenedictKenneth MuseRudolf IsingHugh HarmanFriz FrelengWalt KellyLeo SalkinJohn Dehner
Visual Development, Layout, Background Artists and Character Designers: Gustaf TenggrenMary BlairMarjorie RalstonLillian BoundsJoe GrantMel ShawClaude CoatsDon DaGradiJohn HenchEyvind EarleKen O'ConnorThor PutnamAlbert HurterJohn HubleyHerbert RymanDon GriffithBasil DavidovichJack BoydPeter EllenshawRuthie TompsonEarl Duvall
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Signature Musicians: Robert B. Sherman Richard M. Sherman Alan Menken Kristen Anderson-Lopez Robert LopezLin-Manuel MirandaHoward AshmanTim RicePhil CollinsStephen SchwartzMarc ShaimanDanny Troob
Supervising Animators: Glen KeaneAndreas DejaAlex KupershmidtEric GoldbergMark HennJohn PomeroyRandy HaycockDale BaerT. Daniel HofstedtTony BancroftTom BancroftTony FucileAnthony DeRosaRuss EdmondsMichael SurreyBruce W.SmithDuncan MarjoribanksRuben AquinoNik RanieriRon HusbandRick FarmiloeTom SitoTony AnselmoRandy Cartwright
Visual Development & Storyboard Artists: Dean DeBloisLisa KeeneClaire KeaneBrittney LeeJin KimShiyoon KimCory Loftis