Creator & Director, MUSHKA
Andreas Deja first applied for a job as a Disney animator at the age of 10. Born in Poland and raised in Germany, he remembers writing to the studio immediately after seeing "The Jungle Book." "I'd never seen a Disney feature before," he recalls "It was one of those key experiences, because I just couldn't believe what I'd seen. All those drawings moving, thinking and acting so real."
The Studio wrote back to Deja explaining that there were no openings, but they were always on the look-out for new talent. This offered him the encouragement he needed and the motivation to work hard towards that goal. At the age of 23, after completing his studies, he applied again and this time he was accepted.
Working with Eric Larson, one of Disney's legendary "nine old men," Deja completed several tests and went on to do early character design, costume research and animation for "The Black Cauldron." His next assignment was on "The Great Mouse Detective," for which he animated the mouse queen and her robotic twin. Deja helped design many of the characters for "Oliver & Company" and did some animation before spending a year in London as a lead animator on the ground-breaking animation/live-action hybrid "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," under the direction of Richard Williams.
On "The Little Mermaid," Deja oversaw the animation of Triton, a powerful figure that required expert skills in draftsmanship and acting ability. For Disney's Academy Award-winning animated musical "Beauty and the Beast," he served as the supervising animator for the first of his many Disney villains, the very pompous and narrow-minded Gaston.
Deja continued to explore his darker side by designing and animating the evil vizier, Jafar for Disney's animated-musical hit, "Aladdin" (1992). He went on to supervise the animation of the power-hungry villain, Scar, in "The Lion King," which quickly earned a place as one of the industry's biggest films of all time.
Deja contributed animation for several characters in Disney’s live- action/animated musical “Enchanted,” and served as one of the supervising animators on Goofy’s big-screen return in the short film, “How to Hook Up Your Home Theatre.” He was a supervising animator on Disney’s hand-drawn animated feature, “The Princess and the Frog”, released in 2009. Deja supervised the animation of Tigger for a new Winnie the Pooh feature, which was released theatrically in 2011.
In 2007, he was honored with the Winsor McKay Award from ASIFA (the International Animated Film Association). In 2015, he was named a Disney ‘Legend’ by the Walt Disney Company, the distinction
Currently, Deja works on his own independent animated short films, recently completing his 10-year labor of love “Mushka,” the charming story of a young girl and her adopted Siberian tiger, which is his homage to classic Disney animation, created in the style of “101 Dalmations.” “Mushka” is scheduled to be presented at a number of prestigious film festivals in 2023, including The San Francisco International Film Festival (SFFILM), The Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film (ITFS) and Animayo in Grand Canaria, Spain. He also regularly posts animation related material on his blog “Deja View”.
Andreas Deja IMDB:: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0215152/
About Disney ‘Legends’: https://d23.com/disney-legends/