Monday, 9 December 2019

Andreas Deja, Scar and The Lion King

Disney Legend: Andreas Deja
Two weeks ago I was invited to participate in a panel discussion at CTN in Los Angeles about my father's work in animation. It was a nice way to honour his memory and talk about his work in an open forum with family, friends and colleagues.

While I was in LA, I also got to meet up at the Disney lot with Andreas Deja, lead animator and the man responsible for bringing "Scar" to life.

Andreas Deja and Alex Williams outside the Disney Animation Building
I was fortunate enough to work on Andreas' team on Lion King back in 1992, when he took me under his wing and helped train me as a Disney animator.

I got to animate a few memorable shots on Scar, but it was Andreas who designed the character and, working with actor Jeremy Irons, gave him life and personality, creating one Disney's most memorable villains.

Andreas Deja
Andreas was a supervising animator at Disney on many characters in on many films, including the Disney villains Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, Jafar in Aladdin, Scar in The Lion King and the title character in Hercules. He was recently inducted as a "Disney Legend" at the Studio Lot, with his very own bronze handprint on the building.

Right now Andreas is working on his own half-hour animated film, bringing together all the skill and talent he acquired working for Disney for so many years.

Lion King

The animation of Scar walking towards the camera between the jets of steam is a shot I'm especially proud of. It took a long time to get right, but the effort paid off in the end.

Live action reference
Andreas taught me the importance of using live action reference to plan creature animation; making sure that the animal locomotion was technically accurate, and then layering in the performance.

It's a technique we teach at Animation Apprentice; including how to use live action reference to plan animation, and also an approach to planning a creature animation scene.

To find out more about Animation Apprentice, click here for a link to Frequently Asked Questions. To sign up for our November 5th classroom at Animation Apprentice, follow this link.

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