Focal press has released cover art for what is sure to be one of next year’s most popular animation titles: Andreas Deja’s The Nine Old Men: Lessons, Techniques, and Inspiration from Disney’s Greatest Animators.
Disney’s Nine Old Men are no mystery thanks to Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston’s illuminating The Illusion of Life and John Canemaker’s excellent biography Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men and the Art of Animation, but Deja brings a unique perspective as one of the most revered animation figures of Disney’s Eighties and Nineties revival. Not only was Andreas inspired by these earlier animators, he applied their lessons and techniques to create a new generation of Disney characters including Gaston (Beauty and the Beast), Jafar (Aladdin), Scar (The Lion King), the titular star of Hercules, and Lilo in Lilo & Stitch. Deja, who often discusses classic Disney animation on his blog, also had personal friendships with a number of the Nine Old Men. It should make for a very unique book: