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Andreas Deja Interview

Marc Loos of the French pop culture site Cloneweb posted this brief recent interview with Andreas Deja in which he reveals his thoughts on his career, doing CG versus hand drawn, and what might come next from the Disney studio.

UPDATE: Marc Loos tells us that the drawing Andreas is sketching is actually Tigger – you can see a picture of it here.

And for our French readers, there is a french transcript here.

(Thanks, Kevin Rucker)

  • Kyle Maloney

    Nice interview, but after all that we didn’t get to see what he was drawing?

    • Chris Sobieniak

      We’ll just have to blame this stuio or whoever that did this interview of not thinking to do something about that.

  • Hans W.

    I love the accent of the French interviewer! And funny (but not very surprising) to see that Andreas is not allowed to reveal anything specific about Disney’s future animation plans. He does it in a very charming way.
    Keep up the 2D, Andreas!

  • Skip

    Best thing to come out of that interview, is hearing that Disney is has another 2D feature in development.

    • We’ve known that for ages. We’ve known for ages about the Musker-Clements project that MIGHT come out of Disney’s handdrawn animation department. But at this point, I wish they’d make up their minds and decide what WILL come out.

      • 2011 Adult

        Not to start rumors, but if he’s talking about the movie I’m thinking of, I heard that’s been canned already.

      • What? Where did you hear that “Mort” was cancelled? This is just a rumor, right?

      • Claudia

        Apparently they couldn’t secure the rights of the book.

      • 2011 Adult

        But this begs the question… why did Andreas mention that then? This video was uploaded on March 22nd, and I heard about this rumor at least a week before then!

      • Claudia

        Chances are that this video was made way before that. But still, it could means the project is not death after all.

        Then again, the project didn’t even start to begin with, can something be canned if it never entered production?

  • OtherDan

    Good interview. It was a little strange though-Andreas seemed..distracted. I wanted to see the sketch also. I can totally relate to his impression of CG. I just wish I had his bank account to decide to ignore it. Otherwise, I agree with Skip. Makes me want to learn more about the film they’re developing.

  • Oh bloody hell Ron Clements and John Musker are doing ANOTHER film for Disney? Why not let someone else have a go? Princess and the Frog proved they’re old-hat beyond belief. Their last couple of films have underperformed. The new talent at the studio is so intriguing, I’d rather see a great dose of that than something that’s been done before.

    • Toonio

      No surprise here, every corporation in America tries the same old and tired formulas with the same bunch of old guys while the emerging talent gets wasted.

      Anyways, you have to grant Iger for his vision to keep traditional animation around. Under Eisner this wouldn’t has been even an option.

      And will somebody in the name of Pete post the sketch once and for all! :)

    • Funkybat

      I agree that “Princess & the Frog” was “traditional” in almost every sense of the word, but I wouldn’t say “Old-hat” as it it (and Ron & John) were old and tired out. I have to say I enjoyed Princess & the Frog even more than Tangled, and was heartened to see a rebirth, even if it was brief, of the kind of film that made me want to be an animator in the first place.

      I also agree that it’s time to let more new talents have their turn, to let the next Chris Sanders or Brenda Chapman get a shot at taking things in a new direction. Still, I think there is a place for traditionalism at Disney. There were some “cutting edge” films that came out of Disney features that were definitely inferior to “Princess & the Frog.”

  • We didn’t get to see the sketch.

  • Soft-spoken, humble and assured, Deja is the epitome of a Shaolin animator.

  • Darkblader

    So whats the next Disney animated film thats 2D?

  • Krebs

    It was probably a flippant caricature of the interviewer but we’ll never know.

  • John

    Ron Clements and John Musker working on the next 2D film? You’ve got to be kidding me these two guys got lucky with the Little Mermaid. Aladdin was a complete sell out with all the pop culture references, they were cheap attempts for entertainment. To me these two guys are the reason for the crappy Dreamworks movies filled with all of the pop culture references! All of their other films are bad, why do they keep getting work? These two have been failing at the box office with their last three films, why are they still getting work? Treasure planet was over blown where the studio never made it’s money back at caused the shut down of 2D at the studio, now they are still getting work, what the heck?

    • Toonio

      A sad truth of any business: Is not what you know or what you’ve done, all it matters is who you know.

      But you still can have a fulfilling career in any field if you follow Ralph Bakshi’s advice.

  • What’s with all the Musker and Clements hate? I must admit I’m not the biggest fan of the guys either, but I don’t know if it’s entirely their fault that Princess and The Frog wasn’t spectacular (it wasn’t horrible either). Byron Howard and Nathan Greno don’t seem to have a very specific style anyway, but Tangled worked. Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise weren’t perfect either IMO (I never thought Hunchback Of Notre Dame was the masterpiece some people think it is). And I think Aladdin and Hercules are fine.

    New talent is ok, but it doesn’t mean it’s going to be better than old talent, especially when I suspect most of these directors ultimately depend of Lasseter’s and other people’s decissions. Yeah, I can sort of see some simmilarities in Musker/Clements movies, but I wouldn’t say they can’t do it anymore.

    On the other hand, I’m all for new talents if they are the Chris Sanders kind and they leave them the freedom he seemed to have in Lilo and Stitch.

    The interview is interesting, but yeah, I also wanted to see that sketch. On a kinda related note I listened to the samples of Winnie The Pooh soundtrack on youtube and I really liked it! The rendition of the original theme by Zooey Deschanel sounds pretty good.

  • John

    New talent could be new greatness even better than what we’ve seen by these two directors. So many old timers get free rides where new talent who fail don’t get a second or third or fourth chance like these tow guys do! The two are still around because their Cal Arts classmates still run the show! Like Toonio said it’s who you know!

    • 2011 Adult

      Disney is in no place to give new talent a lead role in production. They are walking a thin tight rope two feet above lay-offs, and Lasseter is trying to get them back on track by NOT taking risks. Yes, they have always hired new talent, but that’s so they could get these films out on time and earn money!

  • Karen

    Deja doesn’t seem to be able to probe character as much as he can style. He’s a good technician, but not a great actor. I would say, however, that his Lilo was probably his best work, even if it was only a so-so cartoon.

    • andreas Wessel-Therhorn

      lilo and stitch was probably the best 2D movie out of
      disney in a long time. as for the people who are slagging off John and
      Ron, they have obviously never worked for them.

      • PeteR

        It’s a very mediocre cartoon-certainly better in parts than as a whole. And nobody cares that it’s “2D” or not–only if it’s a good movie.

      • “And nobody cares that it’s “2D” or not–only if it’s a good movie.”

        …which is the main reason why so many people (myself included) liked Lilo & Stitch:)

      • I loved Lilo and Stitch. I couldn’t disagree more that it was “mediocre.” My only quibble with it was that I think they played the battle/chase scene at the end a little heavily, jarring with the rest of the movie’s tone, but that’s it. It was a delight otherwise.

  • A Frenchman and a German must speak in English to conduct an interview. I think that’s interesting in itself.

  • jerome

    For those wondering… The interview was made in France and apparently here was what Andreas Deja drew during it :
    (from here : )

    • alan

      he was being interviewed by tigger?

  • what an awesome guy

  • anonymous

    What an ego.
    Lilo was made in Florida and the Florida crew treated Andreas like a God while he was there. After Andreas returned to California he gave a box lunch and at one point during the lecture he trashed the Florida studio. It’s on video and can be checked out from the irc.

    • andreas Wessel-Therhorn

      ive known and worked with him for many years. i never heard him say anything bad about the florida studio

    • Could you link to this video?

      • Bob C

        Mesterius, it would be in the Disney animation library and only for check out for Disney employees.

    • another anonymous animator

      True! I saw the tape! I bet it goes missing very soon!

  • John

    Wow what a mediocre drawing!

    • Justin

      You seriously are critiquing a drawing that was made in 5 minutes holding the paper in his lap while conducting an interview? Man you’re harsh.

  • Where’s the love?

    • I briefly met Andreas Deja while visiting my friend Ke Jiang at the Disney studio late in the production of ‘The Princess and the Frog’. It was exactly how meeting one of your heroes should be! He was very kind and sincere, very willing to talk about common interests, and very generous with his valuable time. Absolute class act.

  • John

    I’ve met him a few times he is a really nice guy!

  • Woaw, I haven’t posted it on my website, it’s already on the Internet :)

    The drawing is this :

    Now, you can be jealous :)

  • Bob C

    Ouch. (Will that get me blocked?)

  • Grayson Ponti

    I love Andreas Deja and his work. How can you say he’s not a great actor? His versatility and range are very underrated by the way too many people who call him just a villain animator and haven’t studied his work. If it weren’t for people who have the passion that people like Andreas has hand-drawn animation would only be done by low budget studios in Korea making TV shows for America.

  • Matt Sullivan

    Seriously. let SOMEONE ELSE direct for a change. What is this selfish club that only allows three or so people to direct big Disney films?

  • jerome

    Another french interview of Deja, and another Tigger :