Category: Animation
  1. 17

    Nov 2015

    Andreas Deja

    andreas-deja-01 andreas-deja-02 andreas-deja-03 andreas-deja-04 andreas-deja-05 andreas-deja-06

    Andreas Deja is an animator and the genius behind some of your favourite Disney villains. Born 1957, in Gdansk, Poland, he and his family moved to Dinslaken, Germany, in 1958. When he was eleven years old he watched Disney’s Jungle Book for the first time. Its impact was instant and everlasting, right after seeing the movie, Deja was inspired to become an animator. Around the age of fourteen he began to attend life drawing classes and frequently go to the zoo to study the animals and their movement. Following a short stint in the army, he spent three years studying graphic design at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, Germany.

    Deja began a correspondence with one of the Disney’s “Nine Old Men,” Eric Larson. Larson was heading up the Disney training program and during a visit to Germany, the two met. Larson was impressed with Deja’s portfolio and accepted him onto the training program. In 1980, Deja moved to Los Angeles and started training at the Disney studio.

    From the beginning, Deja sought as much mentorship from the people that inspired him as a child. Out of the Nine Old Men, most were retired, but Deja was determined. Slowly over the course of a few years, he managed to meet up with seven out of nine of the famous animators. All with the intention to one day publish a book of their advice and guidance.

    Whilst at the Disney training program, Deja’s portfolio began to make an impression, earning unanimous praise. Word spread to Joe Hale, a senior animator and one of the writers on the upcoming feature film The Black Cauldron. Hale saw Daja’s drawings and asked him to work on the film’s pre-production. Deja would subsequently work on the feature until the end.

    Deja moved on to other great projects such as animating the Queen in the Great Mouse Detective (1986), Roger Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), King Triton from The Little Mermaid (1989), adult Hercules from Hercules (1997), and Lilo from Lilo & Stitch (2002). Let us not forget all the eccentric villains he has animated, Gaston from Beauty and the Beast (1991), Jafar from Aladdin (1992), Scar from The Lion King (1994), and Alameda Slim from Home on the Range (2004).

    In 2006, the Animation industry showed their recognition and appreciation for over two decades of hard work by being awarding Andreas Deja the Winsor McCay Award for outstanding contribution to the art of animation. In 2015, he was named a Disney Legend by the Walt Disney Company.

    This year also saw the culmination of his regular visit to his idols and mentors in the form of the book, The Nine Old Men: Lessons, Techniques, and Inspiration from Disney’s Great Animators. An insightful look behind-the-scenes of Disney that shares the foundation of timeless characters.

    Though there is not yet an official list, Deja has often been referred to as one of Disney’s “Nine New Men”, along with animators Glen Keane, and James Baxter. Deja is currently working on an animated film called Mushka, which is planned to be release in 2016.

    In 2011, Andreas Deja began Deja View a blog showcasing his own work, his inspirations, as well the work of the early Disney animators. He also shares his views on a range of animation subject. Quite simply, it is a treasure trove of information and beautiful images and an absolute must for anyone interested in Disney or animation.

  2. 12

    Nov 2015

    Paul Robertson

    paul-robertson-01 paul-robertson-02 paul-robertson-03 paul-robertson-04 paul-robertson-05 paul-robertson-06

    Paul Robertson is nothing short of a pixel art superstar. Not since eBoy has a pixel artist’s thumbprint been everywhere you turn. Born in Victoria, Australia, Robertson has worked on feature films, Short films, contributed to television and many video games.

    Robertson has worked closely with independent game studio Tribute Games on all three of their games thus far. Mercenary Kings, the action-packed platform game, looked to Kickstater to find the funding they needed. The response was 3,880 backers helped them rack up well over their $75,000 goal. For Tribute’s most recent offering, Curses ‘N Chaos, Robertson animated the opening, Ending and Boss segments of the game.

    He has also provided animations for the Disney’s Gravity Falls. His handy work made a prevailing appearance in the season one episode, “Fight Fighters” and again in season two’s “Soos and the Real Girl.” Robertson also regularly animates gifs and shorts for Adult Swim, including my personal favourite, the four-part adventure of Super Dino Boys. It contains all his hallmarks, kaleidoscopic colours, absurd characters erratically bouncing around the screen, all set to a palpitating 8-bit theme.

    He applied those same hallmarks the SIMPSONS PIXELS. Teaming up with his roomie and fellow pixel artist, Ivan Dixon, to create one of the best piece of fanart you are likely to behold. It has passed four million views on YouTube. The pair talked a little bit about the animation’s conception, process and reaction in an interview with Symphonic Pixels. The animation was later used for The Simpson’s episode intro, My Fare Lady.

    The best place to keep up with Paul Robertson is his Tumblr. You should also check out some of his older work on LiveJournal.

  3. 10

    Nov 2015

    Andrey Osadchikh

    andrey-osadchikh-01 andrey-osadchikh-02 andrey-osadchikh-03 andrey-osadchikh-04 andrey-osadchikh-05 andrey-osadchikh-06

    Andrey Osadchikh is a freelance Animator, Illustrator and Graphic Designer from Moscow, Russia. He studied Animation & Multimedia at the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography (VGIK).

    His portfolio is made up of curious characters, breathtaking backgrounds and detailed pencil illustrations. In his older work, he explored various style, but his more recent illustrations are displaying a strong anime influence. Amidst the client work, you will find Tekkon Kinkreet and Akira fan art.

    Osadchikh has a great sense of colour, whether using a muted or saturated palette, a textured or flat brush, his colours always strengthen the illustration.

    You can see more of Andrey Osadchikh’s work on Behance and follow him on Instagram.

  4. 25

    Oct 2015

    The Line


    The Line is an animation collective comprised of 6 directors, Bjorn-Erik Aschim, Wesley Louis, Sam Taylor, Tim McCourt, Max Taylor, and James Duveen. Based in London they create short films, adverts, music videos, and games.

    The Line was formed in 2013 when the 6 directors, all previously friends or colleagues with shared interests, had an urge to make “good stuff” together. Their first foray as a collective was for the short film Everything I Can See From Here. The personal project gathered lots of attention online, as well as a BAFTA nomination. It has since been screened at various film festivals.

    I think I first noticed their work with the animation Wallflowers. Another self-initiated short, it a collection of nightclub scenes showcasing the various urban tribesmen and women drinking, dancing, holding up the wall, letting loose and letting it all hang out. Most of which you will undoubtedly recognise from your nights out.

    The Line’s body of work is of a ludicrously high standard and they are just getting better and better, with their most recent efforts raising the bar. Super Turbo Atomic Ninja Rabbit is a project that spawned from an old comic Wesley Louis drew in 1991, when he was 13 years old. He found it in an old folder and brought it into the studio to show the others. They all agree there was something special about it. They started to talk about and imagine it as if it were a cartoon series from the 90s. That buzz of excitement quickly turned into storyboards for an intro sequence. In love with the project and wishing it were actually a real cartoon from the 90s, they decided to release it as such. They wanted so much to fool others that is was a bygone cartoon that they planted backdated blog posts, uploaded badly photocopied model sheets to forums, they painted a cel from the film and even sold a Ninja Rabbit lunchbox and flask on Japanese Ebay. Furthermore, they created a VHS version of the intro to put on Youtube and went as far as to make it a UK censored version. It swapped the word “Ninja” for “Mega” and removed the references to Wyatt’s (the frog) nunchukas, all as nod to 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon. The Line are currently selling a “radical” 108-page digital art book of ‘Super Turbo Atomic Ninja Rabbit on Gumroad that contains animation sequences, storyboards, character designs, model sheets, sketches and background art, as well as the original 1991 comic.

    Most recently, The Line worked with Electric Theatre Collective, on a series of animated adverts promoting Freeview’s new on-demand service. Freeview Play – “Set Yourself Free” is a monumental undertaking, especially for the 6-man collective, and so they boosted their numbers and ended up working with a team of over 45 artists to bring the city and its residents to life. The team created 25 unique characters and employed the artistry of Manddy Wyckens to design “The Girl”. This collaboration with Electric Theatre Collective went so well that The Line decided to permanently move into their central London studio and work closer together sharing resources and know-how.

    You can find more animations and information on The Line’s website. Also, be sure to check out their animation podcast The Pegbar and Grill podcast, each episode they discuss animation-related topics with top animators and filmmakers.

  5. 21

    Oct 2015

    Don Shank

    don-shank-01 don-shank-02 don-shank-03 don-shank-04 don-shank-05 don-shank-06

    Don Shank is an Annie and Emmy awards winning animator. Pleasantly planted in California, he is currently working at Pixar Animation Studios. Shank studied animation at the renowned CalArts. Whose alumni include fellow Pixar patriots, John Lasseter, Brad Bird, and Pete Docter, to name but a few.

    After university, Shank worked at a variety of studios including Nickelodeon Animation Studio, where he worked as a layout artist on the groundbreaking Ren & Stimpy Show, Cartoon Network Studios and later, Hanna-Barbera Productions where he worked as a storyboard artist on Genndy Tartakovsky’s Dexter’s Lab and Samurai Jack as well as Craig McCracken’s Powerpuff Girls. Shank also wrote for Samurai Jack, Powerpuff Girls and The Powerpuff Girls Movie.

    Around 2004 Shank made the jump into feature films, joining Pixar, aiding them with the visual development of The Incredibles. He has since worked as an environment and production artist on two of the most stunning of all the Pixar movies, Ratatouille and Up. More recent projects include the runaway box-office success, Inside Out and the upcoming, Finding Dory.

    Shank is an incredibly skilled draftsman and painter, as such, he enjoys experimenting with different styles, mediums and techniques. Shank’s personal work is very influenced by Cubism, especially the artist Pablo Picasso. A few years ago, about a year after the launch of the first iPad, Shank made the news for the beautiful paintings he was creating with the Brushes app. Which I assure you was a very novel concept at the time and had people perplexed by the implications.

    Be sure to see more of Don Shank’s work on his website and follow him on Instagram.

Back to Top