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Andreas Deja
Biographical Information

Andreas Deja


April 1, 1957


Gdańsk, Poland

Career Information



1980 – Present


The Lion King work

The Lion King

I did Gaston in Beauty and the Beast and Jafar for Aladdin, but I think this one is probably the most evil of all the villains that I have worked with.
—Deja about Scar[1]

Andreas Deja is an animator whose contributions to animation have included several Disney leading or title characters, such as Scar from The Lion King.[2]



Deja's first inspiration to be an animator came after a viewing of The Jungle Book when he was eleven. After graduating, he went into studying graphic design at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, Germany.


Andreas Deja in the studio

Deja was employed by Walt Disney Productions in 1980 after corresponding with Eric Larson, one of Disney's senior Nine Old Men of animation who ran the studio's training department.[3] In his early years as an animator, Deja sought assistance from seven of the Nine Old Men, all of whom were already retired.[4]

The first character Deja animated was Gurgi from The Black Cauldron. He later went on to animate several famous Disney villains, such as Jafar from Aladdin, Gaston from Beauty and the Beast, and Queen Narissa from Enchanted. He is also known for animating other famous characters, such as Hercules from Hercules, Lilo from Lilo & Stitch, and King Triton from The Little Mermaid. He recently animated Tigger from Winnie the Pooh.

The Lion King

While animating Scar, Deja remarked, "When I first began to animate this character, I remember thinking, 'How am I going to get all this humanized personality into this character without hands?' Hands are so important to expressing a character's emotions. Finally, I learned to concentrate on the overall body attitude, the angle of the head, and the facial expressions. Sometimes, very subtle things, like raising an eyebrow, let you show what the character is thinking."


Concept artwork of Scar

The primary inspiration for Deja's performance and Scar's ultimate design came directly from Jeremy Irons.

"As a voice talent and actor, he was able to do so much with the dialogue and was a great springboard for the character," recalls Deja. "He had a way of playing with the words and twisting them so that they would come out very sarcastic and always a bit unexpected. I would watch him at the recording sessions and then run back to my desk because I couldn't wait to get started with the animation."

Some of Irons's physical traits also had an influence on Deja's design for the character.

"There was a darkness around his eyes that fascinated me and gave him an eerie look in his films. I wanted to keep that quality, so I gave Scar dark circles around his eyes and combed his mane as if it were slicked back."

Disney Animation Credits

Year Film Position



External Links


  1. [1]
  2. [2]
  3. [3]
  4. [4]