-Writings on Disney History, along with insights on other films, animation, and cartoons
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Friday, October 4, 2013

Andreas Deja at the Walt Disney Family Museum

Andreas Deja On Bambi        

         On September 21, 2013 Andreas Deja and fellow animation veteran Carol Police visited the Walt Disney Family Museum to give a talk on Walt Disney’s Bambi (1942). Both worked on Bambi 2 (2006), Deja as an Animation Consultant and Police as Art Director. Though the film lacks the brilliance of its predecessor, both demonstrated their in-depth understanding of the original.
         Compiled below is an assortment of Andreas Deja’s quotes. Recording and photography are not allowed at such events, so these are taken from handwritten notes made during the lecture. They are presented in no particular order regarding the presentation. Andreas Deja has a deep understanding of Disney animation, and perhaps these snippets will provide some deeper insight into Bambi, or spur one’s own discoveries.

-Regarding Tyrus Wong: “Bambi’s one of the few films where an artist really got to put his stamp on the film; another might be Sleeping Beauty with Eyvind Earle.”

-Regarding the Tyrus Wong piece below: “What gets me about this image is the staging of the lighting. No matter what he is looking at, you want to go there and check it out.”

 -Regarding the unique ambient lighting style: “It’s like poetry the way light hits them.”

-“These are not going to be animals like Pluto, ‘cartoony’ type, these are going to be actual animals in the forest.”

-“It was intimidating to the animators, to understand the inside out, that would be a job.”

-“The artists were hand picked; not every artist could work on this film.”

-On Milt Kahl’s finalization of the Bambi model: “And of course Marc Davis’ friend Milt Kahl came in and said, ‘I can do that better’…he always said that.”

-Humorously reflecting on the animators’ skill: “They were in their twenties when they did this…it’s kind of sick.”

-On Milt Kahl’s Bambi model: “I look at this and I cry, it’s like the Sistine Chapel.”

-On watching Milt Kahl’s early pencil test of Bambi: “I hate him.”

-On Faline: “It looks feminine, it doesn’t look funny.”

-On Eric Larson and the owl: “I should have brought a picture of Eric in his seventies because he ended up looking a lot like the owl.”

-On the young deer’s spots: “I don’t think there’s one place in Bambi where the spots wobble…it’s unreal.”

-On Bambi 2: “It was an adventure to jump into the model of Bambi.”

-Whilst drawing Bambi: “His head is large and his nose is tiny…eyes are very low…head has to be fairly large…he was by far the most difficult character to draw; if he’s a little bit off he begins to look a little like E.T…. he has these wonderful straight legs to get the nice compositional pose…(after finishing) could be better, you can see I’m taking my time; if it had been Jafar I’d have been done a while ago.”
Andreas' Finished Drawing (Author Photo)

-Regarding another feature in the Bambi style: “Right now, any company would be afraid to do a film this simple.”

-“The art of leaving things out and focusing on something is sort of lost.”

-Regarding CG animation: “CG is very good at showing a lot…2D done well is heavier…it’s a different kind of filmmaking like stop motion.”

-Are CG features it for the future? “Just when you think things are going to go on like that forever, it changes.”

-Any self-respecting animation fan must read Andreas Deja's blog, "Deja View": http://andreasdeja.blogspot.com/

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