Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Lilo

This is a model sheet I made up after I finished work on "Lilo & Stitch".
During production I created the usual construction and turn around sheets,
but didn't have the time to do a board with xeroxed rough animation drawings from selected scenes until later.
Putting them together like this gives you an idea about consistency in drawing and character.
I enjoyed animating Lilo very much. She and the other characters were designed 
by Chris Sanders, so the supervising animators just needed to adapt to this
unusual and charming design style.

Before animation began I had the chance to join the directors and a few other artists to visit Hawaii on a research trip. We tried to connect with a local school, but didn't know if I would be allowed to join class and draw the kids.
Our Hawaiian tour guide knocked at the school's door and after a teacher appeared he explained that our purpose was to do some research for a new Disney animated feature set on Hawaii.  By then a couple more adults and a few kids had appeared by the half open door to see what was going on. 
We knew that the locals are very proud and  protective of their old language and culture. And they all gave us a skeptical look.
Then a little girl asked quietly : "Did you work on the Little Mermaid?".
I nodded....and all of a sudden all the other kids yelled "YEEEESSSS !"
That broke the ice and we were in.
Below are a few pages from my sketchbook from that day. I was trying to capture as much child like behavior as possible, while observing them  in class or watching them play.
They were a lot of fun and so enthusiastic.

It got a little emotional for me toward the end, when the kids all sat down and sang a few Hawaiian songs for me. The enthusiasm and joy in their voices was something else.
That was not just another day doing research for a film, that was truly special.
I''ll never forget that day.



















53 comments:

  1. they truly are amazing. Sounds like you had an awesome time while working on lilo and Stitch. I love the sketches you drew of the children especially.

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  2. Actually, I think Lilo is one of your best animated characters. It is so true and honest it's really easy to connect with her. Also, the movie is excellent, so your animation work is not wasted on a poor script. Thanks for the character sheets. Really beautiful.

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  3. The mannerisms and behavious you've studied really show in your animation of Lilo.

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  4. you spoiled my generation with beautiful animation. thank you~

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  5. So much life and personality - these are lovely!

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  6. Regarding the story you relate about the little girl asking if you animated on 'Little Mermaid'...

    Encountering people who've experienced the impact of your work must really be something. This makes me wonder if you've also received some of the opposite vibes as folks realize you are the guy behind characters they love to hate(I'm mostly thinking Gaston I suppose... Scar being such a likeable fellow despite his wicked ways... Jafar... same/same!).

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  7. sigh!!!!!!!!..what can i say to you Andreas....!!!..actually i have no words as i have told you before..i have been looking for to see the original artists works and production stuff for a long...now, you are giving all....i owe you..
    hope, someday, you will post your line test too...will be waiting for them like crazy...
    cheers.
    Greeting From Bangladesh

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  8. That was amazing! Thank you for sharing.

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  9. Andreas, your work, as always, is inspirational.

    I am especially taken with the sketches you did in the classroom.

    I was wondering, though, what kind of pen were you using with those sketches? The line variation seems more generous and sensitive than the pens I am familiar with.

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  10. In the top left corner of that first batch of Lilo pics...I believe I've seen a version of that where somebody gave her teeth!

    Lilo & Stitch is my favorite Disney film, hands down. The look and feel of the movie just stands out so much to me and it's gorgeous to watch. Also, I just love the production stories of how the film was made. I've watched that 2+ hour "Making Of" for the movie a ton of times and it just always puts me in a better mood. Everybody seemed to be having a fantastic time making the film!

    You did a marvelous job animating Lilo and I agree with what FerGil said above about Lilo being your best work.

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  11. Amazing work, Andreas, thanks so much for sharing. It's great to see your work. I loved the movie, and its designs were wonderful.

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  12. These are beautiful. Your drawings of Lilo are so delicate, and so is the animation, nothing over the top, just the perfect amount of everything. They remind me of Ollie Johnston's drawings of Penny. Thanks for posting these gems!

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  13. Those sketches are phenominal! Absolutely stunning. I wanted to see some of your animation roughs Andreas, but right now I just want to see more sketchbook pages!

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  14. Really nice character sheets, sketches and also a very sweet story. Thanks for sharing.

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  15. Nice to see "finally" some of your work on this blog. Love it! :)

    And I really like that you don't just post the pictures but also take the time to tell one or two nice stories about it. Thanks again very much!

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  16. Heavenly lines! Big THANKS again!

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  17. These are wonderful sketches! One of the best recent Disney's movies, with The Emperor's New Groove. Beautiful art in your hands...Great Andreas

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  18. All of these drawings are absolutely wonderful and I loved reading your anecdote about the class!

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  19. Thanks for sharing these! Those children sketches feels so real and genuine. You transferred that well to lilo too. one of my all time favorite characters!

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  20. Beautiful poses on the model sheet. They reflect the best parts of that wonderful film. It's great to see some of the research sketches, as well. Thank you.

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  21. Brings back some great memories..I remember those scenes well:)

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  22. I love the last page of sketches. The drawings of the kid sitting at the table really show the antsy behavior of kids perfectly.

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  23. wow I have no idea, how i did not know about this blog earlier I have lot of reading to catch up on, finally at last you have a blog, YES!

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  24. wow, so great to see this type of model sheets! the only ones I'd had seen were really old ones (and blurry)

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  25. Lilo is so sweet!!!! great stuff, as always...

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  26. Fantastic stuff! Thanks for sharing those sketches and the story behind them :)

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  27. Your story about the schoolchildren is absolutely adorable, i actually couldn't stop smiling after reading it.
    And of course all of your drawings of the kids and Lilo are stunning, they're all so genuine and filled with character.
    Thank you so much for sharing all of this!

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  28. I feel like I gets years of animation experience from every post I read. These are just amazing.

    What a great story. I know the next time I am watching Lilo and Stitch with the family I'll say, "you know Andreas Deja went to a school in Hawaii to do research for this film." Just so I can sound like I know something behind the scenes.

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  29. Lilo & Stitch is one of my favorite movies ever! I love everything about it. The art style, the music, the story and at the center of it all is sad and weird little Lilo. I think she's one of the most realistic kids I've ever seen in a movie. You really did a fantastic job with her. It's really cool to see the model sheet, I recognize from what part most of them come from.

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  30. There are quite a few poses from the "Bed Time Story"
    sequence, which was cut from the film.
    It's on the DVD though, in the bonus material.

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  31. Yes! This is what I was holding my breath for! Lilo is by far my favourite of the characters you animated for Disney. She's just so totally believable, not only as a little girl, but also with all her moods and emotions while at the same time so incredibly entertaining and charming.

    I also like how she hits really strong poses and hard accents without ever feeling "cartoony". And I just can't get over those great expressions, I know everybody says body attitude is 10 times more important, I wouldn't know, but I always love to see really unique expressions that fit the character like in Ollie's or Milt's animation or on this beatifull model sheet.

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  32. These are awesome Andreas! Been a big fan of yours ever since I saw Beauty and the Beast in high school. I love those sketches of the children. What is your approach when it comes to drawing from life. Is there a philosophy or mental routine you go by when drawing your subjects in person?

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  33. Here's a YouTube link the "Bed Time Story" sequence:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i2JLC6-mUk&feature=mh_lolz&list=FLxgraCcJK1GI

    Was sad to see that cut.

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  34. Thanks as always for sharing these! My sister and I were both in tears through all of Lilo & Stitch--the film is just so beautiful and touching. If we were in that classroom, we probably would have been bawling at the end.

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  35. I love the sketch of the girl stretching her arms behind her. Thanks for this. Wonder what the parents would give some some of those! haha!

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  36. This is awesome, Lilo is easily my favorite Disney character. I actually just bought a WDCC of Lilo on Ebay, considering that everytime I go into a Disney Store I can NEVER find anything of Lilo, and the few things I do find are nothing I'd care to own.

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  37. While I was working at the studio, I bumped into Andreas and asked him if it was possible for him to do a quick sketch of Lilo for me as i really loved the work he had done on her character. the next day Andreas showed up at my room with this sketch :

    http://markpudleiner.blogspot.com/2011/06/andreas-deja-blog.html

    I just wanted to let you know that this is the type of person he is. Super nice guy who is extremely passionate about this art and was always willing to inspire { as this new blog shows }

    Thanks again Andreas :-) - mark

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  38. Thanks for this nice "behind the scenes" post. :)

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  39. I'm really enjoying all of the older art, but it's great to see some of yours too! (I'm really hoping to see some Scar and Jafar art down the road - both tragically under-represented in the 'Disney Villains' franchise, but my two favorite villains nonetheless.)

    I love all of Lilo's expressions and poses; she's always struck me as the most 'realistic' child character to come out of the Disney studios. I can see how the sketches of the school children found their way into her!

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  40. Lilo is one of my favorite animated characters of all time. Thank you for bringing her to life so beautifully. Really inspiring work.

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  41. I love the expressions of the children, they have so much life. Thank you again, I am a big fan of your work.

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  42. Hi, Andreas. I´m an animator and Visual Arts teacher her in Spain. i´ve always admired your work and I trully feel that Lilo is your BEST creation, not only because of the subtle sincere animation but in the kindness and innocence she exhumes. Beautiful blog too, by the way!

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  43. Andreas - I love your drawings of Lilo ! So wonderful to see these again (has it really been 10 years ? Seems like a different lifetime ...) Thanks for sharing.

    Maybe we'll see some of your Mickey's from P & P soon ? (yes, that's a request )

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  44. Dear Andreas, thanks for posting this. We met last year in November, CTN.(You can check: http://www.wretch.cc/blog/hungmusical/895942 I'm sorry it's not in English) I just graduated from art school in San Francisco. Both your art and your posts are inspiring. Thanks again for your wonderful art works.

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  45. Brilliant, Andreas! Love it! You're accomplishments as an animator are so inspiring. Thanks!

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  46. i love these the life drawings of the hawaian children have so much well life!, lilo and stich is my faveourite post nine old men disney film i think she has so much life and she like a real kid you guys did an amazeing job and chris sanders's style added such a new visual twist on things :D

    btw Andreas do you have a favourite disney film ? or a one you enjoyed working on most?

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  47. I could read your blog over and over again.

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  48. Hi, Andreas!
    Such beautiful work on such a fun film. It was most certainly an honor to have worked with you on "Lilo", and I'd have to say it was by far the most uplifting and spirited production in my experience (even considering the events of the time). Thank you for the privilege!

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  49. Andreas, looking at these studies bring back so many memories. If you recall all the way back to 2003/2004-ish that kid that met you through Make-a-Wish Foundation because of his heart problem. I'm him. I've been trying for so long to somehow get a hold of you because I still stay in touch with Chris. I recently had another surgery and am currently recovering. I am currently attending art school (as planned) and visit this blog every day. I love history and old photographs and to see so much of it on a single blog is just, to me, amazing.

    -Daniel

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