Legendary Disney animator, Andreas Deja, is publishing a book about Walt Disney’s “Nine Old Men” titled The Nine Old Men: Lessons, Techniques, and Inspiration from Disney’s Greatest Animators.
The Nine Old Men famously derived and mastered the 12 principles of animation, which are documented in Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston’s book The Illusion of Life. But Deja’s new book will focus sections on each of the iconic animators, detailing and analyzing their work, subtleties and unique animation styles. Deja himself was an apprentice to some of these animation masters, which led him to grow into one of the most renowned and accomplished Disney animators during the Disney Renaissance.
The book cover features Deja’s caricature of one the nine old men taken from the most iconic photos of the group. The cover art is incredibly engaging, sketched by the hand of a new master who has learned from the old masters.
Here’s the official book description from Focal Press:
Learn from the men who changed animation forever.
Walt Disney’s team of core animators, who he affectionately called his “Nine Old Men,” were known for creating Disney’s most famous works, as well as refining the 12 basic principles of animation.
Follow master animator and Disney legend Andreas Deja (Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King) as he takes you through the minds and works of these legendary animators. An apprentice to the Nine Old Men himself, Deja demonstrates the techniques and fundamentals that these men perfected through famous works such as Sleeping Beauty,Cinderella, 101 Dalmatians, and much more. Special attention is given to each animator, accompanied by Deja’s thoughtful analysis on their techniques with special consideration given to figure drawing, acting, story structure and analysis, and execution. The in-depth analysis of each animator’s work will allow you refine your approach to character animation and make better creative choices. Rare sequential drawings by the Nine Old Men are also featured, giving you unprecedented access and insight into the creative processes of these legendary animators. A gallery of Deja’s own work and instruction is included, allowing you to learn techniques from a contemporary master of animation.
Instruction and analysis on the works of each of the Nine Old Men broadens your creative choices and approaches to character animation.
Original drawings from never-before-seen features are explored in depth, giving you behind-the-scenes access into Disney animation history
Companion website features pencil tests in motion and additional anecdotes and resources about the Nine Old Men
For a few years now, Deja has been documenting and analyzing the Nine Old Men’s work on his blog. Since he works for Disney, he access to rare sketches, key frames and visual development material from the Walt Disney Archives. He shares personal stories, experiences and learnings from the men in his blog posts and this book will no doubt be an extension of that. Whether you are an animator or not, there’s no doubt anyone interested in Disney or animation will find this book fascinating.
The Nine Old Men: Lessons, Techniques, and Inspiration from Disney’s Greatest Animators is being published by Focal Press. It contains 294 pages and will be released on February 25, 2015. You can pre-order it in Amazon.