On April 22, 2011, the opening day for Disneynature’s newest Earth Day film, African Cats, Disney’s El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood will be holding a special opening day reception in honor of Disney animator Andreas Deja.
Deja, the current resident specialist for the animation of Mickey Mouse, was the supervising animator of some of the most memorable Disney villains: Gaston from Beauty and the Beast, Jafar in Aladdin and Scar from The Lion King. He also animated Roger Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, King Triton from The Little Mermaid, the title character from Hercules, Lilo from Lilo & Stitch and Queen Narissa from Enchanted. In addition,he is the supervising animator for Tigger in the upcoming Winnie the Pooh.
In honor of African Cats, Deja has produced a stunning series of original art work directly inspired by the film. Andreas has long been known for his beautiful gestural drawings and paintings of big cats that capture their spirit of wildness and innate nobility. The collection of art will be on display in the lower lounge of the El Capitan for the entire run of the film (April 22 through May 16, 2011).
Patrons of the 7:00 pm performance of African Cats are invited to join Deja for the opening reception beginning at 4:30 pm at the theater. Best of all, there is no additional charge to attend the event, you just need a ticket for the film which can be purchased in advance online at the theater’s website.
Also on display at the theater for the film will be an educational exhibit featuring fun information about lions and cheetahs, how researchers study lions and cheetahs in the wild and what The Walt Disney Company is doing to protect African cats and their savanna home all developed and written by educators at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Prior to each performance of African Cats, the Wildlife Learning Center will showcase a handful of live, exotic animals in a presentation titled ‘Exotic Animals From Around the World,’ on the theater’s stage. The ‘Animal Guys’ from the WLC have rescued more than 70 different species of captive-born wild animals and make it their mission to get children excited about the natural world around them. The Wildlife Learning Center also wants to help educate a generation of children to value their natural heritage, to value the environment, and to value all living things.