|Queen of the Willis and Deanna & Brandi character
|"Angie's Progress" (Queen of the Willis)
|Dee Dee (by Brandi)
August 18, 1990
Deanna Annalisa Willis (born Andrew Robert Willis August 18, 1990) is a character on the animated series Queen of the Willis and Deanna & Brandi and is currently voiced by Rachael Passalt. She is the sixth child of Ava and the third child of Angie Willis and the transgendered sister of Tom, the Willis sextuplets, and Brynn as well as the half-sister of Ava's four children from her previous relationships (Breeanna Sellars, Dylan Porter, Stan Hicks, and Dominique Hicks) and Angie's first child, Heidi Unger. Deanna first appeared on television, along with the rest of the Willis family, in a 15-minute short on December 20, 2003. Deanna was created and designed by Ava Zinn herself, who was asked to pitch a pilot to ATE Media, based on Frank's Life comic strip and Frank & Brittani, the shorts made by Zinn featuring a younger-aged man named Frank, an older woman named Brittani and an intellectual pet, Amber. After the pilot was given the greenlight, the Willis family appeared in the pilot episodes of QOTW and Deanna & Brandi.
Originally designed as a somewhat gregarious, yet still unintelligent teenager, Deanna became more awkward and idiotic over the course of Deanna & Brandi. Running gags in QOTW and Deanna & Brandi involving Deanna include her masturbating frequently in the early QOTW episodes.
Deanna Annalisa Willis was born Andrew Robert Willis on August 18, 1990 in Quillsville, Indiana, as revealed in Thyroid Momma and Ten Years To Life. She is 5 feet 10 inches tall; Deanna once commented on the fact that she was short for her age. She is also slightly underweight. She socially and medically transitioned from male to female at age 15 and underwent sex reassignemnt surgery on August 29, 2004.
Deanna is a school-aged transgender girl who enjoys comedy, music, dance and socializing with her friends, Connie Rose and Trevelle Abhrams. Although at times Deanna is seen as odd by her father and peers, she maintains a remarkable talent with people, particularly with girls and boys, who find her cute and entertaining. She is innocent, gentle, lovable, and good-hearted who can be sometimes seen as a let-down but does have a number of talents. Using these talents, Deanna aspires to be a prop comic and a "ladies woman" (at times). Deanna is generally very passive and is occasionally a victim of bullies. However, Deanna speaks out on issues concerning love of the same sex.
Deanna's character resembles that of Candice's, the transgender daughter of the main character Frank in Frank's Life, one of the animated short films created by Ava Zinn at Mississinewa High school in 1999 that led to the development of Queen of the Willis.
Deanna is an underweight, excitable, outgoing, and well-meaning transgender girl. Aside from that, Deanna deals with problems that any other pubescent male (and to an extent transwomen) would face: acne, straight girls/transmen, distance from family members, and school.
Deanna is more often than not willing to take drastic measures to get what she wants or needs, particularly when it comes to keeping up with her grades in school. She once believed that she got a bad grade on a mathematics test when she tickled her brain by sticking an army man's rifle into her nose and accidentally puncturing a lobe. She is a faster learner and more well-endowed than her mother Angie is, as she has a variety of talents, such as drawing, filmmaking, video editing, etc. She also has an encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture, films, television series, actors/actresses, tropes, making a film good or bad, etc.
Deanna can be rather easily fooled, often to the point of being oblivious to her surroundings.
Up until sometime during the sixth season, Deanna was more socially active at school than her brotherTom, having various friends, including several girls and boys, while attending Bart Peterson Junior High School, and later for sometime at Babyface Edmunds Regional High School and Quillsville Univeriity (later known as Kaufman College).
Strangely though, as the series progressed and Tom became more often seen with his group of friends, Deanna's social status was stripped to the point of being unpopular and virtually friendless at Babyface Regional High School. While just as socially looked down upon as Tom (though to a lesser extent of being bullied), Deanna is notably more confident and far less submissive than her brotther tends to be in terms of the ups and downs of adolescence, such as running for Homecoming Queen, standing up to bullies, lashing against an abusive person, acting against Ava's bossiness, and having a grudge against his parents' hurtful ways.
In one episode, Deanna's popularity increases when the school's queen king, Jason Carson, dates her. At first he does this to be more popular because of "dating a loser", but he begins to see Deanna as she really is after she says she likes him. Later in the episode, however, Deanna's popularity turns her mean and shallow, and she dumps Jason after making out with a MILF (Brandi Sousa) at a house party hosted by a freshman at Kaufman College. Jason and Tom then briefly team up to humiliate Deanna by having Trevelle Abhrams show the school a video of her and Brandi in a sex scene nude in front of a mirror, resulting in Jason regaining his popularity, while Deanna is socially demoted back to an outcast. In "another episode, Deanna gains an official friend in Trevelle Abhrams, the resident nerd and Tom's self-proclaimed love interest. Although their friendship is initially a ploy for Trevelle to get closer to Tom, Trevelle eventually feels bad for using Tom and returns to her to resume their friendship.
Father-daughter relationship theme
Many episodes in the original series focused on the development of the relationship between Deanna and Ava, a double act. Deanna is not talented as an athlete or a craftsman like her father is (although she shows signs of being a talented golfer and shooter). As a result, Ava doubts her feminity identity and normalcy, tacitly and with side-of-the-mouth remarks, often lamenting "That girl ain't right." Apparently outside of Ava's knowledge, Deanna does have the capability of physical anger, as when she twice punched the taller and stronger Connie for kissing Brandi. Deanna is saddened by her father's lack of appreciation for the arts and comedy routines. The two struggled to find common interests. However, Ava and Deanna find common interest in Indiana, vegetarians, retail, target shooting, gardening and golfing, among other things as the show progresses. Despite differences, Deanna and Ava have a close relationship. Deanna considers her father her hero and even followed in Ava's footsteps as a transgender woman. Although Deanna has a savant knack with shooting (guns), it is one particular talent Ava did not have.
Identification with Rachael Passalt and Candis Cayne
Another running gag, starting in the Sleepaway Camp remake episode "Nightmare Vacation", has Deanna defending Dirty, Sexy Money, a show featuring orginal portrayer Candis Cayne that was broadcast on ABC. When Angie (Holly Everman) denigrates that show in "Nightmare Vacation", Deanna loses her temper and storms off. Carried on in "Unhappy Quilsville Customers", though Deanna attempts to keep a cool head, she storms off again when Angie offers to tell the story of Ava's Virginity Auction, an episode of Vote for the Girls that features Rachael Passalt and her father, Julia. Both these scenes happen in the framing device of the episode and not in the interior Sleepaway Camp narrative, in which Passalt portrays Deanna as Sleepaway Camp hero Paula Thomas. In the final Sleepaway Camp parody, "Quillsville Wasteland", mocking Passalt's career provokes further anger in Deanna, who tries to defend Passalt by citing Too Wrong, Foo! as an example of a success in Cayne's career. These taunts give Deanna—in character as Paula Thomas—the conviction to fight back against Shushu/Angela Baker and Tabby/Ricky Baker (both played by Ava Zinn). In the closing scenes of the episode's framing device, Deanna gets to reverse the joke by poking fun at Ava Zinn's career, going so far as to suggest that Queen of the Willis is a rip-off of King of the Hill and Family Guy; Zinn is, however, defended by the characters whom she voices (Ava, Heather, Tabby, and Shushu).
Outside of the Sleepaway Camp-themed episodes, "Back Home Again in the Universe" plays on the running gag, but with Tabby (Zinn once more) provoking the Dirty Sexy Money universe counterpart of Deanna by asking "How does it feel to be on another network for thirty seconds?", which prompts Deanna to say "Fuck you, bitch!"
Deanna' birthday is August 18, the same day as her current voice actor, Rachael Passalt.