'Coraline' Director Henry Selick Returning To Disney

Henry Selick returning to Disney

Fans of stop-motion director, producer and writer, Henry Selick (Coraline, The Nightmare Before Christmas), will be glad to hear this piece of news that was announced recently: Selick is returning to the House of the Mouse.

Selick started his animation career at Disney in the late 1970s but didn't make his directorial debut until 1993 with Disney's The Nightmare Before Christmas (a lot of people mistakenly think Tim Burton directed that movie). This new deal will bring Selick back to Disney, where he will both write and direct animated feature films for Disney/Pixar. Some of the features will be original material, while others will be based on literary properties.

Along with this being a good and expansive move for Pixar, it's also a personal gain for Selick, as he will be reunited with old friends at Pixar, including studio head John Lasseter and director Brad Bird (The Incredibles).

Selick said in a statement:

"I first met John Lasseter when we were classmates at CalArts... I've watched with awe and amazement as Pixar created a new way to make animated movies with computers."

After being spotted in recent months at Pixar's Emeryville, California studio, Selick will set up shop in the Bay Area to begin writing and directing movies. Fans of Selick will be glad to hear he will continue the stop-motion style that he's become synonymous with. There's no mention if any of the films he does at Disney/Pixar will be computer animated, but I wouldn't be surprised if Selick tried his hand at it.

[caption id="attachment_52026" align="aligncenter" width="570" caption="Henry Selick with Tim Burton on the set of The Nightmare Before Christmas"][/caption]

Almost as quickly as Selick made a success of The Nightmare Before Christmas in 1993, his next film, James and the Giant Peach, was a box office failure and effectively ended Disney's involvement with stop-motion animated movies.  Selick said:

"I'll quote Dick Cook right after 'James and the Giant Peach' was finished. He said, 'We don't believe this is a viable medium anymore, and we're not going to do it... A few years later they shut down 2D. It's great that both of those things are back."

It's funny how these things work: Disney stopped doing 2D and stop-motion animated movies, but now the two styles seem to be coming back into fashion. At least four stop-motion movies were produced last year - Coraline (by far the most financially successful), Fantastic Mr. Fox, Mary and Max and A Town Called Panic - and Disney put out the Oscar-nominated 2D animation film, The Princess and the Frog.

henry selick disney pixar coraline

I'm very glad that we're back to having more than just CGI animated movies and Henry Selick is definitely one of the primary figures of the impressive stop-motion style. I'm very much looking forward to seeing what kinds of movies he creates under the unstoppable Disney/Pixar brand (although it's unclear whether Selick's features will be released under that banner or separate one).

What do you think of Henry Selick returning to Disney? Are you a fan of his trademark stop-motion animation style?

Source: Variety (via /Film)

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