Phil Nibbelink’s independently produced 2D-animated feature, Romeo & Juliet: Sealed With a Kiss, will begin a limited theatrical run on Friday, Oct. 27. Nibbelink, a former Disney Animator, spent five years taking on the Herculean task of animating the film by himself using Flash to keep the hand-drawn look alive and well in the age of CG.
Set in the aquatic world of seals, Romeo & Juliet: Sealed With a Kiss is a retelling of Shakespeare’s classic tale about two star-crossed lovers from warring families. When Juliet’s father gives her hand in marriage to the monstrous elephant seal Prince, Juliet must fake her death in order to be reunited with Romeo. The plan, however, goes afoul and our heroes embark on a desperate race against time with some help from friends Friar Lawrence and a kissing fish named Kissy.
While at Disney, Nibbelink animated on The Fox and the Hound, The Black Cauldron, Basil the Great Mouse Detective and Oliver and Company, and was a directing animator in London on Who Framed Roger Rabbit. He later teamed with Steven Spielberg to form Amblimation in London, where he directed An American Tail: Fievel Goes West and We’re Back. In 1998, he started Phil Nibbelink Prods. with his wife, Margit Friesacher, as producer. After making direct to video films such as Puss in Boots and Leif Ericson: The Boy Who Discovered America, the duo dove into making a 77-minute 35mm animated family film with Nibbelink handling all the animation and lending his voice to the production.
Romeo & Juliet: Sealed With a Kiss is set to debut on Oct. 27 in a handful of theaters in Los Angeles and Northern California. To see a list of theaters, view the trailer and learn more about the movie, go to www.romeoandjulietfilm.com.