Seals Do Shakespeare in Theaters

Today sees the limited theatrical debut of Phil Nibbelink’s independently produced 2D-animated feature, Romeo & Juliet: Sealed With a Kiss. More than five years in the making, the pic was animated entirely by Nibbelink, a former Disney Animator, who used Flash to facilitate his hand-drawn, 2D style.

In Romeo & Juliet: Sealed With a Kiss, Shakespeare’s classic of star-crossed lovers from warring families is retold with seals. 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 goes afoul, however, 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 debuts today, 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.