Coraline Director Selick Moves on From Laika

Stop-motion animator Henry Selick is leaving his position at Portland-based studio Laika.

Selick joined the studio in 2004 as supervising director. He wrote and directed the studio’s hit 3-D feature film Coraline, which was based on a popular novella by Neil Gaiman. The film opened in February to strong reviews and grossed more than $75 million at the domestic box office.

Selick’s departure comes at the expiration of his contract with the studio. The news was announced in a statement by studio president Travis Knight.

‘Henry is a brilliant, inspirational, and visionary artist whose contributions are indelibly etched into the very DNA of Laika,’ says Travis Knight. ‘We are tremendously proud of what we created together. Throughout our five years of collaboration, Henry has been variously my director, my mentor, and my friend. I will miss him and wish him well in his future projects.’

LAIKA owner and Chairman Philip H. Knight adds, ‘We’re so proud of what the studio has achieved with Coraline. Laika and Henry have created a classic film, one that will entertain movie lovers for generations to come. Henry’s skill and talent inspired a supremely gifted company of artists and his contributions are deeply appreciated.’

‘Making Coraline was one of the great filmmaking experiences of my life,’ said Selick in a statement. ‘I appreciate the commitment that Laika and the Knights have made to stop-motion filmmaking and wish them continued success.’

Selick will continue to work with Laika and distributor Focus Features to promote Coraline through the upcoming awards season. Selick’s previous films include The Nightmare Before Christmas and Monkeybone.

Laika will continue to make animated features, and is expected to announce its next stop-motion project soon.

The company also is developing a CG-animated feature, though since that project will not be the next one the studio greenlights, it recently let go about 60 staff members in its CG department.