Nightmare Director Selick Joins Vinton

Award-winning director/writer Henry Selick has joined Vinton Studios as supervising director. The man behind such feaures as The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach and Monkeybone will play a key role in Vinton’s aggressive move into feature film development and production. Selick joined Vinton Studios on May 17th and will immediately direct a CG short film titled Moongirl while also developing feature projects.

Selick comments, "Vinton Studios holds a unique and venerable position in the television and feature film arenas. Vinton is known for working creatively in the CG world as well as stop-motion animation, and this double strength will help us forge a unique tone for our films."

Selic recently adapted Neil Gaiman’s best-selling novel, Coraline, for Bill Mechanic’s Pandemonium and plans to direct the feature which will blend live action with animated elements. He also directed stop-motion animation shots for Wes Anderson’s upcoming feature, The Life Aquatic, starring Bill Murray.

Selick earned his animation stripes at Disney, becoming a full-fledged animator under Glen Keane on Disney’s Fox and the Hound. With a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, he then made an independent short film titled Seepage. From there, he directed a series of award-winning commercials for Pillsbury and Ritz Crackers and created a series of MTV station IDs. At MTV, he also produced a six-minute pilot for an animated series called Slow Bob in the Lower Dimensions for MTV. The pilot took the top prize in its category at the Ottawa Int’l Animation Festival and attracted the attention of director Tim Burton.

Vinton Studios is co-producer of Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, a stop-motion animated feature slated for release by Warner Bros. in 2005. The Studio executive produced the Emmy Award-winning primetime animated television series, The PJs, with Imagine Ent. and Eddie Murphy, in association with Warner Bros. Television, and the stop-motion primetime series Gary and Mike, in association with Big Ticket Television, for the UPN network. In September 2003, Phil Knight, co-founder and CEO of Nike, acquired Vinton Studios and holds the position of Chairman of the Board.

Will Vinton, the founder of the 28-year-old Portland animation house, was let go last April as the result of a larger restructuring of the company.