During Monday’s keynote panel at SIGGRAPH, which featured top Toon Town vets from major studios, acclaimed stop-motion film director Henry Selick (Coraline, The Nightmare Before Christmas) touched on the opportunities and challenges in the industry today—including the box office pressure on studios that keeps animation directors from taking creative risks, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“Having to make a blockbuster every time puts unhealthy pressure on creatives. The pressure on the filmmakers is so intense I think it stifles the creativity,” Selick opined, adding: “I can’t imagine another Fantasia being made today…I’m hopeful there will be a breakthrough and one big studio will force [the filmmakers] to try something new.”
The director, known for his darkly beautiful aesthetic, also urged animators to explore the potential of new platforms, including YouTube channels and Netflix.
The keynote panel, presented in collaborations with AMPAS, was part of the Marc Davis Lecture series which explore the challenges of feature film animation. Pixar’s Pete Docter (Up), DreamWorks’ Chris Sanders (The Croods), The Simpsons‘ David Silverman (The Longest Daycare), Ron Clements (Aladdin), director/animator Eric Goldberg, DWA’s Kevin Lima (upcoming Monkeys of Mumbai), DWA’s Mike Mitchell (upcoming Trolls) and Kirk Wise (Disney’s Beauty and the Beast) joined Selick in promoting the fundamentals of 2D animation, regardless of the technology of the day, and in encouraging animators to take the time to expand their horizons with reading, music and travel to further hone their creative voice.