Variety reports that Henry Selick (who wrote and directed last year’s Oscar-nominated stop-motion hit CORALINE) has signed a deal to make films for Disney-Pixar. Selick worked for Disney back in the 1990s on TIM BURTON’S A NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS and JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH. The later film was a box office disappointment, prompting a Disney exec to conclude that there was no future for stop-motion.
Fortunately, decades alter, Disney’s animation head honcho John Lasseter feels differently. Ironically, Lasseter created Pixar animation, whose computer-animated blockbusters such as TOY STORY seemed to sound the death knell for stop-motion. Hiring Selick to make stop-motion films is part of Lasseter’s recent strategy of reviving old-fashioned, traditional forms of animation, which also includes the hand-drawn cell animation used in last year’s THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG.