Animation fans get happy – Henry Selick is going back to Disney. The man who last made the Oscar-nominated Coraline at the indie company Laika got his start at the Mouse House, where he shared offices in the late ‘70s with the likes of John Lasseter and Brad Bird.
He got his first crack at directing for the company too, with the landmark Nightmare Before Christmas, which continues to earn a tidy profit for Mickey. But then came James And The Giant Peach, which didn’t do so well, and saw Disney shut down the stop-motion department.
"I'll quote Dick Cook right after James And The Giant Peach was finished. He said, 'We don't believe this is a viable medium anymore, and we're not going to do it'," Selick tells Variety. "A few years later they shut down 2D. It's great that both of those things are back."
And how! Lasseter has tempted him to come back with the promise of creative freedom and his own setup close enough to Pixar that he’ll be able to get the feedback of the company’s “brain trust” (including the likes of Bird, Andrew Stanton and Pete Docter) but still able to do his own work and keep animating in stop motion.
Anything that lets Selick be Selick – and keeps him producing work like Nightmare and Coraline – is surely A Good Thing.