Best known for directing The Nightmare Before Christmas and James And The Giant Peach, Henry Selick is a modern day master of stop motion animation. His latest movie Coraline is based on Neil Gaiman’s spooky book for children and marks his first foray into 3-D. While chatting to us about the new movie, Selick also revealed what really happened with a certain Fox and hints at another collaboration with Gaiman.
What happened with your withdrawal from Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr Fox?
“While originally I was going to be part of Fantastic Mr Fox, when Coraline got greenlit I had to tell Wes Anderson ‘well, sorry’. But I recommended an animation supervisor for him and several of the animators coming off Coraline have come on to Fantastic Mr Fox. So sideways I have had a little bit of a hand but not too much.”
What are your future moviemaking plans?
“I haven’t chosen my next project. I loved working with Neil and we’re certainly in talks about maybe doing another one. There are other things that have come to me, an original story as well, but I can’t tell you because I don’t know what’s next to me.”
Selick’s new film Coraline debuts in December. He was scheduled to work with Wes on The Fantastic Mr. Fox, but scheduling conflicts with Coraline prevented a second collaboration.
Wes was mentioned in a recent article in The Guardian (U.K.):
Soundtracks and musical scores fit a specific purpose. However, what I find interesting are scores that go beyond their specific purpose and take on multiple lives.
Film soundtracks have always had the power to impact culturally. From the obvious: Ennio Morricone’s theme to the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, or dialogue from Scarface – to the less obvious: Wes Anderson reusing Sven Libaek’s Shark Theme in the Life Aquatic (a score that in turn found itself on a Volvo Advert).
Using a film sample or being under the influence of a score will almost always result in the adjective “cinematic” being used to describe a band’s sound. It’s a rich tradition in hip-hop, rock and dance, and I enjoy the approximation and interpolation of movies and music (link).
[about this]. Roman said they are both very smart, and he really liked them. And the old man said that he liked these brothers, that the movie is from their point of view traveling through India. And she doesn’t like them, but she also felt that the film exploited people in India. And I always feel like, that makes me unhappy to hear anybody say that because we went to India because I was fascinated with this country. We fell in love with it. We are tourists there; that’s all we can ever be there. But we’re tourists who are very interested in this culture and learning about it. It’s a place where people who go there and like it tend to love it, and the people who love it tend to want to go back. There is more religion, more variety of religion, more practice of religion, more rituals there than any place else I’ve ever experienced. I think that’s why people go on pilgrimages there because it’s a place where, if you’re open to it and interested it will genuinely have quite and impact on you just because of the intensity of the place. I’ve always found that I had very emotional experiences there, but then you get sensitive and wonder if that sounds kind of naive. I don’t know. I just hate to sound self-protective and defensive; I’d rather just express our real feelings about it….
It’s taken us a long time to get this [Fantastic Mr. Fox] going, but we finally got it going. Noah Baumbach and I adapted it. George Clooney is going to play Mr. Fox. We’ve just started working on it in England, and it’s going. We have a guy named Mark Gustafson directing the animation. Henry [THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS] Selick was going to do it originally but over time that didn’t work out because Henry has his own thing he’s directing [CORALINE, based on Neil Gaiman's novel]….
I think the closest thing to compare it to is that Eastern European stuff, because the animals are going to have fur, and the sets are meant to look kind of like real life. So it’s more in the vein….
[about the Criterion Collection DVD] That’s right. We just have to do a lot of work to prepare it, but that’s in the works. I was supposed to do a bunch of stuff already that I didn’t do yet, so I’m going to get on it though. But some of the stuff is at my mother’s house in Texas, so I have to go to Texas and dig through all my boxes, because there’s materials for the movies that I haven’t looked at in a long, long time. And we want to try and include everything that might be good….
Jason’s new album Nighttiming is available as an MP3 download on Amazon.com. Buy it here — it supports the site.
574 Henry Selick, the fantastic animation artist, will be appearing at the Platform International Animation Festival in Portland, Oregon.
An Afternoon with Henry Selick
Saturday, 30 June
Newmark Theatre (Portland, Oregon)
Mr. Selick worked with Wes on The Life Aquatic. He was scheduled to work with Wes on The Fantastic Mr. Fox, though some sources have cast doubt on this collaboration. His current project is called Coraline. If anyone plans to attend, please report any Wes related news to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The (alleged) script for The Fantastic Mr. Fox (March 2007 edit) has been floating around. There was also an (alleged) script for The Darjeeling Limited (at natalieportman.com no less), which has been removed. I have no sense of how developed these scripts are (or if they are legitimate). I don’t plan to post any of these on the site (for personal and legal reasons). There has been some discussion of this subject as of late on the forum.
The script for Wes Anderson‘s stop-motion animated film, “The Fantastic Mr. Fox,” has leaked. The follow-up to the-not-yet-released, “The Darjeeling Limited, ” Anderson and ‘Life Aquatic’ c0-writer, Noah Baumbach adapted the script from the original Roald Dahl children’s novel. George Clooney and Cate Blanchett will voice the lead characters and rumors have it that Anjelica Huston and Jason Schwartzman will join the cast. Celebrated animator Henry Selick, apparently the real force behind “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” was scheduled to work on the film, but has allegedly moved on to other projects (namely Neil Gaiman’s “Coraline”).