Selick on a panel at South by Southwest in March 2009
Charles Henry Selick
November 30, 1952
Glen Ridge, New Jersey, U.S.
California Institute of the Arts
Charles Henry Selick (//; born November 30, 1952) is an American stop motion director, producer, and writer who is best known for directing the stop-motion animation films The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), James and the Giant Peach (1996), Coraline (2009), and his upcoming stop-motion film Wendell and Wild (2021) with Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key. He studied at the Program in Experimental Animation at California Institute of the Arts, under the guidance of Jules Engel. In April 2019, Diego Molano, creator of Victor & Valentino, called Selick one of his "animation idols."
Selick was born in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, the son of Melanie (née Molan) and Charles H. Selick. He was raised in Rumson. Selick did little but draw from ages 3 to 12. His fascination with animation came at a young age, when he saw Lotte Reiniger's stop-motion film The Adventures of Prince Achmed and the animated creatures of The 7th Voyage of Sinbad by Ray Harryhausen. He graduated from Rumson-Fair Haven High School in 1970.
After studying science at Rutgers University in New Brunswick and art at Syracuse University and Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, Selick eventually enrolled at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) to study animation. His two student films there, Phases and Tube Tales, were nominated for Student Academy Awards.
After his academic studies, he went to work for Walt Disney Studios as an "in-betweener" and animator trainee on such films as Pete's Dragon and The Small One. He became a full-fledged animator under Glen Keane on The Fox and the Hound. During his time at Disney, he met and worked around the likes of Tim Burton, Rick Heinrichs, Jorgen Klubien, Brad Bird, John Musker, Dan Haskett, Sue and Bill Kroyer, Ed Gombert, and Andy Gaskill. Years later, he claimed he learned a lot to improve his drawing, animation, and storytelling skills from Disney legend Eric Larson.
Selick's third feature was Monkeybone, a live action/stop-motion adaptation of an underground comic. The film was a flop both commercially and critically.
Selick's first feature with LAIKA was Coraline, based on the novel Coraline by acclaimed author Neil Gaiman, and released in 2009. It was the first stereoscopic stop-motion animated movie. The film received generally positive reviews from critics. Coraline was nominated for an Academy Award, a BAFTA, and a Golden Globe, all for Best Animated Feature.
Working with Pixar and present work
Selick left Laika in 2009. In 2010, Selick joined with Pixar and The Walt Disney Company in a long-term contract to exclusively produce stop-motion films. This not only returned Selick to his original roots, but also reunited Selick with numerous former friends and co-animators. His new studio, called "Cinderbiter Productions", was self-described as "a new stop motion company whose mandate is to make great, scary films for young 'uns with a small, tight-knit crew who watch each other’s backs."
Selick and Cinderbiter's first film under this deal, a project called ShadeMaker, was set to be released on October 4, 2013. In 2011, The Shadow King was green-lit for production. In August 2012, it was reported that, after spending a reported $50 million, Walt Disney Pictures canceled the project, due to "a creative and scheduling standpoint, the pic wasn't where it needed to be to meet its planned release date." Selick now had the option to shop the project to another studio.
In February 2013, it was reported in a press release by Selick that K5 International would be handling sales at the European Film Market. It is unknown when the film will actually be released. In August 2016, a rep for Selick said the film is "in turnaround again" while Selick is continuing work on his other two projects: A Tale Dark and Grimm, and Wendell and Wild. As of 2020, there have been no updates, and the original sets and puppets have presumably been destroyed.
On 28 April 2012, it was announced that Disney had optioned the rights for Neil Gaiman's novel The Graveyard Book. Later that same day, it was announced that Selick would direct the film after work was completed on ShadeMaker. It is currently unknown if the adaptation will be live action or stop motion. After the studio and Selick parted ways over scheduling and development, it was announced in January 2013 that Ron Howard will direct the film.
On November 3, 2015, it was reported that Selick is developing Wendell and Wild, a new stop-motion feature with Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key based on an original story by Selick. In 2018, the film was picked up by Netflix.
In June 2017, Selick was reported to direct the pilot and subsequent episodes of a Little Nightmares TV adaptation produced by the Russo Brothers. The release date of this adaptation was not revealed.
|1993||The Nightmare Before Christmas||Yes||No||No||Written by Tim Burton|
|1996||James and the Giant Peach||Yes||Yes||No|
|2021||Wendell and Wild||Yes||Yes||Yes||Post-production|
|TBA||Little Nightmares||Yes||No||No||TV series|
|1991||Slow Bob in the Lower Dimensions||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2005||Moongirl||Yes||Yes||No||Also voice actor|
- The Small One (1978)
- Animalympics (1980) (uncredited)
- The Fox and the Hound (1981) (uncredited)
- Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore (1983) (uncredited)
- Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983) (uncredited)
- The Black Cauldron (1985) (uncredited)
- The Great Mouse Detective (1986) (uncredited)
- Pete's Dragon (1977) (inbetweener)
- The Watcher in the Woods (1980) (designer of the alien)
- Tron (1982) (uncredited storyboard artist)
- Twice Upon a Time (1983) (sequence director)
- Return to Oz (1985) (storyboard artist)
- Nutcracker: The Motion Picture (1986) (visual adaptation)
- The Brave Little Toaster (1987) (uncredited storyboard artist)
- MTV ID's: "Gravity", "Masks '87", "Dollhouse M", "Bath for Dad", "Haircut M", "Xerox Bug" (1987-1990)
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) (inbetweener)
- The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) (visual effects)
- Prop Culture (2020) (himself) Episode: "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas"
- Molano, Diego (April 25, 2019). "Animated People: Diego Molano, Creator of Cartoon Network's 'Victor and Valentino'" (Interview). Interviewed by Animation Magazine staff. Calabasas, California: Animation Magazine. Archived from the original on April 26, 2020. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
- Block, Maxine; Rothe, Anna Herthe; Candee, Marjorie Dent (2009). Current Biography Yearbook - Google Books. Retrieved 2013-08-09 – via Google Books.
- "CHARLES H. SELICK, 80, of RUMSON". Asbury Park Press. May 4, 2006.
- Beckerman, Jim. "A FUZZY NIGHTMARE, BROUGHT TO SCREEN", The Record (Bergen County), April 7, 1996. Accessed December 13, 2007. "We were literally rolling a 20-foot peach, says Selick, a Rumson native..."
- Staff. "Filmmakers, students present their work at annual film festival", The Monmouth Journal, June 19, 2019. Accessed October 4, 2019. "In February, the Film Club went to a local theater complex to view Coraline, a major feature film created by another RFH graduate. Henry Selick, RFH Class of 1970, adapted the children's story for the screen and directed the stop-action animation film that some theaters showed in 3-D."
- "Henry Selick biography". Tribute.ca.
- Dunlop, Renee. 12 February 2009 Coraline; One Step at a Time for the Puppet of a Thousand Faces Archived 2012-03-27 at WebCite
- Kapko, Matt (October 6, 2009). "Breaking News: Henry Selick Leaves Laika". Animation World Network. Retrieved November 12, 2009.
- Cunningham, Joe. "Henry Selick To Join Disney/Pixar". Front Row Reviews. Retrieved 2013-08-09.
- Amidi, Amid (2010-12-20). "Henry Selick's New Studio Cinderbiter Hiring Head of Story". Cartoon Brew. Archived from the original on 2012-04-05. Retrieved 2013-08-09.
- "Disney Setting Marvel and Pixar Mystery Films for 2014; New Henry Selick Film on October 4, 2013 | Collider | Page 108082". Collider. Retrieved 2013-08-09.
- staff (February 4, 2013). "Henry Selick revives 'Shadow King': Josh Penn produces stop-motion project". Variety. Retrieved March 8, 2013.
- Fritz, Ben (September 13, 2012). "Disney takes $50 million write-down on canceled animation project". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 8, 2013.
- Graser, Marc. "Disney pulls plug on Selick stop-motion pic". Variety. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- Goldberg, Matt (February 5, 2013). "Henry Selick's THE SHADOW KING Finally Moves Forward; Plot Synopsis Revealed". Collider. Retrieved March 9, 2013.
- Rome, Emily (August 25, 2016). "'Kubo' studio Laika moves forward while 'Coraline' fans wait for the next project from Henry Selick". Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- "Disney Acquires Neil Gaiman's 'The Graveyard Book' Adaptation [Updated]". Screenrant.com. Retrieved 2013-08-09.
- "Ron Howard in Talks to Direct Disney's 'Graveyard Book' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. January 22, 2013. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
- "Henry Selick Gives Up Animation For "A Tale Dark and Grimm"". 16 October 2013.
- Flores, Terry (3 November 2015). "Henry Selick, Key & Peele Developing Animated Feature 'Wendell and Wild' (EXCLUSIVE)".
- Mike Fleming Jr. "Netflix Wins Stop-Motion Animated 'Wendell And Wild': Henry Selick, Jordan Peele, Keegan-Michael Key Aboard".
- Kit, Borys (12 June 2017). "The Russo Brothers Adapting Video Game 'Little Nightmares' for TV (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
- Trumbore, Dave (November 6, 2018). "Netflix Sets Guillermo del Toro's 'Pinocchio' and Henry Selick's 'Wendell & Wild' for 2021". Collider. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
- "Preserved Projects". Academy Film Archive.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Henry Selick.|
- Henry Selick on IMDb
- Layers: A Look at Henry Selick
- Director's Bio
- HENRY SELICK - Slow Bob in the Lower Dimensions
- The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
- Selick Talks Vinton Projects
- Henry Selick talks "Coraline" - They Might be Giants to compose music for the film; the casting includes British actresses Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders
- Selick To Direct Coraline