Henry Selick - Quotes

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Every kid has a toy that they believe is their best friend, that they believe communicates with them, and they imagine it being alive, their toy horse or car or whatever it is. Stop-motion is the only medium where we literally can make a toy come to life, an actual object.

Every kid has a toy that they believe is their best friend, that they believe communicates with them, and they imagine it being alive, their toy horse or car or whatever it is. Stop-motion is the only medium where we literally can make a toy come to life, an actual object.

There's the animation ghetto of feature films in this country. There's this flavor at DreamWorks, and Pixar does their own thing, and generally they're safe. But if you look at Walt Disney's original films, at the time and in the context, they weren't safe. They were really dark and troubling. ---->>>

You know, I love stop-motion. I've done almost all the styles of animation: I was a 2D animator. I've done cutout animation. I did a CG short a few years ago, 'Moongirl,' for young kids. Stop-motion is what I keep coming back to, because it has a primal nature. It can never be perfect. ---->>>

CG can do anything, but it can't do everything well. What it naturally can do is special effects. But using stop-motion comes from our desire to do handmade stuff. There are always going to be kids who get out whatever it might be - clay, bits of wire, Barbie dolls, Legos. They want to tell little stories. ---->>>

Underneath this tired, middle-aged exterior, I'm an 11 year old kid. ---->>>

Morals always sound like cliches, but usually cliches are based on things that are ultimate truths. Be grateful for what you have; appreciate what's right there in front of you. ---->>>

Puppets seem like vampires sometimes. They live, and you're depleted. ---->>>

I was influenced by Ray Harryhausen and Lotte Reiniger, with her twitchy, cutout animation, which I happened to see at a very young age, but also by the Warner Bros. cartoons, 'Tom and Jerry,' and of course Disney. And also by Fellini's 'Giulietta of the Spirits' and Kurosawa's 'Ran.' And by other American illustrators and painters. ---->>>

No one's ever going to make a PG-13 animated film unless David Fincher executive produces it and puts it out on Netflix, and then if it's a success everyone will change. ---->>>

What I personally gravitate toward tends to be fantasy, medium dark - not too dark - fairy tales and sci fi. Stop-motion takes something on the page that's really dark and adds a little sweetness to it, a living toys realm. ---->>>

Very few people have made the transition from animation to live-action; I'm certainly not one. ---->>>

I have more faith in doing something creative for a cable station or something like Yahoo or Google or Amazon. What Netflix did with 'House of Cards' and David Fincher was brilliant. That is inspiring to me. I think there is more chance for creativity in animation, it just hasn't happened there yet. ---->>>

'Coraline' is Neil Gaiman's book, it sold a lot, it has a big fan base. It was originally conceived to be live action, but I never really wanted it to be. I always thought that it would work better as an animated film. ---->>>

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. ---->>>

We can still do a stop motion feature for about one-third of what it costs Pixar or DreamWorks or Blue Sky to make a feature. But nobody is interested in a film that cost $50 to 60 million with the potential to do $120 million. They want to risk big money to make huge money. ---->>>

Making 'Coraline' was one of the great filmmaking experiences of my life. ---->>>

I think that one of the things that I can do is I seem to have the ability to zoom in super tight for very small details, but then jump back for sort of that big picture perspective. And I think that ultimately, that's one of my strengths, because you have - every detail matters. ---->>>

What stop-motion does best is present real objects magically brought to life in a very imperfect situation; the hand of the artist is there, the electricity of someone touching, massaging and torturing themselves to get life out of an inanimate object. ---->>>

I feel I'm just meant to do stop-motion. Live-action is much more glamorous to some, but it's basically a whole army of people focused on one thing. ---->>>

If you're drawing humans, it can be detrimental to be too naturalistic, which is like animating little corpses. ---->>>

Kids love to be scared - there's way to do it right, and ways to do it wrong. ---->>>

People are very harsh critics of animated humans. ---->>>

Any type of animation, it could be really super crude or very sophisticated, it doesn't mean anything if we don't make this point in this shot, this one here and this one here. There's the saying, 'One shot, one thought.' It's pretty much a true way to go. ---->>>

In all animation, if it's done quickly, you'll know it. And if you're very slow and careful with it, it's going to look a little more beautiful. It's just compressing time into seconds. ---->>>

There's this long tradition of... even 'Where The Wild Things Are,' which many people consider the best kids' picture book of all time. It was considered revolutionary, and some libraries wouldn't carry it. But it's a classic because it taps into empowerment for kids, kids facing dangers and winning. ---->>>

When you're writing, it's all up to you, and you don't have to make any compromises. And when you're directing, there's this intense pleasure you get from working with all these really talented people, and pooling the efforts towards a common goal. I like all the aspects of film-making. ---->>>

As a director, I'm not the one animating every frame, every shot. I'm moving around like a surgeon on rounds, or a farmer checking in on all the plants being grown, pruning and adjusting. For me, it's a very exciting job. ---->>>

I'm meant to be an animation director. That world, and the culture of stop-motion, is where I want to live. It's more my problem than Hollywood's. I'm not attuned to Hollywood. ---->>>

Nobody does animation better than Disney; it's just that some of us wanted out of the box. Burton was one. I was another. We were the mutual complaint society. ---->>>

I think it's important that kids see another kid - Coraline - who doesn't have guns, she doesn't have super-powers, she's not a super-genius. To see a pretty normal kid - I mean, she's probably a little more curious, a little more stubborn, but she's a real kid - go up against something that's truly dark and evil and powerful. And she does win. ---->>>

Cyclops, that's like this primal fear. I had dreams for years that the Cyclops was a small creature living in our huge fish tank at home, and at night, it was going to grow to full size and come after me. ---->>>

Stop-motion is sort of twitchy; you can feel the life in it. If we were to remove that completely, there'd be no point in it. ---->>>

There's always kids who become stop motion animators. I get stuff all the time. They put it on YouTube. It's exciting to see. ---->>>

We are suffering from a glut of too many 3-D movies and not enough screens. ---->>>

While I was making 'Coraline' I barely got to see any films at all, so I've got a lot of catching up to do. ---->>>

People are always telling me that boys won't go to girls' movies and vice versa. It's not true. ---->>>

There's very few people who want to just make beautiful films that make money, when they can make films that make huge money. ---->>>

Unless you have kids, you actually have no idea what kids are watching on TV these days. ---->>>

Just like those little Viewmaster slides, there's a inherent magic that's captured in 3D that you can't get in drawn animation or in CG. ---->>>

Kids love to be scared; we all do. But there's a difference between leaving them hanging out there, with their fears, and then bringing them safely home. Kids love it when someone like them stands up against real evil, something really horrendous and frightening, and win. ---->>>

I learned my lesson that in the live-action world, you have to earn the support of people over a very, very long time. And in animation, I already have the support. ---->>>

I think stop-motion has always been semi-obsolete. And stop-motion animators - people like myself - love it so much that we're always going to be looking for new ways to make our films. ---->>>

I was at Disney for about four years, so I made good friends there. It was a time of not a lot of creativity. It was the end of the first great era, with a few of the original animators. They called them the Nine Old Men. I learned a lot from them, but it wasn't going to be a future home for me. ---->>>

I'm looking at some comedic horror films because I have often been accused of being too dark. I'm not dark, not compared with 'Saw' or anything like that. So I'm looking at live-action horror films, but not slasher ones - ones that have humor and maybe some social satire. ---->>>

My mother is a huge fan of my work. I told her about 'Coraline' long before the film was made, and she got the book and read it. She reminded me that when I was about five years old, I used to sit in the kitchen for hours and talk about my 'other' family in Africa, my other mother and father. I had totally forgotten that. ---->>>

Biography

Nationality: American
Born: 11-30, 1952
Birthplace: Glen Ridge, New Jersey, United States
Die:
Occupation: Director
Website:

Henry Selick (born November 30, 1952) is an American stop motion director, producer and writer who is best known for directing The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach and Coraline. He studied at the Program in Experimental Animation at California Institute of the Arts, under the guidance of Jules Engel (wikipedia)