The director of such celebrated kiddy fare as The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach, and Coraline is putting together his own production studio in San Francisco. Their first project, Shademaker, looks to frighten children and is already boasting some impressive talent behind the scenes. A job recruitment post for the production dug up by Cartoon Brew says this:

“Cinderbiter is 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. Joining Henry on Cinderbiter’s first production will be veteran team member Eric Leighton and the celebrated production designer, Lou Romano. That’s right – Lou Romano!”

Cinderbiter has since been renamed to Shademaker Productions, but clearly the important bit of info in that blurb is Lou Romano. He is a production designer who has worked on Pixar projects like Cars, Up, and Ratatouille. Pixar is probably the most successful movie studio going today and Selick’s films have legions of devoted fans (even if 90% of them think that Tim Burton made his movies).

A team-up of Henry Selick and one of the Pixar brains is probably a dream-team for a lot of animation nerds. This is going to be like the Laugh Olympics of cool cartoon making. Only except for making children smile they’re going to, you know, terrify them. Depending on your parenting philosophy, this could be one to look forward to. I know if I had little kids I’d be trying to freak them out by taking them to stuff like this (in between at home viewings of Predator and The Exorcist).

The partnership might also extend beyond Romano. Cole double checked with a Disney contact, and Selick signed a deal with Pixar last year to direct several films for them. Shademaker Productions may very well be the factory that will create those Selick/Pixar movies.

What do you think?


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