Will Vinton, Stop-Motion Legend And Claymation Creator: Dead At 70

In the early-2000’s, Nike co-founder Phil Knight turned an investor in Vinton’s studio, and inside a couple of years, Knight ousted Vinton and positioned his son Travis in command of the operation. The studio reformed as Laika, the four-time Oscar-nominated studio chargeable for movies like Coraline and Kubo and the Two Strings.

After having his firm taken away from him, Vinton labored on quite a lot of tasks – he government produced the cg animated function The Wild, created the Dark Horse graphic novel Jack Hightower, wrote the musical The Kiss, and developed animation tasks by way of his firm Freewill Entertainment.

Despite the acrimonious finish of his first firm, Vinton had made peace with the state of affairs. Asked by the Portland Tribune earlier this yr what he considered Laika, he informed them, “People ask me and I tell them I’m delighted that Laika, which has deep pockets, can take on these projects and move them and pay people well and keep the animation industry going. It’s never easy to run a creative business. We always had to be profitable, which was a huge challenge. I envy the situation that Travis Knight is under.”

A function size documentary, Welcome to my Daydream, directed by Marq Evans, is presently in manufacturing.

Here is the complete assertion from his youngsters about his passing:

This morning our father, Will Vinton, handed away surrounded by love from his household. Will had endured a 12 yr battle with Multiple Myeloma, though you by no means would have recognized of this battle. For the overwhelming majority of that point he continued ahead in his life with power, positivity, and humor, having fun with tropical get-aways, shepherding new artistic ventures, and caring for his two sons, daughter and spouse. Will was the strongest man we’ve got ever recognized, each in his work ethic and his psychological resolve. He all the time stated, “Do good work and everything else will follow,” and he by no means gave up on the issues that have been necessary to him. He noticed the world as an imaginative playground filled with fantasy, pleasure, and character. He instilled in us the best values of creativity, power, and satisfaction in ones personal work. He created tales and characters full of laughter, music, and highly effective classes which are globally beloved. He brightened any room together with his signature mustache, and he continued to make jokes and snort till the very finish. His work will reside on in animation historical past and can proceed to encourage artistic thinkers and makers.

We grieve closely as our dad leaves a gap in our lives that shall be inconceivable to fill. His needs have been for us to proceed the tasks he had began; we’ll attempt our greatest to take action. We will honor him in our personal work and attempt to all the time embody his classes. We ask that his passing be a celebration of his life and work. He wouldn’t need us to be unhappy or discouraged, however moderately to have fun the marvel and great thing about life in his identify. We ask for help and understanding for our household throughout this time.

We love you Dad – Billy, Jesse & Alex

Former studio artists are sharing their condolences on social media. Hal Hickel, who labored at Vinton’s earlier than happening to develop into animation supervisor on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Pacific Rim, and animation director on Rango, wrote on Twitter:

Another former worker, Craig Bartlett, who created the Nickelodeon collection Hey Arnold!, wrote on Facebook:

Craig Bartlett.

Will Vinton.
Will Vinton.

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