Disney Pulls the Plug on Latest from Henry Selick; Stop-Motion Fans Cry Bitter Tears

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It’s a sad day for stop-motion animation. The latest project from Henry Selick, the director behind Coraline, James and the Giant Peach and The Nightmare Before Christmas (no, that wasn’t Tim Burton) has had his latest project canned by Disney.

The film, as yet untitled, had been in production for over a year and was slated for a October 2013 release date, which there was apparently no way Selick was going to be able to meet. While it may seem a bit extreme for Disney to pull the plug entirely, the director has a history of viewing budgets and deadlines more like guidelines than actual rules, and of course stop-motion animation is a lengthy, expensive process no matter who’s doing it. It’s not hard to imagine how Disney’s a bit gun-shy of ever-expanding budgets post-John Carter, anyways.

There’s been no word yet that the state of this film will have any effect on Selick’s next Disney project, an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book. Fingers crossed that that one will go ahead as planned.

While Disney canceling the film makes perfect sense from a business standpoint, I prefer to put on my conspiracy theorist goggles and say that the film-that-was-not-to-be—of which no title, plot info or concept art has yet been released–was dropped because Disney found out the villain is a zombified Mickey Mouse doppelgänger who kidnaps children from their homes and subjects them to A Clockwork Orange-style brainwashing. Which is almost certainly not true (… or is it?), but we might not find out for sure unless/until Selick is successful in getting the film picked up by another studio.

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