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Thread: The Shadow King Is Trying To Escape The Disney Vaults

  1. #1
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    Default The Shadow King Is Trying To Escape The Disney Vaults

    I believe that a good deal of actual animation had been completed for Henry Selick's stop motion feature The Shadow King before Disney pulled the plug and wrote off their $50 million investment. The axe swinging would suggest pretty strongly that this would not be an easy film to market, but none of that means it wouldn't actually be rather tremendous.

    Just check out this plot blurb, and then imagine it rendered in stop motion of Selick's caibre:
    The Shadow King is a deliciously magical tale about nine-year-old New York orphan Hap who hides his fantastically weird hands with long fingers from a cruel world. But when a living shadow girl teaches him to make amazing hand shadows that come to life, his hands become incredible weapons in a shadow war against a ravenous monster bent on killing Hap?s brother Richard and ultimately destroying New York.
    Surely that alone would sell tickets? If all this film had for a poster was that blurb, typed out in totally bland type on a big bit of white paper, I still think there'd be an audience.

    And it's bound to look great too with Peter Sorg as cinematographer and Monsters Inc. and The Incredibles' Lou Romano in charge of production design.

    Selick has now working with the sales agents at K5 international to try and get the project going again with new funding. From the press release cut and paste at Deadline, it does seem that they'll be able to retrieve work from Disney rather than start again. There's also a hint that animation has started up again:
    The Shadow King until recently in hiatus after Disney exited the project, is already a good way into production.

    K5 International is bringing Henry Selick to the European Film Market at Berlin to conduct special presentations to selected buyers with exclusive clips from the film screened behind closed doors as part of the presentation.
    Surely somebody will take a punt on what might be the next, forever money-makingNightmare Before Christmas-type hit?

    Stop motion animation is a famously time consuming process. What might be less well considered is how intense each of the hours, minutes, even seconds actually are. Acting in real time is a skill; acting one frame at a time takes a truly extraordinary skill set.

    I know there must be a good number of animators out there who worked on this film, poured their heart and soul into it in the tiniest incremental drips and drops. For their sake - as well as mine, and Selick's, but mainly mine, I have to admit - I'm pulling hard for this one.I want to see this film.

  2. #2
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    I'd like to see it too, but with the soft numbers that 2012's stop motion films did*; I won't hold my breath.

    *Comments above refer to box office only. I like stop motion and I liked the stop motion films I saw last year. Unfortunately, they weren't a license to print money for the studios that released them... Just don't yell at me!
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    Henry Selick did an X-men spinoff?
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    It's so extremely disappointing that studio marketing departments have no idea what to do with really great films. Not that this is necessarily a great film (sounds wonderful though), but it pisses me off when production is halted or scripts are passed over because the marketing hacks don't know how to do their damn job and sell the public on a new concept. Then marketing dept always seems to be in the way.

    These days every film poster looks the same, every trailer is cut the same, every film has a similar tag-line. It's depressing.

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    Zen Master of Cool Thad's Avatar
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    Thanks for keeping on this, Brendon; I, too, really want to see this film.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alekesam View Post
    Henry Selick did an X-men spinoff?
    Good to know that I'm not the only one thinking along the lines "Disney REALLY had to have Marvel, eh?".
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    Quote Originally Posted by malonine View Post
    It's so extremely disappointing that studio marketing departments have no idea what to do with really great films. Not that this is necessarily a great film (sounds wonderful though), but it pisses me off when production is halted or scripts are passed over because the marketing hacks don't know how to do their damn job and sell the public on a new concept. Then marketing dept always seems to be in the way.

    These days every film poster looks the same, every trailer is cut the same, every film has a similar tag-line. It's depressing.
    I agree with most of this. I mean, bad advertising/not knowing how to sell a movie isn't really new or recent. A lot of really good projects have been killed in Hollywood's long and illustrious career due to not knowing how to sell it to the audience. Part of the problem isn't even the marketers (the guys who actually are paid to do it), it's the guys who pay them to do it that's more the issue since they're the ones constantly going "Ou Ou, movie x sold like gangbusters! Make this poster/trailer/commercial like that!"
    Living my life to be like Jesse Custer but when I look in the mirror all I see is Cassidy. How I ended up with Tulip anyways, God only knows.

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    Quote Originally Posted by malonine View Post
    It's so extremely disappointing that studio marketing departments have no idea what to do with really great films. Not that this is necessarily a great film (sounds wonderful though), but it pisses me off when production is halted or scripts are passed over because the marketing hacks don't know how to do their damn job and sell the public on a new concept. Then marketing dept always seems to be in the way.

    These days every film poster looks the same, every trailer is cut the same, every film has a similar tag-line. It's depressing.
    Well, I think it has to do w/more than that.

    None of Tim Burton's animated films made money in the theaters. And only Nightmare has had any longevity. Frankenweenie was truly awful, an obviously half-hearted attempt (very clicky animation in many scenes) in spite of its nods to cinematic history and the creative idea to (probably save money and) put several great actors behind multiple roles.

    And while Selick's Coraline was critically praised (in spite of a meandering story and complete lack of character growth), none of his movies have made money either.

    This could've simply been a numbers game.
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    Why plow 50 MILLION in a movie only to kill it?

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