"Coraline" Director: Even "Avatar" Part of "Golden Age of Animation" - NBC Bay Area
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"Coraline" Director: Even "Avatar" Part of "Golden Age of Animation"



    Film fans can complain about the quality of movies out there, but when it comes to animated flicks, Hollywood keeps outdoing itself. So when "Coraline" director Henry Selick says it's an honor just to be nominated for a Best Animated Feature Oscar, he really means it.

    "I think this has been the best year yet," Selick told Popcorn Biz about the animation world, "with the widest range of well-made films in all animation techniques. It's very stiff competition."

    "I've been around for long enough and I consider this to be the Golden Age of Animation," said Selick, whose credits include "James and the Giant Peach" and "The Nightmare Before Christmas."

    His tale of a child's dream gone awry is in contrast to the safer animation flicks of recent times. "Right now you could propose making an animated film that's edgier, more artistic, and someone would be interested in making it," says Selick. "I don't know how long this will last."

    This growth covers a wide range of animation techniques, from the stop-motion techniques of "Coraline" to the computer-animated "Up" -- and the motion capture of "Avatar" which many would not consider an animation film.

    "But I happen to know no matter what the directors captures -- a bunch of very talented animators have to then make it work," said Selick. "The animators have to put the life back that the motion capture took out. It is a hybrid form of animation. And it's getting better and better."

    Selick, who praised TV animation, and in particular Nick's "Adult Swim," also hinted that he's not about to depart from the creepy motif he's known for.

    "We have to up the scares," Selick says, looking ahead. "The audience is getting used to it. If you saw some of the animated shows on television, you'd be amazed where they go."