Running time:96 minutes
Director:Marq Evans
Release date:Not communicated
A modern day Walt Disney, Will Vinton took a ball of clay and saw a world of potential. Known as the Father of Clay, Vinton revolutionized the world of animation in the 1980s and 1990s. But after 30 years of being the unsung king of clay, Will Vinton's carefully sculpted American dream has crumbled.

Mulder's Review

As much as Walt Disney's name speaks to everyone, Will Vinton's name might not speak to anyone. Yet behind this name hides one of the greatest animation studios that existed from the end of the 90's to 2002 when Will Pinton was fired from the studios he had created and they passed under the control of Phil Knight (founder of Nike, Inc. ) and his son Travis who worked as an animator to become Laika Studios (Corpse Bride (2005), Coraline (2009), ParaNorman (2012), The Boxtrolls (2014), Kubo and the Two Strings (2016), 
Mr. Link (Missing Link) (2019))

This documentary punctuated with interviews and archival footage traces the rise and fall of Will Vinton Studios. Fascinating and full of anecdotes, Claydream shows us how creativity and business can clash and turn into a nightmare world. Will Pinton was such a pioneer of frame-by-frame animation that Michael Jackson wanted to work with him on his film Moonwalker (part of the video clip for the song Speed Demon). Will Vinton was certainly a gifted animator but unfortunately he didn't have a sufficiently developed business sense. 

So not only did he miss the opportunity to give his studios back to Pixar, but he also gambled on Phil Knight's offer, thinking that it would allow his studios to start producing feature films, but the reality was that he was fired for no particular reason and as the contract signed allowed. Ironically, most of Laika's films were, apart from Coraline, public failures and led CEO Travis Knight to leave his own Laika company for a while to make the film Bumblebee which was a worldwide success. 

Claydream is exciting because it benefits from many interviews with Will Vinton who died on October 4, 2018. Certainly, Will Vinton was not a visionary like Walt Disney but remains forever one of the greats of animation who worked on many commercials that have become cult but above all a true artist so this film pays tribute in the most beautiful way.

Written and directed by Marq Evans
Produced by Tamir Ardon, Marq Evans, Nick Spicer, Kevin Moyer 
Executive producers : Nate Bolotin, Aram Tertzakian, Duke Johnson, James A. Fino, Dan Greeney, Kathryn M. Moseley
Starring Will Vinton, Bill Plympton, Bob Gardiner, Melissa Mitchell, Chuck Duke, Craig Bartlett
Music by Heather McIntosh
Cinematography : Jason Roark
Edited by Lucas Celler & Yakima 
Running time : 96 minutes

Seen on June 14, 2021 (Press Access Tribeca Festival Online)

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