Some nice news in today is the announcement from independent outfit Indican Pictures that Phil Nibbelink’s self-made animated feature retelling of the Romeo And Juliet story with seal stars is coming to DVD.
Nibbelink famously wrote, directed and animated every frame of Romeo & Juliet: Sealed With A Kiss himself, pulling in friends and family members to voice the characters. Seals were chosen as the featured animals since they could be drawn more simply than any human or other creature. Completed on computer using Flash, the film, which I caught at a screening a couple of months ago, is a charming little outing with primary character animation that’s as good as you would expect from a top-notch Disney animator. The story, adapted from Shakespeare’s original, isn’t quite as strong, but even though it tries to be accessible to kids, a fair few darker moments from the play remain and it certainly has its dramatic and heartfelt moments.
Made for just $2m, Nibbelink should be congratulated for putting his money where his mouth is and setting out on literally a one-man mission to keep traditional animation alive. Though not perfect, Sealed With A Kiss is a lot better than some of the more mainstream efforts making the rounds, is well worth your time and deserves support when it makes its DVD debut in August. Here’s the press advertisement doing the rounds:
Stay tooned! – Ben.