Will Vinton Set to Direct CGI Film “The Quest”


It was announced last week that animation director Will Vinton, creator of the term Claymation and recipient of an Academy Award for his 1974 short film Closed Mondays, has a new film in the works called The Quest, an absurdist outer space adventure written by himself, Andrew Weise and Peter Crabbe. Vinton, who was forced out of Will Vinton Studios in 2002, the company that eventually became LAIKA, has previously directed one animated feature—The Adventures of Mark Twain (1985).

Names attached to The Quest, which will be computer animated, are production designer Bruce Zick (The Lion King, Prince of Egypt, WALL-E) and Monty Python alum John Cleese, who will provide the lead voice. The film will be produced by Will Vinton’s Vinton Entertainment and Gnosis Moving Pictures, a new production company founded by Darius A. Kamali, human rights advocate and associate producer on the 2008 MGM/Weinstein Company animated film Igor.


According to their website, Gnosis “aim[s] to explore the human condition, propagate communal understanding and reflect the creative potential of individual consciousness.” In addition to regular live action and 3D film projects, Kamali has aligned Gnosis with West coast game developers IPFranchise for the creation and distribution of apps, social media games and digital intellectual properties.


  • Nicholas Walstrom

    I’m excited to see a new Will Vinton project, especially one with such an intriguing premise. I hope to see the a similar level of imagination and experimentation his Claymation displayed in the ’70s and ’80s.

    That said, I hope the thumbnail’s preliminary and not what the end result is expected to look like.

  • Crispy Walker

    The two pieces of art in this article are awful, and I hate that in a press release they decided to include their partnering with another company to produce games and apps… having that in mind at such an early state of development can only bode poorly. It’s like that Transformers mindset of making a tv show / movie to sell toys and games. To me, merchandizing should come after you’ve created something worth merchandizing.

  • AmidAmidi

    Bruce Zick wasn’t the art director of WALL-E.

    • SteveSegal

      Production designer Bruce Zick’s previous credits are for visual development and character design, so he was probably getting marching orders from the primary art director. As far as I can tell (from IMDb) this is his first assignment as a production designer, and I agree with Crispy about the art. I do like Will Vinton’s sensibilities, his work has been consistently interesting, so I am interested in this project, let’s hope the art improves.

  • Tril

    If it’s anything like this, I may go see it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqi5F5MqqTQ

    • Crispy Walker

      If anyone else is interested in seeing what this guy’s last film directorial effort, this movie is up on Netflix right now.

    • Peter McKennon

      Fun fact: My grandpa did a voice of the character “Smiley” in the Adventures of Mark Twain film during the Frogs of Calaveras County sequence. Yup, I’m Gumby’s grandson.

  • TStevens

    Even though Vinton is a pioneer in the industry, his ability to direct a full length feature after an almost 30 year hiatus is questionable. I recall The Adventures of Mark Twain being cool when I was 12 but it hasn’t exactly held up as a classic. Hopefully he can make something cool with this one. However, most of the animation director’s that existed outside of the Mouse House in the 70s and 80s made a living not so much from a high quality product but, from the fact that they were the only alternative. The bar for animation direction is much higher than it use to be with a handful of the best scripts and concepts being on par with much of what is produced in the live action world.
    My hope is that we will start seeing more sophistcated script writing and storytelling coming from the new generation of animation directors as well as studios that will back those concepts.

  • Ca

    Having this guy come to my school was the one of the only good memories I had of AiTA. :-)

    He wasn’t at all shy to tell us how the degree doesn’t matter neither. A sentiment I definitely agree with and wish I knew before graduating high school.

  • Pez

    In world where everything is made in the computer I think it would have been refreshing to see Will do a stop-mo “Claymation” movie.

  • hb

    Art directors aren’t responsible for the animation.

  • Peter McKennon

    I’m getting tired of CG. It’s good with the right people, yes. But I’m getting overwhelmed here!