Will Vinton. Will Vinton.

Marq Evans’ feature-length documentary Welcome to My Dream, about the life and career of stop-motion legend and Claymation creator Will Vinton, is moving forward with Starburns Industries and XYZ Films producing.

Cartoon Brew first exclusively reported on the documentary back in 2017 when Evans had just created a demo trailer for the project and was still self-funding it. Prior to Vinton’s passing in October 2018, Evans interviewed him on several occasions and gained access to his personal archives. Vinton, who was behind memorable characters such as The California Raisins, received an Academy Award in 1975 for the animated short Closed Mondays, which he co-directed with Bob Gardiner.

In addition to Vinton’s first-hand accounts, Evans has already interviewed numerous other figures in the animation industry who worked at Vinton’s studio, including Craig Bartlett, Joan Gratz, David Daniels, Hal Hickel, and Chuck Duke. It’s still unknown whether Travis and Phil Knight, who took over Vinton’s Portland-based studio and turned it into what is today Laika, will participate in this tribute to the beloved pioneer of the Claymation technique.

Fittingly, the feature-length work will also feature stop-motion animated sequences centered around two new characters – tentatively named Lodge and Randy – who live inside Vinton’s head and represent the left and right sides of his brain. That’s likely where Starburns Industries, the Burbank-based company behind 2016’s Anomalisa, will play a part as a significant ally. XYZ Films will handle worldwide sales.

About the company’s involvement in the film, Starburns told Deadline, “We’re honored to help share the story of a trailblazer in the world of stop-motion animation, whose influence on pop culture is undeniable and without whom the medium would not be what it is today.”

Evans previously directed the documentary The Glamour & The Squalor, about the personal and professional intricacies of Seattle dj Marco Collins, who helped iconic local bands Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Garbage, Foo Fighters, and The Presidents of the United States get airplay and traction.

In 2017 Evans told Cartoon Brew his ambition was to make a film that would appeal not only to those familiar with Vinton, but to anyone that could relate to his quest for innovation. “It’s my goal that we tell a great story and make a great movie, as exciting and entertaining as any film about a guy that’s setting off to achieve an impossible dream,” said Evans.

"Welcome to My Daydream" poster concept.
“Welcome to My Daydream” poster concept.

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