Will Vinton: Animator / Filmmaker
Born: 1948, Birthplace: McMinnville, Oregon. Best known as: Creator of the California Raisins.
Will Vinton is a veteran animator and the creator of the Claymationę animation process. Academy Award and primetime Emmy Award winning director/producer Will Vinton has formed a new 3D animation company, Freewill Entertainment to develop, direct, and produce unique animated film and television productions. One of Vinton's earliest shorts, Closed Mondays, won a 1974 Academy Award; his studio was later nominated for four other Academy Awards and numerous television Emmys. Vinton's 1980s commercials for California Raisins were a smash hit and the all-singing, all-dancing Raisins became a pop culture phenomenon. In 1999 Vinton co-produced and animated a new TV series, The PJs, starring comedian Eddie Murphy. In October of 2002, Nike chief Phil Knight became the majority shareholder in Will Vinton Studios. In April of 2003, after disagreements with Knight, Vinton resigned from the company's Knight-controlled board of directors and then was fired from the studio. In 2004 he joined the Art Institute of Portland as artist in residence.
Will Vinton is the world renowned Claymation pioneer having coined and trademarked the word and created some of the most innovative dimensional animation in history. Will has created, Directed and Produced some of the best know animated characters in the world, including The California Raisins and the "CG" ("Computer Animated") M&Ms "Red" and "Yellow". He produced the acclaimed television series "THE PJs" for The WB, and "GARY AND MIKE" for UPN. Will also founded Will Vinton Studios to explore 3D animation and grew the company at it's peak into one of the world's most respected and creative companies for all types of 3D animation. With Freewill, Will Vinton is building on his amazing reputation to produce and direct all new ground-breaking animation.
See What Happened to the Original Clay Raisins