"I really love this "Kiss" project. It's is an outrageous musical comedy, with larger than life characters, stunning magic effects and amazing, memorable songs. The stage is a new medium for me and I can't wait to show some of our innovations to the world," enthuses Vinton. Based loosely on the legendary story, 'The Frog Prince,' and on its pop-culture lore, 'THE KISS' is an edgy, modern-day fairy tale and a musical twist on the iconic narrative originally penned by the Brothers Grimm.
Regarding Vinton's new adventures in legit entertainment: "I've been a huge fan of musical comedies all my life. When I started out in animation, Broadway musicals were a key source of inspiration for comedy and for marrying visuals to music. It is exciting to be able to go back to my roots and transfer what I've now learned from my career in animation into live theater," said Vinton. "'The Kiss' gives me an opportunity to explore a new medium, while retaining creative elements that I find very familiar."
Composing the musical's original score is multi-platinum songwriter David Pomeranz. With more than 40 million recordings sold worldwide and 22 platinum records to his name, Pomeranz is one of the music industry's most successful and prolific songwriter / recording artists.
"I've worked a lot around Broadway and the music business. Being involved with 'The Kiss' has been a truly unique creative experience," said Pomeranz about the project. "It's a dream because I get to work with the great and wildly imaginative Will Vinton - someone I've been a fan of for many years and now we get to work together. And we've assembled a veritable dream team of people at the top of their respective fields to support it. The show is entertaining, moving, and absolutely hilarious - it has all the right elements for success on Broadway."
Vinton is also enthusiastic about crowd-funding playing an important role in the development and growth of the show, "Our plan is to take this musical production all the way to the Broadway, and we're offering supporters everywhere the opportunity to join us on this journey."
As a way of involving supporters, the project, currently in pre-production, is gathering partial funding through the popular crowd funding site, Kickstarter. Donations to the campaign will help further develop the project and support creating the musical arrangements and score, stage effects and casting for the show's first public preview in March. Contributors to the effort will receive Kickstarter "rewards" for making donations to 'THE KISS.' Rewards include tickets to the show's 1st preview and premiere, collections of Will Vinton produced Claymation and California Raisin DVDs and memorabilia, VIP meetings with the show's creators and many more. There's even a reward that provides an in-home party and concert performed by songwriter David Pomeranz.
Vinton innovated and coined the word "Claymation" and he founded the world-renowned Will Vinton Studios to explore 3D animation. He has written, directed, and/or produced some of pop culture's best known comic characters including the singing and dancing phenomenon "The California Raisins", dinosaur critics "Herb and Rex," Thurgood Stubbs from "The PJs" TV series, and the ever popular M&Ms "Red" and "Yellow." Many of Will's projects has been an exploration of musical comedy in animation - and nearly every one has garnered prestigious awards, several hundred in total. In addition to his Oscar for his film "Closed Mondays," he has received four additional Academy Award Nominations and eight Prime-time Emmys and for Outstanding Animated Programs. He has also received numerous Clios for advertising and many prestigious international awards including a Cannes Golden Lion.
The first public previews of 'THE KISS' will take place in late March. Tickets for the event and other perks that allow people to join the Broadway-bound team are available to supporters who donate via the Kickstarter campaign titled "THE KISS - On The Road To Broadway."