Will Vinton founded Vinton Studios shortly after winning an Academy Award in 1975 for Closed Mondays, a stop-action short he co-created with Bob Gardiner. After trademarking the term "Claymation," Vinton went on to create a splash in the ad world with the well-known "California Raisins" campaign, which debuted in 1986, and by bringing M&M candies to life in the first installments of the longrunning campaign for M&M/Mars and BBDO/New York.
In the last year, the company has gone through a series of changes. A year ago, Vinton acquired Denver-based cel animation house Celluloid and integrated its operations into its Portland headquarters. Last October, Nike CEO Knight acquired a majority interest and a seat on the board of the company.
Vinton president and CEO Jeff Parnath had not returned calls at press time.