Born and raised in the Merseyside section of Liverpool, England, Butler showcased an early love for drawing and telling stories. His parents recalled him spending hours on end locked away in his room, lost in his own imagination. His stories often featured ghosts and goblins and ghouls - all entities that would dominate his later work as an adult. At the age of seven Butler told his parents he wanted to be an animator, and although the road to stardom proved challenging, the Butlers showered their son with unconditional love and support. By the early 2000s Butler was working as a storyboard artist on the short-lived British animated series "Mr. Bean" (ITV 2002-2003), as well as the straight-to-video Disney film, "Tarzan II"(2005). The opportunity of a lifetime came in 2005 when Butler was hired on as storyboard artist on Tim Burton's darkly humorous "Corpse Bride." Already years into writing the script that would become "ParaNorman," Butler grew to love the stop-motion format that Burton utilized, and vowed to use the same format on his own film. In 2009 Butler was working as a storyboard supervisor on yet another stop-motion film, the horror-fantasy "Coraline," when he decided to show 30 pages of "ParaNorman" to producer Travis Knight. Knight loved what he read, and encouraged Butler to finish the script. By late 2009 production on "ParaNorman," a darkly comical children's story about a complicated young boy who can talk to the dead, had begun as a stop-motion animated feature. The film debuted three years later, making over $100 million at the global box-office, while also earning an Oscar nod for Butler and his co-director, Sam Fell. Ironically, Butler's inspiration for utilizing the film, Tim Burton, was also nominated that year for his 2012 3D stop-motion feature, "Frankenweenie."