Whenever I’m asked for advice on breaking into the business, I invariably steer young writers towards animation. In general, it’s far more open to first-timers and allows these fledgeling screenwriters to hone their craft AND get paid while doing so. It’s how I got my start, as I was reminded today over breakfast with my old friend, and fellow writer, Anne-Marie Perrotta.
I started freelancing in animation, then eventually moved on to development, story-editing, then transitioned to young adult programming (Student Bodies), from there to action-adventure and, eventually, Stargate, etc.
But those animation years, that now seem so long ago, were a real blast…
The Busy World of Richard Scarry
The first script I was ever paid for was an episode of this series titled “Patrick Pig Learns To Talk”.
The Little Lulu Show
This one was a little more fun, a little less…earnest than a lot of the kids’ programming being produced at the time.
This one I developed for television, story-edited, and wrote for. An underappreciated gem!
Mona the Vampire
I developed this one for television and wrote a number of episodes.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not
Developed for television and wrote a few episodes for this somewhat unmemorable co-production.
Developed this one for television and wrote some episodes. This one was based on a popular French-language children’s book series named after the main character, Caillou – which translates to Pebble in English. The executives at the company I worked for went back and forth on what to call the kid in English. Since “Pebble” was too close to “Pebbles” from The Flintstones, they floated “Lollipop” for a while before eventually giving in and just sticking with the original French name.
The Adventures of Paddington Bear
Developed this one for television and wrote a bunch of episodes. Great memories from this one mainly due to involvement of author Michael Bond’s involvement early in the process. He was a quirky, very funny man.
Flying Rhino Junior High
I story-edited this one for the CBS Saturday Morning line-up (Remember when cartoons would air on Saturday mornings?), and also wrote a handful of episodes. One of my last animated projects, but this one was a lot of fun.
George and Martha
I remember jumping at the chance to write for this, one of my favorite children’s book series. One of my few animated efforts I would happily rewatch.