If you want to write for animation, there’s nothing better than reading scripts. A good place to start is with Pixar. But if you had enough of Pixar, which will be foolish, I’ll say start looking in to the Academy Award Winners (and Nominees) for Best Animated Feature, where you’ll most likely, with out doubt, stumble upon Pixar again.
One of my favorite reads has been Kung Fu Panda, which is sadly going to be trequeled and made in China due to Dreamworks 500 employee layoff. But it’s been a popular movie that’s been broken down by many writers. Here are some favorite breakdowns:
- Kung Fu Panda Beat Sheet by Save The Cat
- Viewing The Story Through Be-Do-Have
- The First 10 Pages: How To Hook Your Audience
- Kiss Bad Stories Good Bye
Get the script.
I here Iron Giant is a great read too. I have that one pending.
I’ve never read any books on writing animation, I know I want to…have to. If I were to start with any, it will be Jeffrey Scott’s How To Write For Animation. Not because it’s the first book you’ll find when you google “how to write for animation.’ But because of the amazing and free resources he has already provided through his website and Animation World Network. Here some scripts you’ll find interesting from his blog.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Mobsters From Dimension X (.doc)
- Zorro: The Secret of Zorro (.doc)
Some TV animation scripts are available through here, thanks to Lee Thompson.
Joe Murray, creator of Rocko’s Modern Life, has interesting book out. Not exlusively for writing, but more on…
“creating and producing characters and stories in an authoritative yet conversational narrative that answers such questions as: How do you create good characters? How do you conceive the world they inhabit and tell their stories? And once you’ve breathed life into your ideas, how do you successfully pitch your series to a network?”
Check out his book Creating Animated Cartoons with Character.
I’ll like to credit Shaula Evans, a member from The Black Board for providing these links for us.
- Animation Comedy & Gag Writing (pdf) by Jean Ann Wright
- Drawing the Line by Terry Rossio
- How is animation different from live action? by Alex Epstein
- How to Make Your Own Cutout Animation by Terry Gilliam
- Jean Ann Wright on Animation (multiple articles)
- How to Train an Animator, by Walt Disney (1935)
- Seven Rules for Survival in Animation by Rob Edwards
- Writing for Animation by Terry Rossio
Two books I highly, highly, highly recommend for you read is Invisible Ink from Brian McDonald. An amazing introduction to writing and building characters for film, animation, and comics. And Directing Animation by David B. Levy. I have both. Invisible Ink is one of those I constantly go back to. It’s highly praised by animators like Andrew Stanton. It’s really great. I’m reading Directing Animation now (the one on the picture) and it’s been a good book to get immersed in this world. Because I don’t draw, I’m training and sharpening my craft to one day independently produce and direct an animation of my own. So it’s important I know every aspect of animation. For example, look in to the animation pipeline to get an idea of how the workflow is to make one.
So, there you have it. This is what I’ve found on the internet and what I’ve been consuming. Hope it helps. I know it’s a lot of links. So bookmark this post for future reference. Any how, keep writing. Keep creating.