Tad Stones

Tad Stones


Burbank, CA

Birth Name


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Tad was born in 1952 in Burbank, CA and is an American screenwriter, animator, director, and producer. Some of his best known work has been for Disney where he worked for over 25 years. He created the popular Disney series Darkwing Duck and produced Chip 'n Dale Rescuemore


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Tad started with Disney in Features, with a training program as an In-Betweener, got to Assistant Animator, and eventually moved into Story. He worked at what is now Imagineering on EPCOT, and he got to share a room for about nine months with Ward Kimball, a member of Disney's exclusive "Nine Old Men" artists.

    • Tad was a radio DJ in college.

    • Tad's worked with Mike Mignola from 2005 to 2006 on the Hellboy animated cartoons. Mike Mignola is the creator of the comic series of the same name.

    • Tad's interests include writing, comics, sketching, the paranormal, radio drama, his family and the creative process.

    • Tad started working for Universal Cartoon Studios in 2004.

    • Tad is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University.

    • Tad has written Pyramid of Death, one of the two stories in the first volume of the Hellboy animated comic book adaptation.

    • Tad is a graduate of Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, CA.

    • The character of Gosalyn Mallard in Darkwing Duck was inspired by what Tad thought his two year old daughter was going to be like when she got a little older.

    • Tad was the creative force behind the Disney Afternoon cartoons of the late 1980's and early 1990's.

    • When Tad started at Disney, he trained under the animation veteran Eric Larson.

    • Tad worked for The Walt Disney Company from 1974 to 2003.

    • Tad was to be in charge of the cartoon series Team Atlantis (spinoff of Atlantis The Lost Empire). While the series was never made, the episodes he helped to direct was converted into the movie Atlantis 2: Milo's Return.

  • Quotes

    • Tad: (Talking about how animation is special to him) Animation is a medium that always has its own sense of fantasy to it, and yet reality to it. That you can lose yourself in it. But the main thing is I wanted to be a storyteller. I remember telling stories as a camp counselor, kind of having an outline in my head and just making it up on the spot as we walked around the campfire.

    • Tad: (Tad was asked what kind of advice to give someone wanting to go into his field of work) Don't. That sounds flippant but the industry is a real roller coaster, yet you have to live in one of the more expensive cities in the world while you're trolling for jobs. If you can't be put off then read an assortment of books about screenplay writing, the specific titles don't matter as much as you'd think. Then to make a living at it, you have to be able to write both superhero action and low brow comedy. One of the most stable genres in the industry right now is preschool shows. It requires a mix of entertainment, education and a bit of sociology. If that sort of variety appeals to you, then by all means jump in. It's unfortunate there are so few staff writing jobs left. Freelancing can't beat working closely with artists and other writers, and being inspired by all the beautiful art on the walls.

    • Tad: (Talking about how he got started with the "Hellboy" franchise) I was a fan from the very first Dark Horse Publication of Hellboy. I really thought Mike Mignola's art was hitting a cool place with comics like Gotham By Gaslight and Cosmic Odyssey for DC comics. Hellboy took that art and applied it to supernatural subject matter which has always interested me. So around 1995 or 1996, I pitched Hellboy to Disney TV Animation because they were looking for "edgy prime time" shows which turned out to be shows that looked like The Simpsons. Perhaps needless to say, Hellboy did not become ensconced in the Magic Kingdom but I was constantly pitching shows with similar subject matter. Some comedic, some dramatic. Finally, I got to adapt Disney's Atlantis as a TV series which gave me a chance to work with Mike. I basically hired him to design monsters for the show since the movie's art direction was heavily influenced by his work. The series was cancelled in mid-production when the feature failed to perform.

    • Tad: (Talking about how he got started in animation) It started very early with me, although I thought of myself as an artist. I created a humor weekly in my high school. I told myself then it was an outlet for my drawings, but I ended up writing most of the thing myself. I started as an art major in college, and a teacher accused me of plagiarism on a piece. It excited me because I didn't plagiarize it (Laughs). And he didn't know what to do, the fact that I was all excited that he was accusing me of it. It was like, "Cool! You think it's so good that it was written by somebody else!"

    • Tad: (Talking about how his work on "Hellboy" is different from the other animated shows he's been involved with) I was at Disney for 29 years, and I've created characters like Darkwing Duck when I was over there. Just because we were dealing with children's animation, there's always a subject matter level that is as much as you say, "Oh, I write for myself. ..." That's true, but you're writing within the certain confines. These movies are written and the Hellboy comics themselves are PG, PG-13 at most. These shows are like an animated X-Files which has scares in it, has certainly suspense, has moments where you don't know what's going on, and that's OK. You don't have to be overly clear, and certain things are left unsaid. It's been more of a challenge to me to push the storytelling and artistically looking at trying some art direction that is inspired by what Mike (Mignola) does in the comics.