1984 was a good year for this writer who was enjoying A Writer’s Life…During The Golden Age of Television Animation. My first episode of television -- “The Forest Littles” Episode 3 of Season 2 of The Littles had aired. It was definitely cool to see my name right under the episode’s title on the TV screen.
Jean still maintained his professorial aura when talking about writing for television. But it was increasingly apparent to me that he knew his stuff.
I must have been doing something right because the studio assigned me two more scripts for The Littles. I was being paid $1,500 for a half-hour script. That may not sound like a lot, but adjusted for inflation it would come out to about $4,500 in 2022 dollars. Not enough for me to retire to the South of France, but I’d earned just $350 a week as an Associate Editor at Entrepreneur Magazine, so it was a nice hit. Still, I knew that to live off my writing I’d have to write a lot more than two or three episodes of The Littles each season.
Jean was teaching me more and more. “You can’t use TILT DOWN AERIAL SHOTS in animation because you’d have to animate every creature on the ground.” “Don’t ever have a tiger in a script again. You can’t animate the stripes!” (And back then you couldn’t.) I was learning. But while everything seemed to go fast in the beginning, now it felt like I was slogging through mud. I wanted it to go faster.
Then two things happened that changed everything.