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New blog posts will be uploaded at 5:00 PM CST
Every Tuesday & Thursday!
A writer's life during the golden age of television

I’m Jack Olesker, creator, writer, producer and director of more than twelve hundred episodes of television, eighteen motion pictures and seven published novels. I've written and created many animated series during The Golden Age of Television Animation including Care Bears, M.A.S.K., Heroes on Hot Wheels, The New Adventures of He-man, The Super Mario Bros. Super Show, Hello Kitty’s Furry Tale Theater, Popples, my co-creation of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and many more.

It’s been my joy to have entertained countless millions of viewers who were young fans and stayed fans as they grew up and introduced their own children to many of my series continuing to air worldwide.

And now, through my A Writer’s Life…During the Golden Age of Television Animation blog, I’m going to take all of you on an amazing journey back to those shining years of animated television series. It’s a real-life journey that has everything – history, action, adventure, cliffhangers, comedy and drama, suspense, devastating disappointments and tremendous triumphs.

We who labor – and labored -- in the animation industry are forever indebted to you for being fans. So my A Writer’s Life…During the Golden Age of Television Animation blog is a labor of love dedicated to you. It’s my way of saying “Thank-you.” I promise it will be a fascinating journey.

Let’s go on it together!


Lori’s first floor office is organized chaos, papers everywhere. When she asks what I think of the studio, I say, “It’s big.”

I ask if she’s going to fill me in and she says Jean and Andy will. Then she sends me to meet with Jean on the second floor.

A walkway and offices extend around the second floor, offering a view of artists’ and writers’ cubicles below. Jean’s office is glassed in, like his old office was. It’s neat and tidy like Jean himself. He’s relaxed, smiling as I walk in. He moves into what would be one of the shortest meetings I’d ever have with him. He says DIC is going to be producing a lot of series. Then he tells me I need to buy a computer so I have the right tools for my writing. I say, “Okay.”

The meeting over, Jean sends me to Andy, two offices down.

Andy’s office is more like Lori’s – appearing disorganized and overwhelming. It’s illusionary. From what I know of him, Andy’s always organized and never overwhelmed.

Today he’s wearing a custom tailored olive green suit, an expensive, starched cream-colored shirt, a lime green tie and matching lime green-framed eyeglasses. He greets me warmly. “Jackie! How are you?”

I think ‘He wants something’ and, biding my time, I say, “Fine.”

I don’t have a chance to sit because Andy stands with, “I want you to meet someone.” And then we’re walking around the second floor walkway, writers and artists below glancing up at us. I wonder what they’re thinking, seeing me walking with Andy Heyward.

I’m bleary-eyed from a mid-week night of L.A. clubbing. Los Angeles can be dangerous, even more so if you’re ‘successful’. I’ve got a ways to go before I’d call myself that, but I’m moving toward it.

Climbing from bed and feeling my way to the kitchen, I start coffee and head to the shower. The phone rings like an icepick through my neck. It’s Lori. This is my first call from her in weeks, which is okay. DIC has been moving to new digs and I can only imagine how busy she’s been. She says, “Jean and Andy want to see you.”

Immediately, my head clears. I’m totally alert. This is different. They both want to see me. Lori tells me to come to the new studio and gives me the address.

Whatever is happening, it’s happening fast. I’m guessing it’s not all just because of Care Bears, though that’s clearly a part of it.

I blast through my shower, pull on jeans and a sweatshirt and head out. The new studio is three blocks from the old studio. It’s half a block long, the windows tinted. I walk in. It’s dark, subdued, all business – a long way from DIC’s homey former studio-over-a-beauty-shop.

It’s huge, packed with artists, producers, directors working. I see artists creating sketches of The Littles, others drawing The Get Along Gang characters. I stop by another workstation as I see sketches of Inspector Gadget. I’d learn the DIC series was already airing. I wasn’t aware of it. I remind myself to start watching more children’s programming on TV – a good idea since I was writing for children’s television.

I see Lori in an office and she beckons.

**Image from

Updated: Feb 28

The Chicago visitors are in their thirties, out for a fun night. As they gather, I hand out business cards. Handshakes all around and then another round of Fireballs in the raucous bar. Soon I’m arm-wrestling the young guys, insisting we use our left hands, giving this older writer a small advantage since I’m lefthanded.

Finally, it’s time for Kim and me to leave. I thank everyone. As we move through the crowd toward the exit, a young women, a part of the couples we’ve spent the night with, approaches and asks, “Can I speak with you for a second, Mr. Olesker.”

I answer, “Sure, but you have to call me ‘Jack’.”

She draws closer, her voice lowering. She talks about a difficult childhood, her father verbally abusive to her mother. Then she says “I waited all week for Care Bears. It was my oasis.” She pauses for a moment. Then, her voice choking with emotion, she says, “I want to thank you for saving my childhood...”

I’m a tough guy, raised on Chicago’s mean streets, all my fingers broken from fights in my youth. I spent my Air Force hitch in helicopters as a search-and-rescue medic. And then I went to L.A., which made everything else seem like a cakewalk.

But this young woman had touched my heart in a powerful way. I never knew, until that moment, the impact some of my writing for children’s television had on others. I never knew this was the real reason children’s television writers write. Voice trembling, she asks if she can hug me. Unable to find words, I open my arms. We embrace. Then we separate, her eyes and mine welling with tears.

It was a night to remember.

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