Show #20: Phil Harnage

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Phil Harnage is a prolific animation writer and developer with a teaching background and a degree in environmental science. Phil holds two Master’s degrees (U.C. Riverside, Ecology; and Claremont Graduate School, Education). Before entering animation Harnage taught elementary school and college, and worked as a copy editor and educational consultant.

He began his full-time animation writing career on Bill Cosby’s “Fat Albert & the Cosby Kids.” Since then, he has developed more than 75 animated television series, specials and home videos … and that’s just counting the ones that actually got produced! Phil has written and/or story-edited and/or story-consulted on over 600 individual animation episodes, ranging from purely educational to purely entertaining, and a multitude of shades in-between. He holds the world record for longest continually employed animation staff writer (DIC Entertainment, 1986-2004).

His latest animated series is “Horseland,” which premiered Fall 2006 on CBS Saturday Morning. “Horseland” began as a web site, directed toward girls, age 10 to 22, although a number of older women and men play the game. In the game people create virtual horses that they can take care of, breed, and compete with other players in shows. A major goal of the players is to have a horse with the highest points (see image to right) 

Harnage’s most recent animated feature films are “Madeline in Tahiti” (DISNEY, traditional animation) and “Inspector Gadget’s Biggest Caper Ever” (DIC/MAINFRAME/ARTISAN, in CGI). He’s had one live action feature produced (“Banzai Runner,” starring Dean Stockwell) and when we interviewed Phil, he was writing a new live action feature film. He has received four Emmy nominations, including “Fat Albert” (two years running), “Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century” and “My Fair Madeline” (longform for Nick Movietoons). Additionally, he received a Humanitas Certificate for writing and developing “Captain Planet and the Planeteers.” Harnage is a member of the Writers Guild, the TV Academy, and BMI. He lives in Santa Monica, with his wife and daughter, who is an avid Horseland player … wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

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This episode is sponsored by The UPA Legacy Project.

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