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Karey Kirkpatrick

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Karey Kirkpatrick
Kirkpatrick in 2018
Kirkpatrick in 2018
Born (1964-12-14) December 14, 1964 (age 59)[1]
Monroe, Louisiana, U.S.[1]
OccupationScreenwriter, director, producer
Alma materUSC School of Cinematic Arts
Years active1990–present
RelativesWayne Kirkpatrick (brother)

Karey Kirkpatrick (born December 14, 1964)[1] is an American screenwriter, film director, and producer. His films include Chicken Run, The Rescuers Down Under, James and the Giant Peach, Over the Hedge, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Charlotte's Web, and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. He has also directed the films, Over the Hedge, Imagine That starring Eddie Murphy and Smallfoot. Kirkpatrick wrote the English-language screenplays for the U.S. releases of the Studio Ghibli films The Secret World of Arrietty in 2012 and From Up on Poppy Hill in 2013.

His older brother is American songwriter and musician Wayne Kirkpatrick, with whom he wrote the 2015 musical Something Rotten! as well as the 2020 musical Mrs. Doubtfire.

Life and career[edit]

Kirkpatrick attended the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, graduating in 1988. He began his career as a staff writer at Walt Disney Feature Animation, where he worked for more than three years. During that time, he earned his first screenwriting credit as a co-writer on The Rescuers Down Under. He went to become a freelance screenwriter, and his early writing credits include Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves, James and the Giant Peach, and The Little Vampire. In 1997, Kirkpatrick wrote the screenplay for Aardman's Chicken Run from a story by Peter Lord and Nick Park. Kirkpatrick also wrote the screenplay adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy for Touchstone Pictures and Spyglass Entertainment.

Kirkpatrick had a longstanding relationship with DreamWorks Animation, where he has contributed as a writer or story consultant on The Road to El Dorado and Madagascar. In May 2006, DreamWorks Animation released Over the Hedge, for which Kirkpatrick co-wrote the screenplay and made his directorial debut, sharing directing credits with Tim Johnson. That same year, Kirkpatrick co-wrote the screenplay of the live-action adaptation of E. B. White's classic Charlotte's Web for Paramount Pictures/Walden Media/Nickelodeon Movies. He produced and co-wrote, with partner Chris Poche, the comedy Flakes. He directed the Eddie Murphy dramedy Imagine That for Paramount Pictures.

Kirkpatrick wrote the English-language screenplay for the U.S. releases of the Japanese animated films The Secret World of Arrietty in 2012 and From Up on Poppy Hill in 2013, both of which were produced by Studio Ghibli. The same year, he contributed to the screenplay for Sony Pictures Animation's The Smurfs 2, and was announced as the writer and director of an original comedy film from DreamWorks Animation about a "dim-witted blue-footed booby".[2]

Karey Kirkpatrick in 2006

In 2011, Karey and his brother Wayne began working on the musical Something Rotten!.[3] In 2015, they were nominated for a Tony Award for Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre.[4] Karey was also nominated for Best Book of a Musical along with John O'Farrell.[4] They also received a Grammy nomination for "Best Original Cast Recording".

Kirkpatrick wrote and directed the animated musical comedy Smallfoot (2018), which was produced by the Warner Animation Group and animated by Sony Pictures Imageworks.[5][6] Kirkpatrick, along with brother Wayne, also co-wrote the film's six original songs.

Kirkpatrick also co-wrote the song "Such A Beautiful Day" for the Disney animated film Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe for which he received and Emmy Nomination for "Outstanding Original Song for a Preschool, Children's, or Animated Program".

Kirkpatrick and his Chicken Run co-writer John O'Farrell in 2018 were hired to script a sequel film, Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget.[7] The film was released on Netflix in 2023.



Year Title Director Writer Producer Notes
1990 The Rescuers Down Under No Yes No Credited as "Animation Screenplay"
1996 James and the Giant Peach No Yes No
1997 Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves No Yes No
2000 Chicken Run No Yes No
The Little Vampire No Yes No
2005 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy No Yes No
2006 Over the Hedge Yes Yes No Co-directed with Tim Johnson
Charlotte's Web No Yes No
2007 Flakes No Yes Yes
2008 The Spiderwick Chronicles No Yes Yes
2009 Imagine That Yes No No Also music department (producer, writer, performer)
2011 From Up on Poppy Hill No Yes No US adaptation
2012 The Secret World of Arrietty No Yes No US adaptation;
Also additional voices
2013 The Smurfs 2 No Yes No
2018 Smallfoot Yes Yes Executive Also lyricist
2023 Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget No Yes Executive


Year Title Notes
1995 Timon and Pumbaa Writer: Episode "Okay Bayou?"
2015 The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Queen Latifah/Sam Rockwell/Something Rotten! (Uncredited)

Other credits

Year Title Role
2000 The Road to El Dorado Additional dialogue
2004 Laws of Attraction Additional script
2005 Madagascar Creative consultant
2006 Hammy's Boomerang Adventure Short; creative consultant
2015 69th Tony Awards Lyricist: "A Musical"
Strange Magic Special thanks
2017 The True Don Quixote Executive producer
71st Tony Awards Lyricist: Opening Number
2018 Early Man Story consultant
2019 The Addams Family Special thanks
A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon
2020 Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe Songwriter: "Such a Beautiful Day"[8]


  1. ^ a b c "Karey Kirkpatrick". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 15, 2023.
  2. ^ "Blue-Footed Booby Bird Descends Upon Southern California In Record Numbers To Celebrate Announcement Of New Dreamworks Animation Project" (Press release). Dreamworks Animation. September 20, 2013. Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved September 21, 2013 – via PR Newswire.
  3. ^ "How 3 Broadway Novices Wrote 'Something Rotten!'". The New York Times. March 23, 2015. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  4. ^ a b "The Tony Award Nominees – Artists". TonyAwards.com. Archived from the original on July 13, 2015. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  5. ^ Romano, Nick (November 22, 2017). "Channing Tatum's yeti has a tall tale in animated Smallfoot trailer". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
  6. ^ Evry, Max (November 21, 2017). "Smallfoot Posters Provide First Look at Animated Feature". ComingSoon.net. Archived from the original on April 1, 2019. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  7. ^ Ritman, Alex (April 26, 2018). "'Chicken Run' Sequel in Works at Aardman (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on January 8, 2020. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  8. ^ Aquilina, Tyler (May 28, 2020). "Phineas and Ferb is back — creators preview new movie coming to Disney+ this summer". EntertainmentWeekly. Archived from the original on June 10, 2020. Retrieved June 25, 2020.

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