Karey Kirkpatrick

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Karey Kirkpatrick
Karey Kirkpatrick in 2006
Residence Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Writer, director
Relatives Wayne Kirkpatrick (brother)

Karey Kirkpatrick is an American screenwriter and director. His films include James and the Giant Peach, Chicken Run, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Charlotte's Web and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy adaptation, along with contributions to the Smurfs films. He has also directed the films Imagine That starring Eddie Murphy as well as Over the Hedge. Kirkpatrick wrote the English-language screenplay for U.S. release of The Secret World of Arrietty, in 2012 and From Up on Poppy Hill, in 2013.

His brother is American songwriter and musician Wayne Kirkpatrick, with whom he wrote the 2015 musical Something Rotten!.


Kirkpatrick 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. Since then, he's been working non-stop as a freelance screenwriter. His early writing credits include Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves and James and the Giant Peach, and The Little Vampire. In 1997, Kirkpatrick teamed again with James and the Giant Peach executive producer Jake Eberts to write Chicken Run for Aardman Animations and DreamWorks SKG. Nominated for a Golden Globe Award in 2001 for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Chicken Run has the distinction of being the best reviewed film of 2000. Kirkpatrick also wrote the screenplay adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy for Touchstone Pictures and Spyglass Entertainment.

Kirkpatrick has a longstanding relationship with DreamWorks Animation, where he has contributed as a writer or story consultant on The Road to El Dorado, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron and Madagascar. In May 2006, DreamWorks Animation released Over the Hedge, for which Kirkpatrick co-wrote the screenplay and made his directorial debut, sharing the credit 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. The film starred Dakota Fanning and the voice talents of Julia Roberts, Robert Redford, Steve Buscemi, Oprah Winfrey, John Cleese and many others. He produced and co-wrote, with partner Chris Poche, the original comedy Flakes, which completed filming in New Orleans in January 2005 and stars Zooey Deschanel, Christopher Lloyd and Aaron Stanford. He directed the Eddie Murphy dramedy Imagine That for Paramount Pictures.

Kirkpatrick wrote the English-language screenplay for U.S. release of The Secret World of Arrietty, in 2012 and From Up on Poppy Hill, in 2013. He worked on The Smurfs 2.

In September 2013, it was announced that Kirkpatrick is writing and directing an original comedy film from DreamWorks Animation about a "dim-witted blue-footed booby who learns that it isn't the size of your brain, but the size of your heart that counts."[1]

Around 2010, Karey and his brother Wayne began working on the musical Something Rotten!.[2] In 2015, they were nominated for a Tony Award for Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre.[3] Karey was also nominated for Best Book of a Musical along with John O'Farrell.[4]

In 2017, it was announced that Kirkpatrick would write and directed an animated comedy titled Smallfoot, which will be produced by Warner Animation Group for Warner Bros. Pictures. He was announced alongside the film's cast, which include Channing Tatum, James Cordon, Zendaya, Gina Rodriguez, and more.[5][6]


Title Year Role
The Rescuers Down Under 1990 Animation screenplay
Timon and Pumbaa 1995 Writer (1 episode), songwriter (1 episode)
James and the Giant Peach 1996 Screenwriter
Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves 1997
The Road to El Dorado 2000 Additional dialogue
Chicken Run Screenwriter
The Little Vampire
Laws of Attraction 2004 Additional script
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 2005 Screenwriter
Madagascar Creative consultant
Over the Hedge 2006 Director, screenwriter
Hammy's Boomerang Adventure Short; creative consultant
Charlotte's Web Screenwriter
Flakes 2007 Screenwriter, producer
The Spiderwick Chronicles 2008
Imagine That 2009 Director, screenwriter, music department (producer, writer, performer)
From Up on Poppy Hill 2011 Screenwriter: US adaptation
The Secret World of Arrietty 2012 Screenwriter: US adaptation, additional voices
The Smurfs 2 2013 Screenwriter
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon 2015 Writer (Queen Latifah/Sam Rockwell/Something Rotten!), uncredited
69th Tony Awards Lyricist: "A Musical"
The True Don Quixote 2017 Executive producer
71st Tony Awards Lyricist: "Opening Number"
Early Man 2018 Story consultant
Pinky Malinky Writer (1 episode)
Sky Rat[citation needed] Writer
Smallfoot Director, screenwriter, executive producer
Scooby 2020 Executive producer
Chicken Run 2 TBA Screenwriter


  1. ^ "Blue-Footed Booby Bird Descends Upon Southern California In Record Numbers To Celebrate Announcement Of New Dreamworks Animation Project". PR Newswire. September 20, 2013. Retrieved September 21, 2013. 
  2. ^ "How 3 Broadway Novices Wrote 'Something Rotten!'". The New York Times. 2015-03-23. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-07-12. 
  3. ^ "The Tony Award Nominees - Artists". TonyAwards.com. Retrieved 2015-07-12. 
  4. ^ "The Tony Award Nominees - Artists". TonyAwards.com. Retrieved 2015-07-12. 
  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. ^ "Smallfoot". Retrieved November 21, 2017. 

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