Karey Kirkpatrick

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Karey Kirkpatrick
Kirkpatrick in 2006
Kirkpatrick in 2006
OccupationWriter, director, producer
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
RelativesWayne Kirkpatrick (brother)

Karey Kirkpatrick is an American screenwriter, film director, and producer. His films include Over the Hedge, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Charlotte's Web, and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, along with writing contributions to The Rescuers Down Under, James and the Giant Peach, and Chicken Run. He has also directed the films Imagine That starring Eddie Murphy as well as 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!.

His writing partner John O'Farrell.

Life and career[edit]

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 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 has 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. 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 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 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 musical comedy titled Smallfoot, which was produced by the Warner Animation Group and animated by Sony Pictures Imageworks. The film, which stars the voices of Channing Tatum, James Corden, Zendaya, and Gina Rodriguez, among others, was released in 2018.[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"
Strange Magic Special thanks
The True Don Quixote 2017 Executive producer
71st Tony Awards Lyricist: "Opening Number"
Early Man 2018 Story consultant
Smallfoot Director, screenwriter, story, executive producer, lyricist
The Addams Family 2019 Special thanks
A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon Special thanks
Chicken Run 2 TBA Screenwriter, executive producer


  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.

External links[edit]