Mark Zaslove (born June 7, 1959) is an American television and film writer/director/producer and novelist, prominent in live-action and animation. Winner of two Emmy Awards, the Humanitas Prize, and other prestigious awards, he’s known for creating a wide range of content; from beloved children’s shows like "The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" to fast-paced action thrillers like his novel “Death and Taxes.” He is the son of retired animator/producer/director Alan Zaslove.
Born in Los Angeles, California, he was the third-youngest member of the Magic Castle in 1976-77, as part of Dick and Diana Zimmerman’s Junior Magicians Group). He attended U.C. Berkeley to study astrophysics but left the program after two years, lingering in the Bay Area for two more years while writing his first (unpublished) novel, “Travail.”
Returning to Santa Monica in 1981, he worked as a trainer at an upscale fitness center while trying his hand at short fiction and screenplays, some of which were optioned. He joined LFP, Inc. in 1983, writing short fiction, and became Senior Editor on several their magazines. The job lasted seven months, until he began animation screenwriting in the mid 1980s with Challenge of the GoBots and script assignments for Marvel Studios and Hanna Barbara.
By the late 1980s he was a staff writer for Walt Disney Television Animation, working on many well-known Disney cartoons from that era. He was chosen to develop, story edit, and co-produce the critically and commercially successful The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, in which his personal writing style of subtle humor and underlying intelligence became apparent. In 1987 Zaslove was a writer on the wildly successful mini-series kickoff to “DuckTales” series, “Treasure of the Golden Suns.” In 1990 he co-created, co-produced, and story edited TaleSpin. The show became the first new series created for the newly formed Disney Afternoon.
He left Disney around 1993 to start his own company (Palisades Films). In 1993 he showran the series “Cro” and developed a cartoon series for Film Roman based on the Mighty Max line of toys, named Mighty Max. He reunited with Jymn Magon in 1994 for Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad. Other notable series co-developed by Zaslove include Bump in the Night which he story edited and co-produced, and The Legend of Calamity Jane (1997) as well as “Howdy Gaudi” (2002) and Xiaolin Chronicles (2013).
Zaslove went international in the 2000s, serving as a story consultant and show writer for the children's series LazyTown, produced in Iceland. He worked on the full-length feature realization of the Newberry Award-winning “Maniac Magee” (2003), action thrillers like “Madrassa Song” (2013) and “Six Dead Dogs” (2016), as well as a multitude of features for various Hyderabad studios: “5 ½ Hours to Dawn” (2001), “Little John” (2002); “Son of Alladin” (2003), “Eshan” (2006), “Lost Voyage of Sinbad” (2007), and “The Dictator of the Darkness” (2011). He is a two-time Emmy award winner and a recipient of the Humanitas Prize.
In 2018, Aperient Press published the first thriller in his new “Tales of a Badass IRS Agent” series: “Death and Taxes.”