Dean Stefan, veteran animation writer

Dean Stefan–who, for the better part of 25 years, has enjoyed an illustrious career as a television animation writer, penning episodes of shows ranging from “Dragon Tales” to “CatDog” to “The Penguins of Madagascar” to new programs like ‘The Octonauts”–discusses how he got into writing animation, what drew him to the field, and how, once he solved the puzzle of writing animation, he found the work exhilarating and offered great freedom. He also addressed that much of the animation he has written involves animals–talking animals, as it were, and how he approaches writing what animals are going to do, how they’re going to behave, what they’re going to say. Dean observes that he’s long lived with an array of animals, and notes that depending on the show he’s working on, he may draw inspiration from those animals he shares his home with (or have shared his home with over the years). To help illustrate some of these points, we play a snippet of a “CatDog” short that Dean co-wrote (and that was shown in movie theaters with “The Rugrats Movie”) that involves a radio contest & a complication resulting from Dog being, well, a dog. On a mildly peripheral note, Dean also speaks about his Facebook page, which features a steady stream of commentary on news items, animal stories, gags, contests & more–and is regularly visited by comedians, comedy aficionados (Elayne Boosler sent her fans there), musicians, and others. (

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COMEDY CORNER: Bill Cosby’s “The Story Of The Chicken” (

MUSIC: Paul Weller’s “Dragonfly,” and The Human Condition’s “The Wizard Of Menlo Park,” (a portion), instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: Norman Tanega’s “Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog”

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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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