During my time at Chapman University, I remember being of one the few (there might have been one other girl) in my screenwriting classes who consistently wrote scripts intended for the children’s and family audience. It was unusual, as most students, and most aspiring writers ignore this audience. I’ve been asked a few times why I want to write for children; I’m not a child.
I’ve come to realize that these stories for children and teenagers were more than stories for me. I still idolize my favorite fictional characters because I grew up with them, and they’ve made me the person I am today. I grew up watching Kim Possible save the world and deal with normal girl problems, Cory Matthews and Buffy the Vampire Slayer struggle as they grew into adulthood, and Harry Potter survive as an outsider. They were normal kids, doing extraordinary things. But they were always normal, and they taught me to value family, friends, education, and to do good in the world.
I want kids growing up to experience similar stories and characters that I did. To understand that it is okay to be normal, and you don’t have to be a pop star or TV star, or whatever it is they’re watching the Disney Channel characters do now. I feel that with the digital and social media age, kids have lost sight of what’s important in life, and narcissism has become a problem.
I’m hoping that one day I can change all of that. I hope to one day have control of what’s on children’s television. I’m working on writing scripts with these values, as we speak. I will make it my goal to have these produced and seen by kids all over the world, so they can grow up with the same values as my generation. At the very least, I’m pulling out my old DVD collection, and my kids are growing up watching the same magic I did.