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Writers Guild of America West Honors Craig Miller

TV animation writer receives career achievement award for his achievements during a 30-year career writing, developing, and producing animated shows, with over 300 credits to his name.

TV animation writer and WGAW Animation Writers Caucus chair Craig Miller (The Smurfs, Curious George, Pocket Dragon Adventures) will receive the Writers Guild of America West’s 2020 Animation Writers Caucus Animation Writing Award during November 24’s virtual AWC awards ceremony. Comic book writer Marv Wolfman will present the career achievement award to Miller in recognition of his distinguished career and contributions to the animation field.

According to WGAW President David Goodman, “In his long-distinguished career, Craig has been a tireless advocate for the writers of animation, working diligently to get writers like himself covered under a WGA contract. The WGAW Board of Directors is proud and honored to give him this well-deserved award."

Los Angeles native Miller achieved degrees in Child Development and Social Psychology from Santa Monica College and UCLA before launching a career that hits ever corner of the pop culture landscape.   Starting his career in Hollywood as a publicity executive, he worked as a consultant to Lucasfilm, Warner Bros., Disney, Universal, and a host of others. Miller quickly found himself working alongside George Lucas, Jim Henson, and number of creative powerhouses on a long list of projects including The Empire Strikes Back, The Dark Crystal, and The Muppets Take Manhattan.

For the past 30 years, Miller has been writing, developing, and producing television, having well over 300 credits to his name, including Showtime anthology series The Hunger; G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero; and Beast Wars: Transformer (which won a Daytime Emmy in 1997). Having contributed to classic animated series such as The Real Ghostbusters, The Smurfs, and Emmy-winning PBS series Curious George, the impact and influence of his work stretches through generations of artists and creators who grew up watching his material.

In 1998, along with collaborator Marv Wolfman, Miller co-created, produced, and was a story editor on Pocket Dragon Adventures, a 104-episode series that was the first animated series to go into production under the WGA contract. The syndicated show aired from the late 1990s into the early 2000s in over 50 countries and was nominated in 2000 for the Humanitas Prize, awarded for film and television writing intended to promote human dignity, meaning, and freedom.

A regular speaker on writing for animation, Miller has spoken and taken part in animation events all over the world, including the Annecy Animation Festival in France, Cartoons on the Bay/The International Conference on Television Animation in Italy, and the San Diego Comic Con, just to name a few.

These days, Miller spends much of his time developing projects for companies around the globe, working on shows for audiences in China, Australia, France, Italy, and Dubai. His book about his time at Lucasfilm, “Star Wars Memories,” was released in December 2019.

A WGAW member since 1988, Miller has served the Guild extensively over the years, and is currently the chair of WGAW’s Animation Writers Caucus.

The WGAW’s AWC Animation Writing Award is given to members of the Animation Writers Caucus or Writers Guild who have advanced the literature of animation in film and television throughout the years and made outstanding contributions to the profession of the animation writer. Founded in 1994, the WGAW’s Animation Writers Caucus represents over 600 animation writers and works to advance economic and creative conditions in the field. Through organizing efforts, educational events, and networking opportunities, the Guild’s AWC is a leading proponent for animation writers.

Previous AWC Animation Writing Award honorees include David N. Weiss, Nicole Dubuc, Len Wein, Mike Judge, Seth MacFarlane, Sam Simon, Linda Woolverton, Len Uhley, Brad Bird, Matt Groening, Al Jean & Mike Reiss, Dwayne McDuffie and Earl Kress, Mike Scully, Patric M. Verrone, and Stan Berkowitz.

Source: Writers Guild of America West