WASHINGTON (May 31, 2007)–National Geographic Kids Entertainment has secured the television development rights to award-winning author Jerdine Nolen’s popular children’s book “Plantzilla,” it was announced today by Donna Friedman Meir, president of National Geographic Kids Entertainment.
Nolen and David Catrow, illustrator of the book’s exotic and colorful backdrops, have joined with writer Mark Drop and the creative team at National Geographic to help develop the on-screen version of “Plantzilla” for television. The new animated series will be aimed at kids aged 6-11.
A highly acclaimed author and educator, Nolen is the creative genius behind several award-winning children’s books, including “Raising Dragons,” which received the Christopher Award, and “Harvey Potter’s Balloon Farm,” recipient of the Kentucky Bluegrass Award. Nolen will contribute to the creative development for the television series based on “Plantzilla.”
David Catrow is the award-winning illustrator of over 60 books for children, including the recent New York Times bestseller “Ain’t Gonna Paint No More” and the perennial favorite “Take Me Out of the Bathtub.” His political cartoons have been syndicated to over 900 newspapers and magazines across the country. Catrow’s artistic vision perfectly complements Nolen’s comical story of friendship between a young boy and his plant. “The story very literally grew on me like crabgrass,” Catrow says of Nolen’s manuscript.
Catrow will participate in development of the television series alongside Drop, whose recent writing credits include “Kim Possible,” “Lilo & Stitch: The Series,” “Dave the Barbarian” and “Danny Phantom.” Drop also has developed other projects for Nickelodeon.
Drawing inspiration from the book, the series will follow the adventures of Mortimer Henryson, an over-protected kid, and his best friend, Plantzilla, Mortimer’s third-grade-classroom plant.
“Jerdine Nolen’s creativity and vivid understanding of kids are evident in ‘Plantzilla.’ She connects with her audience on a playful level, and her quick wit will translate perfectly from page to screen,” said Tara Sorensen, vice president of development, National Geographic Kids Entertainment. “We look forward to bringing her wildly imaginative and adventurous characters to television.”
“‘PIantzilla’ holds a special place in my heart because I based the story on my son and the plant he brought home one day,” said Nolen. “I am thrilled to join forces with the talented team at National Geographic Kids Entertainment to bring forth new exciting adventures for Mortimer and Plantzilla as they find their way into kids’ hearts on television.”
National Geographic Kids Entertainment (NGKE) is an independent production and U.S. distribution entity of National Geographic Ventures. Established in 2003, NGKE brings the renowned National Geographic brand to children’s entertainment through the development, production and distribution of quality animated and live-action, entertainment-driven programming that excites kids to explore their world. NGKE will work with all major broadcast outlets in the United States and abroad. For more information about National Geographic, visit www.nationalgeographic.com.