A story submitted to Hanna-Barbera on an audiotape made by a 7-year-old kid from Long Island, N.Y., is being adapted into an actual episode of the Cartoon Network animated series “Dexter’s Laboratory” and is skedded to premiere April 29 on the Time Warner toon web.
Tyler Samuel Lee was just 6-1/2 when he recorded the tape with the help of his parents and submitted it to “Dexter’s Laboratory” creator-producer Genndy Tartakovsky. So impressed was Tartakovsky by the second-grader’s imagination and understanding of the show that he and his staff decided to turn his rambling idea into a 7-minute short that will be the 50th seg of “Dexter’s” to air.
Episode, called “Dexter and Computress Get Mandark,” describes boy-genius Dexter’s efforts to destroy the laboratory of his arch rival Mandark by using a computer named Computress. Toon is animated in the style of a second-grader, complete with crayon drawings and crudely drawn characters.
Lee’s descriptions from the original audiotape submission are being incorporated, unedited, as the narration and voiceover for the episode. Lee’s mother’s words, also heard on the tape, are likewise being used in the cartoon.
“We get lots of letters and comments from fans, but Tyler’s tape just floored us,” Tartakovsky said.