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Groening planted seeds for a forest of animated hits

WGA Awards 2013: Animation Caucus honoree - Matt Groening

Calling Matt Groening the “Johnny Appleseed of animation writers,” WGA West past president Patric M. Verrone says “The Simpsons” and “Futurama” creator ushered in a new era for those in the field: “‘The Simpsons’ was the prototype for primetime cartoons. Even ‘The Flintstones’ wasn’t run the way ‘The Simpsons’ is. Matt developed an animation writers room along the lines of a sitcom room, (with) a staff of writers.”

From there, says Verrone, sprang forth shows like “Futurama,” “King of the Hill” and “Family Guy.” “He planted the first seed from which everyone else’s tree has grown.”

Verrone, a past recipient of the AWCAA, works with Groening on “Futurama.”

“After 12 years, he still comes into the office and treats it like it’s fresh and fun,” he says. “It helps that he wears loose-fitting Hawaiian shirts” and that he can actually draw.

“He can add stuff to a story that those of us who toil with computers don’t.”

WGA Awards 2013
WGA nominees spice up history with diverse approach
HONOREES
Tom Stoppard | Tony Kushner | Phil Rosenthal | Matt Groening | David Koepp | Daniel Petrie Jr. | Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto, Ryuzo Kikushima & Hideo Oguni | Joshua Brand and John Falsey

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