Animation : Animation scripts by Michael Wearing

Michael Wearing

Animation scripts

Hi guys, I’m currently writing an animated script and as I have only written live action before would appreciate if any one could point me in the right direction of a good animation script, or two. That is one that makes it easy for the animator to understand my vision. Many thanks

Amber Greenlee

The Script:

Animation is a strange beast. Unlike Live-action, where you type direction for the actors to interpret, in an animated script you may feel you have to describe EVERYTHING because there is a person drawing or modeling your vision for you, so they need a guide. A live-action script might have a scene direction of "Andrew flopped on the couch and stared at the ceiling." In animation, a "flop," can be drawn so many different ways that you might want to expand that description: "Andrew flopped with exhaustion on the couch. He stares at the ceiling in deep thought, slightly angry at what just happened." This is because the animator is the actor as well. They need to know what emotions are required for each scene. For most animated scripts, it is mostly dialogue with these expanded descriptions or storyboard reference numbers.

The Radio Edit:

In Animation, there is something called the Radio Edit, often used in television animation. This is just the dialogue recorded. This is for storyboarding as well as animation. The actors will add emotion to the lines so the storyboard artists/animators know where to go with their drawings. It is called the radio edit because it's just sound, like a radio.


The majority of animations are "written," in the storyboards. This is where visual gags are added, timing, basic compositions, layout, backgrounds, etc.... The storyboards tell everybody involved in the production from the beginning what to work on and how it should look in the end. This is why Cartoon Network has always credited their storyboard artists along with their directors on their title cards for episodes for decades.

This is a link to the storyboards with the radio edit for a scene in The Emperor's New Groove. This was before they finalized the character designs, so you can see how early in the production this scene was storyboarded.

This is that same scene's rough animation.

Here is the script for the entire movie.

Good luck and let me know if you need a storyboard artist or designer. :)

Michael Wearing

Thanks for this Amber. Really helpful

Deneuve Brutus

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