IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THADDEUS THACKERAY
Award-winning buddy comedy set in 1943, where 14 year-old Pennsylvanian nerd Judson Conover dreams of sharing adventures with his newfound favorite movie hero, Dublin McGinn. But when he mysteriously switches bodies with McGinn’s comic sidekick, the diminutive English teenage genius Thaddeus Thackeray, Judson realizes that surviving animated serials is MUCH harder than it looks. Meanwhile, Thackeray – lost within an all-too-real world at war – must figure out how to set things right. And the only one who can possibly help him is Judson's best friend, Kenny, who isn't quick to believe Thaddeus' rather fantastical story.
Ranks #8 among all animated projects
"Would make a hell of a movie...
"Sometimes you read something that just has a kind of indescribable thing to it—an energy, a spirit, that you can’t really put your finger on. For lack of a better word, I’ll call it...magic. And IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THADDEUS THACKERAY has magic to spare. ...
"What surprised me most ... was how much it touched me. Beneath all the action and humor lies a bittersweet, even mournful nostalgia that’s virtually unheard of in today’s animated fare. These may be simple cartoon characters, but they’re all so wonderful, so rounded and charming, I somehow wish they actually existed."
-- The Unsung Critic
"It’s original, whimsical, exciting and charming. And while we’ve seen a few movies of characters switching places or even movie characters coming to life, this one has a nice, original spin.... There’s also some nice heart, especially in regards to friendship..."
-- Slamdance Screenplay Competition, 2020
"Judson and Kenny are likable, compelling characters. They hit the right levels of cute, clever, precocious, without being annoying like other child protagonists can be. ... The various references -- and subversions -- to classic action and adventure films...are cute and funny. Visual humor in this is strong.... Dublin and Thackeray are suitably funny parodies of adventure serial heroes. Dublin is especially funny, thick-headed and oblivious, but I liked how he was essentially the insanely cool side of Indiana Jones without the scholarly gentlemen part. I really liked the magical realism of the script -- fictional animated characters having internal lives...it's all fun and exciting stuff. ...
"...the script is likable, cute, well-written, funny -- has a lot of strong elements for a children's/teen's animated film."
-- WeScreenplay Competition, 2021
"...there are many scenes that are cleverly written to portray the adventure animation stylings. ... The story manages to have a level of maturity to it as well by not abusing the unlimited strengths of animation to perform visual comedy as a way to move the story forward but instead using the animation as a way to compliment the narrative. ...
"...is able to expertly include the qualities of animation to tell a story of two protagonists finding their ways after losing someone close to them. The story is entertaining with plenty of action sequences and quippy dialogue that keeps engagement from the very first scene. It is well developed in terms of pacing and consistent conflict for the heroes to endure."
-- The Animation Film & Screenplay Festival, 2021
"...a delightful read. The writer clearly knows how to write, both visually and stylistically. The writer effectively draws the reader into this animated adventure story. ...
"...an imaginative and whacky piece that deserves recognition and I hope to see it on the big screen one day!"""
-- The Action/Adventure Film & Screenplay Festival, 2021
Awards & Recognition
ScreenCraft Animation Screenplay Competition. April 2020.
Stage 32 New Voices in Animation Screenwriting Contest. September 2021.
Amazon Studios Best Script Awards - TOP 50. December 2010. (After the announcement, McDaniel discovered he had to withdraw the script from further competition, as Warner Bros. employees were disqualified from participating.)
Script2Comic Screenplay Competition. October 2020.
Feature, The Southern California Screenplay Competition. January 2020.
ScreenCraft Action & Adventure Screenplay Competition. December 2019.
Best script of 2006, The Unsung Critic. January 2007.
Featured on Coverfly's THE RED LIST.
Official Selection, COVERFLY PITCH WEEK, Sept. 2020.
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