Edward Thaddeus "Tad" Stones is an American animator, screenwriter, producer, storyboard artist, and director best known for his work for The Walt Disney Company, where he worked from 1974 to 2003. His most notable credits for Disney include creating, writing, and producing the animated series Darkwing Duck, as well as producing Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, Adventures of the Gummi Bears, Aladdin, and Buzz Lightyear of Star Command.
Born in Burbank, California, Stones started with Disney training under animation veteran Eric Larson. He entered the Feature Animation training program three days after his college graduation in 1974. After animating a scene in The Rescuers, Stones moved into the story department on The Fox and the Hound. A brief stint at Walt Disney Imagineering followed, where he worked on Epcot's World of Motion and Journey Into Imagination.
Stones worked at Walt Disney Television Animation since its formation in 1984. He was one of the creative forces behind many of the Disney Afternoon shows of the late 1980's and early 1990's. He was a writer for the cartoon Sport Goofy in Soccermania, Stones would continue to work with Walt Disney Animation Studios, turning the pairing of Scrooge McDuck and Donald Duck's nephews into the animated TV series, DuckTales. He was one of the writers and producers of Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers and the third season of Adventures of the Gummi Bears.
In 1990, Stones was asked to develop an original concept inspired by two episodes of DuckTales; he illustrated what would eventually become known as Darkwing Duck. Stones wrote and produced the pilot film for the show, Darkly Dawns the Duck, which premiered in April 1991. After the success of the pilot, Stones served as writer and producer of the show until the end of its run in late 1992. According to an interview, the character of Gosalyn Mallard was partly based on what he believed his then two-year-old daughter would be like when she grew older.
After Darkwing Duck, Stones served as executive producer, story editor, and director in Aladdin, a television series based on the original film. In 1994, he co-wrote, produced, and directed The Return of Jafar, a direct-to-video sequel to the 1992 film Aladdin. He also directed and produced a second sequel to Aladdin in 1996, Aladdin and the King of Thieves. The film marked the end of the Aladdin films and the Aladdin animated series.
In 1998, Stones served as executive producer of Hercules: The Animated Series. Two years later, he directed the direct-to-video film Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins. The film served as pilot episode to the 2000 television series Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, which Stones also produced. In 2003, he directed Atlantis: Milo's Return, the direct-to-video sequel to the film Atlantis: The Lost Empire. Stones worked at Disney for almost three decades before leaving the company in 2003.
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