Starlight Runner Ent. CEO Jeff Gomez and singer-songwriter Peter Yarrow are working together to hammer out a storyline for a computer-animation feature film based on Yarrow’s classic tune, Puff the Magic Dragon. Canadian animation house Nelvana, a Corus Ent. company, will produce the pic about the friendship between a boy named Jackie Paper and a wise, magical dragon from a land called Honah Lee.
The film’s epic storyline will explore the themes of self-respect, leadership and responsibility as troubled inner-city kid Paper teams up with the title dragon to unite the quarrelling inhabitants of Honah Lee.
Yarrow co-wrote Puff the Magic Dragon with his college classmate, author/filmmaker Lenny Lipton. Recorded by folk super group Peter, Paul and Mary in 1963, the tune went to No. 2 on the Billboard charts and spent 14 weeks frolicking in the top 40.
“It’s been a multi-decade search for the right person to help bring Puff to life, and we’ve finally found Jeff [Gomez], whose remarkable creative gifts are absolutely perfect for the project,” Yarrow comments. "Jeff is absolutely amazing.”
“It is both an honor and career highlight for me to join Peter Yarrow on Puff the Magic Dragon,” adds Gomez. “As a child in the Lower East Side in the 1960s, life was rough and the song was a wonderful source of comfort. It fired my imagination. Honah Lee is still very real to me.”
Gomez, who also runs creative holding company ZOWSOS Inc., is involved with Never Surrender inspirational seminars and has been working as a consultant to Operation Respect, an educational advocacy organization Yarrow founded in 1999 to ensure that children have a caring, safe, ridicule-free environment in which to grow and learn.
Nelvana hasn’t released details of the Puff the Magic Dragon’s production schedule or release window, but it plans to move move rapidly on the project, making it a top priority.
Starlight Runner was recently selected by Hand Picked Films and Gravity Ent. to develop author Dawn Barnes’ kid lit series, The Black Belt Club, as a CG feature, which Gomez is co-writing. Previous projects for Starlight and Gomez include the Hot Wheels World Race animated feature. Mr. Gomez also developed epic fantasy worlds featured in Wizards of the Coast’s Magic: The Gathering trading card franchise and Acclaim Entertainment’s Turok Dinosaur Hunter video games.