In 1992, Levy and Williamson purchased the rights for Dudley the Dragon from the Ontario Ministry of Energy. Together with Dudley’s performer, Alex Galatis, they created a series, The Adventures of Dudley the Dragon. Funding came from a slew of sources: the Canadian Parks Service, Environment Canada; Energy, Mines and Resources Canada; Environment Canada—Environmental Citizenship Initiative, Government of Canada: Science Culture Canada Program; Health Canada; Ontario Ministry of Environment and Energy; Rogers Telefund; and the Ontario Film Investment Program. Twelve episodes were made for the first season, promoting the values of the sponsors—i.e., environmental awareness.
The stories took place in a magical forest along the coast of British Columbia. A ten-year-old girl, Sally, is reading a book about a dragon who gorged himself with dragonberries and fell asleep for a hundred years. “I wonder whatever became of that dragon?” she asks. Lo and behold, the dragon wakes up behind the boulder next to her. After they scream at each other, Sally and Dudley calm down, introduce themselves and become friends. Sally and her detective brother Matt help the befuddled dragon find his home and clean it. And they would continue to clean the environment in the episodes to come.
Sources: Justin Smallbridge, Maclean‘s, February 19, 1996, “Dudley is No Dud; Children Love the Goofy Canadian Dragon,” p. 62; The Adventures of Dudley the Dragon, “Dudley Finds His Home,” TV Ontario, October 2, 1993; Neepawa Banner, September 27, 1993, p. 27A.
Once upon a time—the year 1983, in fact—the Ontario Ministry of Energy wanted to educate youngsters on energy conservation. Karen Waterman wrote a play called The Conserving Kingdom. In it, King Kilojoule of Saver City doesn’t want his daughter, Princess Penny Wise, to marry Prince Wantnot of Wasterville. Why? Wasterville is polluted and cluttered with garbage. And Prince Wantnot squanders his kingdom’s energy resources, much to the detriment of their sole energy supplier, a bumbling dragon named Dudley. Wantnot needed energy education!
The play was performed in grade schools from 1984 to 1987, in three provincial tours, in both English and French. The kids got the message, and they were entertained. They especially liked Dudley, the funniest character in the cast. The play’s popularity led to a broadcast version for TV Ontario in December 1986. Its producers, Ira Levy and Peter Williamson of Breakthrough Entertainment, saw Dudley’s appeal extending beyond just a TV special.
Dudley the Dragon’s career was just beginning.
Sources: Judy Nyman, Toronto Star, October 21, 1984, “Play on Energy Conservation a Big Hit,” p. E19; Rita Zekas, Toronto Star, December 20, 1986, “Hothead Dudley Fuelling Career with Energy Film,” p. F4.
Children’s book writer Lupe Fernandez has self-published an ebook, The Wooden Men. He’s making it available through Amazon’s Kindle Direct service. He discusses his journey into Kindle publishing at The Pen and Ink Blog. An interesting account.
I sold my first magazine today! 267 items, most of them Star Wars-related, are now available for purchase. Some include coverage of Star Trek and other science fiction productions. Other publications-for-sale feature cars, models, and other hobbies.
Click on the “Shop” button, then the “Catagories” button, and select the category closest to your interest. Thanks for shopping!
Construction of this website is almost complete. Fantasy artist Diana Levin is doing the nuts and bolts of the website design, and I’m grateful for her help.
John Grusd is a producer, director, and gifted photographer who took my pictures. You’ll see the corner photo change every time you visit the home page.