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KAREY KIRKPATRICK (Director/Screenwriter) makes his directorial debut on "Over the Hedge.” Kirkpatrick's writing credits encompass both live-action and animated features. He most recently co-wrote the new live-action version of "Charlotte's Web,” based on the beloved children's classic. Due out this holiday season, the film stars Dakota Fanning and also features the voice talents of Julia Roberts, Robert Redford, Steve Buscemi, Oprah Winfrey and John Cleese, among others. Together with his writing partner, Chris Poche, he also wrote an original comedy entitled "Flakes,” which Kirkpatrick also produced. Slated for release in 2006, the film stars Zooey Deschanel, Christopher Lloyd and Aaron Stanford.

Born and raised in Louisiana, Kirkpatrick attended a performing arts high school and started out as an actor. His career pursuits eventually landed him on the streets of Walt Disney World's EPCOT Center, where he performed improvisational audience-participation street theater. As his artistic focus turned to writing, he was accepted to the USC School of Cinema-Television's Filmic Writing Program, where he won the Robert Riskin Screenwriting Award and the Jack Nicholson Screenwriting Award.

Immediately out of film school, Kirkpatrick landed a job as a staff writer at Walt Disney Feature Animation, where he worked for more than three years. During that time, he earned his first screenwriting credit as a co-writer on "The Rescuers Down Under.” Since then, Kirkpatrick has been working almost non-stop as a freelance screenwriter. He co-wrote the comedy "Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves,” which, together with his animation experience, led to his co-writing the acclaimed stop-motion animated feature "James and the Giant Peach.” In addition, he adapted the film's script into a children's storybook, featuring illustrations and conceptual designs by award-winning illustrator Lane Smith.

Kirkpatrick went on to write the screenplay for DreamWorks' and Aardman's award-winning clay-animated comedy "Chicken Run,” which was named the best-reviewed movie of 2000. On the live-action side, he co-wrote the screenplay for the family comedy fantasy "The Little Vampire.” He more recently collaborated with author Douglas Adams on the screenplay for the sci-fi comedy "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy,” based on Adams' enduring bestseller.

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