Disney TV Animation Serves Up ‘Cookies & Milk’
Who can resist some milk and cookies? Disney Branded Television understands the “tasty” universal appeal and has greenlit an original animated series Cookies & Milk. The show, currently in development at Disney Branded Television’s animation studio, Disney Television Animation, is based on an upcoming semi-autobiographical middle grade novel by blues musician Shawn Amos, son of iconic Wallace “Wally” Amos, Jr., founder of the Famous Amos chocolate chip cookie brand.
On board are executive producers Laurence Fishburne and Helen Sugland of Cinema Gypsy Productions (ABC’s black-ish and Disney Channel’s upcoming Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur), Jesse Murphy and James Sears Bryant of Jesse James Films, and Amos. Brian Egeston (The Game, the upcoming film On a Wing and A Prayer) is set as co-executive producer and story editor.
In making the announcement, Ayo Davis, president, Disney Branded Television said, “It’s an absolute coup to bring Shawn Amos’s heartfelt, humorous book to Disney television screens and, with the guiding vision, credibility, and track record of our Cinema Gypsy and Jesse James Films creative team, we’re looking forward to telling this authentic and relatable story about belonging, self-acceptance, and forgiveness.”
Fishburne and Sugland of Cinema Gypsy said, “We’re thrilled to be collaborating with Shawn Amos, Ayo Davis, and the talented team at Disney Branded Television. Shawn’s semi-autobiographical novel, ‘Cookies & Milk,’ is partially based on his own experiences growing up as the son of Wally ‘Famous’ Amos. This humorous and heartwarming exploration of summer fun and friendship seen through the eyes of a young black boy being raised by his divorced father is full of joy, self-discovery and a whole lot of unconditional love.”
The Cookies and Milk teleplay follows the summer adventures of harmonica-playing middle-schooler Ellis Johnson as he begrudgingly helps his wildly optimistic and quite possibly magical father open the world’s first cookie shop in 1970s Hollywood, California.
Jesse James Films recently acquired the rights to the book which received a six-figure advance in a two-book deal from the publisher Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. “Cookies & Milk” is set to be published in Spring 2022.
In a joint statement, Murphy and Bryant shared, “We are so excited to have found the right home for this show with Disney Television Animation, Laurence and Helen. Shawn has created such a beautiful reimagining of his childhood in a narrative that we hope will universally connect with audiences on and off the page.”
“What a dream to see this Black kid from Hollywood become a Disney character,” quipped Amos. “I wrote ‘Cookies & Milk’ for my son to help him understand his family, his culture, and himself. I hope kids of all colors will see something of their own selves in Ellis. I’m so grateful to Helen, Jesse, and Laurence for championing my story. I know it’s in good hands with them and the deeply creative folks at Disney.”
This series greenlight marks the second animated project at Disney for Cinema Gypsy, which has a first look deal with ABC Signature and is in production on Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur for Disney Channel. No release date was announced has been announced for the new project.
Fishburne and Cinema Gypsy Productions are represented by CAA, Landmark Artists Management, and attorneys Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein Lezcano Bobb & Dang. Jesse James Films is represented by 3 Arts Entertainment and Crowe & Dunlevy. Egeston is represented by manager Adam Robinson at The Rookery, The Gersh Agency and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman, Smelkinson & Christopher LLP. Amos is represented by Barnes & Thornburg, LLP.
Source: Disney Branded Television