Friday, March 04, 2022

Animation Magazine Names 'Transformers: EarthSpark' Co-Exec Producer Dale Malinowski as One of 2022's Rising Stars of Animation

Animation Magazine has announced Dale Malinowski, a Co-Executive Producer on Nickelodeon and Hasbro's upcoming CG-animated Transformers: EarthSpark series, as one of 2022's Rising Stars of Animation!

Animag’s 2022 Rising Stars of Animation feature also honors Karissa Valencia, the creator of Spirit Rangers for Netflix, who started her career at Nickelodeon as a “Nick-tern” for the Talent Development Department, and Ruolin Li, director of Abominable and the Invisible City for DreamWorks Animation Television, who started her career working as a storyboard revisionist for Nickelodeon’s 2012 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series!

A huge congratulations to Dale, Karissa, Ruolin, and everyone honored in Animation Magazine's 2022 Rising Stars of Animation feature! You can read more about each honoree at

Dale Malinowski
Co-Executive Producer, Transformers: EarthSpark, Nickelodeon

Age: 36
Birthplace: Raised in Reading, Pennsylvania
School: Temple University, 2007

First time I knew I wanted to work in animation: I loved animation and comics from a very young age. I would trace comic-book covers and interior splash pages, I would draw characters I loved from the shows I was obsessed with, and I would staple together drawings of original characters I created to assemble their stories in DIY comic books. I knew I wanted to be a storyteller as a kid but I didn’t know how to convert my fantasy into a career. That path came into focus at school, so I put in the work and followed opportunities that led me to animation. Luck and timing played a role in my journey, too!

First animation job: Assistant to three current series executives at Nickelodeon. I didn’t know what ‘current series’ was before the interview, and I showed up sporting a black eye from a freak softball collision — not a good look walking into a children’s entertainment company. Still, those three executives took a chance and hired me. They were phenomenal bosses and mentors who taught me everything about animation production. I was vocal about my passion for writing and they encouraged me to pursue it. After a few years (and many failed interviews), I landed a job as a script coordinator and finally made it into a writer’s room. That was on Andy Suriano and Ant Ward’s Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and it was a dream come true.

Fave animated shows growing up: My favorite animated shows were the ones whose characters lived in my toy chest: TMNT, The Real Ghostbusters, Batman, X-Men, and Transformers, to name a few.

What I love about my job: I love writing for these characters. The Transformers are beloved, and contributing to their legacy is a privilege. I smile every time Final Draft auto-fills ‘Optimus Prime’ in the character field. I also love storyboard launch meetings. That’s the production milestone where written material begins its transition into a visual language. Discussions about character, intent, and how to communicate “what it’s about” are always enlightening because so many of my co-workers are masters of their craft.

Challenges: The job has many challenges, but they’re relative. We spend our days (and nights and weekends!) making animation for a kid audience, so maintaining perspective makes even the toughest moments feel surmountable.

Animation idols: I admire everyone I’m working with right now. Many crew members are the most talented people I’ve never met! Someday, we will all gather and be merry — I will probably cry.

Best career advice: You are more important than your work. Take care of yourself and ask for help when you need it.

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