USC alumna becomes lead writer for Disney Junior’s ‘Fancy Nancy’

USC alumna Krista Tucker will serve as the story editor of Disney Junior’s upcoming animated series “Fancy Nancy.” The show is based on Jane O’Connor’s children’s picture book by the same name.

Krista Tucker’s other writing credits include “Doc McStuffins” and “Sofia the First.” (Photo courtesy of DisneyJunior/Matt Petit)

“‘Fancy Nancy’ is ultimately about imagination, that you can wake up in the morning and say ‘I want to be this, I’m [going to] try this out,’ particularly when you’re a young person,” the executive producer of “Fancy Nancy” Jamie Mitchell said in an email to the Daily Trojan. “Nancy is a character who on any given day makes a decision to be something extraordinary or different, which makes her a very likable, engaging, and aspirational character.”

Tucker said she hopes to deliver a heroine who stays true to the dauntless and imaginative Fancy Nancy, while offering viewers a fresh perspective on females. Inspired by the title character’s defiance of social norms, Tucker hopes the series will encourage its young audiences to live boldly.

“We use the book series as a jumping off point and as inspiration for our show. Because ‘Fancy Nancy’ is an animated television series, it allows us to go further with our characters and tell more in-depth stories,” Tucker said in an email to the Daily Trojan. “My vision for the series is that it will entertain our viewers while encouraging them to celebrate their uniqueness. We hope they’ll find their own expression of what it means to be fancy.”

Like Nancy, Tucker also explored various career paths that captured her interest. Despite being a screenwriter, Tucker graduated from USC with a degree in theatre. While auditioning for different roles, she realized many of the typical female cast types focused on appearance rather than inner substance. Tucker later wrote plays to craft her own characters, especially non-stereotypical female leads, to inspire her audience.

“After graduating I became frustrated with the female roles I was auditioning for… [I wrote] to create juicier characters for me to perform,” Tucker said. “This was when I fell in love with writing … and the rest is history!”

Although Tucker is no longer involved with theater or dance, she continues to apply the skills she learned at USC as a screenwriter.  She urges USC students to harvest opportunities by showing diligence and seeking out mentors to aid their personal and professional success.

“The wonderful theater program helped me learn all about the craft of acting, which I use every day when I write. I learned how to create great characters and make them emotionally real,” Tucker said. “Nothing takes the place of perseverance and hard work. Connections will get you in the door, but you need to have something to offer once an opportunity arrives.”

Despite the pressure she has faced as a story editor for the upcoming production, Tucker expressed gratitudefor her work. Similar to Nancy, Tucker wants the story she writes to spark creativity and imagination.

“Trust your gut and write, write, write! Don’t be afraid to ‘kill your darlings.’ More darlings always show up, I promise,” Tucker said. “It’s rewarding when a story works and has my co-workers laughing at our table read. Then I know we’ve got something good!”

The series is slated for premiere on July 13 on Disney Junior, DisneyNow and Disney Junior VOD.