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Story Evolution

Small Wonder

Reuben Forest - Original Story Concept

(NOTE: This is NOT the first episode. The following is one of the original story concepts created by Michael Berk, Douglas Schwartz & Paul B. Radin on their way to creating The Wizard of Elm Street ~ later to be known as El Dorado)

Reuben Forest is a little man with great powers.  A genius.  A scatterbrain.  A charmer & an eccentric.  A mystery.  At eighteen he traveled the world learning life from wise men.  No one knows where he came from.  His unique brand of creativity bursts forth in ingenious, wonderful toys, inspired games of strategy, & inventive strategies for solving problems, both personal & global.

Reuben loves helping the underdog, the little guy.  He loves kids.  He left his career in aerospace to design & build toys to stimulate children's imaginations & creativeness.  He's as mysterious as the magic tricks he designs & performs for children of all ages who come into his Toy Shop in Venice Beach.

Darcy McKay works for Reuben.  When he can't find his keys because of all the notes stuffed in his pockets, she knows where to find them.  She's twenty-six, beautiful, & has adored Reuben since she was a child coming into his shop to marvel at the model cars he built.  She loved how fast he could make them go.  Today she still loves speed, & Reuben has modified her car to attain it.

The technology Reuben puts in his toys is often so advanced the government requests it to use for the national good.  As long as it's not misused, Reuben complies.  Aware that he is a valuable asset, & that others, including the Soviets, also want to access his genius, the government assigns David Quinn to protect Reuben.

David's a tough operative in his thirties.  The last thing he wants to do is play nursemaid to a toymaker.  He wants international assignments full time.  It creates conflict, but more with Darcy than Reuben.  Reuben is too in love with life to let David bother him.  He's more likely to get David with a creative practical joke & let it go at that.

Personal stories are generated through Reuben & Darcy.  International intrigue comes through David.

The Toy Shop (& secret room behind it where Reuben creates his wonders) is our home base.

The stories have adventure, heart, danger, & just the right touch of magic.  The "illusions" Reuben creates sometimes defy rational explanation.  David & even Darcy often wonder who this little man is & where he came from.

Reuben will always have a toy that proves more than just a plaything.  He also has advanced designs for transportation ~ a motorcycle for example ~ that he's developed from one of his toys, which is unlike any motorcycle we've ever imagined.

When all is said & done, Reuben, Darcy, & David form an effective team, each filling a need, each complementing the other.  Their methods may be unorthodox (with Reuben there's no alternative) but they get the job done.

We watch & share their wonder, their fun, magic & success.

Page property of Michael Berk & Douglas Schwartz

Story from The Michael Berk Collection


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