Imagine that your little girl enters kindergarten bright eyed and full of self-confidence. In the blink of an eye, she returns from her educational experience no longer wanting to play with her multicultural dolls and lamenting that she wasn’t beautiful. Instead, she is now longing for “blonde skin and white hair.” Parents, what would you do? It’s 2015, not 1953.

This dilemma became real for former Pixar animator, now director Everett Downing when his younger of two daughters ventured into the real world, full of images of white people, including images inside storybooks and animated series.

A proactive and creative storyteller, Downing grabbed his sketch pad and created “The Book of Mojo,” a world full of magic and populated by characters who shape the story and, oh yeah, they are people of color, and no, it’s not an African-American story. It’s just a great story.

Downing is part of this mega animation industry and his impressive work as a story artist and animator at Pixar, Blue Sky and Dreamworks can be seen in such classics as “Ratatouille,” “Up,” “Toy Story 3,” “Brave” and two “Ice Age” films, just to name a few.

The animation veteran is opening the “Book of Mojo” and walking out on faith with a crowd-funding effort, which began June 1. Imagine: Today, magic is a part of lore, but what if tomorrow the universe awakens and mythology is now a fact? That’s the world found inside “The Book of Mojo” and the place where Lucy, a young orphan, must balance her growing abilities. Ditching the foster care system, the plucky teenager embarks on a mission to be re-united with her father despite the lurking perils of the gritty streets and the danger posed by ruthless gangs who want to force “all magical people” into their nefarious activities.

A quick-witted and clever kid, Lucy maneuvers the murky underworld with her sidekick Thales, a grumpy spirit inhabiting the body of a chubby rat. Danger lurks at every turn, and Lucy and Thales find themselves cornered and fighting for their lives. Bam! That’s until a 7-foot-tall enchanted statue drops from the sky, rescuing them from certain death and terrifying the brutal thugs—not an easy feat in a world filled with magic.

Unable to connect anything to his past, Lucy affectionately names her protector Mojo and so the adventure begins. “In my 15-year career at Pixar, Blue Sky and Dreamworks, I observed and learned from the mavericks in the industry,” said Downing.

In Hollywood, it’s almost impossible to keep a lid on quality projects, and “The Book of Mojo” has industry insiders lining up to discuss the future of the franchise, which already includes a comic book.

“I just wanted to tell an exciting story where the characters reflect the population of the world,” Downing said. “Sure, it’s ‘scary,’ but it’s ‘now,’ not ‘never.

“As a franchise creator, and now starting a new chapter as a director [for the animated project], I often find myself reciting Robert Fulghum’s ‘The Storyteller’s Creed’ for creative fuel: ‘I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.’”

Crowdfunding went live June 1. Support the project by visiting Preview the project at For more information, visit, and