Tad Stones (born 1952 in Burbank, California) is an American animator, screenwriter, producer and director best known for his work for The Walt Disney Company, where he worked from 1974 to 2003. His most notable credits for Disney include creating, writing and producing the animated series Darkwing Duck, as well as producing Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, Adventures of the Gummi Bears, Aladdin and Buzz Lightyear of Star Command.
Born in Burbank, California, Stones started with Disney training under animation veteran Eric Larson. He entered the Feature Animation training program three days after his college graduation in 1974. After animating a scene in The Rescuers, Stones moved into the story department on The Fox and the Hound. A brief stint at Walt Disney Imagineering followed, where he worked on Epcot's Transportation pavilion and the Imagination pavilion.
Stones worked at Walt Disney Television Animation since its formation in 1984. He was one of the creative forces behind many of the Disney Afternoon shows of the late 1980s and early 1990s. He was a writer for the cartoon Sport Goofy in Soccermania, and he would continue to work with Walt Disney Animation Studios, turning the pairing of Scrooge McDuck and Donald Duck's nephews into the animated TV series, DuckTales. He was one of the writers and producers of Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers and the third season of Adventures of the Gummi Bears.
In 1990, Stones was asked to develop an original concept inspired by two episodes of DuckTales; he illustrated what would eventually become known as Darkwing Duck. Stones wrote and produced the pilot film for the show, "Darkly Dawns the Duck", and served as writer and producer of the show until the end of its run. According to an interview, the character of Gosalyn Mallard was partly based on what he believed his then two-year-old daughter would be like when she grew older.
After Darkwing Duck, Stones served as executive producer, story editor, and director for Aladdin, including co-writing, producing and directing The Return of Jafar, and directed and producing Aladdin and the King of Thieves.
After the end of the Disney Afternoon-Era, Stones served as executive producer of Hercules: The Animated Series and later as producer of Buzz Lightyear of Star Command. In 2003, he directed Atlantis: Milo's Return, the direct-to-video sequel to the film Atlantis: The Lost Empire. Stones had worked at Disney for almost 30 years before leaving the company in 2003.
Stones' return to the Darkwing Duck franchise came in the form of writing "The Untimely Terror of the Time Turtle", published in Darkwing Duck Annual #1 in 2011.