Name: Jeff Nodelman ("Noodles" to his friends).
Occupation: Founder, president, and CEO of New York City-based animation studio Noodlesoup Productions Inc.
Age and home: 33, Marlboro, N.J.
Projects: Animation for Miramax's black comedy Duplex and Avenue Q, the irresistible puppet musical currently on Broadway. The company is also at work on original series for Cartoon Network, the History Channel, and Fox Sports Net, as well as a comic book for pro wrestler Rob Van Dam.
Resumé: After seeing his first cadaver as a premed student ("I went horizontal") Nodelman switched to illustration, eventually landing at Walt Disney Animation then at Grey Advertising, where he was the art director for the toys division. He started his company in 2001.
Growth spurt: An award-winning project for Saatchi & Saatchi on its General Mills account led to "projects coming out of the woodwork," he says. At a time when animation studios are shutting down, Noodlesoup plans to double its 6,000-square-foot Times Square office space by early next year.
Personal inspiration: Batman. "He is a superhero with no superhuman powers; he's just unbelievably driven."
Where great ideas come from: "I have a big dinner--ribs work best--then set a timer for 3 a.m. I have no idea what I'm writing, but in the morning there may be a coherent idea or two."
Things I Can't Live Without...
DIRECTOR'S CHAIR: "I snagged it from the set of my first commercial. It's like hitting your first home run and getting the baseball back."
WACOM CINTIQ 18SX TABLET, $3,499: "It's the Rolls-Royce of tablets. User-wise, it's the only way to go when drawing."
MY 2 1/2-YEAR-OLD SON'S FIRST ART PROJECT: "It cheers me up when I'm cranky. His little handprints remind me why I work so hard."
...And What I Covet
Boston Whaler 275 CONQUEST, $75,900 and up: "The Ferrari of fishing boats. I don't own a boat, but I have a pickup and trailer with a hitch just in case. I've even named it: 'Wet Noodle."