In 1986, Kirschner created and executive produced with Steven Spielberg An American Tail, which went on to become one of the most successful animated films in history. He unexpectedly followed that up with the horror film Childs Play, which introduced Chucky to movie audiences everywhere and launched a franchise which continues today. Kirschner then created and produced the live-action hit comedy-thriller Hocus Pocus starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy.
In 1989, Kirschner was made chairman and CEO of Hanna-Barbera Productions where he launched a full slate of animated programs, including the Emmy Award-winning series The Addams Family, and the popular miniseries The Pirates of DarkWater. During his three years at the studio, Kirschner also produced the Emmy Award-winning The Last Halloween; the critically-acclaimed telefilm The Dreamer of Oz; and The Halloween Tree, winner of the Emmy Award for Best Animated Childrens Program. Kirschner then went on to produce the box office success The Flintstones, again in partnership with Steven Spielberg; produced the animated musical One Upon a Forest, and co-wrote and produced the live-action and animated musical Once Upon a Forest, and the live-action and animated fantasy The Pagemaster.
More recently, Kirschner produced the critically-acclaimed Cats Dont Dance, a 1930s style musical featuring a score by Randy Newman and vocals by Natalie Cole, as well as choreography by the late Gene Kelly. Included among his current projects is Planet Ice scheduled for theatrical release in 1999 and Curious George, the live-action adaptation of the classic childrens book which is scheduled for release next spring. And, making his first foray into live-action television, Kirschner is executive producing Gene Roddenberrys Earth: Final Conflict, a syndicated science fiction series now heading into its second season.