‘Little House on the Prairie’: How the Opening and Closing Credits Were Created

by Katie Maloney

Ever wonder who created the opening and closing credits for “Little House on the Prairie”?

Certainly, “Little House on the Prairie” was an iconic show. Even today, fans still write blogs on how to live the “Little House” lifestyle, and television shows still reference the Ingalls. Obviously, the cast was a major part of the show’s success. However, who can forget the opening credits for the show? The upbeat music along with the scripted white font let everyone know that they could relax on the prairie for the next hour. So who can we credit for creating those, well, credits? His name is Howard Anderson Jr. He was a highly successful visual effects artist and cinematographer specializing in photographic effects, titles, and opticals. In other words, he designed the opening and closing credits for many shows including “Little House on the Prairie.”

During an interview in 2005, Anderson talked about what it was like working with actor, writer, director and producer, Michael Landon.

“Fortunately, I met him early at Paramount on ‘Bonanza.’ And he started writing, directing and producing and doing all the things for his shows. He was on our stage very often doing the inserts themselves,” said Anderson. “So he was a Renaissance kind of a guy, he could do anything. He was a very wonderful guy.”

Anderson added that Landon’s efficiency and clear vision helped make Anderson’s job as creator of the credits much easier.

“He was easy to work with. He knew what he wanted. He knew what we could do. So title work was pretty academic,” said Anderson. “We had background, foreground for the first unit. And all we did was superimpose letterings for the opening and closings each week.”

Howard Anderson Jr. talks about “Little House on the Prairie” during 2005 interview.

Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Daughter Helped Write the ‘Little House On The Prairie’ Books

We can certainly credit the “Little House on the Prairie” actors for bringing the pioneer story to life. However, without Laura Ingalls Wilder and her real-life experiences, the show never would have existed. For decades Wilder has been credited with writing the “Little House” books. However, according to IMDB, Wilder’s daughter, Rose, is believed to have worked as a ghostwriter for all of the “Little House on the Prairie” books. The two of them are said to have worked together since Rose was the established writer in the family and Laura had the incredible “Pioneer Girl” experiences.

Regardless of who wrote what, we’re grateful for Wilder’s ability to put pen to paper and bring us such an iconic television show.