Wise began experimenting with animation and live-action film at the age of seven, under the tutelage of several noted artists and experimental filmmakers, including Len Lye, Francis Lee, and Stan VanDerBeek. Wise created dozens of brief animations using cut-outs, scratch-on-film techniques, as well as conventional cel animation. In 1963, at the age of eight, Wise released a compilation of his experiments, entitled "Short Circuit." Distributed by the Filmmakers' Cooperative, "Short Circuit" was shown throughout the world, won several awards, and was the U.S. entry in the "Child & the World" festival in Czechoslovakia. Writing in the Village Voice, noted filmmaker and critic Jonas Mekas called Wise "the Mozart of Cinema." Wise was also written about in Time, Life, the New Yorker, Variety, and numerous other publications. By the time he was nine, he was lecturing on filmmaking at universities and film societies (including Washington & Lee and the University of Maryland at Baltimore), and appeared on numerous television shows, including I've Got a Secret with Steve Allen as host.
At the age of sixteen, Wise abandoned film-making for writing, determined to become a professional science fiction writer. The following year Wise sold several SF short stories to various anthologies. This led directly to his first television writing job, an episode of Filmation's animated Star Trek series entitled "How Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth," written in collaboration with Russell L Bates. The episode won Wise the Emmy for best children's series -- the only Emmy the original version of Star Trek ever won.
Buck Rogers, Wonder Woman, He-Man and Mighty Orbots
After a successful stint of live action work, writing for Glen Larson's Buck Rogers (the well-remembered "Space Vampire" episode) and the Lynda Carter series Wonder Woman, Wise returned to animation in the 1980s, collaborating on many of the animated endeavours of that period such as He-Man and Mighty Orbots.
Wise was also responsible for writing some of the most controversial and memorable Transformers episodes of all time during the second and fourth seasons, including the Optimus Prime origin story "War Dawn", the comedy chase format of "Kremzeek", and the final three episodes of the original G1 series "The Rebirth", which Wise was forced to edit from five parts to three due to diminishing popularity of the franchise. During this period Wise also wrote scripts for Jem and My Little Pony.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
In 1987, Wise was given the call to develop and write a five-part animated television pilot based on a little-known independent comic, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Wise thus became one of the principal forces behind the reinvention of the darker toned black and white Mirage title into a fun, bright, cheerful animated phenomenon, creating the classic phrases "Cowabunga, dude" and developing original characters like Krang, and Rocksteady and Bebop from Eastman and Laird's original character designs. Wise remained on board for most of its then-unbeaten lifespan of ten years (finally beaten by The Simpsons), writing and story editing over 100 episodes.
Wise would leave the series after the ninth season, the first that would not involve most of the characters he had crafted and helped mold for much of his run.
Disney and Batman: The Animated Series
Wise next worked on Disney's Chip 'N' Dale Rescue Rangers, and Mighty Ducks cartoons, and also wrote three episodes for The Animated Series, "The Clock King," "The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne (based on Steve Englehart's comic book story)," and the origin story of The Riddler, "If You're So Smart, Why Aren't you Rich?".
Other animated series and live-action projects
He wrote the Battletoads animated pilot episode, as well as the two-part pilot for C.O.P.S. , "The Case of C.O.P.S. File 1." He wrote and story-edited such comic-based series as Cadillacs and Dinosaurs and Jim Lee's WildC.A.T.S. He also developed, story-edited, and wrote most of the 26 episodes of Disney TV's The Animated Series. During this period he also wrote and produced the live-action film The Eye of Braxus, and was the first writer/story-editor on an animated interpretation of Zorro.
He is presently CEO of Go! Comi, a publisher of Japanese Manga.