Prior to that, Stevenson held the post of Head of Story at PDI/DreamWorks in Palo Alto, California, serving as story artist for the DreamWorks worldwide blockbusters Shrek, Shrek 2 and Madagascar." While there, he also created storyboards for the animated features Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, starring Matt Damon and John Cromwell; and Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, starring Brad Pitt, Michelle Pfeiffer and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Stevenson worked as a story artist/consultant for Aardman Animations' unproduced claymation feature The Tortoise and the Hare. A core member of PDI/DreamWorks' creative review committee, John had input on a variety of projects and also taught classes on the story process to artists at PDI and the San Francisco-based Wild Brain Productions.
The mid-to-late '90s saw Stevenson easily segueing between multiple feature and television animation projects. John provided the lead voice for the pilot of the series Mr. Baby; designed characters for DreamWorks Television's Toonsylvania; and freelanced as a storyboard artist and character designer for DreamWorks/PDI's Antz, Pixar's Toy Story 2, Nickelodeon's Fathead, Wild Brain/Fox's direct-to-video feature FernGully 2: The Magical Rescue, Jim Henson Production's Brats of the Dark Nebula and the title design of Walt Disney's George of the Jungle. During this period, he also acted as an independent creative consultant to CBS, NBC, Walt Disney Productions, Colossal Pictures and Protozoa Pictures. He worked with Henry Selick as head of story/creative development for Twitching Image, Inc., puppeteered the animatronic rhinoceros in Disney's James and the Giant Peach (also drawing storyboards) and directed an episode of Film Roman/CBS's The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat.
As Staff Designer/Director for Colossal Pictures from ‘91 to ‘95, Stevenson worked in multiple capacities on the animated series Back to the Future and Moxy—Pirate TV Show; created advertising spots for Cheerios, Little Caesars and Parker Bros.; and developed show formats and concepts for Nickelodeon/CBS. He served as art director, character designer and storyboard artist on England's Central Television series The Dreamstone from ‘89 to ‘91.
His previous freelance career as an artist, illustrator, character designer and art director exposed him to myriad projects in nearly every medium, working on: England's Wonder World theme park and the Children's Museum of Bogotá, Columbia; the record sleeve for the Sire Record single of Madonna's Dear Jessie; commercials for Pepsi, Kellogg's Rice Krispies and Fosters Lager; the features The Great Muppet Caper, The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, The Little Shop of Horrors, The Raggedy Rawney and the short Strange Tangents; and television's The Jim Henson Hour, Duckula and Sion the Fox. Stevenson's entrée into entertainment began with character/product design, storyboarding, show concepts and background puppetry on the seminal The Muppet Show for Jim Henson Productions.
John Stevenson Facts