John Stevenson (director)

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John Stevenson
John Wayne Stevenson.jpg
John Stevenson in May 2009 at the X Media Lab's "Wealth of Animation" event in Suzhou, China
Born John Stevenson
1958 (age 58–59)
United Kingdom
Occupation Film Director, Storyboard Artist, Animator, Art Director, Puppeteer, Motion Capture Performer, Voice Actor
Years active 1978 - Present

John Stevenson (born 1958) is a British animation filmmaker and puppeteer best known for directing the 2008 animated feature film, Kung Fu Panda with Mark Osborne. Stevenson has over 30 years of experience with animation, a veteran of DreamWorks PDI who got his start in the entertainment industry via Jim Henson's The Muppet Show.

He worked as a story artist on the feature films The Great Muppet Caper, The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth and Little Shop of Horrors and as a character designer and story artist on shows and films like The Dreamstone, Count Duckula, Back to the Future: The Animated Series, The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat, two of the Fox Tales specials and FernGully 2: The Magical Rescue. He also worked as an art director on Back to the Future: The Animated Series and a puppeteer on James & the Giant Peach and Motion Capture Performer on The Moxy Pirate Show. In 1991, Stevenson moved to the United States, and in 1998 he was hired as a head of story at DreamWorks Animation. There he worked for many years in the art department on many films such as Shrek, Shrek 2, Madagascar and Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, before helming a number of episodes of their animated primetime show Father of the Pride. He worked for four years bringing Kung Fu Panda to the screen.

In 2009 Stevenson was nominated for an Academy Award with Mark Osborne for best Animated Feature for Kung Fu Panda[1] and won the Annie Award with Osborne for Directing in a Feature Production.[2]

In 2011-12 Stevenson directed a six-minute animated short film for The Coca-Cola Company produced by Ridley and Tony Scott called The Polar Bears.[3]

Since 2012, Stevenson has been directing for Rocket Pictures the sequel of Gnomeo & Juliet, titled Gnomeo & Juliet: Sherlock Gnomes, which is scheduled to be released in 2018.[4][5]

Stevenson was originally set to work as director for an upcoming film based on the character created by Mattel, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.[6] He was also attached to various projects like The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break,[7] We3,[8] Alien Rock Band[9] and Rotten Island.[9] In August 2014, it was announced that Stevenson will direct for Unified Pictures a CG-animated feature film inspired by Noah's Ark, scheduled for a release in 2016.[10]


  1. ^ : Nominees & Winners for the 81st Academy Awards
  2. ^ "36th Annual Annie Nominations and Awards Recipients". The Annie Awards. Archived from the original on August 15, 2010. Retrieved March 29, 2012. 
  3. ^ Beltrone, Gabriel (January 7, 2013). "Ad of the Day: Coca-Cola The brand's polar bears weather some family drama in this six-minute short, produced by Ridley Scott". Adweek. Retrieved January 8, 2013. 
  4. ^ Fleming, Mike (September 5, 2012). "John Stevenson Tapped To Direct ‘Gnomeo & Juliet’ Sequel ‘Sherlock Gnomes’". Deadline. Retrieved September 5, 2012. 
  5. ^ Robinson, Will (7 November 2015). "Johnny Depp takes lead in Sherlock Gnomes". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 7 November 2015. 
  6. ^ El Mayimbe (November 19, 2008). "Exclusive: From Kung-Fu Panda to He-Man?!". Latino Review. Archived from the original on December 9, 2008. Retrieved November 7, 2015. 
  7. ^ O'Hara, Helen (May 14, 2009). "John Stevenson To Direct Minotaur". Empire Online. Retrieved March 29, 2012. 
  8. ^ Rotten, Ryan (December 8, 2008). "Stevenson Attached to Direct Comic Adaptation We3". Retrieved March 29, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b DeMott, Rick (November 8, 2010). "Panda's Stevenson Joins Vanguard's Alien Rock Band". Animation World Network. Retrieved March 29, 2012. 
  10. ^ Beck, Jerry (August 20, 2014). "John Stevenson Tapped To Direct "Noah's Ark" For Unified Pictures". Animation Scoop. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 

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