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Thursday, December 15, 2005


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Born: May 19, 1956


Animator, director, writer, teacher, President Emeritus of the Animation Guild Local 839 Hollywood. Co-founder Gang of Seven Animation

Bio Summary

An animator since 1975, he has worked in a variety of places like New York, Toronto, and London. He has experience with many different phases of the animation process and has worked with a wide range of clients, from NATO and CTW to Playboy. (
Early Life/Family

Tom Sito was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, an upbringing that could be said to have contributed to his outspoken nature. His mother was a housewife and his father was a Naval Air Station fireman.


The High School of Art & Design 1970-1973
BFA The School of Visual Arts 1974-1976
The Art Students League 1978-1979

Career Outline

Being that Tom Sito has worked in the industry for more than 30 years, he has quite a diverse career and has worked on many noteworthy films.

He started off his career working on smaller productions considering the sluggish nature of the animation industry during the 1970s. His first noteworthy contribution to the animation world was in 1977 with his work as an assistant on Richard Williams’ film Raggedy Ann and Andy.

As the animation industry recovered from the 1970s slump, he went to work with Disney for several years on films such as The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992) and other noteworthy Disney films until he left his Disney directorship in 1995. Because of his work on these films and more, Animation World Network in January 2001 called Tom “one of the key players in the Disney Animation Revival.” (

After leaving Disney Studios, Tom went on to help set up the DreamWorks animation unit. There, he worked on The Prince of Egypt (2001), Antz (1999), Paulie (1998), Spirit, Stallion of the Cimmaron (2002), and was storyboard supervisor on Shrek (2001). While at DreamWorks, he also co-directed Warner Bros’ Osmosis Jones (2001) and did the storyboards for The Looney Tunes Movie (2003), Fox’s Garfield (2004), and The Son of the Mask (2005).

While his contributions to the animated film industry were numerous, Tom also left his mark on the television industry. Tom Sito worked on the Emmy-award winning "Ziggy’s Gift" (1982) as well as on television series such as He Man and the Masters of the Universe, Fat Albert, She-Ra, and Go-Bots. He also produced many short films, but soon his career took a turn towards education.

Tom Sito is currently an Adjunct Professor of Animation at the University of Southern California and UCLA. He has lectured on animation at various universities and organizations all across the world. Some of the places that he has made appearances at are NYU, SVA, Cal Arts, AFI, SCAD, Univ. of Washington, Microsoft, Woodbury College, VFS, Capilano College and Sheridan College in Canada, EURO-CARTOON, the Ecole Du Grand Gobelin in Paris and Cartoon Masters in Erfurt Germany, ICA Channel 4/MESH in London, The Animar Festival in Palma Majorca, The Animation Workshop of Viborg Denmark and the Beijing Film Academy. He was also a key note speaker at the International Technologies Forum in Angouleme France and the Yomiuri New Media Forum in Tokyo.

Not only is Tom an accredited professor, but he is also politically active in the animation community. Tom served three terms as President of the Hollywood Animation Guild (1992-2001) and was named President Emeritus. Currently, he is the vice president of the International Animator's Society (ASIFA/Hollywood), is a member of the Motion Picture Academy, and the National Cartoonists Society and Hollywood Heritage.

As a writer, his book “Drawing the Line: The Untold Story of Animation Labor from Silent Cartoons to CGI” (Univ. Press of Kentucky, 2006) has been hailed time and time again as a must read by institutions such as the London Times. It has received a distinguished mention in the Princeton University List of Recommended Books for 2006. He also wrote the animation chapter of the three volume anthology “Jews in American Popular Culture” (Praeger/Greenwood 2007). Tom has also written numerous articles for Animation Magazine and Animation World Network.

Comments On Style

Personality-wise, Tom seems to be quite relaxed albeit a bit outspoken.

While reading his articles on the Animation World Network’s website, I enjoyed his humorous to-the-point analyses of anything from historic movements in animation to when he conducts a simple interview. For further reference, visit

Many of his available works are storyboards and are up for online viewing here: His style is very lively and Disney-esque (and justifiably so since he worked there for so long). His Roger Rabbit comments are particularly amusing.


Shamus Culhane, Richard Williams, Art Babbitt, Ben Washam, Grim Natwick, Bill Tytla





Raggedy Ann & Andy 1977
Rock & Rule 1982
Ziggys Gift 1982
He Man and the Masters of the Universe 1983-84
SHe Ra Princess of Power, 1984
WHo Framed Roger Rabbitt? 1988
The Little Mermaid 1989
Tummy Trouble 1989
Mickeys Prince and the Pauper 1990
Beauty & The Beast 1991
Aladdin 1992
The Lion King 1994
Pocahontas 1995
Fantasia 2000
Dinosaurs 2000
The Prince of Egypt 1999
Antz 1997
Paulie: A parrots Tale 1998
Shrek 2001
Spirit: Stallion of the Cimmarron
Osmosis Jones 2001
Looney Tunes: Back in Action 2003
Garfield the Movie 2002
Son of the Mask 2005


Emmy Award for Ziggy’s Gift (1982)
One of Animation Magazine’s 100 Most Important People in Animation (1998)
Adventures in the NPM (2007) – Winner Grand Prix: Tokyo International Anime Festival (2008)
Winsor McCay Award

Related Links

A-HAA: Biography: Bill Melendez and Floyd Norman DVD
Gang of Seven Animation

Bibliographic References

Animation World Network. 2 Nov. 2008. Tom Sito – Articles. 2 Nov. 2008. [].
IMDB Resume – Tom Sito. 7 Jul. 2008. IMDB. 2 Nov. 2008 [].
Tom Sito. 2 Nov. 2008. Tom Sito’s personal site and blog. 2 Nov. 2008. [].
Tom Sito. The Animation Guild (T.A.G). 1 Nov. 2008. [].


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Diane Schulz

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