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Thursday, December 15, 2005

WORTH, Stephen

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Stephen Worth
Caricature by Marlo Meekins


Born: May 2nd, 1959 in Glendale, CA


Archive Director / Animation Producer / Art Restorer / Designer

Bio Summary

Stephen Worth has devoted his life to the art of animation. He is a well known expert on vintage animation art and is currently serving as the Director of the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive. He has over 20 years of experience in the animation business as a Producer for Bagdasarian Productions, Ralph Bakshi and John Kricfalusi's Spumco. He is a &auot;jack of all trades", performing just about every job function in animation except drawing. He believes in giving back, and has served on ASIFA-Hollywood's Board of Directors for most of his two decades of service to the organization. In 2007, he was awarded the June Foray Annie Award for a significant and benevolent impact on the art of animation.

Early Life/Family

Stephen was born and raised in Glendale, CA along with a brother Don and sister, Betsy.


Worth studied at UCLA, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Design in 1982. Although trained as an artist, his career path took him in a different direction. He broke into the film business as a Production Assistant at FilmFair studios, a commercial production house specializing in animation. At FilmFair, he had the opportunity to learn the ropes and make friends with the artists and directors who worked there. He also gained experience in the technical aspects of recording and post-production, which would serve him well later in his career. He began researching the techniques and materials used in golden age animation along with Lew Stude, and formed Vintage Ink & Paint, an animation art restoration facility in Burbank, CA.

Career Outline

Stephen's experience in animation art led him to a job as Production Assistant at Bagdasarian Productions, the studio responsible for Alvin & the Chipmunks. His first project for the company was to sort, package and market artwork from the feature, The Chipmunk Adventure. His experience in production and post production led to a swift series of promotions. Within nine months, he was serving as Associate Producer of Bagdasarian's TV series, recordings and prime time specials.

Ralph Bakshi invited Stephen to join him as Animation Production Manager on Cool World, and Steve and Ralph hit it off right away. Bakshi referred to Steve as his "right hand man" and as "the greatest cartoonist I ever met who doesn't draw". Steve handled production duties on Cool World for a little over a year, and left to dedicate his time to representing the estates of Les Clark, Grim Natwick and Mel Blanc through Vintage Ink & Paint.

John Kricfalusi met Stephen through the internet, and they became close friends. Steve was the first to show John the "world wide web" and encouraged him to get involved in the new medium. Together, they created "Spumco's Wonderful World of Cartoons", a high traffic entertainment site that pioneered animation on the web. Stephen produced "Weekend Pussy Hunt" and "The Goddamn George Liquor Program", the first Flash animated web cartoons, as well as an Annie Award winning rock video for Bjork titled "I Miss You".

Stephen continued to work for Spumco for ten years on commercials, web cartoons, several television series and a prime time special for Cartoon Network called "Boo Boo Runs Wild" In this program, he voiced the classic character Yogi Bear. When Spumco shut down production in 2005, Stephen went to work on a project that he had wanted to do for many years... build an archive and museum dedicated to the art of animation.


Stephen Worth has been an active part of the day to day operation of ASIFA-Hollywood for over 20 years. He has served on the Board of Directors for most of that time, and has edited the publications, organized events and presented special screenings for the organization. Stephen was instrumental in the re-establishment of the Annie Awards as an award for contemporary achievement, and also spearheaded the creation of the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Center in Burbank.

Two years ago, Stephen embarked on creating one of the most important projects ASIFA-Hollywood has ever undertaken: the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive. Working from the germ of an idea given to him by Bill Scott nearly twenty years ago, Stephen is building a digital database of images, sounds, movie files, biographical information and filmographies, all searchable by keyword. The Archive is growing by leaps and bounds, and it already contains thousands of rare animated cartoons and images that have never before been available to the public. The long term goals of the Archive include the establishment of a library and museum dedicated to telling the story of the people who made the classic cartoons of the golden age of animation. Stephen has spent the past two decades giving back, and his work on the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive will continue to give back to students, artists and researchers for many years to come.

Comments On Style



Stephen had many mentors in his early career... June Foray, Bill Scott, Grim Natwick, and Art Babbitt, among others. Later, he worked very closely with Ralph Bakshi, John Kricfalusi, Eddie Fitzgerald, Mike Fontanelli, Jim Smith and Vincent Waller.


Stephen doesn't suffer fools gladly. He is known for his sharp wit and passion for the things in life that he loves. He is tenacious and thorough, and informal in his dealings with others. He is a loyal friend.


Stephen believes strongly in ASIFA-Hollywood, and the importance of giving back to the art of animation. He often quotes Ralph Bakshi as saying to him, "If you're able to make a living drawing funny pictures, you're the luckiest guy in the world. You owe something for that. You have to give back to the muse."



"Hershey's: Rocky & Bullwinkle", "Keebler Elves", "Raid Bugs" 1983-1986/FilmFair (Prod Asst/Sound Technician)

"Alvin & the Chipmunks", "Chipmunks Go To The Movies", "Rocking Through The Decades" 1987-1991/Bagdasarian Prods. (Assoc. Producer)

"Cool World" 1992 Paramount/Ralph Bakshi (Animation Prod. Mgr)

"Weekend Pussy Hunt", "The Goddamn George Liquor Program", "Bjork: I Miss You", "Nike: The Big Bad Wolf", "A Day In The Life of Ranger Smith", "Boo Boo Runs Wild", "Ren & Stimpy: Adult Party Cartoon" 1995-2005 Spumco/John Kricfalusi (Producer)


June Foray Annie Award 2007

Related Links

Vintage Ink & Paint

ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive

Bibliographic References


Contributors To This Listing

Stephen Worth

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