Tom Owens

October 1969. He is still alive and working.

Story artist. He has been a director, head of story, character layout supervisor and character designer

*Bio Summary:
*Tom Owens is a story artist who has quite the extensive career in the animation industry. He has worked as a character layout director, to to head of story, to character designer. He has worked on both 2d animated tv shows and films to CGI films. He has won two Annie awards for his storyboarding work on Monsters vs. Aliens and How to Train your Dragon.

*Early Life/Family:*
Owens is from Charleston, South Carolina. His family moved a couple of times with his father’s company. He moved to Mexico City, then Columbus, Indiana, then Orange County, California. He went to high school near Yorba Linda. He spent a lot time drawing and writing stories. By age 8, Owens knew he wanted to be a cartoonist. He says, “… at the time I wanted to be a newspaper strip artist, but around 12, I got the Preston Blair books on animation and that did it. I wanted to work in animation ... My parents were always surprisingly supportive of my goal, considering they had no idea whether or not it was something you could make a decent living doing...”

* He was pretty much self-taught. He got a job in animation the summer he graduated high school. He attended Cal Arts, but for only about a semester. He felt it was a waste of money since he was already working, so he quit school and went back to work.

*Career Outline:
*Owens started working the summer he graduated high school. He worked as a layout artist and character designer for shows of all studios like *Darkwing Duck, The Ren and Stimpy Show, Aladdin the TV series*, and the *Little Mermaid the TV series*. He then worked as on animator on feature films like *The Prince of Egypt* and *The Road to El Dorado.* He then moved on to work as a story artist on *How to Train your Dragon* and *Monsters vs. Aliens.* He then worked as the head of story for *Kung Fu Panda Holiday* TV short.

*Comments On Style:*
He describes his style as “… an amalgam of Walt Kelly, Wally Wood, and Harvey Kurtzman.”

* Walt Kelly, Wally Wood, Harvey Kurtzman, the old Mad Magazine guys.

* He describes himself as being direct, though he feels he is very quiet. He has been told by many of his friends that before he befriended them, they thought he was scary and mean, but he surprised them by being quite the opposite.

* He has colleagues who have grown up watching cartoons that he helped create. He was working with a girl on a movie and some reference came up from some old cartoon he worked on and she said ‘I love that when I was a kid.’ He found that quite weird.

*Owens describes his experience working in the industry as “…a cyclical business... there are good years and bad, but the stretch of time I have been involved have been some of the best years ever for animation. there is SO much work, so many new avenues to explore... it seems like there is a new studio popping up weekly! I am thankful that I have always remained employed...”

*Kung Fu Panda Holiday (TV Short) (head of story)
How to Train Your Dragon (story artist)
Monsters vs. Aliens (story artist)
Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Furious Five (Video short) (story artist)
Kung Fu Panda (additional story artist)
Madagascar (additional story artist)
Captain Sturdy: The Originals (TV Short) (character designer)
3-2-1 Penguins: The Doom Funnel Rescue! (Video short) (story artist)
Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (animator: "Cavalry")
The New Woody Woodpecker Show (TV Series) (character designer - 2 episodes)
- Woody's New Roomate/Winnie's New Car/Whistle Stop Woody (2000) ... (character designer)
- Weiner Wars/Electric Chilly/Woody and the Termite (1999) ... (character designer)
The Road to El Dorado (animator: "Miguel")
The Prince of Egypt (animation assistant)
Life with Louie (TV Series) (character designer - 35 episodes)
101 Dalmatians: The Series (TV Series) (character designer - 6 episodes)
The Ren & Stimpy Show (TV Series) (layout supervisor - 10 episodes, 1995 - 1996)
The Nome Prince and the Magic Belt (Video) (character designer) 1996
Toto Lost in New York (Video) (character designer)
The Secret of the Hunchback (Video) (character model designer)
The Baby Huey Show (TV Series) (key layout artist - 1 episode)
Adventures in Odyssey: Go West Young Man (Video short) (character designer)
Life with Louie: A Christmas Surprise for Mrs. Stillman (TV Short) (character designer)
Aladdin (TV Series) (character designer - 15 episodes, 1994) (key layout designer - 1 episode, 1994)
Bonkers (TV Series) (character designer - 27 episodes, 1993 - 1994) (character design - 1 episode, 1993)
Adventures in Odyssey: Electric Christmas (Video short) (character designer)
Adventures in Odyssey: Once Upon an Avalanche (Video short) (character designer)
The Little Mermaid (TV Series) (character designer - 3 episodes)
Adventures in Odyssey: Star Quest (Video short) (character designer)
Goof Troop (TV Series) (character designer - 23 episodes)
Darkwing Duck (TV Series) (character designer - 10 episodes)
TaleSpin (TV Series) (character designer - 5 episodes)
Tiny Toon Adventures (TV Series) (character layout artist - 4 episodes, 1990) (model designer - 1 episode, 1990)

*Honors: *
· Won an Annie Award for Best Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production on *How to Train Your Dragon*
· Won an Annie Award for Storyboarding in a Feature Production on *Monsters vs. Aliens*
· Nominated for an Annie Award for Best Storyboarding in an Animated Television Production on *Kung Fu Panda Holiday*

*Related Links:*

Bibliographic References:

*Contributors To This Listing:
*Lianne Edralin

Animators Hall of Fame