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Sito joins Warner Bros.

TOM SITO has left his post as head of story at DreamWorks Feature Animation, entering a one-year development deal with WARNER BROS. FEATURE ANIMATION. At Warner Bros. he will join development on the animated feature, Osmosis Jones, which sources say will be directed by Sito if the film is green-lit. As president of the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Union (M.P.S.C.) Local 839 and vice president of ASIFA-Hollywood, Sito is an influential force in the animation industry. Warners hiring of Sito is a bold move that will send a signal to the industry that the company is sticking with animation, even after the dismal performance of its debut film, Quest for Camelot and the exit of the division president Max Howard, who left in July for a producing role at DreamWorks. Everyone thought they were down and out after Quest, but I think Warner Bros. is a company thats going to surprise a lot of people, said Sito. He added that everyone at Warners is excited about moving in a different direction than other animation companies, aiming for a focus thats urban, hip, cool and action-oriented. At DreamWorks, Sito worked on story development for Prince of Egypt and Antz, and was head of story on Shrek and Spirit. In a landmark six-figure deal, Sito joined DreamWorks in 1995, leaving Disney with Jeffrey Katzenberg shortly after he partnered with Steven Spielberg and David Geffen to form DreamWorks SKG. The November 1998 issue of Animation World Magazine will feature an article by Tom Sito about how the young crew of Disneys The Fox and the Hound has gone on to lead the industry today.