Christopher Mason "Chris" Savino (born October 2, 1971) is a storyboard artist, writer and director.
At age 19, Chris saw The Ren & Stimpy Show pilot "Big House Blues" at an animation festival while attending the Detroit Institute of the Arts, and sent John Kricfalusi some of his artwork when he heard that Nickelodeon has picked it up for a series; he ended up being hired as a layout artist at Spumco during the show's first season. Afterward, he worked at various commercial studios for a year before going to Nick's new in-house studio Games Animations to work on Rocko's Modern Life, and he was soon became the chief character designer for the show.
In 1997, he began a decade-long association with Cartoon Network as a storyboard artist on shows like Dexter's Laboratory and The Powerpuff Girls; he would later became the showrunner for those shows as well when their respective creators left to pursue other projects. After a brief run at Nickelodeon, Chris went over to Disney Television Animation, where he executive-produced and directed the entirety of Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil.
In 2013, Chris went back to Nickelodeon Animation Studios to join their Artist Collective, where he and other animation veterans train and mentor newcomers to the industry. While there, he pitched The Loud House, a short based on his experiences growing up in a large family, to the studio's annual Animated Shorts Program; the concept ended up being greenlit for a full 13-episode season, the first short from the program to get the series treatment.
In October 2017, he was suspended and subsequently fired from Nickelodeon following revelations of historic sexual harassment towards female co-workers with threats of blacklisting them from the industry if they didn't accept his advances that go as far back as 2004. Savino is the second Nicktoons creator fired from their own program, after John Kricfalusi who, ironically enough, was the first to hire Savino back in 1991 for Ren and Stimpy.note
In May 2018, he became the very first person to ever be suspended from the Animation Guild of Los Angeles as a result of the aforementioned sexual allegations. This has resulted in him being officially blacklisted from the animation industry for one year, must donate $5,000 to a charity (which has to be picked by the members of the Guild that accused Savino in the first place), has to complete 40 hours of community service and partake in ongoing counseling and receive a certificate of sexual harassment training.
Shows he worked on:
- The Ren & Stimpy Show — Layout Artist (seasons 1 & 5)
- Cool World — Inbetweener (uncredited)
- Rocko's Modern Life — Character & Prop Designer (seasons 1-3)
- Hate (scrapped TV pilot) — Layout Artist
- The Baby Huey Show — Layout Artist (season 2)
- Hey Arnold! — Storyboard Director (1 episode) List
- Duckman - Storyboard Artist (4 episodes) List
- Dexter's Laboratory
- Storyboard Artist (Ego Trip TV movie, plus 15 episodes) List
- Director (seasons 3 & 4, sans 2 episodes) List
- Producer (seasons 3 & 4)
- Cow and Chicken — Storyboard Artist (1 episode) List
- I Am Weasel — Storyboard Artist (2 episodes) List
- Space Goofs — Storyboard Artist (1 episode) List
- The Powerpuff Girls
- Storyboard Artist (15 episodes) List
- Director (2 episodes) List
- Producer (seasons 5 & 6)
- Foe Paws — Creator/Storyboard Director/Model Design
- The Flintstones: On the Rocks — Storyboards/Writer/Art Director/Producer/Director
- Samurai Jack — Director (2 episodes) List
- The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy — Storyboard Artist (1 episode) List
- Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends
- Writer (2 episodes) List
- Animation Director (5 episodes) List
- Johnny Test
- Producer/Director (Season 1)
- Storyboard Artist (1 episode) List
- My Gym Partner's a Monkey — Storyboard Artist (7 episodes) List
- My Life as a Teenage Robot — Director (Escape from Cluster Prime TV movie, plus 4 episodes) List
- Ni Hao, Kai-Lan — Storyboard Artist (1 episode) List
- Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil
- Executive Producer/Director
- Writer (2 episodes) List
- My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic — Writer (2 episodes) List
- Mickey Mouse (2013) — Storyboards/Writer/Director (1 episode) List
- The Loud House — Creator/Executive Producer/Director
- Writer (4 episodes) List
- Storyboard Artist (3 episodes) List
Chris Savino and his works provide examples of:
- Bleached Underpants: Savino is best known in the animation industry, working on children's cartoons. However, at some point, he created his very own comic strip titled The Complex Adventures of Eddie Puss, which is about a young anthropomorphic cat who is sexually attracted to his own mother. As you might've guessed, the comic strip isn't kid-friendly at all.
- He Also Did: Before he became a writer for Dexter's Laboratory and The Powerpuff Girls, Savino worked as an animator for titles like Cool World, The Ren & Stimpy Show, and Rocko's Modern Life.
- Old Shame: How he briefly describes Seasons 3 and 4 of Dexter's Lab to Butch Hartman in this video.
- One of Us: He is a huge fan of the works of Jay Ward. He even wrote and directed a Powerpuff Girls episode that paid homage to Rocky and Bullwinkle. He is also a huge fan of comic strips and their artists, especially Cliff Sterrett, George Herriman and Charles M. Schulz. He often incorporates elements from their strips into his works.
- Role-Ending Misdemeanor: Savino's career was effectively destroyed after he was suspended and eventually fired by Nickelodeon in October 2017 when several women in the industry came forward to reveal his decade-long history of sexual harassment and blackmail threats against them.note Savino has since withdrew from his social media accounts note , making it safe to say that he's all but blacklisted from the industry and that he'll have no further involvement with The Loud House, or any show for that matter.
- What Could Have Been:
- Some time in the year 2000, Savino directed a pilot for the What A Cartoon! Show titled Foe Paws, which involved a woman purchasing a dog and cat from the store to act as her new children. The short could have pre-dated Savino's creator credit for The Loud House had it been picked up for a series.
- Around 2005, Savino started development for a live-action pilot for a potential TV series titled Adventures in Milk. However, in 2008, he revealed that the project, which was picked up by an unnamed network, had been axed due to the channel changing the direction of their content.
- In 2011, he launched an Indiegogo campaign to fund for a live-action short adaption of his comic book titled Bigfoot and Gray on the Run, which he intended to serve as a potential pilot for a TV series. The short was completed, but its chances of being picked up are slim to nothing with the allegations made against him.
- When Nick announced plans for a theatrical Loud House movie for 2020, Savino was signed on to write and direct the feature. However, due to the aforementioned allegations against him, a new writer/director is set to replace him.