Educated at the Royal College of Art, John Stephenson was part of the special mechanical design team for The Dark Crystal and became Creative Supervisor and later served as Executive Vice President of The Jim Henson Creature Shop. His work for Henson productions included The Storyteller, The Witches, and Dinosaurs. Stephenson art directed Jacque Annaud's The Bear and contributed to the film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for which The Jim Henson Creature Shop provided ninja turtle suit puppets. Stephenson's extensive directing and effects credits for both Henson and non-Henson projects span a wide range of stories and styles that include Return to Oz, The Flintstones, The Neverending Story III, Loch Ness, The English Patient, Lost in Space, Animal Farm and Five Children and It. In recognition of his contributions to the television and film industry in The United Kingdom, Stephenson received the Order of The British Empire (O.B.E.).