Gutierrez attended the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), where he received his BFA & MFA in Experimental Animation under Jules Engel. There he created the 3D short Carmelo, which won the 2001 Student Emmy Award in animation and was screened at various festivals around the world, including Kodak's Emerging Filmmakers Program at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival. In 2000, Gutierrez worked under animation legend Maurice Noble, for the art direction of Chuck Jones' Timberwolf for Warner Bros. In 2001, he began creating Jorge Gutierrez' El Macho, an animated web series for Sony Pictures.
Gutierrez has also done character design on many animated series including Nickelodeon's ChalkZone, as well as WB's ¡Mucha Lucha!, and Disney's The Buzz on Maggie for which he was nominated for a 2006 Annie Award in character design. As a Writer, he's worked on Scholastic's Maya & Miguel as well as Disney's Brandy & Mr. Whiskers.
In 2012, Gutierrez directed at Reel FX a computer-animated adventure feature film with a Romeo and Juliet style love story set against a Mexican "Day of the Dead" backdrop. The film, with the official title The Book of Life, was co-produced with 20th Century Fox Animation and was released on October 17, 2014. He earned his first Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Animated Feature Film in 2014, only to lose the award to How to Train Your Dragon 2.
In February 2015, Reel FX and Gutierrez announced a multi-year, multi-picture deal. Since then, he has been directing and writing his second feature film, titled Kung Fu Space Punch. Gutierrez described it as a "funny mash-up of some of my favorite influences: '90s Kung Fu films, Spaghetti Westerns of the '60s, and the epic Space Adventures of the '70s, '80s and today."
In August 2, 2017, it was reported that Gutierrez would direct The Billion Brick Race, a spin-off of The Lego Movie, for Warner Animation Group. However, on February 8, 2018, it was reported that Gutierrez had left the project.