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Warner Animation Group

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Warner Animation Group
PredecessorWarner Bros. Feature Animation (1994–2004)
FoundedJanuary 7, 2013; 10 years ago (January 7, 2013)
FounderJeff Robinov
Key people
Bill Damaschke (President)
Chris Leahy (Executive Vice President)
ProductsAnimated films
OwnerWarner Bros. Discovery
ParentWarner Bros. Pictures Group
(Warner Bros.)

The Warner Animation Group (WAG) is an American animation studio that serves as the computer-animated feature film label of Warner Bros.' theatrical film production and distribution division, Warner Bros. Pictures. Established on January 7, 2013, by Jeff Robinov, the studio is the successor to the dissolved 2D traditional hand-drawn animation studio Warner Bros. Feature Animation, which shut down in 2004, and is also a sister to the regular Warner Bros. Animation studio.

Its first film, The Lego Movie, was released on February 7, 2014, and its most recent film was DC League of Super-Pets on July 29, 2022; their upcoming slate of films includes Coyote vs. Acme in 2023, Toto and The Cat in the Hat, both in 2024, Thing One and Thing Two in 2026, and Oh, the Places You'll Go! in 2027. Films produced by WAG have grossed a total of $2 billion at the box office.

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On January 7, 2013, Jeff Robinov (then head of the studio's motion picture division) founded a screenplay development department, nicknamed a "think tank" for developing theatrical animated films, known as the Warner Animation Group.[1] The group includes John Requa, Glenn Ficarra, Nicholas Stoller, Jared Stern, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, Sarah Smith and Mark Osborne.[1] Warner Bros. created the group with the hope that the box office reception of their films will be competitive with other animation studios' releases.[1]

On February 7, 2014, Warner Animation Group released their first film, The Lego Movie, a film animated by Animal Logic, which also provided the animation for both spinoffs. It was met with critical praise and proved to be a box-office success. Due to the movie's success, a media franchise was created, with two spinoffs, The Lego Batman Movie[2] and The Lego Ninjago Movie (both 2017),[3] and a sequel, The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019). While The Lego Batman Movie proved to be successful at the box office, The Lego Ninjago Movie and The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part were both unable to recoup its budget, with Ninjago being the first film from the Warner Animation Group to be a box-office flop.[4]

WAG's second film, Storks, was released September 23, 2016.[5] It received mixed reviews from critics. On December 14, 2017, Warner Bros. announced Allison Abbate had been named Executive Vice President, and Chris Leahy has been named Senior Vice President.[6]

The WAG shield used as the print logo from 2014 to 2021; extensively used in trailers
The WAG shield used as the print logo from 2014 to 2021; extensively used in trailers

Smallfoot, released September 28, 2018, received mostly positive reviews from critics and became a box office success. In October 2019, Locksmith Animation formed a multi-year production deal with Warner Bros. Pictures and Warner Animation Group, which will distribute Locksmith's films.[7]

An animated reboot of the  Scooby-Doo film series titled Scoob! was initially set for a theatrical release on May 15, 2020,[8] but then it was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[9] On April 21, 2020, it was announced that it would instead go to video on demand in response to the pandemic.[10] It received mixed reviews from critics.

A live-action/animated film based on Tom & Jerry was released internationally on February 11, 2021, and on February 26 in the United States in theaters and HBO Max simultaneously and also debuted the company's new logo to match with the design of the new shield logo that Warner Bros. debuted back in November 2019, and like the main WB logo, which was debuted that year with Locked Down, it is made by Devastudios, using Terragen for the sky and clouds, along with the studio's blueprints from the Warner Bros. Studio Facilities and the available photography and videography from the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood and Google Maps, all in order to reconstruct it in CGI.[11] It received generally negative reviews from critics, and is the first film from the company to have met so.

Space Jam: A New Legacy, starring LeBron James, was released on July 16, 2021, and was the first film from Warner Animation Group to incorporate traditional animation. It also received generally negative reviews from critics and is the second film from the company to have met so after Tom & Jerry, due to the film being heavy on product placement of the studio's intellectual properties.

An animated film based on the Legion of Super-Pets titled DC League of Super-Pets was released on July 29, 2022.[12] It received generally positive reviews from critics.

A Christmas-themed spin-off prequel titled Scoob! Holiday Haunt, taking place in the gang's youth, with the actors who portrayed their younger selves reprising, was set for release in 2022 on HBO Max, but was cancelled following the merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery Inc. to form Warner Bros. Discovery in April 2022 by CEO David Zaslav on August 2, 2022, citing cost-cutting measures and a refocus on theatrical films rather than creating projects for streaming.[13][14][15] Following the merger, it was announced in August that Allison Abbate would be leaving the studio.

On February 9, 2023, it was reported that former DreamWorks Animation chief creative officer Bill Damaschke was in talks to lead the studio.[16] On May 5, 2023, it was confirmed in a Warner Bros. Discovery earnings call by Zaslav that Damaschke had been hired, and was hard at work with Warner Bros. Pictures Group co-CEOs Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy on developing a new slate of films.[17]

Upcoming releases

WAG's third live-action/animation hybrid, a Wile E. Coyote film titled Coyote vs. Acme, was originally scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on July 21, 2023, by Warner Bros. Pictures.[18] On April 26, 2022, it was taken off the release schedule with Barbie taking over its original release date.[19] However, the film was quoted to still release on an undisclosed date in 2023.[20] The film will be directed by Dave Green and produced by Chris DeFaria and James Gunn.[18]

A musical feature adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's children's book Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story Of The Wizard Of Oz began animation production in February 2021. It is being directed by Alex Timbers, from a screenplay by John August, and produced by Derek Frey.[21] It was originally scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on February 2, 2024. On April 5, 2023, it was taken off the release schedule with Wise Guys taking over its original release date.[22]

Warner Animation Group is also collaborating with Dr. Seuss Enterprises to produce films based on a series of children's books of Dr. Seuss properties, including film adaptations of both The Cat in the Hat (2024) and Oh, the Places You'll Go! (2027). The firm is also developing a spin-off film of The Cat in the Hat with the focus on Thing One and Thing Two (2026), with collaboration with J. J. Abrams' production company Bad Robot Productions.[23] There are also plans to develop a DC League of Super-Pets franchise following the film's critical and commercial success.[24]


Similar to Paramount Animation and Sony Pictures Animation, the Warner Animation Group outsources their computer-animated films' production to other studios. Such as Animal Logic (The Lego Movie franchise, DC League of Super-Pets and Toto), Sony Pictures Imageworks (Storks and Smallfoot), Reel FX Creative Studios (Scoob!), Framestore (Tom & Jerry), Industrial Light & Magic (Space Jam: A New Legacy) and DNEG (Coyote vs. Acme). However, Space Jam: A New Legacy did also include hand-drawn animation, which is done in-house and also outsourced from Company 3 Animation,[25] and Tonic DNA.[26][27][28][29][30][31]

The budgets for their films tend to range from $60–80 million. Their most expensive films to date, The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, Scoob! and Space Jam: A New Legacy, cost $99 million, $90 million and $150 million respectively; DC League of Super-Pets shares Scoob!'s budget of $90 million.

The screenplay department is reportedly somewhat similar to Pixar Animation Studios' "brain trust" in terms of how its members consult with one another and give feedback on each other's projects. The group is nicknamed the "think tank".[32]


# Title Release date Co-production with Animation services Notes Budget Gross Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
1 The Lego Movie February 7, 2014 Village Roadshow Pictures
Lego System A/S
Vertigo Entertainment
Lin Pictures
Animal Logic [S] $60–65 million $469 million 96% 83
2 Storks September 23, 2016 RatPac-Dune Entertainment
Stoller Global Solutions (uncredited)
Sony Pictures Imageworks $70 million $183.3 million 66% 56
3 The Lego Batman Movie February 10, 2017 DC Entertainment
RatPac-Dune Entertainment
Lego System A/S
Lord Miller Productions
Vertigo Entertainment
Lin Pictures
Animal Logic $80 million $312 million 90% 75
4 The Lego Ninjago Movie September 22, 2017 RatPac-Dune Entertainment
Lego System A/S
Vertigo Entertainment
Lord Miller Productions
Lin Pictures
[S] $70 million $123 million 56% 55
5 Smallfoot September 28, 2018 Zaftig Films Sony Pictures Imageworks $80 million $214 million 76% 60
6 The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part February 8, 2019 Lego System A/S
Vertigo Entertainment
Lord Miller Productions
Animal Logic [S] $99 million $192.3 million 84% 65
7 Scoob! May 15, 2020[nb 1] Reel FX Creative Studios $90 million[36] $26.2 million 48% 43
8 Tom & Jerry February 26, 2021 Framestore [S] $79 million $136.4 million 31% 32
9 Space Jam: A New Legacy July 16, 2021 Proximity
The SpringHill Company
Industrial Light & Magic
Luma Pictures
Company 3 Animation
Tonic DNA
House of Moves
Day For Nite
Studio D
$150 million $162.8 million 26% 36
10 DC League of Super-Pets July 29, 2022[12] DC Entertainment
Seven Bucks Productions[38]
Animal Logic[39] $90 million $207.4 million 73% 56
11 Coyote vs. Acme 2023[18][40][19][20] Two Monkeys, A Goat and Another, Dead, Monkey[18] DNEG In production [S] [41]
12 Toto 2024[42][22] Animal Logic[43] [44]
13 The Cat in the Hat 2024[45] Dr. Seuss Enterprises[46][45] In development [47][45]
14 Thing One and Thing Two 2026[45] [45]
15 Oh, the Places You'll Go! 2027[45] Dr. Seuss Enterprises
Bad Robot Productions


Title Films Short films Release dates
The Lego Movie 4 11 2014–2019
DC Comics 2 0 2017–present
Hanna-Barbera 1 2020–present
Tom and Jerry 2021–present
Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies


See also


  1. ^ Released on Premium VOD in the United States and Canada in lieu of a planned theatrical release on this date,[33] and later released in theaters in select countries with relaxed COVID-19 restrictions beginning July 8, 2020.[34][35]


  1. ^ a b c Kit, Borys (January 7, 2013). "Warner Bros. Creates Animation Film Think Tank". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media LLC. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  2. ^ Kit, Borys (April 20, 2015). "'The Lego Batman Movie' Gets Release Date". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  3. ^ "Warner Bros Dates Lego Spinoff 'Ninjago' For Fall 2016". Deadline Hollywood. May 20, 2014. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
  4. ^ Mendelson, Scott. "Why 'The LEGO Movie 2' Is A Franchise-Ending Box Office Failure". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-07-27.
  5. ^ "Warner Bros. Pictures Dives Into Animation Think Tank". January 7, 2013. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  6. ^ "WARNER ANIMATION GROUP NAMES SENIOR CREATIVE TEAM". December 14, 2017. Archived from the original on February 6, 2019.
  7. ^ Clarke, Stewart (October 31, 2019). "Warner Signs Multi-Picture Deal With Elisabeth Murdoch's Locksmith Animation". Variety. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  8. ^ McNary, Dave (August 26, 2013). "Warner Bros. Developing Animated 'Scooby-Doo' Film (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  9. ^ Galuppo, Mia (March 24, 2020). "Warner Bros. Delays Release of 'In the Heights,' 'Scoob!' Due to Coronavirus". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  10. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (April 21, 2020). "'Scoob' Will Skip Theaters and Debut on Digital Platforms in May". Variety. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  11. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (2020-12-14). "Warner Bros. Shifts 'Mortal Kombat,' 'Tom and Jerry' Release Dates". Variety. Retrieved 2020-12-15.
  12. ^ a b "Warner Bros' 'DC Super Pets' Animated Movie Moves To 2022". May 22, 2019. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  13. ^ Couch, Aaron (August 2, 2022). "'Batgirl' and 'Scoob!: Holiday Haunt' Scrapped at Warner Bros. Amid Cost-Savings Push". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on August 2, 2022. Retrieved August 2, 2022.
  14. ^ "Scoob! Sequel Shelved By HBO Max". Archived from the original on August 3, 2022. Retrieved August 2, 2022.
  15. ^ Burlingame, Russ (December 22, 2021). "Scoob!: Holiday Haunt First Look Revealed in HBO Max Teaser". Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  16. ^ Kit, Borys (January 9, 2023). "Bill Damaschke in Final Talks to Head Warner Animation Group (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  17. ^ Szalai, Georg (May 5, 2023). "David Zaslav: "We Have Lost a Lot of Money," But Now It's Time to Rebuild Warner Bros". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 5, 2023.
  18. ^ a b c d D'Alessandro, Anthony (2020-12-23). "Warner Bros. Dates Three Pics For 2023 Theatrical Release (Not HBO Max): 'Furiosa', 'Coyote Vs. Acme' & 'The Color Purple'". Deadline. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
  19. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 26, 2022). "'Barbie' Heads To Summer 2023 – CinemaCon". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 26 April 2022.
  20. ^ a b O'Rourke, Ryan (27 January 2023). "Will Forte Details What It's Like Starring With the Looney Tunes in 'Coyote vs. Acme' [Exclusive]". Collider. Retrieved 28 January 2023.
  21. ^ Grater, Tom (February 9, 2021). "Warner's 'Toto' Animation Gears Up; Federation Adds To Doc Slate; New BASE UK Chair – Global Briefs". Deadline. Retrieved February 9, 2021.
  22. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (2023-04-05). "'Aquaman 2' Shifts Five Days Earlier, Warner Bros Dates 'The Wise Guys', 'Minecraft'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 5, 2023. Retrieved 2023-04-05.
  23. ^ "J.J. Abrams To Produce 'Oh, The Places You'll Go!' Movie In Works At Warner Bros Amid Dr. Seuss Ramp-Up". October 1, 2020. Retrieved October 3, 2020.
  24. ^ Melrose, Kevin (August 1, 2022). "Dwayne Johnson Says DC League of Super-Pets Is the Start of a Universe". Comic Book Resource. Retrieved August 16, 2022.
  25. ^ "Work".
  26. ^ "Space Jam : A New Legacy".
  27. ^ O'Connor, James (March 15, 2020). "Space Jam 2 Is Being Worked On By Director Of Original Mulan". GameSpot. Archived from the original on June 28, 2020. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
  28. ^ Dan Haskett (Podcast). The Bancroft Brothers Animation Podcast. July 3, 2020.
  29. ^ "Tweet by Matt Williames". Archived from the original on August 12, 2020. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
  30. ^ "Williames at RCC". Archived from the original on September 8, 2020. Retrieved August 13, 2020.
  31. ^ "Tweet by Ole Loken". Archived from the original on May 30, 2020. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
  32. ^ Shaw, Lucas (February 9, 2014). "'The Lego Movie' Snaps a Bright, Colorful Franchise Into Place for Warner Bros. Animation". The Wrap. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  33. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 21, 2020). "'Scoob!' To Skip Theaters & Head Into Homes; How Director Tony Cervone Got Animated Pic Across The Finish Line In COVID-19 Climate". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 21, 2020. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  34. ^ "Scooby-Doo Is Heading To The Big Screen After All — Just Not In The U.S." Cartoon Brew. July 1, 2020.
  35. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (July 15, 2020). "'Scoob!' Is Weekend Top Dog With $1.8M From 5 Overseas Markets; 'Peninsula' To Thrill Korea – International Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  36. ^ Brueggemann, Tom (October 9, 2020). "Why Disney+ Made Sense for 'Soul' and 'The Croods' Could Be Next to Move". Indiewire. Retrieved October 12, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  37. ^ Cinesite [@Cinesite] (9 June 2021). "Have you seen the new @spacejammovie..." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  38. ^ "Dwayne Johnson to Star as Krypto the Superdog in Animated 'DC League of Super-Pets'; Seven Bucks Producing". 21 May 2021.
  39. ^ "Careers Archive - Animal Logic". January 28, 2020. Archived from the original on 2020-01-28.
  40. ^ Donnelly, Matt (December 17, 2019). "Warner Bros.' Wile E. Coyote Movie Sets Dave Green to Direct (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved December 18, 2019.
  41. ^ McNary, Dave (August 29, 2018). "Wile E. Coyote Movie in the Works at Warner Bros". Variety. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  42. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (December 16, 2021). "Warner Bros. Dates Blue Beetle, Last Train To New York & Toto For 2023 & Beyond". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 17, 2021.
  43. ^ Grater, Tom (February 9, 2021). "Warner's 'Toto' Animation Gears Up; Federation Adds To Doc Slate; New BASE UK Chair – Global Briefs". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 9, 2021.
  44. ^ Galuppo, Mia (July 12, 2018). "Animated 'Oz' Movie in the Works From Warner Bros., 'Madagascar' Writer (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Valence Media. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  45. ^ a b c d e f g "J.J. Abrams To Produce 'Oh, The Places You'll Go!' Movie In Works At Warner Bros Amid Dr. Seuss Ramp-Up". October 1, 2020. Retrieved October 3, 2020.
  46. ^ Kit, Borys (January 24, 2018). "New 'Cat in the Hat' Movie in the Works From Warner Bros". The Hollywood Reporter.
  47. ^ Kit, Borys (January 24, 2018). "New 'Cat in the Hat' Movie in the Works From Warner Bros". The Hollywood Reporter.
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