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The Warner Animation Group (WAG) is the feature animation division of Warner Bros. Pictures. Established on January 7, 2013, the studio is the successor to the dissolved 2D traditional hand-drawn animation studio Warner Bros. Feature Animation, which shut down in 2003. Its first film The Lego Movie was released on February 7, 2014 and its latest release was The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part on February 8, 2019; with their next release being Scoob, a Scooby-Doo animated film on May 15, 2020. So far, all films produced by Warner Animation has grossed a collective total of $1.4 billion at the box office.

Warner Animation Group
Division
IndustryAnimation
Motion pictures
PredecessorWarner Bros. Feature Animation
FoundedJanuary 7, 2013; 6 years ago (January 7, 2013)
FounderJeff Robinov
Headquarters,
Key people
Allison Abbate
(Executive Vice President)
Chris Leahy
(Senior Vice President)
ProductsAnimated films
ParentWarner Bros. Pictures

Contents

History

In 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.[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 positive reviews and proved to be a box office success.

On January 7, 2013, Warner Animation Group announced their second film Storks, which was originally scheduled for a 2015 release but was pushed to February 10, 2017 and later to September 23, 2016.[2] On the same day, they announced their third film Smallfoot, based on the book Yeti Tracks by Sergio Pablos, was originally going to have a 2016 release as it was first announced on January 7, 2013. Then it was scheduled for release on February 9, 2018 but was later moved to September 14, 2018 and then September 28, 2018.[2]

On February 7, 2014, the same day The Lego Movie was released, it was reported that Jared Stern and Michelle Morgan were hired to write The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.[3] The sequel was announced to be released on May 26, 2017,[4] but later that year it was reported that a spin-off film featuring Batman from The Lego Movie might take the sequel's release date thus pushing the sequel to May 18, 2018.[5] Phil Lord and Christopher Miller returned to script and co-direct the sequel. Rob Schrab was set to direct the film, but was later replaced by Mike Mitchell due to "creative differences".[6] On June 2016, the release date was again pushed to February 8, 2019.

In the summer of 2015, Warner Bros. participated in a bidding war against Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation for the rights to produce The Emoji Movie, based on a script by Tony Leondis and Eric Siegel. Sony won the bidding war in July and released the film in 2017.[7]

Storks was animated by Sony Pictures Imageworks. Upon release, it was met with mixed reviews from critics.[8]

On February 10, 2017, Warner Animation Group released The Lego Batman Movie, which received positive reviews from critics and was a box office success.[9][10] On December 14, 2014 Warner Bros. announced Allison Abbate had been named Executive Vice President, and Chris Leahy has been named Senior Vice President.[11]

The Lego Ninjago Movie, based on the Lego Ninjago theme of Lego toys, was released on September 22, 2017. Upon release, the film was met with mixed reviews from critics and became the first film from the studio to fail to recoup its budget.[12][13]

Upon its September 28, 2018 release, Smallfoot, based on Yeti Tracks by Sergio Pablos, received a 76% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes with mostly positive reviews from critics and has grossed over $214 million worldwide.[14][15]

Upon its February 8, 2019 release, The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, a sequel of The Lego Movie, received a 86% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes with mostly positive reviews from critics but only grossed over $190.6 million worldwide, almost barely recouping its budget and almost becoming a box office failure.[16][17]

Upcoming projects

In March 2016, Warner Animation Group announced plans for a shared universe of animated films based on various Hanna-Barbera characters starting with a reboot of the Scooby-Doo film series titled Scoob, originally scheduled for September 21, 2018 in the United States.[18] In May 2017, Warner Bros. announced that the film would be directed by Tony Cervone and Dax Shepard, and would be released on May 15, 2020.[19] Another Hanna-Barbera film in development will be based on The Jetsons, with Conrad Vernon set to direct[20] and Matt Lieberman writing the screenplay.[21][22] Others like The Flintstones and Wacky Races movies are also in development.

In October 2018, it was announced that a live action/animated hybrid film based on Tom and Jerry is in development and that it would begin production in 2019.[23] With a release date set for April 16, 2021.[24]

On February 22, 2019, A Space Jam sequel, starring LeBron James, is scheduled for release on July 16, 2021.[25]

On March 27, 2015, it was reported that Jason Segel and Drew Pearce were going to co-direct and write a script to a new "Lego Movie" spin-off film titled The Billion Brick Race.[26]

Other WAG films in development are Speedy Gonzales,[27] Bone, Coyote vs. Acme, a Wile E. Coyote animated film with The Lego Batman Movie director Chris McKay on board to produce.[28] Meet The Beatles, which is to be based on The Beatles and directed by Paul King, who also directed Paddington.[29] The Ice Dragon, a children's fantasy book by George R. R. Martin. Martin will produce and possibly write the script for the film.[30] and Toto from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the new film will be based on the children's book Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of The Wizard of Oz. [31].

On January 24, 2018, it was announced that an animated Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat film was in development as part of a creative partnership with Seuss Enterprises.[32]

On December 5, 2018, Chris McKay announced a sequel to The Lego Batman Movie was in the works at Warner Bros. with him once again directing.[33]

On January 27, 2019, it was reported that Warner Bros. would be working on a film based on the Funko toys.[34]

Process

Similar to other animation studios such as Sony Pictures Animation and Paramount Animation, the studio outsources their animated films to different animation and visual effects studios. This would include Animal Logic (The Lego Movie franchise and the upcoming Bone film), Sony Pictures Imageworks (Storks and Smallfoot) and Reel FX Creative Studios (Scoob).

The studio is also planning to push for more original films like Smallfoot and Scooby-Doo, as well as more that feature both animation and live-action with Space Jam 2 and Tom and Jerry starting out this tactic.[23]

The budget for their films tend to range within $60–80 million. Their most expensive film to date, The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, cost $99 million to make.

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".[35]

Filmography

Feature films

Released films

# Title Release date Co-production with Animation services Budget Gross Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
1 The Lego Movie[S] February 7, 2014 Village Roadshow Pictures
RatPac-Dune Entertainment
Lego System A/S
Vertigo Entertainment
Lin Pictures
Animal Logic $60 million $469 million 96% 83
2 Storks September 23, 2016 RatPac-Dune Entertainment
Stoller Global Solutions (uncredited)
Sony Pictures Imageworks $70 million $190.6 million 65% 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[S] September 22, 2017 RatPac-Dune Entertainment
Lego System A/S
Vertigo Entertainment
Lord Miller Productions
Lin Pictures
$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[S] February 8, 2019 Lego System A/S
Vertigo Entertainment
Lord Miller Productions
Rideback
Animal Logic $99 million $183.3 million 86% 65

Upcoming films

# Title Release date Co-production with Animation services Current Production Status Ref(s)
7 Scoob May 15, 2020[23][36] Hanna-Barbera
Atlas Entertainment
Primate Pictures
1492 Pictures[23]
Reel FX Creative Studios Production [37][38][39][40][41]
8 Tom and Jerry[S] April 16, 2021 Turner Entertainment
The Story Company
N/A Pre-production [23][42]
9 Space Jam 2[S] July 16, 2021[25] SpringHill Entertainment [43][44][45][46][23]
10 DC Super Pets May 22, 2022[47] DC Entertainment [48][49]

Short films

# Title Release date Type of short
1 Enter the Ninjago June 17, 2014 Direct-to-video short
2 The Lego Movie: 4D - A New Adventure January 29, 2016 4D attraction
3 The Master September 23, 2016 Theatrical short
4 Pigeon Toady's Guide to Your New Baby December 6, 2016 Direct-to-video short
5 Dark Hoser June 13, 2017
6 Batman is Just Not That Into You
7 Cooking with Alfred
8 Movie Sound Effects: How Do They Do That?
9 Shark E. Shark in "Which Way to the Ocean?" December 19, 2017
10 Zane's Stand Up Promo
11 Turkish Airlines: Safety Video with The LEGO Movie Characters August 1, 2018 Internet short
12 Emmet's Holiday Party December 10, 2018
13 Super Soozie December 11, 2018 Direct-to-video short
14 "Everything is Awesome" Dance Together Music Video January 8, 2019 Internet short

Franchises

Title Release date
Looney Tunes 1930–present
DC Comics 1989–present
Tom and Jerry 2006–present
Scooby-Doo 2006–present
Lego 2014–present

Accolades

See also

References

  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. ^ a b "Warner Bros. Pictures Dives Into Animation Think Tank". ComingSoon.net. January 7, 2013. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  3. ^ Shaw, Lucas (February 3, 2014). "Warner Bros. Already Working on Sequel to 'The Lego Movie' (Exclusive)". The Wrap. Retrieved October 11, 2014.
  4. ^ McNary, Dave (February 21, 2014). "'Lego' Sequel Set For May 26, 2017". Variety. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
  5. ^ Kit, Borys (October 10, 2014). "'Lego Batman' Spinoff Movie in the Works at Warner Bros. (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 11, 2014.
  6. ^ Kit, Borys; Galuppo, Mia (February 3, 2017). "'Lego Movie' Sequel Enlists 'Trolls' Director Mike Mitchell (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  7. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (July 21, 2015). "Emoji At Center Of Bidding Battle Won By Sony Animation; Anthony Leondis To Direct". Deadline. Archived from the original on December 10, 2015. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  8. ^ "Storks reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
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  27. ^ Osborn, Alex (April 4, 2016). "Speedy Gonzales Animated Movie in the Works". Retrieved February 1, 2018.
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  29. ^ "{Exclusive} "Paddington" Director Paul King In Tune For Warner Bros.' Animated Musical "Meet The Beatles"". The Tracking Board. September 24, 2015. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  30. ^ Kit, Borys (May 23, 2018). "George R.R. Martin's 'The Ice Dragon' to Get the Animated Movie Treatment". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
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  32. ^ https://www.thewrap.com/cat-in-the-hat-animated-film-dr-seuss-franchise-warner-bros/
  33. ^ "'LEGO Batman Movie 2' in the Works". DC. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  34. ^ Nolan, L.D. (January 27, 2019). "REPORT: Funko Movie in Development at Warner Bros". ComicBook.com.
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  47. ^ "Warner Bros' 'DC Super Pets' Animated Movie Moves To 2022". May 22, 2019. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
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External links