Warner Bros. Looks to Rejuvenate its Animation House
“Warner Bros. has an extraordinary legacy in the world of animation, including some of the most enduring characters in cinema history. Looking to the future, we have now gathered some of the best and brightest talents in the industry to help us grow and broaden that legacy. Drawing upon their imaginations and inspiration, the Studio will produce a slate of new and original animated films that are sure to delight audiences of all ages.” said Warner Bros. Pictures Group president Jeff Robinov.
It seems Warner Bros. aren’t content with just being a studio with a strong animation history, as Variety reports the studio has put in place a “creative consortium” (á la Pixar’s Brain Trust I imagine) to spearhead its new animation initiative.
In recent years, Warner Bros. has output live-action mega-blockbusters, like Harry Potter and Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, however, its animation front hasn’t really been firing on all cylinders since the golden days of Looney Tunes. The studio looks to try and fix that with this new set-up, aiming to release one “high-end” film a year, starting in 2014 with Lego.
The newly formed consortium consists of John Requa and Glenn Ficarra (Crazy, Stupid, Love., Cats & Dogs), Nicholas Stoller (The Muppets), Phil Lord and Chris Miller - not DreamWorks’ Chris Miller - (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) and Jared Stern (Mr. Popper’s Penguins). A pretty strong gathering, it seems, with a firm grounding in animation. As mentioned, the group’s first project is next year’s The Lego Movie (released 7th February, 2014), which is directed by Lord and Miller and stars the voices of Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman and others.
Warner Brothers, in an attempt to comeback as one of the leading animation studios, have announced a line-up of upcoming films: The Lego Movie (February 7, 2014), Storks (2015) written by Stoller and directed by Pixar alum Doug Sweetland, and Smallfoot (2016) written by Requa and Ficarra, from an idea by director Sergio Pablos.