Despite being the proud parent company of properties like Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes, Warner Brothers hasn’t put out a full-length animated feature film in a very long time. There are the occasional direct-to-home entertainment releases which features DC Comics’ finest, but for the most part we haven’t seen a true WB animated film in a long time.
Pixar and DreamWorks animation have been the forefront of the animation genre, consistently putting out new films every year. Part of that reason is because of the established brain trust they have created at the dawn of their company’s inception. Together, these respective creative groups methodically have created stories and visions, and devised plans on how they will carry them out. Now WB wants a part of that action, and they have started with a brain trust of their own, which consists of some of the most reputable people in the animation and entertainment industry.
According to THR, filmmakers like Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, The Lego Movie), Nicholas Stoller (The Muppets), John Requa and Glenn Ficarra (Crazy, Stupid, Love), and Jared Stern (Mr. Popper’s Penguins), have come together to form this new animation creative group for Warner Brothers.
As you can see, it isn’t entirely based on animation alone nor is it based on people who make family friendly films. With this new brain trust, WB hopes to release at least one animated film per year.
The idea behind this brain trust is to have these projects, all in various stages of development, cross-pollinate. Meaning the respective filmmakers will work on another one’s film over time.
As for WB’s animation outlook, the studio is behind the Lord and Miller directed The Lego Movie. That is slated for a 2014 release. In 2015 we will see Storks, which is written by Stoller and being directed by Doug Sweetland (Presto). After that in 2016 comes Smallfoot, an animated film directed by Sergio Pablos (Despicable Me writer) and written by Requa and Ficarra.
While there is an eclectic mix of filmmakers that create this brain trust, it should be interesting to see what kinds of animated projects WB will push given the filmmakers’ respective backgrounds.