Warner Animation Group Bolsters Senior Creative Team


Warner Animation Group (WAG), the animated film production division of Warner Bros. Pictures, has appointed Allison Abbate as executive VP and Chris Leahy as senior VP.

Abbate will be charged with the overall strategy and creative direction of WAG, while Leahy will manage all aspects of production and operations. Both execs will collaborate with Courtenay Valenti, the president of production and development at Warner Bros. Pictures, as well as with writers, producers and directors, to ensure the group’s vision and creative strategy are achieved.

Abbate is a seasoned producer whose credits include The Iron Giant, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride and Frankenweenie. Leahy most recently served as VP of theatrical animation at Warner Bros. Pictures, during which time he oversaw the production of Storks, The LEGO Batman Movie and more. Earlier in his career, he worked for DreamWorks Animation.

“Allison and Chris are well known and well respected in the animation community, and will be key to expanding our operations at Warner Animation Group,” said Toby Emmerich, the president and chief content officer of Warner Bros. Pictures. “We have ambitious plans for WAG and will rely on Allison and Chris to attract world-class animation talent to help us develop and deliver a robust slate of both animated and live-action/hybrid titles.”

“Warner Bros. has a long and storied history in animation,” added Valenti. “From our early animated theatrical shorts to our recent LEGO releases from WAG, animation is a studio cornerstone. I am so excited that Allison and Chris, both admired and excellent animation executives, will help us focus our efforts in this area to become an important player in family entertainment.”