... by another name.
Warner Bros. doesn't want rivals like Walt Disney Studios and 20th Century Fox to have a stranglehold on the lucrative animation market.
But the studio is trying a different approach in an effort to bolster its animated efforts. Instead of unveiling a new division, it's announcing an animation creative consortium, featuring the likes of John Requa and Glenn Ficarra (“Crazy, Stupid, Love.,” “Cats & Dogs”) and Nicholas Stoller (“The Muppets”) that will help it develop its family offerings. Also on the team will be Phil Lord and Chris Miller (“Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs”) and Jared Stern (“Mr. Popper’s Penguins”). ...
It's really fairly simple.
When you have a number of creative types who seem to know what they're doing, you put them together and let them brainstorm. Create. Cross pollinate.
John Lasseter figured it out a while ago; the Pixar "brain trust" has been operating for years.
What's usually death to these things is: people spin off into their own orbits (i.e., go to other companies), too many large egos get in the way, and the suits stick their noses in and try to grab credit (even while lousing things up.)
But it's a fine idea. Now, if they can only get some (as they say) synergy going and insure that one party doesn't big foot another party, Warners will be cooking with gas.
Add On: From the L.A. Times:
Committing to the genre after years of fits and starts, Warner Bros. on Monday said it will produce one animated movie per year beginning in 2014.
Every other major studio in Hollywood has established an animation strategy in the past few years, with some such as 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures and Walt Disney Studios making the movies in-house and others like Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures relying on outside companies with which it makes deals. ...
Warner Bros., of course, DID have an animation strategy.
In the 1990s.
In television, they were partnered with Mr. Spielberg and had great success with a string of high-quality t.v. cartoons: Tiny Toons, Pink and the Brain, Animaniacs and others.
In features, Warners opened two studios on Brand Boulevard, over in sunny Glendale. Turner Feature Animation (a Time-Warner company formed by Ted) produced Cats Don't Dance. Down the boulevard in a high-rise bank building, Warner Bros. Feature Animation created Quest for Camelot, animation for the hybrid Space Jam, The Iron Giant and Osmosis Jones.
Sadly, the new Time-Warner animation divisions did not meet with the box office victories the conglomerate was looking for, and both were shuttered So now the corporation is taking a run at the feature animation business from a different direction. We wish them well.