Sunday, March 03, 2013

Warners' Indie Animation

Among our fine, entertainment conglomerates, Disney has two animation studios doing theatrical cartoons, and Fox (News Corp.) is tied in with two (Blue Sky Studios and DreamWorks Animation). Viacom has lost DWA but is launching Paramount Animation, and of course controls Nicktoons. Then there is Sony, with Sony Pictures Animation/ Sony Pictures ImageWorks. And Universal has an ongoing partnership with Chris Meledandri's Illumination Entertainment

Among the majors, only Time-Warner has no subsidiary doing long-form, theatrical animation. (Warner Bros. Animation focuses on television and direct-to-video product; Cartoon Network lives inside its cable channel. Warner Bros. Feature Animation and Turner Animation closed in the 1990s) But T-W is still in the feature animation game. In the recent past it's partnered with Animal Logic in Australia, and now this:

... Indie animation The Nut Job [is] the first feature from Canadian-based ToonBox and Korea-based Redrover, in association with Warner Bros-based Gulfstream Pictures.

Disney and Pixar veteran Peter Lepeniotis is directing the feature based on his own 1995 short Surly Squirrel from a script by Lorne Cameron (Brother Bear, Over The Hedge), about a mischievous squirrel who plots to rob a nut store with his rat friend Buddy. ...

The pic is currently in production aiming for a 2013 release.

Paramount has done well with Tad, the Lost Explorer, so why wouldn't Warners travel a similar route? The big, live-action epics they've rolled out this year have been misfiring, so maybe it's a good idea to try making some money with a lower budget indie.

At leas they won't be blowing through $300 million.


qindarka93 said...

Wasn't there news of Warner Bros Animation setting up a brain trust and getting back into the business, starting with the Lego movie in 2014?

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