Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Warner Bros. and Animation

The company has always been hot and cold about Cartoonland, ever since the 1960s when it let some of its classic shorts fall in to Public Domain. From the Times.

Warner’s C.E.O. Is Bullish on the Big Screen

When a quiet and courteous DVD executive named Kevin Tsujihara ascended to the Warner Bros. throne last year, Hollywood did not know quite what to make of him. ...

Warner ... has unique puzzles. Efforts to resuscitate its Looney Tunes animation franchise have repeatedly failed to gain traction. The studio has been painfully slow to establish a slate of films based on DC Comics characters like Wonder Woman and the Flash, watching as Disney’s Marvel Entertainment churns out one superhero hit after another.

Mr. Tsujihara noted recent progress on both of those fronts. Dan Lin, a Warner-based producer, is working on multiple sequels to “The Lego Movie,” which became a surprise blockbuster last month. (Mr. Tsujihara was directly responsible, having bought a company that makes Lego-themed video games in 2007. That led to the film, which has taken in more than $390 million worldwide.) ...

"Unique puzzles," I think, is code for "problems."

Warner Bros. has a hit with The Lego Movie, but Warner Bros. Animation, located on the Warner Ranch, has been up and down the past few years. It's latest attempt to leverage Bugs, Daffy and the gang fell a teensy bit flat, and outside of its super hero franchises, and the eternal immortal Scooby Doo, things have not been going real well.

Warners has a new production entity called the Warner Animation Group" (WAG) located on the main Burbank lot. It scored big with Legos, but the looming question is: can it create a second hit? And more importantly, will that be a non-Lego smasheroo?

We'll probably have to wait a few years to see. With the WB and animation, the trajectory has never been straight up.


Ryan Summers said...

One word: Bone.

Steve Hulett said...

Don't you mean "Monkey Bone", the hybrid that didn't work? That helped got some Fox executives fired?

Different studio, I think.

Mark Mayerson said...

He means the Jeff Smith independent comic called Bone. Warners may be developing it, but I'm unaware that it's gotten a green light. In which case it's at least 2-4 years out.

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