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Allison Abbate, Chris Leahy Named as Senior Creative Team at Warner Animation Group

Warner Bros Animation


Allison Abbate Named Executive Vice President, Warner Animation Group
Chris Leahy Named Senior Vice President, Warner Animation Group

(December 14, 2017 – Burbank, CA) Warner Animation Group, the animated film production arm of Warner Bros. Pictures, has announced the appointment of two senior-level creative executives: Allison Abbate has been named Executive Vice President, and Chris Leahy has been named Senior Vice President. Toby Emmerich, President and Chief Content Officer, Warner Bros. Pictures shares oversight of Warner Animation Group with Courtenay Valenti, President, Production and Development, Warner Bros. Pictures.

“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 Emmerich. “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,” said 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.”

In her new role, Abbate will be responsible for the overall strategy and creative direction of the WAG group. Leahy will oversee all aspects of production and operations. Both executives will work closely with Valenti, as well as with writers, producers and directors to ensure WAG’s vision and creative strategy are met.

Allison Abbate
Allison Abbate

A 20-year industry veteran, Abbate is a highly respected and accomplished producer known for her work on some of the most innovative and critically acclaimed animated films, including producing “The Iron Giant,” for which she won a BAFTA Award. Her credits also include “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” “Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride” and “Frankenweenie,” all of which were Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe nominated. She also co-produced the animation for Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Space Jam” and served as an Executive Producer on “The LEGO Movie.”

Chris Leahy
Chris Leahy

Leahy most recently served as Vice President, Theatrical Animation, Warner Bros. Pictures. In this role, he oversaw the production of “Storks,” “The LEGO Batman Movie” and “The LEGO Ninjago Movie.” Prior to Warner Bros., Leahy worked at DreamWorks Animation for 12 years. Most recently, he was an Associate Producer on “Penguins of Madagascar” and a Production Manager on “Turbo.”

WAG titles currently in production include “Smallfoot” (slated for release September 28, 2018), “The LEGO Movie Sequel” (February 8, 2019) and “Scoob” (May 15, 2020). The division also has a number of animated and live-action/hybrid titles in development.

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Last pup of a dying planet, a young German Shepherd is rocketed to Earth, where he is bombarded by cosmic gamma rays emitted by a radioactive spider. Crash-landing in the forgotten land of Hubba Hubba, he is discovered by the Who-You-Callin'-Ancient One and his lovely wife Pookie. Instilled with their traditional American values, he spends his young adulthood roaming the globe, learning all the secrets of Comic-Fu. Donning battle armor fashioned from spilled chemicals splashed by lightning, he becomes the Sensational Shield of Sequential Art ACE THE BATHOUND! Look, it sounds a lot better than the truth. Born in Brooklyn, moved to Queens at 3 and then New Jersey at 10. Throughout high school, college, grad school, and gainful employment, two things have remained constant: 1) I am a colossal nerd, and 2) I have spent far too much time reading comics, and then reading and writing about them. Currently working as a financial programmer in New York City, while continuing to discover all the wonderful little surprises (and expenses) of owning your a home in the suburbs. Shares the above with a beautiful, wonderful, and incredibly understanding wife named Frances (who, thankfully, participates in most of my silly hobbies) and a large furry dog named Brownie (who, sadly, does not). Comics, toys, Apple Macintosh computers, video games, and eBay