Warner Animation Group (WAG) EVP Allison Abbate, who is associated with the company for more than 20 years now, and has worked on several animated hits including their original Space Jam, the popular Lego titles franchise and this summer’s hit, DC League of Super-Pets, is leaving; as first reported by Deadline.
Abbate joined Warners in 1996 to co-produce the animation on Space Jam, which became a $230M-plus grossing global hit and yielded last year’s sequel, Space Jam: A New Legacy which made over $163M worldwide. She then went on to produce the BAFTA-winning Iron Giant and Looney Tunes Back in Action before reuniting with Tim Burton, who she first worked with on Disney’s Nightmare Before Christmas, for the Oscar and BAFTA nominated Corpse Bride where she set up a UK-based stop-motion studio. She returned to the U.S. in 2012 to executive produce Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s The Lego Movie which was a near half billion worldwide grossing hit, spawning three other Warner Bros. Lego movies.
Abbate was named EVP of WAG in 2017. During her five year run in the position, she oversaw the release of Lego Ninjago, Scoob!, Smallfoot, Teen Titans Go! to the Movies, Lego Movie 2, Tom and Jerry, Space Jam: A New Legacy and the Dwayne Johnson-Kevin Hart voiced DC League of Super-Pets.
“Taking this position in 2017 was a great opportunity for me. The potential of animation at Warner Bros is second to none and we are home to some of the most iconic IP in the history of animation,” said Abbate. “I’ve learned so much and I’m proud of the movies we’ve been able to make, in spite of the pandemic and shifting marketplace,” she added.
She was also a producer on Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox, which was nominated for an original score and Best Animation Feature Oscar, as well as Burton’s Frankenweenie which was also nominated for a Best Animation Feature Oscar.
The animation features which are already in the works during her tenure are Toto, Meet the Flintstones and Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat.
Key executives remaining at WAG include SVPs Chris Leahy and Paul Gerard and creative executive Susan Akinbola.