Warner Animation Group Ups Allison Abbate, Chris Leahy

Allison Abbate and Chris Leahy - Split - Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Warner Animation Group — the Warner Bros. animation arm behind the Lego Movie franchise — has named two senior-level creative executives: Allison Abbate will assume the role of executive vp and Chris Leahy will serve as senior vp.

Toby Emmerich, president and CCO of Warner Bros. Pictures, shares oversight of the group with Courtenay Valenti, president, production and development for Warner Bros. Pictures. In her new role, Abbate will oversee strategy and creative direction of WAG. Leahy will oversee production and operations.

A 20-year industry veteran, Abbate joined the studio as executive vp, theatrical animation, Warner Bros. Pictures earlier this year. Her producing credits include The Iron Giant, Corpse Bride and Frankenweenie, as well as executive producing The Lego Movie

Leahy most recently served as vp, theatrical animation, Warner Bros. Pictures. In this role, he oversaw the production of Storks, The Lego Batman Movie and The Lego Ninjago Movie. Earlier, he spent 12 years at DreamWorks Animation.

WAG titles currently in production include Smallfoot, which is slated for a Sept. 28 release; The Lego Movie Sequel (Feb. 8, 2019); and Scoob (May 15, 2020). A number of animated and live-action hybrid titles are in development.

“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," Emmerich said Thursday in a released statement.