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Bill Damaschke to Lead Warner Bros. Rebranded Feature Animation Division

The animation visionary, known for ‘Shark Tale,’ ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ and ‘Kung Fu Panda’ will act as president of the newly minted Warner Bros. Pictures Animation.

Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group (WBMPG) has tapped trailblazing animation veteran Bill Damaschke to lead its feature animation operations as President of the newly rebranded Warner Bros. Pictures Animation, previously known as Warner Animation Group (WAG). He will be based at the Studio’s worldwide headquarters in Burbank, California, reporting directly to Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy, Co-Chairs & CEOs of Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group.

Damaschke comes to Warner Bros. as a groundbreaking and widely respected animation leader, most recently at Skydance Media as president of animation and family entertainment, which he left in 2019, and throughout his two decades at DreamWorks Animation, where he spearheaded a string of successful franchise features, including the Oscar-nominated Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon.

In his new role as President of Warner Bros. Pictures Animation, Damaschke will work closely with De Luca and Abdy to forge a new strategic path and creative direction for feature animation that will align with and strengthen their overall vision for WBMPG. With oversight encompassing all aspects of development and production for the feature animation division, Damaschke will focus on both compelling original and IP-based animated features for a global audience.

“Bill combines the unmatched creativity and imagination of an artist with the acumen, instincts and amazing track record of a born leader,” said De Luca and Abdy. “His decades of experience, passion for storytelling, and forward-focused vision align perfectly with our overall creative strategy for the Studio and make him the ideal shepherd for Warner Bros.’ groundbreaking and iconic film animation business. We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Bill to the Warner Bros. family and can’t wait to dive into this exhilarating new era with him at the helm.”

“To be part of a Studio with such a rich animation legacy is both a once-in-a-lifetime honor and a huge thrill for me as a Warner Bros. fan,” added Damaschke. “Mike and Pam have created an environment that combines the gravity of Warner Bros.’ 100-year history with the excitement and passion of a startup. Putting artists front and center gives us a unique opportunity to craft films for worldwide commercial and artistic success, with a focus on relatable characters and stories that are funny, emotionally resonant, culturally relevant and grounded in universal human themes. I couldn’t be more grateful for this opportunity, and am thrilled to join Mike and Pam, and the brilliant team at Warner Bros. Pictures Animation on this bold new adventure.”

Damaschke got his start at DreamWorks Animation, where he landed his first animation job as production assistant on The Prince of Egypt, and ultimately rose through the ranks to lead the company as Chief Creative Officer. During his two decades at DreamWorks, he steered numerous acclaimed and popular animated franchise films to the big screen, including Madagascar and The Croods. Damaschke also oversaw all DreamWorks Animation’s live theatrical productions, including the award-winning Shrek The Musical.

He produces theatrical stage productions through his independent production company StoryKey Entertainment, including The Prom, which was adapted by Ryan Murphy as a film and director Alex Timber’s acclaimed stage adaptation of Moulin Rouge!.

Damaschke also served as a producer on Shark Tale, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2004, and as an executive producer of Over the Hedge and Kung Fu Panda.

Damaschke now leads a core staff of 90 and is focusing on the remaining WAG production The Cat in the Hat from filmmaker Erica Rivinoja, which is set for a 2025/2026 theatrical release. Also in the development funnel is Meet the Flintstones, Flintstones origin story animated movie, which is written by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic.

Laurén Alexa's picture

Cybersecurity specialist by day, investigative journalist by night.