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WAG Adds Abbate, Leahy to Executive Team

Veteran animation creatives will, respectively, oversee the studio’s creative direction and production and operations.

Warner Animation Group has expanded its executive ranks, hiring Allison Abbate as executive VP and Chris as senior VP.

BURBANK, CALIF. -- Warner Animation Group announced the appointment of Allison Abbate as executive vice president, and Chris Leahy as 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.

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.

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.

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. 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 Sept. 28), The LEGO Movie Sequel (Feb. 8, 2019) and Scoob (May 15, 2020). The division also has a number of animated and live-action/hybrid titles in development.

Source: Warner Bros.

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Tom McLean has been writing for years about animation from a secret base in Los Angeles.

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