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Where Does Warner Bros Animation Go After The LEGO Movie 2?

One factor that could affect both of these Looney Tunes movies is that the TV animation studio at Warner Bros. is making 200 of its own new Looney Tunes Cartoons shorts over the next two years. Overseen by Sam Register and Peter Browngardt, these artist-driven shorts are going back to what the characters have done best: Brief bursts of wild, mostly visual comedy. A taste of the new style was seen in the Warner logo animation before Teen Titans Go! to the Movies, and it looks fantastic. These shorts could give the new movies a boost, though they might have trouble living up to the standards set by the shorts.

On the Hanna-Barbera side of things, The Flintstones, The Jetsons and Wacky Races are on the docket for potential movies. It seems unlikely the Flintstones movie will be taking any cues from the darkly satirical DC Comics adaptation, but we can dream. Also in development is an animation/live-action hybrid based on William Hanna and Joseph Barbera's famous MGM series Tom & Jerry.

RELATED: Fantastic Four Director in Talks to Helm Tom and Jerry Reboot

This movie is a big question mark. Supposedly it's an origin story, but who cares about Tom and Jerry's rather self-explanatory origins? Is there actually enough substance in a cat chasing a mouse and getting brutalized to work for 90 minutes rather than seven? Leaked concept art shows that the art style is at least staying faithful to the original shorts. It also shows Jennifer Lawrence is being considered for the human role.

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A few upcoming Warner Animation Group projects fall outside of the "classic cartoon character reboots" category. Toto is instead a "classic literature/live-action movie character reboot," retelling The Wizard of Oz from the dog's perspective. The studio's also taking over control of the Dr. Seuss properties from Illumination, starting with a new movie for The Cat in the Hat. With the studio's adaptation of Jeff Smith's Bone seemingly fallen by the wayside (recent leaks of the studio's production slate made no mention of the project, which was announced in 2016), the most exciting new project at the studio from an adult perspective might be The Ice Dragon, based off a children's book by George R. R. Martin.

RELATED: George RR Martin's The Ice Dragon Animated Movie in the Works

Where The LEGO Movie 2's box office might have an impact is in regards to Warner Animation Group's most controversial project: the Funko movie. Announced shortly before The LEGO Movie 2's release, the studio was clearly hoping to recapture the magic of The LEGO Movie with yet another merchandise-based pop culture crossover movie.

Yet the novelty of mass pop culture crossovers just isn't there anymore. Even beyond diminishing returns for the LEGO franchise, audiences are no longer hyped to see pop culture characters from different universes interact. Warner's own Ready Player One came and went without making any real cultural impact. The hook of all the Disney princesses interacting failed to bring Ralph Breaks the Internet to $200 million at the domestic box office, well below other recent Disney animation hits. Even if the Funko movie defies expectations and elevates its crassly commercial premise the way the LEGO movies have, will audiences care?

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