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Animation World Summit 2023 Animation World Summit 2023

This year’s World Animation Summit kicks off in just two weeks, so we’ve looked through the program and picked five highlights from its packed three-day schedule.

Running November 1-3 at The Garland in North Hollywood, the event will feature dozens of guest speakers and panelists, screenings of several of the year’s top animated shorts, and exciting networking opportunities for anyone in attendance.

Here’s what we look forward to at the 2023 World Animation Summit. Registration details are HERE.

2023 Animated Feature Directors:

This year’s World Animation Summit has assembled a who’s who of this year’s animated feature directors. Filmmakers participating in two Awards-season themed panels include Nick Bruno and Troy Quane (Nimona); Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson (Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse); Benjamin Renner (Migration); Sam Fell (Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget); Kirk DeMicco (Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken); Chris Buck (Wish); Walt Dohrn (Trolls Band Together); Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic (The Super Mario Bros. Movie); Jeff Rowe (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem); Peter Sohn (Elemental).

What’s Hot and What’s Not: Animation Execs Tell You How to Up Your Game!

As the animation industry faces upheaval in the face of strikes, mergers, layoffs, and shutdowns, it’s become more important than ever for artists and creators to know what the prominent commissioners want in a new project. During this panel, executives from several of Hollywood’s biggest studios will discuss what they’re looking for from new projects.


  • Dave Jargowski: VP of animation development, Fox Entertainment.
  • Kari Kim: VP of animation development, Nickelodeon.
  • Stacy Kim: VP, series, Warner Bros. Animation.
  • Julian Malagon: VP of development, Sony Pictures Television – Kids.
  • Sander Schwartz: Indie animation producer.
Welcome to the Age of Adult Animation

Adult animation is having a moment, and this panel will examine the root causes of the increase in the production and distribution of mature-themed series. A group of experts will discuss the creative benefits of producing for an older audience, including the opportunity to push the medium beyond the traditional limitations of family entertainment. They’ll also answer questions about the challenges of producing for an audience that is more discerning in its tastes.


  • Sean Buckelew: Founding partner of Green Street Pictures, co-executive producer of Scavengers Reign.
  • Steve Levy: VP and executive producer at Harmonious Claptrap (Rick and Morty, Krapopolis)
  • Jennifer Wolfe: Writer and journalist, former editor-in-chief of Animation World Network.
  • Jane Wu: Producer and supervising director of Netflix’s Blue Eye Samurai.
Future Trendwatching: Helpful Tips for Savvy Content Producers

Key decision-makers from several major studios will discuss the changing viewing habits of today’s audiences. Conversations will touch on major trends impacting development and acquisition strategies, a new DIY mindset among the emerging generation of creators dubbed the “Roblox generation,” and tips that artists and producers should consider when creating content for younger audiences.


  • Jason Caparaz: VP, tv development, Dreamworks.
  • Dan Clark: Writer, producer, and director of kids’ series, most recently on FriendZSpace.
  • Anthony Leo: Co-president, Aircraft Pictures, producer on The Breadwinner.
  • Leanne Preston: Development executive, Moonbug Entertainment. Producer on Kizazki Moto: Generation of Fire.
AI: Helpful Tool or Dangerous Adversary?

Few topics have divided the animation community in recent years the way that artificial intelligence has in 2023. Some see the emerging technology as a tool, others as a threat. In this panel, five industry professionals with extensive AI experience will debate the technology’s future and what it might mean for artists.


  • Evan Baily: Producer, co-creator of Sonic Boom.
  • Eric Day: Creative director, producer, and writer who has worked for Meta and RYOT.
  • Dirk Hampel: Head of B-water Studios.
  • Gordon Midwood: CEO and technical co-founder of Anything World.
  • Carl Reed: Composition Media CEO and producer of the Oscar-winning short Hair Love.

Pictured at top: Scavengers Reign, Stable Animation SDK promotional still

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