Originally posted 2017-03-21 15:39:38. Republished by Blog Post Promoter
Looney Tunes is an American animated series of comedy short films produced by Warner Bros. from 1930 to 1969 during the golden age of American animation, alongside its sister series Merrie Melodies. It was known for introducing such famous cartoon characters as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Tweety Bird, Sylvester the Cat, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Marvin the Martian, Pepé Le Pew, Speedy Gonzales, Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner, the Tasmanian Devil, and many others. These characters themselves are commonly referred to as the “Looney Tunes”.
Drawing inspiration for its name from Walt Disney’s then-concurrent musical series Silly Symphonies, Looney Tunes initially showcased Warner-owned musical compositions through the adventures of cartoon characters such as Bosko and Buddy. Later, following the animation studio’s addition of directors Tex Avery and Chuck Jones among others, as well as the voice actor Mel Blanc, Looney Tunes rose to greater fame after introducing several of the aforementioned cartoon stars. From 1942 to 1964, Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies were the most popular animated shorts in movie theaters.
Since its success during the short-film cartoon era, Looney Tunes has become a worldwide media franchise; spawning several television series, feature films, comic books, music albums, video games and amusement park rides, as well as serving as Warner Bros.’ flagship franchise. Many of the characters have made and continue to make cameo appearances in various other television shows, movies and advertisements. The most popular Looney Tunes character, Bugs Bunny, is regarded as a cultural icon and has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Several Looney Tunes films are regarded as some of the greatest animated cartoons of all time.
In the beginning, Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies drew their storylines from Warner’s vast music library. From 1934 to 1943, Merrie Melodies were produced in color and Looney Tunes in black and white. After 1943, both series were produced in color and became virtually indistinguishable, varying only in their opening theme music and titles. Both series made use of the various Warner Bros. cartoon characters. By 1937, the theme music for Looney Tunes was “The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down” by Cliff Friend and Dave Franklin, and the theme music for Merrie Melodies was an adaptation of “Merrily We Roll Along” by Charles Tobias, Murray Mencher and Eddie Cantor.
When Harman and Ising left Warner Bros. in 1933 over a budget dispute with Schlesinger, they took with them all the rights of the characters and cartoons they had created. A new character called Buddy became the only star of the Looney Tunes series for a couple of years
New directors including Tex Avery, Friz Freleng and Bob Clampett were brought in to work with animators in the Termite Terrace studio. In 1935 they debuted the first major Looney Tunes star, Porky Pig, along with Beans the Cat in the Merrie Melodie cartoon I Haven’t Got a Hat directed by Friz Freleng. Beans was the star of the next Porky/Beans cartoon Golddiggers of ’49, but it was Porky who emerged as the star instead of Beans. The ensemble characters of I Haven’t Got a Hat, such as Oliver Owl, and twin dogs Ham and Ex, were also given a sampling of shorts, but Beans and Porky proved much more popular. Beans was later phased out when his popularity declined, leaving Porky as the only
1936–1944: More characters and switch to color
Bugs initially starred in the color Merrie Melodies shorts and formally joined the Looney Tunes series with the release of Buckaroo Bugs in 1944. Schlesinger began to phase in the production of color Looney Tunes with the 1942 cartoon The Hep Cat. The final black-and-white Looney Tunes short was Puss n’ Booty in 1943 directed by Frank Tashlin. The inspiration for the changeover was Warner’s decision to re-release only the color cartoons in the Blue Ribbon Classics series of Merrie Melodies. Bugs made a cameo appearance in 1942 in the Avery/Clampett cartoon Crazy Cruise and also at the end of the Frank Tashlin 1943 cartoon Porky Pig’s Feat which marked Bugs’ only appearance in a black-and-white Looney Tunes short. Schlesinger sold his interest in the cartoon studio in 1944 to Warner Bros. and went into retirement; he would die five years later.
by simon schofield