Brothers had been distributing cartoons for other entities, but they
wanted an in-house Animation Department.
In 1929, the team of Hugh Harman
and Rudolf Ising (shown on the left) had left Walt Disney and had created
the first sound cartoon called Bosko, the Talk-Ink Kid. Leon Schlesinger
at Warner Brothers wanted to use Bosko as a new talking character in
a new series that WB dubbed as Looney Tunes. This started the Warner
Brother Animation Department.
Harman and Ising began hiring former Disney animators
including Isadore "Friz" Freleng. Warner Brothers started
releasing their animation as a 'Vitaphone Short Subject'
Schlesinger then presented the creation of another
series using WB's musical scores as a background to compete with Disney's
Silly Symphonies and in 1931 Merry Melodies was born.
In 1933, a disagreement over funds caused Harman
and Ising to leave WB and go to MGM to start their Animation Department.
With this departure, a new character, Buddy, was created to replace
Porky Pig makes his debut in 1935 in the Merry
Melodies release 'I Haven't Got a Hat' and became their main character.
Schlesinger hired Fred "Tex" Avery, a Dallas cartoonist who
had been working for Walter Lantz, as a supervisor for Merrie Melodies.
The following year, radio actor Mel Blanc and musical director Carl
Stalling join the WB animation team. 'Tex' Avery created his magic for
WB from 1935 until 1941. Mel Blanc stayed with Warner Brothers until
he died in 1989.
In 1939, a change came with Vitaphone ending and
being replaced by Leon Schlesinger Productions. Leon
Schlesinger Productions lasted until 1944 when Schlesinger sold his
interests to Warner Brothers and Edward Selzer was placed in charge
of the Animation Department. Schlesinger died in 1949.
In 1952, with dwindling budgets, the Animation
Department had a complete make over and changed the look of the Warner
The Animation Department was flying high through
out the 1950s but by early 1960s theater attendance, and with it.. the
demand for theatrical cartoons, dropped as television strengthened its
foothold in American homes.
In 1964, WB closed the Animation Department and
leased the studio to Fritz Freleng and David DePatie (DePatie-Freleng
Enterprises Inc.). They make 37 cartoons under the Warner Bros. shield.
In 1967, the success of DePatie-Freleng got Jack
Warner's attention, and he reopened the cartoon studio, but off the
Warner lot. But in 1969, Warner Bros. decided to discontinue distribution
of all short subjects, and the revived studio was.
There was such a demand in the 1970s that WB turned
to doing Festivals utilizing complilations of older shorts and then
tried some full length features.
Full Feature Animated Films released by WB:
Bunny/Road Runner Movie (1979)
Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie (1981)
Bunny's 3rd Movie: 1001 Rabbit Tales (1982)
Duck's Movie: Fantastic Island (1983)
Duck's Quackbusters (1988)
Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
Don't Dance (1997) (with Turner Feature Animation)
for Camelot (1998)
King and I (1999)
Pokemon: The First Movie (1999) (with 4Kids Entertainment and Nintendo)
Pokemon: The Movie 2000 (2000) (with 4Kids Entertainment and Nintendo)
Pokemon 3: The Movie (2001) (with 4Kids Entertainment, and Nintendo)
Looney Tunes: Back In Action (2003)
Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie (2004) (with 4Kids Entertainment)
TMNT (2007) (with The Weinstein Company and Imagi Animation Studios)
Here are the main characters:
Bugs Bunny - Bugs Bunny first appeared in Ben Hardaway
and Cal Dalton's Looney Tune "Porky's Hare Hunt"
released April 30, 1938.
Daffy Duck - Daffy Duck first appeared
in "Porky's Duck Hunt", released April 17, 1937 and directed
By Tex Avery.
Elmer Fudd - Elmer Fudd first appeared in "Elmer's Candid
Camera", released March 2, 1940 and directed by Chuck Jones
Foghorn Leghorn - Foghorn Leghorn first appeared in "Walky
Talky Hawky", released August 31, 1946 and directed by McKimson.
Marvin the Martian - Marvin the Martian first appeared in "Haredevil
Hare", released July 24, 1948 and directed by Chuck Jones.
Pepe Le Pew - Pepe Le Pew first appeared in "Odor-able Kitty",
released January 6, 1945 and directed by Chuck Jones.
Porky Pig - Porky Pig first appeared
in "I Haven't Got a Hat", released March 2, 1935 and directed
by Friz Freleng.
Sylvester - Sylvester first appeared in "Life With Feathers",
released March 24, 1945 and directed by Friz Freleng.
Tweety - Tweety first appeared in "A Tale of Two Kitties",
released November 21, 1942 and directed by Robert Clampett.
Yosemite Sam - Yosemite Sam first appeared in "Hare Trigger",
released May 5, 1945 and directed by Friz Freleng.