A Brief History of Warner Bros. Animation–Starring Chuck Jones

Part One

  • Warner Bros. bought their cartoons at first from Leon Schlesinger
    Productions.  Releasing their first
    cartoon in 1930.  The animators were Hugh
    Harman and Rudolph Ising.  (Harman-Ising
    created for Leon Schlesinger)
    In May 1930, Bosko was introduced as an animated blob of ink resembling
    Mickey Mouse.  At the end of this first
    cartoon, Bosko squiggled back into the inkwell, saying, "so long,
    folks!" beginning a Warner Bros. tradition.
  •  In 1934 Chuck Jones began his career as an animator with The Miller's Daughter and Those Beautiful Dames.  His credits include 11 other cartoons between
  • Chuck Jones had his directorial debut in 1938 with The Night Watchman.


  • By 1942, Warner Bros. animated short cartoons were the most popular
    cartoons being created.  About this time,
    Chuck Jones is credited with changing the look of short animated films forever
    with his production of The Dover Boys.  By stylizing movement and the backgrounds on
    which it played, Jones forsook the traditional approach favored by Disney
    Studios, where every little detail was drawn. 
    By doing this, Jones was able to put the focus on the action, the
    atmosphere and the characters.


  • In 1945, Bugs Bunny cartoons were nominated the #1 short subject film
    in the Motion Picture Herald's poll of exhibitors — a title they held for the
    next 16 years!
  • From 1945 until the WB Animation Studio closed in 1963 is considered
    the "Golden Years" of the short animated film.  Many of the most famous Warner Bros.
    characters were created then by not only Chuck Jones (Pepe le Pew, Road Runner
    & Wile E. Coyote, Marvin the Martian, Gossamer, Ralph Phillips, Marc
    Anthony and Kitty, Junyer Bear, Henery Hawk, Ralph Wolf, Sam Sheepdog, Hugo the
    Abominable Snowman, Frisky Puppy and Charlie Dog) but also Friz Freleng
    (Sylvester the Cat and most notably, Yosemite Sam) and Robert McKimson (the
    Tasmanian Devil and Foghorn Leghorn).

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  •  From the early 1940s until 1949 there were at least 4 animation units
    working at the Warner Bros. Studios. 
    After 1949, there were just the Jones, Freleng and McKimson units
    creating 10 – 6 minute cartoons each per year.

Part two to follow. 

2 thoughts on “A Brief History of Warner Bros. Animation–Starring Chuck Jones

  1. Larry Levine

    I grew up loving all the Warner Bros cartoons, but even as a kid I knew there was something special about the ones directed by Charles M. Jones. Chuck’s cartoons captured my imagination & love for the art form.


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