Looney Tunes

Looney Tunes
Looney Tunes logo 1985-present.png
Franchise logo since 1985
Created byLeon Schlesinger
Hugh Harman
Rudolf Ising
Original workSinkin' in the Bathtub (1930)
OwnerWarner Bros.
(Warner Bros. Discovery)
Print publications
ComicsComic books
Films and television
Film(s)List of feature films
Short film(s)List of short films
Animated seriesList of TV animated series
Television special(s)List of TV specials
Video game(s)List of video games

Looney Tunes is an American animated comedy short film series produced by Warner Bros. from 1930 to 1969, concurrently with its partner series Merrie Melodies, during the golden age of American animation.[1][2] The two series introduced a large cast of characters, including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Porky Pig. The term Looney Tunes has since been expanded to also refer to the characters themselves.

Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies were initially produced by Leon Schlesinger and animators Hugh Harman and Rudolph Ising from 1930 to 1933.[3] Schlesinger assumed full production from 1933 until selling his studio to Warner Bros. in 1944.[3] The Looney Tunes title was inspired by that of Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies.[3] The shorts initially showcased musical compositions owned by Warner's music publishing interests through the adventures of such characters as Bosko and Buddy.[3] However, the shorts gained a higher profile upon the debuts of directors Tex Avery, Bob Clampett, and Chuck Jones and voice actor Mel Blanc later in the decade.[3] Porky Pig and Daffy Duck became the featured Looney Tunes characters, while Merrie Melodies featured one-shot cartoons and minor recurring characters.[3]

After Bugs Bunny became popular in the Merrie Melodies shorts of the early 1940s, Looney Tunes moved from black and white to color production, Merrie Melodies having already been in color since 1934.[3] The two series gradually lost their distinctions, and shorts were assigned to each series randomly.[3] From 1942 to 1964, Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies were the most popular animated shorts in movie theaters.[4]

Looney Tunes has since become a worldwide media franchise, spawning several television series, feature films, comic books, music albums, video games, and amusement park rides. Many of the characters have made and continue to make cameo appearances in television shows, films, and other media. Bugs Bunny, in particular, is regarded as a cultural icon and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[5] Many Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies films are ranked among the greatest animated cartoons of all time, and five of them have won Academy Awards.[6] In 2013, TV Guide counted Looney Tunes as the third greatest television cartoon series of all time, behind The Simpsons and The Flintstones, which also featured the voice talents of Mel Blanc and Bea Benaderet.[7]

  1. ^ "Looney Tunes[dead link]". www.bcdb.com, April 12, 2012
  2. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (1999). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Checkmark Books. pp. 100–102. ISBN 0-8160-3831-7. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Maltin, Leonard; Beck, Jerry (1987). Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons. New American Library. pp. 222–229, 238, 256. ISBN 978-0-452-25993-5.
  4. ^ "Warner Bros. Studio biography". AnimationUSA.com. Archived from the original on December 3, 2017. Retrieved July 22, 2008.
  5. ^ "Bugs Bunny". Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved June 28, 2012.
  6. ^ "TV Guide magazine's 60 greatest cartoons of all time". Fox News. September 24, 2013.
  7. ^ Sand, Richard (September 24, 2013). "The Definitive Ranking of The Simpsons, Peanuts, and More Old Cartoons From Your Childhood". TV Guide. Retrieved February 5, 2023.

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