Bob Clampett (1943)

A Corny Concerto is a 1943 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies directed by Bob Clampett. The short was released on September 25, 1943, and stars Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd and Daffy Duck. They perform a parody of Disney’s Silly Symphony cartoon series and specifically his 1940 feature Fantasia. The film uses two of Johann Strauss’ best known waltzes, “Tales from the Vienna Woods” and “The Blue Danube”.

Fantasia was marketed to highbrow music fans; the Looney Tunes staff responded by violating the ivory tower of classical music and concert hall culture. A Corny Concerto parodies Fantasia’s Silly Symphonies-derived balletic approach to storytelling. Elmer Fudd stands in for Deems Taylor, and in an anti-highbrow gag, his starched shirtfront keeps erupting from his shirt to hit him on the face.

Rudolf Ising (1931)

Piggy takes his girlfriend, Fluffy, to a jazz concert.

You Don’t Know What You’re Doin’! is a 1931 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon short directed by Rudolf Ising. The short was released on October 21, 1931, and stars Piggy, one of the series’ early recurring characters. First released on October 21, 1931, the film is perhaps one of the most amusing and effective of the cartoons from the studio’s earliest years.

The musical soundtrack was done by the then-nationally famous Abe Lyman Orchestra, which adds a happy energy throughout the cartoon. The eccentric virtuoso trombone playing of Orlando “Slim” Martin is prominently featured. Martin played not only music but also some rather bizarre effects on his horn. His trombone solo representing the drunken automobile is especially memorable. The Schlesinger Studio had their sound effects department construct mechanical devices to roughly reproduce some of Martin’s sounds, which became standard cartoon sound effects.

Matt Peters (2021)

An unthinkable tragedy propels Superman into a dangerous new mindset, ultimately pitting Justice League members against each other in Injustice, an all-new DC Animated Movie. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, DC and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

Inspired by Injustice: Gods Among Us, NetherRealm Studios’ popular video game, and the best-selling DC graphic novel based on the video game, Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year One by Tom Taylor, the animated film Injustice finds an alternate world gone mad – where The Joker has duped Superman into killing Lois Lane, sending the Man of Steel on a deadly rampage. Unhinged, Superman decides to take control of the Earth for humanity’s own good. Determined to stop him, Batman creates a team of like-minded, freedom-fighting heroes. But when Superheroes go to war, can the world survive?

Hugh Harman & Rudolf Ising (1931)

Bosko and his girlfriend Honey go on a picnic.

Bosko’s Holiday is a one-reel 1931 short subject animated cartoon, part of the Bosko series. It was directed by Hugh Harman, and first released on July 18, 1931 as part of the Looney Tunes series from the Leon Schlesinger animation studio and distributed by Warner Brothers. The film score was composed by Frank Marsales.

Hugh Harman & Rudolf Ising (1930)

Congo Jazz is a Looney Tunes cartoon starring Warner Bros.’ first cartoon star, Bosko. The cartoon was released in September 1930. It was distributed by Warner Bros. and The Vitaphone Corporation. Congo Jazz was the first cartoon to feature Bosko’s falsetto voice that he would use for the bulk of the series’ run. It has the earliest instance of a “trombone gobble” in animation.

In 1927, Harman and Ising were still working for the Walt Disney Studios on a series of live-action/animated short subjects known as the Alice Comedies. The two animators created Bosko in 1927 to capitalize on the new “talkie” craze that was sweeping the motion picture industry. They began thinking about making a sound cartoon with Bosko in 1927, before even leaving Walt Disney. Hugh Harman made drawings of the new character and registered it with the copyright office on 3 January 1928.

After leaving Walt Disney in early 1928, Harman and Ising went to work for Charles Mintz on Universal’s second-season Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons. April 1929 found them moving on again, leaving Universal to market their new cartoon character. In May 1929, they produced a short pilot cartoon, similar to Max Fleischer’s Out of the Inkwell cartoons, Bosko, the Talk-Ink Kid that showcased their ability to animate soundtrack-synchronized speech and dancing. The short, plotless cartoon opens with live action footage of Ising at a drafting table. After he draws Bosko on the page, the character springs to life, talks, sings, and dances. Ising returns Bosko to the inkwell, and the short ends. This short is a landmark in animation history as being the first cartoon to predominantly feature synchronized speech, though Fleischer Studios’ Song Car-Tune My Old Kentucky Home was the first cartoon to contain animated dialogue a few years earlier. This cartoon set Harman and Ising “apart from early Disney sound cartoons because it emphasized not music but dialogue.” The short was marketed to various people by Harman and Ising until Leon Schlesinger offered them a contract to produce a series of cartoons for the Warner Bros. It would not be seen by a wide audience until 71 years later, in 2000, as part of Cartoon Network’s special Toonheads: The Lost Cartoons, a compilation special of rare material from the WB/Turner archives.

In his book, Of Mice and Magic, Leonard Maltin states that this early version of Bosko:

“was in fact a cartoonized version of a young black boy… he spoke in a Southern Negro dialect… in subsequent films this characterization was eschewed, or perhaps forgotten. This could be called sloppiness on the part of Harman and Ising, but it also indicates the uncertain nature of the character itself.”

Richard Williams (1968-92)

The Final Cut of The Thief & The Cobbler directed by Richard Williams. Fan edit by Garrett Gilchrist.

The Thief and the Cobbler is an unfinished animated fantasy film directed by Richard Williams. Originally conceived in the 1960s, the film was in and out of production for nearly three decades due to independent funding and ambitiously complex animation. It was finally placed into full production in 1989 when Warner Bros. agreed to finance and distribute the film. When production went over budget and fell behind schedule, the film was heavily cut and hastily re-edited by producer Fred Calvert without Williams’s involvement; it was eventually released in 1993 by Allied Filmmakers under the title The Princess and the Cobbler. Two years later, Disney subsidiary Miramax Films released another re-edit entitled Arabian Knight. Both versions of the film performed poorly and received mixed reviews.

Over the years, various people and companies, including The Walt Disney Company’s Roy E. Disney, have discussed restoring the film to its original version. In 2013, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences archived Richard Williams’s own 35 mm workprint. Williams himself acknowledged the film’s rehabilitated reputation, thanks to projects like the popular fan edit by Garrett Gilchrist The Recobbled Cut, and Persistence of Vision, a 2012 documentary from Kevin Schreck detailing the film’s production.

Garrett Gilchrist’s fan restorations mostly follow the workprint very closely, at least in their intent, using most of its original audio track and editing structure. In order to present a more complete film, Gilchrist added additional music (some from the released versions) and sound effects, and also included finished footage that does not appear in a finished state in the workprint, whether taken from the released versions or from other rare sources. Most of the story changes made by Fred Calvert and Miramax are not present, but it does include a few minor Calvert-only scenes or alterations, either as a side effect of using Calvert’s footage as replacements for unfinished scenes in the workprint or because Gilchrist felt these scenes were useful to the plot.

Garrett Gilchrist graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in Cinema-Television Production in March 2005.

Garrett has been a regular staff writer for Cinemontage, The Editors Guild Magazine, since 2008, interviewing the editors of upcoming Hollywood films and television series. He has also contributed to ACE CinemaEditor. He has published one novel, Cratchit & Company, which focused on the characters of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

Garrett is known for his restoration of Richard Williams’ unfinished animated masterpiece, The Thief and the Cobbler (The Recobbled Cut). The first Recobbled Cut was released in 2006. The fourth was released in HD in September 2013, after over two years of work.

He is also an artist, and from 2007 to 2009 he created Whosprites, a project designed to animate lost episodes of Doctor Who.

In 2005, Garrett released a popular fan documentary titled Star Wars: Deleted Magic, which focused on the difficulties encountered during the production of the 1977 film, and how these were fixed in editing.

In 2007 and 2008 he wrote, directed, and edited a feature titled Shamelessly, about a female superhero.

Friz Freleng (1941)

Porky Pig works hard on his farm to store food for the winter, while his neighbor, a bear, would rather lie around and be lazy.
This is the original black and white classic directed by Friz Freleng.

Porky’s Bear Facts is a 1941 Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoon animated short directed by Friz Freleng.

This cartoon short is an adaptation of the Aesop fable The Ant and the Grasshopper.

Directed by Friz Freleng

Written by Michael Maltese

Animated by Manuel Perez

Musical Direction by Carl Stalling

Produced by Leon Schlesinger

“For your long winter needs, You just plant a few s-seeds. You must get up and w-work, not sleep. D-Dig and hoe. W-Watch them grow. As ye sow so shall ye r-r-r-reap.”

Porky Pig

Frank Tashlin (1937)

Porky’s Railroad is a Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoon directed by Frank Tashlin.
The short was released on August 7, 1937, and stars Porky Pig.

Porky is the engineer on the most pathetic train in the fleet. After some routine episodes (using pepper to get the engine to sneeze itself up a hill, chasing a cow off the tracks, only to discover too late that it’s been replaced by a very angry bull), Porky gets word that he’s going to be replaced by the new streamlined Silver Fish.

Friz Freleng (1938)

Jungle Jitters is a 1938 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Friz Freleng. The short was released on February 19, 1938. Because of the racial stereotypes of black people throughout the short, it prompted United Artists to withhold it from syndication within the United States in 1968. As such, the short was placed into the Censored Eleven, a group of eleven Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes shorts withheld from official television distribution in the United States since 1968 due to heavy stereotyping of black people; because its copyright had already lapsed without renewal a year before this decision, it has remained publicly available through numerous unofficial distributors through secondhand prints.

Chuck Jones (1947)

Scent-imental Over You is a 1947 Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoon directed by Chuck Jones.
The short was released on March 8, 1947, and stars Pepé Le Pew.

Jealous of the other dogs who have fur coats, a hairless Mexican pooch decides to borrow a fur coat and enter the dog show. Unfortunately, she borrows a skunk pelt by accident, which soon frightens the other dogs and attracts the unwanted attention of the amorous Pepé Le Pew. Pepe continues chasing her until she finally reveals that she is a dog, much to his surprise. Pepe then takes off his fur like a zippered jacket to reveal that he is a dog, capturing the misled pooch’s swoon, only to reveal once more that it was just him in a dog costume. He says to the audience, “I am stupid, no?”, as the cartoon ends, implying that Pepé is indeed a skunk who doesn’t care that his love interest is a dog.

Starring Pepé Le Pew (as Stinky Skunk), in his first official short.

Directed by Chuck Jones

Story by Michael Maltese and Tedd Pierce

Animated by Phil Monroe, Ben Washam, Ken Harris, Lloyd Vaughan, and Abe Levitow

Layouts by Robert Gribbroek

Backgrounds by Peter Alvarado

Voiced by Mel Blanc

Musical direction by Carl Stalling

Justin Halpern, Patrick Schumacker, & Dean Lorey (2019)

Harley Quinn is an American adult animated television series based on the DC Comics character of the same name created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm. The series is written and executive produced by Justin Halpern, Patrick Schumacker, and Dean Lorey and follows the misadventures of Harley Quinn and her best friend/partner-in-crime Poison Ivy after leaving her boyfriend, the Joker.

Chuck Jones (1946)

Hair-Raising Hare is a Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon, released in 1946. It was directed by Chuck Jones and written by Tedd Pierce. It stars Bugs Bunny and features the first appearance of Chuck Jones’ imposing orange monster character, unnamed here, but in later cartoons named “Rudolph” and then “Gossamer”.

Animation director J. J. Sedelmaier writes, “It’s interesting to see how different Bugs’ character is in this film, from, say, the cool and calm Bugs in Rabbit Seasoning (1952). He’s much more the Groucho Marx type in this short; in fact, I doubt you’ll find another cartoon in which he does the Groucho walk more than here. The other unique aspect that has always grabbed me about this particular cartoon is the design of the monster. Where do his hands and arms go when we don’t see them? Why the sneakers? It’s this sort of stuff that reminds me why I love good cartoons: You don’t care about this stuff. You just enjoy it.”

Story by Tedd Pierce

Music by Carl Stalling

Animated by Ben Washam, Ken Harris, Basil Davidovich, and Lloyd Vaughan

Backgroungs by Robert Bribbroek

Starring Mel Blanc

Technicolor

Chuck Jones (1957)

What’s Opera, Doc? is a 1957 American Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Chuck Jones and written by Michael Maltese. The short was released on July 6, 1957, and stars Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd.

The story features Elmer chasing Bugs through a parody of 19th-century classical composer Richard Wagner’s operas, particularly Der Ring des Nibelungen, Der Fliegende Holländer, and Tannhäuser. It borrows heavily from the second opera in the “Ring Cycle” Die Walküre, woven around the typical Bugs–Elmer feud. The short marks the final appearance of Elmer Fudd in a Chuck Jones cartoon.

It has been widely praised by many in the animation industry as the greatest animated cartoon that Warner Bros. ever released, and has been ranked as such in the top 50 animated cartoons of all time. In 1992, the Library of Congress deemed it “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry, the first cartoon to receive such honors.

Rusty Mills, Ron Fleischer, Randy Rogel, & Tom Ruegger (1993)

Discover America with Wakko Warner from Animaniacs.

As I’ve said before, learning should be fun!

Wakko’s America is a song from Episode 21 of Animaniacs. Like Yakko’s World, it is a geographical patter song, this one listing each of the United States of America and their respective capitals. The song is framed as Wakko’s answer to a Jeopardy! Daily Double question asked in a lesson taught by Miss Flamiel, which Wakko ultimately gets wrong because he does not phrase his answer in the form of a question. The music is Turkey in the Straw, with lyrics written by Randy Rogel. The song is the eighth track on the album Yakko’s World.

Rusty Mills & Randy Rogel (1993)

Take a trip around the world with Yakko Warner.

Learning should be fun!

Yakko’s World is a song from Episode 2, which features the animated shorts Yakko’s World, Cookies For Einstein, and Win Big, and probably the most famous of their songs. In the song, Yakko names all of the nations of the world at that time. A clip of the sing-along version of this song has been viewed more than ten million times on YouTube. To this day, Rob Paulsen, the voice of Yakko, never misses an opportunity to perform this song live, rarely with error.

The song was written by Randy Rogel, a writer from Batman: The Animated Series and Animaniacs, whose son was studying geography. When he saw that “United States, Canada” rhymed with “Mexico, Panama,” he got to work on the lyrics and sent the song to Animaniacs. The music is that of the “Jarabe Tapatío,” better known as the Mexican Hat Dance tune, a traditional Mexican song.

Tom Ruegger (2020)

The 2020 revival of Animaniacs is an upcoming animated slapstick comedy series for Hulu.

The Warner siblings — Yakko and Wakko, and the Warner sister Dot — have a great time wreaking havoc and mayhem in the lives of everyone they meet. After returning to their beloved home (the Warner Bros. Water Tower), the Animaniacs waste no time in causing chaos and comic confusion as they run loose through the studio and beyond, turning the world into their personal playground. Joining Yakko, Wakko and Dot, fan-favorite characters Pinky and the Brain will also return to continue their quest for world domination in each of the 13 episodes.