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Warner Brothers animation art
Warner Bros. Cartoons, Inc. was the animation division of Warner Bros. Pictures during the golden age of American animation. One of the most successful animation studios in American media history, Warner Bros. Cartoons was primarily responsible for the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies theatrical cartoon short subjects. The characters featured in these cartoons, including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Porky Pig, are among the most famous and recognizable characters in the world. Many of the creative staff members at the studio, including directors and animators such as Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, Robert McKimson, Tex Avery, Robert Clampett, and Frank Tashlin, are considered major figures in the art and history of traditional animation.
The Warner animation division was founded in 1933 as Leon Schlesinger Productions, an independent company which produced the popular Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies animated short subjects for release by Warner Bros. Pictures. Schlesinger sold the studio to Warner Bros. in 1944, who continued to operate it as Warner Bros. Cartoons, Inc. until 1963. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies were briefly subcontracted to Freleng's DePatie-Freleng Enterprises studio from 1964 until 1967. The Warner Bros. Cartoons studio briefly re-opened in 1967 before shutting its doors for good two years later.
With Warners' own animation studio closed, the studio had to resort to outside producers whenever new Looney Tunes-related animation was required. In 1976, Chuck Jones, by this time the head of his own Chuck Jones Productions studio, began producing a series of Looney Tunes specials, the first of which was Carnival of the Animals. In 1979, Jones produced new wraparound footage for a compilation feature of Looney Tunes shorts entitled The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie. The success of this film spurred Warner Bros. to establish its own studio to produce similar works, and Warner Bros. Animation opened its doors in 1980.