The Art of Warner Bros.Cartoons

Artist Unknown. , Cel of Bugs Bunny, from a drawing by Ken Harris, from Rabbit Hood, 1949.

Within the last decades, the Warner Bros. cartoon studio has earned both critical and popular acclaim as the producers of the finest, funniest, and most inventive animated shorts ever made. The Hollywood studio developed and perfected the kind of antic, irreverent, street-smart humour that has characterized much of short-subject animation ever since. Along the way, the Warner shop won six Academy Awards, and created more cartoon stars than any other studio, including Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Bugs Bunny, and Tweety and Sylvester.

This major touring exhibition explores the elaborate creative process that supported the making of the classic Warner cartoons, using examples of Warner Bros. production art from the 1930s through the 1960s. Featuring 165 drawings, paintings, cels and related artwork, the exhibition explores seven different themes ranging from a chronological history of the cartoon studio to the evolution of Warner’s first cartoon stars, Porky Pig and Daffy Duck; from a step-by-step breakdown of how classic cel animation was made to an indepth look at Warner’s most famous creation, Bugs Bunny.

Under the influence of the Disney studio, animation had become a children’s affair, soft and sentimental. Warner Bros. turned this on its head, making cartoons that were brash, reckless, and filled with topical references, bringing animation from never-never land into the thick of contemporary life. The Warner writers devised stories and gags of brilliant invention, while the studio’s directors executed them with masterly verve and timing. They, in turn, were supported by a cadre of gifted animators, painters, and designers. The result is a body of work that, with each new screening, seems richer and deeper, and more clearly a significant part of American culture.

Exhibition admission : WAG member $5 • Student admission card $5 • Adult $13 • Senior (60+) $11 • Student $11 • Youth (aged 6-12) $9 • Child under 6 Free • Family (up to 2 adults and 4 children under 18) $28


Sponsored By

Artist Unknown (cel); Philip DeGuard (background),, Cel of Wile E. Coyote, ca. 1955, with background. Directed by Chuck Jones.

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