Animation History
March 7, 2013 posted by Jerry Beck

The 1981 Looney Tunes Character Chart

Back in 1981, when Friz Freleng was again at Warner Bros. finishing up The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie (1981) and starting work on Bugs Bunny’s Third Movie: 1001 Rabbit Tales (1982), his animation staff prepared this chart (below) rounding up every Looney Tunes character they could think of – and then some.

This was essentially prepared for in-house use and for merchandising purposes (the image was released publicly when it was used for a licensed jigsaw puzzle). They included 105 characters – including such obscurities as Honey Bunny, Technical Fairy First Class and Joe Glow The Firefly. Can someone remind me which cartoons Hysterical Hyram (56), Minniesoda Fats (42) and Hoppy (43) were in?

Looney_tunes_characters500

How many characters can you identify with looking at the key? Click to enlarge the key (below)

Looney_tunes_key500

30 Comments

  • Well, Minnesota Fats made a brief appearance in “Daffy Duck’s Movie: Fantastic Island” as one of the people on line for a wish from the well.

    And on my God, Buddy’s on that!?

  • This website: (http://www.honeybunnyworld.com/13,en,art.html) provides this information about the three characters:

    Three mysterious guests
    In 1981 a puzzle showing 105 Looney Tunes characters has been issued. It would be just an ordinary puzzle if not the fact that among characters we see three mysterious guests that never appeared anywhere before (which is even proved by the fact that even Jerry Beck, animation historian, knows nothing about them!). According to the information given on the box these characters have the names of Hysterical Hyram, Hoppy and Minniesoda Fats.

    Hoppy, Hysterical Hyram, Looney Tunes
    Hoppy and Hysterical Hyram appeared in a compilation movie ‘Daffy Duck’s Fantastic Island’ along with two other unidentified characters.

    Hoppy and Hyram appeared only once in a compilation movie ‘Daffy Duck’s Fantastic Island’ in which in one scene they queue to make their dreams come true with the help of the magic well. Along with them there are two other unidentified characters, a white dog and an unknown mouse with a hat.

  • I have a similer (but not complete) jigsaw puzzle with the Disney characters from around this time and around the release of the highlight reel, “Once Upon a Mouse” which I’m desperate to find on Youtube. The color scheme is rather quite ugly and there arn’t that many obscure characters (unless you count some minor film characters). However, they were able to include Lambert, Paul Bunyan, and Little Hiawatha in it.

    I wonder if Western did any more of these type of puzzles with other licensed characters like Lantz or H-B.

  • When I was nearing the end of my elementary school days back in the early 90′s, my best friend had a Looney Tunes coffee table book that I swear had this same illustration of the entire LT roster. Of course only having seen the cartoons that Nickelodeon, TNT, and Saturday morning network TV could syndicate, we were often stumped on the more obscure characters.

    • I first became aware of this montage of characters courtesy of a back-page ad in the 1990 magazine “Bugs Bunny: He’s 50, Folks!” The drawing itself was altered to fit the portrait format of the ad (cutting off characters on either far side) and it was used to promote the upcoming syndicated package of WB cartoons under the name “Merrie Melodies: Starring Bugs Bunny and Friends”. At the time, it was a surprise and bewilderment to see some of these guys I hadn’t seen before or just got to see thanks to the Nickelodeon airings that included those obscure shorts such as the 1967-69 batch with Cool Cat and all that (and yet only one Cool Cat showed up on the syndie airings I recall, Bugged by a Bee).

  • When ever I see something like this I’m always torn between reverence for the hand of seasoned masters of animation still active in there golden years and horror at just how off model an artist’s later day rendering can get on something they helped create. Look at bugs. Yikes!

    • It’s also noteworthy that the characters used either mostly or exclusively by the Freleng unit are a lot more on-model in the drawing than some of the others. The staff probably knew they weren’t going to make the boss happy mis-drawing his creations.

  • This is great! I use to have a puzzle with this chart on it when I was a kid. There was also one with Disney characters.

  • i was always astounded at how many one-shots are in this. So where’s Dodsworth….he made TWO films, lol!!

  • Including Inki, the minah bird, Clarence (!), and Philbert (!!) would be enough to make me want this image, but Technical Fairy First Class (‽‽) makes it a must-have! Time to go eBaying, I guess…

  • This image also appears in the book That’s All Folks, the Art of Warner Bros Animation by Steven Schneider, along with the identification chart.

    • I didn’t see it in my copy of the book, but I did notice it in a copy at my college.

  • Technical Fairy, but no Snafu?

    No Claude, no Sam Sheepdog, no Ralph Wolf… but Banty the Cock?

    Characters Jerry Beck doesn’t recognize?

    Yeah, we all know better with our razor-sharp 20/20 hindsight, but these guys didn’t quite complete their homework. Albeit with good intentions, I presume. Weird curio.

    More evidence – as if any was needed – that the 80s sucked.

    • Look ,they had limited space. And besides, there were neraly 1,000 Warner shorts released. It’s not like they could remember ALL there characters.

    • At least we got to watch these cartoons on regular TV in the 80′s (if not partially of the thousand produced).

      @Nic Kramer, still it would be neat if they stuck in Norman from “Norman Normal”. :-P

  • Buddy looks odd in color.

  • What, no Coal Black and her Sebben Dwarves? Just kidding, though it is nice that they included Inki. His cartoons, even if they were a little slow to start, are very entertaining. I wish they could be put out on DVD (with the requisite disclaimers of course).

  • It’s always interesting to see what obscure characters do and don’t make the cut in these kind of ‘whole cast’ images, but this one is doubly fascinating knowing that Freleng was involved and it includes characters that seemingly no one can identify. I remember reading about these obscure characters on the Misc-looney-ous blog years ago and I really thought someone would have unearthed their origins by now.

    Another oddity – Technical Fairy, First Class is labeled as ‘Grogan’ on the identity chart.

    • The very similar character by the name of “Grogan” appears in the army film “”A Hitch in Time”, perhaps that’s where they got the name from.

  • Was the kangaroo in “HOP AND GO” given a name? That’s the only significance for HOPPY that I can come up with and, no, I’m not getting him confused with the kangaroo that Sylvester always used to get mistaken for a giant mouse!

    • Kevin, the HOPPY in this character chart is a frog. Michelle above identified the mystery characters as from the 1983 feature DAFFY DUCK’S FANTASIC ISLAND. The kangaroo in HOP AND GO was named Claude Hopper.

  • We did a post about those weird characters on Misce-Looney-Ous several years ago. My guess is that they were planned as new characters to be introduced in “Daffy Duck’s Fantastic Island” as a special new segment, but got the axe during production. That would explain why they appear in line for the well in that film, and nowhere else. Guess they never got their wish.

    • Funny really looking back at all this, I recall thinking who were these guys too. I noticed one in here named “Rover” that I only recall being in Friz’s film “Looney, Looney Bugs Bunny Movie” as a reporter at the Oswalds.

  • If I recall correctly, Honey Bunny was nixed for Lola Bunny in Space Jam due to the fact that she ‘looked to much like Bugs in drag.’

    • Originally Honey Bunny looked more like today’s Lola Bunny (example comic story: http://www.honeybunnyworld.com/30,en,gallery.html ). However, for some strange reasons, in 1980 they decided to change her visual appearance to make her visually closer to Bugs Bunny. This led to the situation that some ‘artists’ were so lazy that they were just drawing another Bugs Bunny, dressed up with female clothes and with bow on a head…

      For most time of her life, so to say, Honey Bunny had very inconsistent design. At least three different versions of her were used in comics and merchandise, even in 1980′s (there were also another version apparently prepared for a cartoon that has never been released). It was just 1990′s when only one version of her was used. Some time ago I made a chart in which I’ve included all versions of Honey Bunny I came across so far: http://www.honeybunnyworld.com/honey_faces_en.png

      I’ve read almost all comics with her and I also have collected big portion of information about her and I think this character has quite interesting life story and personality. In my opinion, she too often gets unfairly overlooked. I’d like to see her in animation or some projects in the future, though maybe not in a ‘Bugs-like’ version we all know ;)

  • What, no Bosko, yet his ner-do-well successor Buddy, of all characters, appears?!

  • Thinking of the final years Western had the rights to publish WB characters in comic book form, it’s funny neither Hoppy, Hyram or Minniesoda Fats Fats ever showed up in print, though they do seem like perfect contenders anyway.

  • Years ago I’ve found another version of this chart:
    http://www.honeybunnyworld.com/looney-tunes-character-chart-later-vrs.jpg
    I don’t know exactly when this version has been made, maybe late 1980′s – early 1990′s. This version has also been released publicly as a jigsaw puzzle. Some characters look like they were directly copied from the previous version while others are newly drawn.
    There are also some other differences. For example, in the picture you posted they omitted Penelope Pussycat :( and in the other one she stays near Pepe Le Pew.

  • They forgot Conrad Cat. He was in at least two cartoons. The less said about Foxy the better.

    • Funny they forgot a few!

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