Today, a tribute to the two men who made it happen. No, not Avery or Clampett, Jones or Freleng… Schlesinger and Selzer. Leon Schlesinger was he original man behind Warner Bros. Cartoons and their first producer. Here is Leon’s official studio biography from 1939:
Leon sold his cartoon studio to Warner Bros. in July 1944, and he became an executive with the studio – the first to concentrate on merchandising the Looney Tunes characters. He passed away
the day after Christmas on Christmas day in 1949.
Edward Selzer (above, seated – with Warren Foster and Robert McKimson) was notorious for his lack of a sense of humor. Selzer was installed as the cartoon studio producer, Leon’s replacement, in July 1944. Here’s his official studio bio from 1956.
He retired in 1958 – Here’s how Variety reported it:
Selzer passed away in 1970. Here’s his Hollywood Reporter obit:
Neither man could draw; and there are strong doubts they had any idea how an animated film was produced. But both allowed their artists to be artists; they gave their crews the creative freedom to create what would become masterpieces of animated comedy – even if they didn’t realize that’s what they were doing.
I don’t care what anyone thinks – Schlesinger and Selzer, I salute you!