We continue on with the second half of 1954 with five more months, scattered throughout the year. For May, we see Friz is directing story (or, more likely, animation) for Sahara Hare; Jones was indeed in New York and Washington DC for A Hitch In Time; Harry Love, Bob Givens and Abe Levitow are conducting life drawing lessons; and a nice “Farewell” card for Steve Millman that features signatures and sketches from Ben Washam, Don Foster, Phil DeGuard, Ken Harris, and many others (click on it to see enlarged)…
Birthdays and Father’s Day greetings abound… The studio held advanced screenings for Bewitched Bunny (July 1954) and Pizzacato Pussycat (January 1955); and Eddie Selzer returned from New York with a plethora of “byproduct agreements” (which today would mean “merchandising contracts”).
“Making pictures for Friz is no laughing matter,” says Warren Foster; Warren Batchelder has a mouse in his car; and Lynn and Molly Jo Hunter won a local newspaper contest (for a drawing of Tweety) in Akron Ohio, were flown to Hollywood to visit the Warner Bros. lot – and show off their home made dresses.
A close-up of the home-made Looney Tunes dresses by Lynn and Molly Jo Hunter. Early fan cosplay? And check that cool Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes signage on the building behind them.
Six of the top staffers at the Cartoon Department – including Friz, Chuck, Selzer, McKimson, Treg Brown and John Burton – will be feted with others (movie stars and crew) for 20 years of service. A much clearer photo of this group shot is on page 95 of Chuck’s book Chuck Amuck. Among other tidbits here: Hawley Pratt sneezes loudly; Friz lamenting that “the younger generation doesn’t even know who Mack Sennett is”; animator Russ Dyson joins the staff; and the first publication of that nice shot of Maltese and Jones (though you can see it a little clearer on page 88 of Chuck Reducks).
A report on that 20th Anniversary Warner Bros. party at the Sportsman’s Lodge – with a nice group shot of the attending animation studio crew at the bottom.
NEXT WEEK: 1955 – Part 1
Thanks to Ned Comstock at USC for providing these columns from Warner Club News