Animation History
March 26, 2018 posted by Jerry Beck

Warner Club News (1951)

Once again, we take a peek behind the scenes of the Warner Bros. Cartoon Department via the monthly columns in the in-house studio newsletter (courtesy of USC’s Ned Comstock).

January 1951

Check out this exclusive holiday cover – by Hawley Pratt and Leslie Garcia. The Abe Levitow’s had a child… and it’s interesting to note the traffic nightmare Tedd Pierce faced from La Jolla back to Hollywood on a Sunday night — and this was decades before the San Diego Comic Con!

March 1951

Robert Givens returns to the studio – and the cartoon unit celebrates its status as both #1 (Bugs Bunny) and #2 (Merrie Melodies) in exhibitor rankings in a new poll by Motion Picture Daily. I wonder how “Looney Tunes” ranked?

April 1951

Mike Maltese fills in as columnist this month. Harry Love gets a nose bleed (which becomes inspiration for an explosion special effect), Roberta Levitow is born, Linda Jones misspells the word “sentimental” – and the ink and paint gals go skiing at Snowcrest.

May 1951

Robert Gribbroek leaves the studio to live in New Mexico, and Phil DeGuard’s daughter apparently does some square dancing in the Jerry Colona feature Kentucky Jubilee (a Lippert Film).

June 1951

Maurice Noble and Carlos Manriquez join the Jones unit; apparently Tedd Pierce (and “Bugs Bunny”) made a personal appearance and sign autographs at a drive-in movie theatre in Bell Gardens (a suburb of L.A.); Gift Wrapped, Little Beau Pepe and Oily Hare were screened by the staff 8-to-12 months before their respective release dates!

July 1951

R.I.P. Rollin “Ham” Hamilton – he passes away this month from a heart attack.

August 1951

Great staged photo of Treg Brown at work… and no wonder Warren Foster wrote so many good Tweety pictures – he has a pet parakeet.

October 1951

Where the staff spent their summer vacations.

November 1951

Maltese returns to report on Noel Blanc’s Bar Mitzvah; Super Snooper and Bird In a Guilty Cage were screened (“sneak previewed”) in Hollywood eight and twelve months in advance of their official theatrical release; and Treg Brown did square dance calling on a You Asked For It segment (would love to find a kinescope of THAT!). Most interesting is a notation here of the studio cooperating with the State Department – by taking a ton of photos, of every department, production art, every phase of cartoon production – for an exhibit to be mounted in US Embassies in every foreign country. Where is this material today?

NEXT WEEK: 1952 & 1953


  • Jeez, who punched Tweety in the eye?

    • Probably that damn baby kangaroo Sylvester always mistook for a giant mouse.

  • Now you know where Chuck Jones got “Joseph Wilber’s” name- when he used it for the cornerstone of the demolished “1892” building (“J.C. Wilber”) in “One Froggy Evening”……..and the father in “Rocket-Bye Baby”.

    • Also “Crawford” (April) for his short-lived comic strip?

  • Maggie Alcumbrac later worked in the ink and paint department at TV Spots/Creston Studios.

  • It’s interesting to see some of the names that pop up here who never got screen credit. Bob Caples later painted backgrounds on the Spunky and Tadpole cartoons and did some work for Hanna-Barbera in the ’60s.

  • The building that housed the new Motion Picture Relief Fund Headquarters, shown below Treg Brown’s June 1951 column, is still there, at 335 N. LaBrea in Los Angeles. Today it is the Bob Hope Health Center, still affiliated with the MPTF, providing medical care for those in the entertainment industry who have limited or no resources. The exterior hasn’t changed much in 67 years.

    CLICK HERE to see!

  • I’m sure the only thing that would have made Abe Levitow happier would have been to see his name spelled correctly in the bulletin.

  • Jan Cornell later became a checker on Coonskin and later became ink and paint supervisor at Kurtz and Friends.

    Connie Pinard Matthews later worked in effects ink and paint in the Star Trek Motion Picture of 1979 as well as Heavy Traffic

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