Animation History
April 23, 2018 posted by Jerry Beck

Warner Club News (1955) – Part 1


We continue onward with these chit-chat columns from the Warner Bros. Cartoon Department – via the in-house newsletter Warner Club News. This week, the first half of 1955. Among the items for January: Robert Gibbroek with his chinchilla’s, a nice caricature of Richard Thomas, and… The Hawley Pratt Fan Club? (Count me in!)


Much ado about the annual Christmas Party; a George Grandpre sketch… and Harry Love’s got a gun!

MARCH 1955

Here’s where that oft-reprinted photo of Chuck Jones, Mel Blanc and June Foray first appeared – credited to Treg Brown, who snapped it during the recording session for Broomstick Bunny (which was released a year later). Plus a neat shot of Ken Harris and his tennis trophies.

APRIL 1955

A special Bugs Bunny cover (with Babs? or Honey Bunny? or…?) by Abe Levitow (with lettering by Don Foster).

MAY 1955

Some of the captions are wrong, but here are a few of the mustachioed members of the animation staff – and check out that contraption used to create sound effects for Speedy Gonzales!

JUNE 1955

It’s the month that contain’s Father’s Day… and many shout outs here to the kids of the cartoon crew.

NEXT WEEK: 1955 – Part 2


  • Ron Maidenberg didn’t last at Warners too long. He was gone to Animation, Inc. as a storyboard artist about a year later. Ed Barge left MGM for Animation, Inc. at the same time.

  • In 1977 Harry Love mentioned to me that his 1953 serious auto accident occurred on Sunset, on or near the same ‘dead man’s curve’ where Mel Blanc would later suffer his. Harry trotted out a stock remark about his required plastic surgery (his face had to be reconstructed from photographs), saying that he told the surgeon, “Just make me look like Robert Redfield!” (One presumes that he meant Robert Redford, who, in 1953, would have been a junior in high school. Harry apparently modified his verbal gag for the sake of topicality over the ensuing decades. Perhaps it had originally referenced Clark Gable or Errol Flynn.)

  • The photo of Treg Brown’s device, made to produce the “P-T-Z-sssss” (his word) sound of Speedy Gonzales’ supersonic dashes – and presumably the Road Runner’s – is it real? I can’t make out exactly what it’s made of or how it might work. There’s a bellows, with maybe a tube at the end set to blow over an air hose of some sort, and there’s a lot of machinery with belts and pulleys, but I suspect most of it’s just for show. Where’s the microphone?

    I will post this picture on the Straight Dope and see if anyone can identify this gear, and get back to you if I find out!

    • Okay, posted it and the consensus seems to be that little if any of what you see is used to make the Speedy sound. One person said it might be a collection of various foley devices which produce different noises. There seems to be a seat and gear shift levers from a tractor in there. The giant pulley and belt in back look like the sort of thing used in old buildings for central ventilation.
      So, I’d say 80 to 100% gag photo.

    • No, the image of Treg Brown’s device is not real, it’s completely doctored. The original photo had cut outs of various machinery overlaid to jokingly make it appear they used some very complex device to create the sound.

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