Animation History
July 16, 2018 posted by Jerry Beck

Warner Club News (1961) – Part 1


We start 1961 with a nice year-end note from David DePatie that acknowledges the entry of the studio to television production. Meanwhile, John Burton teams with Mel Blanc to start Mel Blanc Productions; Bob Gribbbroek returns to work after a big automobile accident; and Hoppy Daze and Zip N’ Snort are screened and ready for release.


MARCH 1961

Here is the acknowledgment of the serious auto accident involving Mel Blanc. Jones, Freleng, McKimsom, Depatie and Orcutt were among his first visitors.

APRIL 1961

Acknowledgment of two Oscar nominees – Mouse and Garden and High Note; Robert McKimson Jr. (a reader of this website) gets married; and the cartoon division’s parking lot was turned into a set for the TV series Surfside 6 – the episode entitled Invitation To A Party. (If anyone has a video of this episode, I’d love to see it).

MAY 1961

Mel Blanc leaves the hospital and has returned to record (It’s noted that he entered the hospital on January 24th). A barrage of fan mail is received by the studio in regards to The Bugs Bunny Show on TV… yep, the handwriting is on the wall (or on the tube).

JUNE 1961

Longtime employee Sandy Walker had a fire in his home; My friend (and grandson of Chuck Jones) Todd Kausen is born; and the Cartoon division’s parking lot now has a Bugs Bunny figure at the entrance/guard house (photo).

NEXT WEEK: More 1961


  • Would like to read more about how the studio accommodated Blanc’s long absence, including which films were started when they didn’t know when he’d be back. It seems there were a lot of ’62-’64 shorts that relied on little or no sync dialogue.

    • I don’t think it was a long absence. Blanc related in his autobiography that a recording system was set up in his home and he did his lines flat on his back while he convalesced.
      He missed only five recording sessions of The Flintstones because of the accident.

    • And in those Flintstones episodes, Daws Butler voiced Barney in those episodes (he also voiced Barney in “The Flagstones” pilot).

  • “Ehhh, ya mind poppin’ the trunk, Doc?”

  • Britt Tjarno would later have a long career at Disney(mainly TV but she did work on Pochantas)

  • And Daws Butler voiced Barney for those episodes (Daws also voiced the character in “The Flagstones” pilot).

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