Animation History
July 23, 2018 posted by Jerry Beck

Warner Club News (1961) – Part 2

Continuing on in the last few years of the original Warner Bros. Cartoon studio… as seen via these in-house columns in the studio employees magazine, Warner Club News. The final column appears in May 1963 – and as they never mentioned employees departing the studio, the cartoon division merely vanishes like half the heroes in Avengers Infinity War (and like those heroes, the artists and animators will also return)!

JULY 1961

This month, Eddie Selzer is hospitalized, Ben Washam returns to the studio, and Chuck Jones contributes art to a Movie and Television Museum!






This final column for 1961 is interesting for the photo of Mel Blanc recieving an award – sitting in a chair with his foot in a cast – and for the Chuck Jones and Alex Ignatiev charcoal sketches. Wish we could see more of these.

NEXT WEEK: 1962 (part 1)


  • An artist’s portraits have a little bit of the artist in them. Both sketches seem to have the Chuck Jones nose.

  • Bugs celebrated his 25th birthday in 1961? That would give him a birth year of 1936 – two years before PORKY’S HARE HUNT, and three years before HARE-UM SCARE-UM, which they chose as the rabbit’s “first” cartoon.

  • One thing I can say about Compressed Hare: there needs to be more of Bugs matching wits with Wile E. Coyote.

  • Besides the confirmation of Bugs’ “official” birth date in the December issue, there are two other interesting points to note from these columns:

    1. The cartoon “Prince Violent” that premiered in September of ’61 is known today as “Prince Varmint”, since it was retitled for TV broadcast on “The Bugs Bunny Show”.

    2. Notice in the November issue, under the “New Cartoons” article, that Hubbell referred to the Ralph character in “Sheep In The Deep” as “Coyote”. Since the first cartoon in this particular series, where the character had a much different appearance than in the later cartoons, it was established that Ralph was a wolf who merely bore a coincidental resemblance to Wile E. by virtue of the fact that they were somewhat related as “cousins” by some degree of seperation. It’s a curious point to ponder as to how Chuck Jones came to the decision of changing the look of Ralph from his original design in the first cartoon to making him look more like Wile E. (I seem to recall him mentioning in an interview that, in retrospect, he disliked the original design of the Ralph character.)

    I was also expecting the arrival of animator Manuel Perez to be announced sometime in the columns for this year or the next year. Will we eventually get to see his name mentioned anywhere in the next two posts?

    Also curious about Helen Soule. Is she related in any way to screen and voice actor Olan Soule (well-known as the first voice actor to play the title role of the first Batman animated series, later reprising the role for the “Super Friends” series)?

  • Hoping to see which artists worked on Limpet.

  • These Warner Club News snippets have been great. Thanks Jerry!

  • Mel Blanc and Elmer Bernstein in the same photo. When you consider Bernstein would go on to compose the score for “Airplane,” you have a comedy dynamic duo there. Perhaps the “Airplane” score was more than a little influenced by Bugs Bunny.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *