Warner Bros. Cartoons
Warner Bros. Cartoons, Inc. was the in-house animation division of Warner Bros. Pictures, primarily responsible for the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoon short subjects. It was one of the most successful animation studios in American history. Founded in 1933 as Leon Schlesinger Productions, it was sold to Warner Bros. in 1944, who continued to operate it as Warner Bros. Cartoons, Inc. until 1963, when the studio took over its in-house cartoon division by David H. DePatie and his WB cartoon director, Friz Freleng to form DePatie-Freleng Enterprises. The leftovers of the completed cartoons were released by Warner Bros. for theatrical release until 1964. The studio briefly re-opened in 1967 under the name of Warner Bros.-Seven Arts Animation before shutting down for good in 1969. The studio would later reopen as Warner Bros. Animation in 1980. Warner Bros. Animation is still in operation to this day.
1st Logo (April 19, 1930-August 26, 1933)
Opening Logo: On a gray (or black) background, the words "WARNER BROS. PICTURES, INC." are shown, and below that, "& THE VITAPHONE CORP." is shown in a much smaller font, with "VITAPHONE" using "electric" style letters. Below that is a very small WB shield, and in script, "Present". Behind it there is the drawing of a flag, "waving" so it looks like it is in three sections. On the first one, "WARNER BROS." appears, followed by the electric-letter "VITAPHONE" logo and on section three, "PICTURES". Below that is the copyright information.
- For the first few cartoons with this logo, the company and series details were all on one screen. A white sign in the middle has the words "LOONEY TUNES" and in black, "A HUGH HARMAN-RUDOLF ISING MUSICAL CARTOON" below that. Below the sign in small letters are the words "LEON SCHLESINGER, ASSOCIATE PRODUCER". Above the sign is the WB and Vitaphone text without the WB shield. Holding up the sign is Bosko, a Mickey Mouse-esque character who was WB's current star at the time. Poking out from behind the sign and standing around the logo are stereotypical '30s cartoon animals (a bird, a goat, and a dog, to be exact).
- The very first cartoon, Sinkin' in the Bathtub, had this card animated (in fact due to the sound effects accompanying A Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight), but without the WB/Vitaphone text above. Under "LOONEY TUNES", it reads "A HUGH HARMAN & RUDOLPH ISING SOUND CARTOON".
- The very first cartoon, Sinkin' in the Bathtub, was preceded by the standard Vitaphone Varieties opening logo, which reads "Presented by VITAPHONE, a subsidiary of WARNER BROTHERS PICTURES, INC." with the 1923-1929 WB shield logo under it. Below the WB shield are the words "Produced with WESTERN ELECTRIC apparatus".
- In 1995, Turner had the the Merrie Melodies cartoons with this logo redrawn-colorized (with some exceptions that went to the Sunset Productions package); but unlike when Warner had 79 black-and-white Looney Tunes colorized in the late 1960s, these redrawns preserve their original logos, but colorized like the rest of the cartoons as well.
- Turner also made alternative prints of these cartoons that kept their original B&W form. However, the end titles in these color-less prints are still the redrawn ones but gray-scaled, plus the 1995 DUBBED disclaimer fades in on the bottom of the screen.
- The 1995 print of Red-Headed Baby is only known to exist as the redrawn colorization with gray-scale effect, which in turn has all the titles in the redraw form but with no color.
- Looney Tunes:
- April 19, 1930 - August 26, 1932: Bosko peeks out from behind the left of a sign reading "A LOONEY TUNE" and emerges, along with a dog (the same dog from the series title card). Bosko holds out his hands and says "That's all, folks!", grinning in the end. The dog jumps and barks several times. Below it, in black, are the words "A HUGH HARMAN-RUDOLF ISING SOUND/MUSICAL CARTOON/PRODUCTION", and "Licensed under BRAY-HURD patents".
- September 3, 1932 - August 26, 1933: Same as the last closing logo, except the lettering on the sign is in a different font, and the "BRAY-HURD" text is in italics. Later, the "BRAY-HURD" text is replaced with "Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures Inc.".
- Merrie Melodies:
- August - October 31, 1931: Against a gray (or black) background, Foxy stands in front of his marching-band drum reading "A MERRIE MELODY" (in plain black text) and says "So long, Folks!" or "That's all, Folks!" Below it, in white, are the words "A HUGH HARMAN-RUDOLF ISING CARTOON PRODUCTION" and below that, in italic script, is "Licensed under Bray-Hurd Patents".
- November 28, 1931 - August 26, 1933: Same as before, except for Piggy (or a cartoon-specific one-shot character) in place of Foxy. The word "CARTOON" is removed from the Harman/Ising credit. Also different, later in this logo's run: the words "Licensed under Bray-Hurd Patents" are replaced by "Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc." (the former words were also seen below this new block of text on a few cartoons from this season).
Technique: No animation except for the closing. But the first cartoon, Sinkin' in the Bathtub, actually had an animated opening.
- Looney Tunes:
- April 19, 1930 - September 10, 1932: "A Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight" by Theodore Metz is the series theme. Starting with the 1931 short Bosko the Doughboy, in the middle of the theme, the classic WB "trombone gobble" sound effect can be heard.
- September 17, 1932 - August 26, 1933: "Whistle and Blow Your Blues Away", composed by Carmen Lombardo and Joseph Young.
- Merrie Melodies: "Get Happy" by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler.
Availability: Both of the variants listed below have rare written all over them.
- Looney Tunes: Bosko shorts are pretty much no longer seen on TV due to their "ethnic offensiveness". A handful of cartoons featuring this logo are available on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 6 DVD release. Many of them are now in the public domain, and several of them are on various online video websites. Some Bosko cartoons, however, replace this logo with the Sunset Productions copyright card and the 3rd Series Logo (see below), and often have a Guild Films "THE END" logo plastered over the closing card (with Bosko's "That's all, Folks!" and the dog barking heard underneath), but a few of them have the logo replaced with an early-1960s Seven Arts Associated title card (with pictures of various LT characters surrounding it and the 1936-1937 LT closing theme playing underneath). The original animated opening credits for Sinkin' in the Bathtub is currently considered lost; on Disc 3 of the Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume 2, it is replaced with the standard still variant of the logo with a different production number chyroned in.
- Merrie Melodies: Some of the cartoons featuring this logo are spotted on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection DVD sets, and one on another unknown set. Some of the shorts can also be found on HBO Max.
- The final cartoon to use this logo overall was We're in the Money, which was at the same time the final WB short made by Harman-Ising Productions before being taken over by Leon Schlesinger.
2nd Logo (September 2, 1933-August 24, 1935)
- Same as the previous logo, but the shield is redrawn. From 1934-1935, the "WARNER BROS. PICTURES" line is shortened to only "WARNER BROS." with "PRODUCTIONS CORPORATION" underneath it, then the "& THE VITAPHONE CORPORATION" line, each line being smaller than the other.
- From 1934-1935, the "WARNER BROS. PICTURES" line is shortened to only "WARNER BROS." with "PRODUCTIONS CORPORATION" underneath it, then the "& THE VITAPHONE CORPORATION" line.
- Looney Tunes:
- September 2, 1933 - December 9, 1933: The title is set in a forest, where there is a fence with a billboard pinned to it. On the billboard is the series logo and below it is written "Produced by LEON SCHLESINGER". On the bottom of the screen are the credits "Distributed by WARNER BROS. PICTURES, INC.". Suddenly, Buddy is either jumping or poking out from behind the fence saying “That’s all, Folks!”.
- January 5, 1934 - August 24, 1935: On a stage, we see Buddy announcing "That's all, Folks!". To his left is the "LOONEY TUNES" series logo. On the bottom of the screen there is "PRODUCED BY LEON SCHLESINGER" and below that "DISTRIBUTED BY WARNER BROS. PICTURES, INC." Buddy would get redesigned twice on the logo, to match to how his appearance evolved in the cartoons themselves. Also, later on, "WARNER BROS. PICTURES, INC." is changed to "WARNER BROS. PRODUCTIONS CORP."
- Merrie Melodies: Same as the second Looney Tunes variation, but instead of Buddy, a different one-shot character from the cartoon just ending is seen, saying “That’s all, Folks!” (or in some cases here, "So long, folksǃ"). Also, the Leon Schlesinger credit appears below the series logo and is a bit smaller.
Technique: As with the previous two logo, only the end card is animated. However, that was soon to change.
- Looney Tunes:
- A very bright, over-emphatically child-like arrangement keeping with theme of the family vibe of the title cards.
- For later cartoons, the theme is faster-paced.
- On the second cartoon, Buddy's Beer Garden, it uses the music from the previous logo. This is most likely because Buddy's Beer Garden was actually the first Buddy cartoon produced, but the second to be released.
- Merrie Melodies: "I Think You're Ducky" composed by Gerald Marks, Sidney Clare, and Charles Tobias.
Availability: Extremely rare, as cartoons from this period are currently not rerun on TV anywhere. Several cartoons featuring this logo are available on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 6 DVD release, while a few Merrie Melodies shorts also showed up occasionally on MeTV.
Legacy: This logo has a somewhat bad reputation for appearing on one of the least popular eras of the Warner Bros. cartoons (i.e. the Buddy cartoons).
3rd Logo (February 17, 1934; April 14, 1934) (Merrie Melodies variant)
Opening Logo: Same as the previous logo, though it is now all in color. The background is a sort of tricolor hill, with musical notes spread all over.
Closing Logo: Same as the previous logo, but in color.
Technique: Same as the 1st logo.
Music/Sounds: The same "I Think You're Ducky" theme from the Merrie Melodies variant of the previous logo.
Availability: Extremely rare; this was only used on two cartoons from the 1933-1934 season that were made in Cinecolor (Honeymoon Hotel and Beauty and the Beast), as the studio was still producing black-and-white shorts while experimenting with the color budget they had at that time. It won't be until one year later when all Merrie Melodies shorts would be released in Technicolor. At least one of the two shorts that uses this logo, that being Beauty and the Beast, can be currently seen on HBO Max.
4th Logo (November 10, 1934-November 20, 1935) (Merrie Melodies variant)
Opening Logo: Similar to the last logo, but it is now on a red closed curtain background, with musical notes printed over (later on, the curtains were changed to be plain green). The "WARNER BROS. PICTURES" line is shortened to only "WARNER BROS." With "PRODUCTIONS CORPORATION" underneath it, then the "& The Vitaphone Corporation" line.
Closing Logo: Same as the previous, except we now see a jester in place of any given one-shot character against the closed curtain BG, announcing the usual "So long, folks!" or "That's all, Folks!" cadence. The text "WARNER BROS. PICTURES, INC." in the "Distributed by" field is changed to "WARNER BROS. PRODUCTIONS CORP."
Early closing logo: The very first cartoon to use this logo, Those Beautiful Dames, had a rather unusual variation of the common end card. The difference is that the jester, instead of holding up his scepter and having a gay smile, instead bounces to the stage from the right of the screen and gives an angry facial expression to the viewers, while holding the scepter down and showing the Merrie Melodies logo with his left hand. The fact the respective short revolved around toys may have had to do with the jester being used on the end card, while from the second short afterwards (Pop Goes Your Heart) they finally decided to use him as the trademark character of the end logo.
Technique: Same as the previous logo.
Music/Sounds: Same as the previous logo.
Availability: Rare, though it can be seen restored on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection DVDs. As of August 1, 2016 on Boomerang, some cartoons from this era have aired, nearly 10 years since this logo was last seen on American television. A few of the cartoons have also recently aired on MeTV's Toon In With Me program, and some can also be found on HBO Max.
5th Logo (September 14, 1935-September 12, 1936) (Looney Tunes variant)
- September 14, 1935 - March 9, 1936: Virtually the same logo details, small WB shield and Warner Bros./Vitaphone Pictures flag, but now it takes place on a background similar to a ship's porthole. This variation was only used on three cartoons.
- April 4, 1936 - September 12, 1936: At the top of the screen, curved, the word "VITAPHONE" appears in the same electric letter font used previously, and on the very bottom is the word "Presents" in script, followed by the copyright info below. The background is the same ship porthole as in the first variation, but the wall now has a wooden texture while the hole has been remodeled, looking fancier. And the WB shield's most famous role is cemented: it zooms in from a long distance in the center of the screen to a huge size (most likely based on the then-current film logo).
Variant: Colorized variants exist that were made in the 90s by computer, but they are currently not used on DVD, streaming or on MeTV.
- September 14, 1935 - November 2, 1935: Same as on the previous three logos, except that Beans The Cat appears instead of Buddy saying "That's all, folksǃ" to the title. This end variation was only used on three cartoons: A Cartoonist's Nightmare, Hollywood Capers and Gold Diggers of '49.
- February 1, 1936 - September 12, 1936: On a blank, black screen, at the center, the world-famous "That's all Folks!" logo writes itself on. Then the other title card details appear suddenly, all at once. "LOONEY TUNES" is seen curved at the top-left with "PRODUCED BY LEON SCHLESINGER" on the bottom-right, while "RELEASED BY WARNER BROS. PRODUCTIONS CORP." is at the very bottom.
Technique: 2D animation.
Music/Sounds: Same as the later music variant of the 2nd logo.
Availability: Again, rare. Can be seen on a few Beans Gang Looney Tunes shorts and the early Porky shorts if rerun. This was also attached to Sunset Productions' re-issue prints of the Beans Gang shorts and the early Porky shorts. All of the early Porky and the Beans Gang shorts are also seen on HBO Max.
6th Logo (January 11, 1936-June 27, 1964) (Merrie Melodies and Blue Ribbon variant)
Opening Logo: The background is the famous "bullseye". Like the previous logo, the WB shield zooms in from a long distance in the center of the screen to a huge size. A few seconds afterwards, at the top of the screen, curved, the word "VITAPHONE" appears in the same electric letter font used previously, and on the very bottom is the word "Presents" in script, followed by the copyright info.
Closing Logo: Starts with the "That's all Folks!" script being written out (or just "THE END" in plain letters, which were used on reissued prints from 1952-53), and then "MERRIE MELODIES" appearing at the top, curved as in the 3rd logo (and later refined). Near the bottom, either the Leon Schlesinger (or Warner Bros. Cartoons) text/Distributed (or Released) by WB Productions Corp. combo (1936-44) or "A WARNER BROS. CARTOON" (1944-64) was used. From 1960-64, the titles bore the additional legend: "A VITAPHONE RELEASE". The background was the circles/bullseye used in the studio logo. The colors of the backdrop vary by year, but a list of the colors would be too long to put here.
Variants: There were many variants of this logo, and here are some of them:
- For the very first cartoons using the "bullseye" (such as I Wanna Play House), the Warner Bros Productions Corp. logo (with the Vitaphone flag) was used.
- Starting in 1939, "VITAPHONE" was changed to "WARNER BROS.," and "Presents" was changed to "Present". From 1944 onwards (after Leon Schlesinger's retirement from the studio), it bore the additional legend "PICTURES, INC.".
- Some older Merrie Melodies were re-released as part of the "Blue Ribbon" series, and lost their title cards as a result. The re-releases of the pre-1941 cartoons kept whatever music variation it had at the end (except for the 1935 cartoons that originally ended with the jester's sign-off), and any cartoon re-released before 1945 would retain its original end title as well. Most of the pre-1948 cartoons had the long version of the "Merrily" opening theme. The re-releases of the post-1948 cartoons had the short version at the open and retained their full credits. Oddly enough, however, one pre-1948 Merrie Melody from 1940 (which was reissued in 1953-54), Mighty Hunters, retained its original screen credits.
- The most famous one of these has Bugs Bunny relaxing on top of the shield as it zooms in. He chomps on his carrot for a few seconds, looks "angry" at the "camera", after which we cross-fade to the next logo, the Looney Tunes / Merrie Melodies logo. This was only used on Bugs Bunny cartoons starting in 1941, until 1948.
- On the first cartoon to use this animated card, The Heckling Hare (1941), Bugs instead pulls down the next title like a window shade. This variation was not used on any more of his shorts, instead going for the sequence above, though beginning with Hare Trigger (1945), they remade the sequence with the newly-redesigned modern-looking Bugs, now going back to pulling the Looney Tunes / Merrie Melodies logo like the window shade.
- The shield fades into Bugs Bunny's head. This was used only on Bugs Bunny cartoons, first in the 1944-1945 season, then it got definitive use around 1948.
- On The Old Grey Hare (1944), an ending gag involving a stick of dynamite had a still "That's All, Folks!" title card fading up as the fuse was heard sizzling, and then the logo shakes violently to the sound of the dynamite exploding. When reran on Cartoon Network / Boomerang in the USA and Latin America, it was replaced with the regular "That's All, Folks!" title, the dynamite exploding still being heard but the title not shaking. European Turner prints kept the original end title intact, albeit with the "DUBBED VERSION" disclaimer fading in at the end.
- On The Major Lied 'Til Dawn (1938), it ends with a zoom-up of the elephant with him saying "That's all, folks!". The usual text fades in in white, with a much quicker and higher-pitched version of the end theme playing over it.
- A still variation of the end title as seen on the 1953-54 season re-releases of the pre-1948 cartoons (with the early 1300 series production #s) had the phrase "THE END" (in the Mixolydian font) in place of the "That's all Folks!" script with the original closing music from whatever short's end title was originally there. This also happened on United Artists prints of these films as an attempt to remove any reference to Warner Bros, i.e. with an orange bullseye and red center.
- Another still variation of the end title, this time with the usual "That's all Folks!" script, was spotted on the 1954-55 season re-release of the last 2-strip Technicolor-processed MM short, The Cat Came Back (Blue Ribbon #1361, originally released in 1936).
- On the 1961 short Nelly's Folly, there was a different end card, in which after the cartoon faded out with the title "THE END", it fades up to the Merrie Melodies text in purple, with "A WARNER BROS. CARTOON" and "A VITAPHONE RELEASE" underneath it, on a black background. There was no music used here.
- In 1995, Turner Entertainment created the infamous "dubbed version" re-releases of the pre-1948 LT and MM cartoons, which share the same end card ("Porky in a Drum" or the "Bullseye Circles" in either orange (1937-1938) or red (1947-1948) rings) with copyright text chyroned in below. The variant with the 1937-1938 closing also freeze-frames before the "RELEASED BY WARNER BROS. PRODUCTION CORP." byline appears so the "dubbed version" copyright text can take its' place below. In many cases, the original closing music from the cartoon ending is utilized, but once in a while, the incorrect closing music may be heard. Some of these are still seen on TV (mainly on Boomerang, but MeTV airs mostly restored prints of the cartoons, with only a small batch still being shown as Turner prints) and as bonus features on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection DVDs.
Technique: 2D animation.
Music/Sounds: "I Think You're Ducky" from January-September 1936. Starting in late 1936, the music changed to the famous "Merrily We Roll Along", arranged by Carl Stalling, first heard during Eddie Cantor's scenes in the 1935 short Billboard Frolics. In mid 1937, the WB shield has its sound effect--the famous "twanging" noise created by Treg Brown. In 1945, this theme (the opening version) was shortened somewhat. The long version of the opening theme was used up through the Blue Ribbon reissues of the pre-1948 cartoons. Oddly enough, however, one Merrie Melodies short, Horton Hatches the Egg (originally from 1942) did air in syndication (at one time) with the Looney Tunes sig "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down" playing at the end, which is standard for Looney Tunes re-issued as Merrie Melodies. Also, the Merrie Melodies short, Tweety and the Beanstalk, released in 1957, features the Looney Tunes sig "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down" playing at the beginning and the end.
Closing Logo Music: Until 1937, the last piece of short's score played over in the end title. Starting in mid-1937, an abridged version of the famous "Merrily We Roll Along" theme (first used as the main title music beginning with the short "Boulevardier from the Bronx" released Oct. 10, 1936) was heard in the end title.
Music/Sound Variants: Many. Here's a listing:
- October 1936-November 1936: A fast-paced opening theme is heard, and more dominated with woodwinds.
- November 1936-January 1937: Similar to the October 1936 theme, but has some of the more distinct traits in the theme now.
- March-early July 1937: A slower-paced version of above opening theme.
- Late July-early September 1937: The opening theme now begins with the aforementioned (yet famous) "twang" sound created by Treg Brown using a dobro/steel guitar. The closing theme version also makes its debut, on Plenty of Money and You, which also begins with the "twang" sound.
- Late September 1937-early January 1938: The opening theme now has a largely woodwind-dominated arrangement, same went for the closing theme.
- Late January-July 1938: The opening theme is sparsely modified, same closing theme version as late September 1937.
- August 1938-early January 1939: The opening theme is now dominated by brass and strings. The closing theme is also adapted from the opening version beginning in November 1938.
- Late January 1939-early September 1940: This is the second most well-known version of "Merrily We Roll Along".It is heavily modified, and the first "perfected" version of the opening theme. Same closing theme as November 1938 version.
- Late September 1940-March 1941: Opening theme modified somewhat, which sounds like a hybrid of the August 1938 and late January 1939 versions. Same closing theme as November 1938 version.
- April 1941-March 1945: Most well-known version of "Merrily We Roll Along". Heavily modified, more "brassy" opening and closing themes. The long version continued use through the Blue Ribbon reissues of cartoons originally released prior to December 1948.
- A slight variation of the end theme, with a livelier finish, was used on The Wacky Wabbit and Peck Up Your Troubles, as well as the Blue Ribbon version of Tick Tock Tuckered.
- May 1945-June 1955: Abridged opening theme, same closing theme as April 1941. Was still used for the Blue Ribbon reissues of cartoons originally released up to 1955.
- June 18, 1949: On some prints the Blue Ribbon reissue of Horton Hatches the Egg, the 1946 arrangement of "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down" played over the closing title, which is typically the norm for former Looney Tunes shorts from 1946-48 reissued as Blue Ribbon Merrie Melodies.
- May 1955-July 1964: Heavily modified opening and closing themes, this time arranged by Milt Franklyn, with the zooming shield "twang" sounding like it was produced on an electric guitar. Sparsely used for Blue Ribbon reissues.
- July 1955: Opening theme sparsely modified by Milt Franklyn, most notably with a different electric guitar "twang" sound, only used on This Is a Life? Closing music is unchanged.
- October 1956-July 1964: On Tweety and the Beanstalk, Blue Ribbon reissues of Looney Tunes shorts, and the end of Looney Tunes short Boston Quackie, the 1946 or 1955 arrangement of "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down" was used.
- Occasionally, MGM/UA releases had the 1949 Blue Ribbon variant plastered over the Looney Tunes opening rings on Looney Tunes shorts while retaining the 1941 arrangement of "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down". This can be seen on Brother Brat, featured on international releases of Porky Pig Cartoon Festival Featuring Nothing But the Tooth.
Availability: Very common, thanks to its long lifespan. It appears on most of the Merrie Melodies being rerun on MeTV and Boomerang, along with on HBO Max and the Boomerang streaming service (the former has them all restored in high-definition). It was used on over five hundred Merrie Melodies shorts, including famous ones like What's Opera, Doc? and One Froggy Evening. They can be found on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection and Looney Tunes Super Stars DVD sets, and the Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Blu-Ray sets. The I Wanna Play House variant is ultra rare. The "THE END" reissue closing variant is not easy to find, as many cartoons that used it have had a "That's all, Folks!" closing plastered over during the 1990s; it is intact on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection release of The Bashful Buzzard and on the recent restoration of Daffy Doodles.
Legacy: This is a very famous and well-liked logo, with all the familiar elements in by its second year of use (the concentric circles background, the zooming WB shield, the use of "Merrily We Roll Along" as the theme music and the "That's all, Folks!" closing text).
7th Logo (October 3, 1936-September 11, 1937) (Looney Tunes variant)
Opening Logo: Against a background of musical notes, the WB shield zooms in with "VITAPHONE" above and "Presents" below. Copyright info is shown below.
Closing Logo: The same black "That's all Folks!" screen as the 6th logo, but with a slightly different font.
Closing Logo Variant: On Porky's Duck Hunt, an end title gag is used. The font is same as the last one, but Daffy is jumping and dancing across the end title card.
Colorized Variants: Again, there are hand-colorized and digitally-colorized versions of these cartoons, with the latter often retaining the original logos. However, some redrawn-colorized prints of The Village Smithy feature a "colorized" variant of the closing logo where on a red background, an outline of the cursive "That's all, folks!" is seen with a red card underneath being pulled away to reveal white, as an attempt at emulating the text "writing" itself on.
Technique: 2D animation.
Music/Sounds: The first two cartoons using this logo featured the same music from the previous logo. After which, beginning with Porky in the North Woods, a new theme by M.K. Jerome known as the "Porky Signature" is used. There were many variations on this opening theme. In mid-1937, the shield has its sound effect: the famous "twanging" noise created by Treg Brown.
Availability: Rare. Seen on Porky Pig cartoons from the period, usually in their original black-and-white (though digitally-colorized shorts using this also exist on the Boomerang streaming service). The Porky's Duck Hunt variant was seen on TV back in the 90s and has aired at least a few times on MeTV, and is also well preserved on DVDs and HBO Max.
8th Logo (October 9, 1937-September 5, 1942 [Opening], December 11, 1943 [Closing]) (Looney Tunes variant)
Opening Logo: Same as the previous logo, but now the cartoon's production number appears underneath "Presents" and over the copyright notice. Beginning in 1939, "VITAPHONE" is replaced with "WARNER BROS.", and "Presents" is replaced with "Present." The series logo features "LOONEY TUNES" in a font close to its' distinctive look is curved near the top against a background of musical notes with "PRODUCED BY LEON SCHESINGER" at the bottom. Porky Pig, now in his redesigned form by Bob Clampett, does the following poses listed.
- (October 9, 1937-August 27, 1938) Porky is on the right side facing left with arms stretched out.
- (September 24, 1938-August 5, 1939) Porky is in the center facing right with arms stretched out.
- (September 2, 1939-August 24, 1940) Porky is holding a hat.
- (September 21, 1940-August 30, 1941) Porky is seen sitting in an open drum.
- (Between 1940 and 1941, two different versions of Porky are used, illustrating the evolution of the character.)
- (September 20, 1941-September 5, 1942) Porky is sitting on a fence.
Closing Logo: Porky Pig's place in world history is assured as he breaks out of a drum saying his famous "T-T-T-Th-Th-Th-That's all Folks!" line. On the top of the drum is "LOONEY TUNES" and below it is "PRODUCED BY LEON SCHLESINGER". At the bottom is "RELEASED BY WARNER BROS. PRODUCTIONS CORP.". Behind the drum is a curtain background. In 1938, starting with Porky's Spring Planting, "RELEASED BY WARNER BROS. PRODUCTIONS CORP." is changed to "RELEASED BY WARNER BROS. PICTURES INC.". In 1939, starting with Pied Piper Porky, a new version of Porky Pig comes out of the drum. On Meet John Doughboy (1941), Porky doesn't blink.
- Some of the hand-colorized cartoons (mostly the public domain cartoons, colorized in the late 1960s) feature "fake" redrawn versions of the opening titles. On at least one cartoon retaining the original studio logo, the WB shield simply fades in on the musical-note background instead of zooming in.
- On some digitally-colorized 1940-1943 cartoons, the early (1937-1939) Porky Pig in a Drum closing is utilized instead of the correct version, due to an editing mistake in the colorization process. Some examples include A Coy Decoy, Daffy's Southern Exposure and Porky Pig's Feat. This same mistake happens on the recent restoration of Daffy's Southern Exposure when recently aired on MeTV.
Technique: 2D animation.
Music/Sounds: The distinctive Looney Tunes theme, The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down, is introduced, composed by Cliff Friend and Dave Franklin, and arranged by Carl Stalling. An abridged version at a different key is also used for the closing theme.
- October 1937-November 1938: Most well-known version of the opening and closing theme from the early era. Two closing themes are used, with the second one debuting in July 1938.
- November 1937-January 1938: Rare, sparsely modified opening theme variant used only on three cartoons. Closing theme is the same as October 1937.
- November 1938-March 1941: Heavily modified opening theme with a more "lighter" sound, with prominent woodwinds. Closing theme is the same as July 1938.
- March 1941: Specially-modified opening theme for a one-shot cartoon called Joe Glow the Firefly, with a different key in the first section of the theme, said to be arranged by Milt Franklyn. Closing music is the same as July 1938.
- March 1941-June 1945: Heavily modified opening and closing themes, now at a faster tempo and with more brass, second most-well-known version.
- A few of the 1990s digital colorizations of these cartoons feature this logo with the 1936-1937 opening theme playing over the opening logo instead (the later version with the zooming noise at the beginning). This was not how the cartoons originally started, and was an error made during their colorizations. Such examples include The Henpecked Duck, We the Animals Squeak!, Porky's Pastry Pirates, Notes To You, Porky's Midnight Matinee, Porky's Cafe, Daffy's Southern Exposure and Slap-Happy Pappy. The ending titles, however, features the correct closing themes that they originally utilized. This also happened on the recent HD restorations of The Henpecked Duck and Daffy's Southern Exposure when recently aired on MeTV.
- Clean versions of the 1937 and 1938 closing themes, without Porky Pig's line, can be heard at the end of Breakdowns of 1938 and Breakdowns of 1939, respectively.
Availability: Uncommon; seen on many '30s and early '40s Porky Pig cartoons. They are sometimes rerun on MeTV and are available on DVD and HBO Max, but do not air on Boomerang. Although the opening titles ended in September 5, 1942, the closing titles continued to be used on black and white cartoons until December 11, 1943 with Puss n Booty.
Legacy: There are now many familiar and distinct elements of the Looney Tunes series in place, i.e. the zooming WB shield's sound effect, the use of "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down" as the theme music, and Porky's "That's all, folks!" closing.
9th Logo (October 3, 1942-July 18, 1964) (Looney Tunes variant)
Opening Logo: Similar to the previous logos, only now the famous "Circles/Bullseye" backdrop that has become a trademark of Warner Bros. is in place. It should be noted that the backdrop has less rings compared to the Merrie Melodies version. In 1944, below the "WARNER BROS.", "PICTURES INC." is added.
Closing Logo: It started with the "That's all Folks!" script being written out, and then "LOONEY TUNES" appearing at the top, curved as in the "black screen" logo, with "A WARNER BROS. CARTOON" appearing word-by-word near the bottom. From 1960-1964, the titles bore an additional legend: “A VITAGRAPH RELEASE”. The background was the circles/bullseye used in the Studio Logo. The colors of the backdrop vary by year, but a list of the colors would be too long to put here.
Early Closing Logo: Until 1946, the Porky in a Drum closing was used on a red background; however, the Bugs Bunny cartoons Hare Tonic (1945) and Baseball Bugs (1946) have a variant where Bugs broke the drum and said "And that's the end!" while sitting in the open drum and munching on a carrot. Starting in 1944, the "LEON SCHLESINGER" text was changed to "PRODUCED BY WARNER BROS. CARTOONS INC." and then "A WARNER BROS. CARTOON".
Early Variant: The very first two cartoons with the logo (The Hep Cat and The Daffy Duckaroo, the former being re-released as a Blue Ribbon Merrie Melodies) had the WB shield logo slightly bigger.
Variants: There were many variations to this logo, and here are some of them:
- On Bugs Bunny cartoons from 1953 to 1963, the backdrop is zoomed out and the shield fades into a much more crudely-drawn version of Bugs' face. The "Warner Bros. Present" text doesn't fade in.
- The most famous one of these, with Bugs Bunny relaxing on top of the shield as it zooms in. He chomps on his carrot for a few seconds, looks angry at the "camera", and then pulls down (like a window shade) the next screen, the Looney Tunes logo.
- The shield fades into a face (usually oversized, jaw open) of the featured character in the cartoon it's used in. This was used mostly on Bugs Bunny cartoons, although Daffy's and/or Porky's heads were used a few times as well. On most Bugs Bunny cartoons and at least two Daffy Duck cartoons, the fade happens a second after the shield settles, while on other cartoons with this variant the face was on the series title card.
- On some cartoons, the shield zooms in with no text below or above it, then the featured character's face and "Warner Bros. Present" fade in.
- On the 1953 Bugs Bunny short Lumber Jack-Rabbit the shield zooms way too far and then zooms back to it's correct position (Like a yo-yo), as this was the first Bugs Bunny short to be released in 3D. It also didn't fade to Bugs Bunny's face.
- Sometimes, one of the character's heads would be seen on the series logo. It is usually either Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, or both of them. This was primarily seen in the 1940s.
- Some Looney Tunes were re-released as "Blue Ribbon" Merrie Melodies and lost their title cards. While these re-releases used the Merrie Melodies version of the bullseye logo (with more rings), they kept the Looney Tunes music (first at the closing titles only and then the full opening sequence as well), so it is painfully easy to spot former Looney Tunes that were reissued as Merrie Melodies. Examples include A Bear for Punishment and House-Hunting Mice.
- In 1995, Turner Entertainment created the infamous "dubbed version" re-releases of the pre-1948 LT and MM cartoons, which share the same end card ("Porky in a Drum" or the "Bullseye Circles" in either orange or red rings) with copyright text chyroned in below. Several of these are still seen on TV and the Looney Tunes Golden Collection DVDs.
- Similar re-release remastered prints were prepared by Warner Bros. in 1997-1998, but this time, utilizing the original correct closing title from the original short, with copyright text chyroned in below (reading "THIS VERSION" instead of "DUBBED VERSION.")
Technique: 2D animation.
Music/Sounds: The "Merry-Go-Round Broke Down" is still used during this period. In 1945, this theme is shortened somewhat.
Music/Sound Variants: Many. Here's a listing:
- October 1942–March 1945: Same as the version first used in 1941.
- May 1945–July 1946: Abridged opening theme, now dominated by brass and woodwinds, same closing theme as March 1941 (except for Kitty Kornered; with the sole exception of the final cartoon with these themes, Acrobatty Bunny, where there was no voiceover at all, Porky's voiceover was always used, with a couple of Bugs Bunny cartoons instead having Bugs saying, "And that's the end!").
- June 8, 1946: On Kitty Kornered, the closing variant of "Merrily We Roll Along" was used over the closing ID.
- July 1946–June 1955: Abridged themes. Heavily modified opening and closing themes done in a "goofy" manner. Was still used for the Blue Ribbon reissues of cartoons originally released up to 1955. The opening version also accidentally shows up on Boston Quackie (June 22, 1957) in place of the May 1955 theme.
- May 1955–July 1964: Heavily modified opening and closing themes, this time arranged by Milt Franklyn, with the zooming shield "twang" sounding like it was produced on an electric guitar. Sparsely used for Blue Ribbon reissues.
- In 1968, Warner Bros. colorized many of its black-and-white cartoons for television. The 1979-1980 prints of these shorts plastered its opening WB shield and closing IDs with the more contemporary "bullseye" design (in most cases taken from the 1956 short Deduce, You Say) with a 1967 copyright disclaimer plaster onto the original, but the original cartoon's audio remained intact. In many cases, the second half of one of the 1935-43 themes would play underneath the opening, but a few redrawn prints with these logos (such as Wholly Smoke and An Ill Wind) have the entire opening theme play underneath. Also during the closing, you could still hear the drum breaking open and Porky Pig saying "Th-th-that's all, folks!" at the end of the cartoons, but you couldn't see him. In some cases, the "That's all, folks!" screen would then fade to the 1972 "Big \\' " closing "Distributed by Warner Bros." logo.
Availability: Common; can be found on many of the Looney Tunes shorts airing on MeTV and Boomerang, along with the Boomerang and HBO Max streaming services (the latter has them all restored in high-definition). It also can be found on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection and Looney Tunes Super Stars DVDs and Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Blu-ray sets from Warner Home Video. This logo was used on over a hundred classic Looney Tunes shorts, including Rabbit of Seville and False Hare, among many others.
Legacy: This is a very famous and well-liked logo, and is beloved among those who grew up watching the Looney Tunes shorts in theaters or on television over the years.
10th Logo (1961, April 27, 1963, February 29, 1964, August 1, 1964–September 30, 1967)
NOTE: By this point, the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies logos are no longer distinctive to each series and are now somewhat standardized/interchangeable, so the following logos described cover both the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series.
Opening Logo: Completely different from before. On a black background, several series of lines come from the center of the screen zooming and swirling, three purple, one orange, with two of the purple ones diagonal, one of the purple ones vertical, and the orange one horizontal. The orange line moves down and up as the purple lines disappear one-by-one and a purple abstract "WB", with the W made up of two triangles and the B made up of two semicircles, appears. The orange line turns into the word "PRESENTS" over the abstract WB while a copyright notice appears on the bottom. Then it cuts to two lines in the center of the screen swirling around and then sliding away to reveal the even stranger series logo.
- Starting with the 1966 release year, the line animation at the beginning is altered a bit.
- On the last couple of cartoons to feature this logo, a Warner Bros.-Seven Arts copyright appears on the bottom.
Closing Logo: The abstract WB appears piece-by-piece, and "A WARNER BROS. CARTOON" is wiped onto the screen. When the wiping gets to the "OO" in "CARTOON", the Os turn red and "pop out" of the logo, then pop back into the logo, like two eyes doing a take. They do this action three times fast (1963-1965) or two times slowly (1966-1967). "N" is then wiped on and "A VITAPHONE RELEASE" (for Merrie Melodies) or "A VITAGRAPH RELEASE" (for Looney Tunes) appears on the bottom left.
Early Closing Variant:
- For the first three cartoons with this logo, the logo/text is on a white background with no Vitaphone/Vitagraph credit.
- On Bartholomew Versus the Wheel (1963), the "OO" bounces up and down three more times after the "N" in "CARTOON" appears.
- On Pancho's Hideaway (1964), it is similar to the early white background variant, but features "A VITAGRAPH RELEASE" in white text on a black parallelogram on the bottom left.
Technique: 2D animation.
Music/Sounds: A weird atonal '60s version of "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down", arranged by William Lava, with various musical effects accompanying the line animations (most notably with WB shield-like guitar "twangs" accompanying the swirling lines zooming in and out). Unlike the pre-1964 logos, music no longer differs to each cartoon series, and has become somewhat standardized.
- The first three shorts using this logo mixed the zooming sound from the 1955-1964 LT theme with the zooming sound from this logo's theme and a cymbal crash was heard when the lines stopped zooming.
- The end titles originally used Big Ben chiming instead of music, and then a bicycle horn honking for the "OO" animation.
- Starting in 1964 with Pancho's Hideaway (the first LT short produced by DePatie-Freleng), the 1955 zoom sound and the cymbal clash were dropped from the opening theme, and the end titles began using an abridged version of the opening theme music, with the "OO" animation synchronized with the theme.
Music/Sounds Trivia: Apparently there was a jazzy rearrangement version of "Merrily We Roll Along" made for this logo, composed by Milt Franklyn. It was never used, because around this time Franklyn unfortunately died of a heart attack in the middle of composing the score for the Tweety cartoon The Jet Cage. The recordings of Milt Franklyn's versions can be found on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 5 DVD set.
Availability: Common. Still saved on the mid-1960s Road Runner, Speedy Gonzales and Daffy Duck shorts when reran on MeTV and Boomerang. Several of the cartoons are also on the Boomerang and HBO Max streaming services, minus the ones with Speedy. A handful of cartoons with this logo, including the first three using this logo with the original white background variant (with Big Ben closing) can be found on later Looney Tunes Golden Collection DVD sets and Looney Tunes Super Stars DVDs.
Legacy: Considered a major mood whiplash from the last logos, obviously due to change being in the wind for the Warner Bros. cartoons. The fact that this logo was mostly used on (and associated with) DePatie-Freleng and Format Films' noticeably lower-budget Warner Bros. cartoons (usually featuring either Speedy Gonzales and Daffy Duck or the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote) doesn't help things either, due to the significantly lower quality compared to the previous WB cartoons. Despite this, it's considered a great fit with its debut on Now Hear This.
11th Logo (October 14, 1967-September 20, 1969)
Opening Logo: The same as the previous logo, but the background is now blue, while the three purple lines are now yellow and the orange one is now more pinkish-red. The three yellow lines disappear at the same time, as the W7 logo "draws" itself (see the W7 film logo), and the shield appears around it. The horizontal line animation is the same, though “PRESENTS” is now more pinkish as well.
Closing Logo: Same as the last logo, although the "A WARNER BROS. CARTOON" line is changed to add in the Seven Arts information and the abstract WB is replaced by the W7 logo, which merely "appears" at the beginning of the end title without any forming animation. The "OO" goes up and down three times fast now.
- For the first three cartoons with this logo, it reuses the color scheme of the “Abstract WB” logo, with a black background and purple W7 shield. This was only used in the 1967 release season.
- Shorts produced in 1969 remove the copyright info from the studio logo (instead moving it to the short's opening title card), and instead of the blue background remaining on before cutting to black at the end before the cartoon's opening titles appear, the logo now fades to black after the lines swirl away.
- The 1969 short Rabbit Stew and Rabbits Too had bad film deterioration to it on TV reruns in the 1990s and early 2000s, and the opening/closing logos had a dark red tint to them as a result. A remastered version with the proper color scheme has been spotted on Boomerang UK, and the cartoon has since been restored in high-definition and released on HBO Max.
- On Norman Normal and on Hocus Pocus Pow-wow, the "W7" graphic is off-centered inside the shield during the studio logo.
- A rare still variant was seen on The Door (an independent animated short not produced by Warner Bros. Animation), which merely consisted of the yellow W-7 shield on a blue background. This was at the beginning of the short before the opening credits. No music was used here.
- Beginning some time in 1968, the Vitaphone/Vitagraph legend is switched around: Looney Tunes are now branded as "A VITAPHONE RELEASE," while Merrie Melodies get the Vitagraph equivalent.
- Some copies of the late-1960s redrawn-colorized Looney Tunes shorts from the late 1930s/early 1940s have a variation of this logo plastered onto the beginning, where it does not have the "TECHNICOLOR" rectangle on the bottom and has the second half of one of the 1935-1943 Looney Tunes opening themes playing under it, which does not fit with the logo at all. The ending has the Seven Arts closing plastered on, with either the ending of the cartoon's theme playing underneath (1935-1937) or the 1937-1943 closing themes, with Porky's "Th-the-th-the-th-the-that's all folks!" line coincidentally timed almost impeccably to match the bouncing of the "OO"s in the word "CARTOON".
- Some redrawn prints of Porky's Road Race with these logos use the 1967 opening theme music with the opening and the 1964 closing theme during the end titles.
- The redrawn print of Porky's Romance using these logos starts with the full 1936-37 "Porky Signature" theme music playing, initially against a black background, until four seconds in when the "Abstract W7" opening sequence begins. The "rotating lines" animation before the series logo is played twice, to accommodate the running time for the theme music.
- On at least one public domain print of the redrawn version of The Timid Toreador, only the second half of the opening logo is seen (with the 1937-38 Looney Tunes opening theme playing underneath), due to a sloppy plastering attempt with the 9th logo lifted from Tom Turk and Daffy (a few frames of said cartoon's title can be seen before cutting to the "Abstract W7" series logo).
Technique: 2D animation.
Music/Sounds: A newer variation of the same bizarre music used last time, which is generally less annoying, but stranger-sounding in most cases.
Music/Sound Variants: Here's a listing:
- October 1967-September 1969: A noticeably lower-budget arrangement with a smaller band and rather cheap-sounding electric guitar "twangs" during the line animation. The closing music is the same as the 1964 version.
- June 1968-August 1968: Heavily modified, louder opening theme with electric guitar, brass horn and piano combo on the zooming line animations. Closing music is unchanged.
- March 1969: Opening theme sparsely modified, sounding like a hybrid of the October 1967 and June 1968 themes, only used on Fistic Mystic. Closing music is unchanged.
- On the 1968 short Norman Normal (based off the Paul Stookey song of the same name), the opening to the cartoon's theme music (Paul Stookey's "Norman Normal") plays under this logo instead of having its own music, and at the end, the "Norman Normal" song also plays over the standard closing animation.
Availability: Pretty rare; the Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies cartoon output was coming to a stop by this time. It is still saved on shorts of the period, but because many of them do not feature main/recurring Looney Tunes characters (such as Sylvester or the Road Runner) and are of a more inferior quality compared to the 1940s and 1950s shorts, they aren't shown very often on MeTV and are not shown on Boomerang at all, but many of them are available on the HBO Max streaming service, restored in high-definition. The Norman Normal variant is available, fully restored, on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 6 DVD release, the standard variant can be seen on the two Bunny and Claude shorts on the Looney Tunes Super Stars Porky & Friends DVD, and the early variant (unrestored) can be found on the 1967 short Merlin the Magic Mouse on the Looney Tunes Mouse Chronicles DVD/Blu-ray set. The Door variant has been restored on the Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume One Blu-ray set.
Legacy: This logo also has a fairly bad reputation for appearing on one of the least popular eras of the Warner Bros. cartoons, when production moved back in-house at Warner Bros. Animation with a mostly-new crew and substantially smaller budgets, not to mention featuring very few of the popular classic characters (i.e. Daffy Duck and Speedy Gonzales) and mostly focusing on more newer, less-memorable characters (such as Cool Cat and Merlin the Magic Mouse).