Art Gallery of Alberta

The Art of Warner Bros. Cartoons
June 19, 2010-October 11, 2010

image credits [click to view]

Recreated Cel of Bugs Bunny
© 2010 Warner Bros. Inc.

Cel of Wile E. Coyote, ca. 1955, with Background
Artist Unknown (cel); Philip DeGuard (Background)
Directed by Chuck Jones
© 2010 Warner Bros. Inc.

Cel of Porky Pig with Background  
Artist Unknown (Cel): Richard H. Thomas (Background)
Directed by Robert McKimson
© 2010 Warner Bros. Inc.

Warner Bros. cartoon studio has earned both critical and popular acclaim as the producers of the finest, funniest, and most inventive animated shorts ever made.  The Hollywood studio, which opened in 1930 and shut its theatrical division in 1969, developed and perfected the kind of antic, irreverent, street-smart humor that has characterized much of short-subject animation ever since.  Along the way, the Warner shop won 6 Academy Awards, and created more cartoon stars than any other studio – in chronological order, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird, Pepe Le Pew, Sylvester, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, The Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Speedy Gonzales, and many others.

Since the introduction of Porky Pig in 1935, Warner Bros. Cartoons have been enormously popular.  In the heyday of theatrical animation, they were voted America’s most popular shorts for 16 consecutive years – from 1945 to 1960.  This major exhibition features 165 drawings, paintings, animation cels and related art objects used in the making of Warner’s classic cartoons. The exhibition explores seven different themes from a chronological history of the cartoon studio to the evolution of Warner’s first cartoon stars, Porky Pig and Daffy Duck; and features a step-by-step breakdown of how classic cel animation was made and an in depth look at Warner’s most famous creation, Bugs Bunny. The Warner writers devised stories and gags of brilliant invention, while the studio’s directors executed them with masterly verve and timing. They, in turn, were supported by a cadre of gifted animators, painters, and designers. The result is a body of work that, with each new screening, seems richer and deeper, and more clearly a significant part of North American culture.