Merrie Melodies Theatrical Series -Warner Bros.
This series was Warner Bros. second theatrical animated series (preceded by the Looney Tunes cartoon series by about a year), and ran in many movie theaters from 1931 to 1969. Originally conceived as a new cartoon series that would feature music from the soundtracks of current Warner Bros. films, producer Leon Schlesinger funded the series by convinced the studio heads that Merrie Melodies would be the perfect promotional tool for Warner Bros. theatrical musical films. The series had no recurring characters (unlike the Looney Tunes), but was extremely popular with audiences, and even earned an Academy Award nomination it's second year (for It's Got Me Again!).
Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising left the studio in 1933, taking their characters with them to MGM. Leon Schlesinger took over producing the cartoons from 1933 to 1944. Schlesinger took the series over to color (Cinecolor) in 1934; Looney Tunes would take a further 8 years to move over to color. By this time, the Merrie Melodies were much less music oriented, and the two sister theatrical series became almost indistinguishable.
In September of 1943, beginning with A Feud There Was, Warner Bros. began re-releasing select color cartoons in their Blue Ribbon program. Typically the Blue Ribbon reissues received new opening sequences with Blue Ribbon title cards and standardized music. Cartoon production credits were also removed. Between ten and fifteen cartoons were released in any given year, with cartoons coming from as far back as 1935. The reissues continued until the close of the studio in the 1960's.
All Blue Ribbon cartoons were released as "Merrie Melodie" cartoons regardless of the original series. The only current prints of many of these cartoons are the Blue Ribbon releases, although restoration of these cartoons with original elements and titles is always ongoing.
Schlesinger sold the cartoon studio to Warner Bros. in 1944, and they produced their cartoons in-house until 1963. After that, both series were outsourced to DePatie-Freleng Enterprises until 1967, with essentially the same crew from the Warner Bros. days. Warner Bros.- now called "Warner Bros.-Seven Arts"- re-assumed production for the series' final two years.
Here is the full listing of all the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes series cartoons, include cast and crew lists, cartoon pictures and synopsis of these Cartoon Classics from Warner Bros.
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