Warner Brothers Animation Art

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9780883631072: Warner Brothers Animation Art

Published to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the Warner Bros. Studios, this album features authentic animation art of everyone's favorite characters. More than 300 color illustrations trace the evolution of the uniquely American art form through the development and growth of the Warner Bros.

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"Before 1977, relatively few people were aware of animation cels as an art form," Beck and Friedwald inaugurally opine. Discussion of collectible cel art soon slips away, though, as the object becomes not to evaluate Warner animation, but to praise it on big, lavishly illustrated pages that are bound for heavy duty. Exhaustiveness is not a concern: Beck and Friedwald spotlight a lesser character like Michigan J. Frog, but not many others, mostly, it seems, because M. J. is the spokes-'toon for Warner's TV network. Still, there is plenty of tribute to major creative stalwarts like voice man Mel Blanc and directors Bob Clampett, Friz Freleng, Bob McKimson, Tex Avery, and Chuck Jones. The upbeat exposition even cites a few controversies, such as the trimming of Heckling Hare that contributed to Avery's leaving Warner (what the original ending was or why it was changed are never specified, though). Mickey Mouse may be a more successful corporate shill, but Bugs Bunny is the quintessential funny animal. Celebrate him and his posse with this grand tribute. Mike Tribby

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