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Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes crew will spend their summer at the George Eastman Museum


The Art of Warner Bros. Cartoons exhibition will open at the museum on June 28; an exhibition preview and film event will be held on June 27.

Rochester, N.Y., June 24, 2019—This summer, the George Eastman Museum will offer visitors a look at the complex process of animation with The Art of Warner Bros. Cartoons. The exhibition will be open to the public on June 28 and remain on view through October 6. An exhibition preview will begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 27, followed by a screening of Warner Bros. animated shorts at 8 p.m. in the Dryden Theatre.

The Art of Warner Bros. Cartoons focuses on the art behind the animation process. For more than eighty years, Warner Bros. animation, including artists such as Tex Avery, Chuck Jones, Bob Clampett, and Friz Freleng, brought their characters to life with an antic, irreverent, street-smart humor. The Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series gave rise to some of the most iconic animated characters, including Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, and Daffy Duck. With more than 150 sketches, models, paintings, and animation cels, the exhibition tells the behind-the‑scenes story of the work that went into creating the famous films from the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s.

“Animation is a complex process, from concept to sketching, drawing, and coloring, all before filming even begins. Yet, most audiences only ever see the finished product,” said Jared Case, Curator of Film Exhibitions, George Eastman Museum. “Decades after its beginnings, the animation of the Warner Bros. studio still resonates with audiences today. No matter how you first experienced these classic animations—in the theater, at home on 8mm film or VHS, on television, or even online—this exhibition will delight with the laughs and lunacy of Warner Bros. cartoons for all ages.”

The museum is hosting an exhibition preview on Thursday, June 27, from 6 to 8 p.m., featuring a cash bar and light refreshments. The event is open to the public, and general admission is $15, $10 for students, and free for members of the museum. Reservations are suggested, and tickets can be purchased at eastman.org/warnerbros in advance. Following the preview party, the Dryden Theatre will screen a series of Warner Bros. shorts at 8 p.m. The screening is ticketed separately from the preview party; tickets for the screening are $10 general admission, $7 for members, $5 for students, and free to children 17 and under, and are available at the Dryden box office before the show.

Thursday, June 27, 8 p.m.
Mostly Bugs (US 1949–62, 84 min. total, 35mm) Bugs Bunny was a breakout star for the Warner Bros. animation team from his debut in the 1940 Merrie Melodie A Wild Hare. Though his creation is not credited to any one artist, Warner’s top directors Chuck Jones and Robert McKimson brought out the best in the lunatic lepus. This program features Bugs in Rabbit Hood (Jones, 1949), The Rabbit of Seville (Jones, 1950), Rabbit Fire (Jones, 1951), Operation: Rabbit (Jones, 1952), Duck Amuck (Jones, 1953), Duck! Rabbit! Duck! (Jones, 1953), Devil May Hare (McKimson, 1954), Bedevilled Rabbit (McKimson, 1957), Ali Baba Bunny (Jones, 1957), and Bill of Hare (McKimson, 1962), as well as early appearances by Foghorn Leghorn in The Foghorn Leghorn (McKimson, 1948) and Pepe Le Pew in For Scent-imental Reasons (Jones, 1949).

There will be several opportunities to see some of the Warner Bros. cartoons in action. During the run of the exhibition, a variety of Warner Bros. cartoons will screen in the Curtis Theatre daily during museum hours. In addition, the Dryden Theatre will present two more evening programs of Warner Bros. shorts on 35mm film during the first week of the exhibition.

Saturday, June 29, 7:30 p.m.
Chuck and Duck (US 1949–58, 83 min. total, 35mm) Chuck Jones was instrumental in creating the look and feel of Warner Bros. animation. Here, we revisit some of his high points with The Ducksters (1950), Little Beau Pepe (1952), Rabbit Seasoning (1952), Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century (1953), No Barking (1954), One Froggy Evening (1955), There They Go-Go-Go (1956), What’s Opera, Doc? (1957), and Robin Hood Daffy (1958). We will also highlight Daffy Duck in Holiday for Drumsticks (Arthur Davis, 1949), Stupor Duck (Robert McKimson, 1956), and A Star Is Bored (Friz Freleng, 1956).

Tuesday, July 2, 7:30 p.m.
Birds Are Prey (US 1950–60, 80 min. total, 35mm) One of the enduring Warner Bros. animation devices is to put a fowl friend in trouble with a predator. Here, the Road Runner, Tweety Bird, and Foghorn Leghorn evade evisceration in: Home, Tweet Home (Friz Freleng, 1950), Tweety’s S.O.S. (Freleng, 1951), A Street Cat Named Sylvester (Freleng, 1953), Little Boy Boo (Robert McKimson, 1954), Dog Pounded (Freleng, 1954), Ready.. Set.. Zoom! (Chuck Jones, 1955), Tugboat Granny (Freleng, 1956), Tweety and the Beanstalk (Freleng, 1957), Greedy for Tweety (Freleng, 1957), Whoa, Be-Gone! (Jones, 1958), Fastest with the Mostest (Jones, 1960), and a dance-happy Porky Pig in his last solo cartoon, The Wearing of the Grin (Jones, 1951).

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