How many Warner Brothers cartoons were there?
December 25, 2003 7:35 AM   Subscribe

How many Warner Brothers cartoons were there? [more inside]

Last night my know-it-all brother questioned my girlfriend's claim that she had seen them all. "There's five thousand." That number seems high. This guy's site doesn't have a number (but it's interesting).
posted by Bootcut to Media & Arts (9 answers total)
I don't have much of an answer to contribute, but the five thousand figure does not seem that overblown. Remember that Warner Brothers turned out a lot of new product in the 80s and early 90s -- Animaniacs alone probably accounts for a fair fraction of the total -- and is still cranking out cartoons and full length features to this very day.
posted by majick at 8:50 AM on December 25, 2003

Well, if it's any indication, IMDB says Mel Blanc has been in over 900 films -- though not all of them are related to Bugs Bunny/Warner Brothers.
posted by crunchland at 9:01 AM on December 25, 2003

This checklist, which I consult regularly, should answer your question: many of which (because of racist stereotypes) have never been shown on television. (In fact, there was recent ballyhoo about Speedy Gonzalez being racist -- *sigh* -- political correctness. Thankfully, the Cartoon Network is now airing them.) And in some cases (the shift to color), the B&W cartoons never aired. So unless your girlfriend is an octogenarian and made a conscious attempt to catch all the cartoons before the features in every movie, she's probably wrong.

Now if only Warner Brothers would speed up the release of these great shorts on DVD! The Bosko cartoons, I know, are available on DVD.
posted by ed at 9:55 AM on December 25, 2003

I think she was identifying the "Golden Age" stuff. So maybe I'm talking color Warner Brothers cartoons prior to the 1960s, and that number doesn't exceed 5K.

I guess I just wanted some documentation to refute my brother's claim; the way he said it was really annoying.
posted by Bootcut at 10:19 AM on December 25, 2003

...and in reviewing the checklist, it turns out that between 1930-1968, the number is ~1,000. Thanks!
posted by Bootcut at 10:34 AM on December 25, 2003

It's actually much tougher than that because you might have to consider other cartoons from WB. It breaks down into X categories:

1. The classics

Those include all the characters from the Looney tunes series and include favorites like Bugs, Daffy, Wile, etc...

2. The extended sets

Those include characters like the Looney Tunes Jr., Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, etc.. which were WB cartoons co-produced in some cases, with other entities (for example, Steven Spielberg is often listed as producer on some of the Pinky and the Brain series)

3. The comics set

Those include cartoons like Batman, Spiderman, etc... which were created for television only and generally based on comic book heroes.

4. The acquired set

I think it was in the early eighties or nineties that WB acquired some of the MGM collection, which include a lot of golden era classics.

So that's a complicated question, depending on who's asking.
posted by TNLNYC at 10:44 AM on December 25, 2003

I think Pokemon has WB ties too, so you'd have to add that, and basically all 'toons that aired WB.
posted by riffola at 12:28 PM on December 25, 2003

And if you wanna get really complicated, Time Warner acquired Hanna Barbera years ago (reuniting H&B with their MGM Tom&Jerry toons), and they've been recently doing webtoons with the Classic characters and deceptively packaging them in DVDs. IMO, "TazMania" was the best TV "extended" series, and "Looney Tunes: Back in Action" deserved much better than it got. But don't get me started about "Duck Dodgers"...

For the Original Classic Theatrical "Looney Tunes" "Merrie Melodies" 'Termite Terrace' productions, the checklist linked by ed above is as definitive as you're going to get, but the best list in print (of Warners, Disney, MGM, UPA and other theatrical shorts) is in the Leonard Maltin book Of Mice and Magic published in '90.
posted by wendell at 12:54 PM on December 25, 2003

The Big Cartoon DataBase lists 3,218. (That number includes recent ones such as Animaniacs.)
posted by pmurray63 at 11:38 PM on December 30, 2003

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