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Best books for Looney Tunes historians

Discussion in 'Warner Bros.' started by LooneyTunian, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. LooneyTunian

    LooneyTunian Newbie New Member

    Nov 10, 2013
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    This question isn't for me(seeing as I own too many books on the subject during my hoarding years) but rather for people who might want to know this and to help people.

    For people who would like to know more about the Looney Tunes and their history, what kind of books would you recommend fans to read?
  2. Pokey J.Anti-Blockhead

    Pokey J.Anti-Blockhead Intern Forum Member New Member

    Nov 19, 2013
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    "Of Mice and Magic" by Leonard Maltin, 1980 and 1987 but mysteriously not updated, given that this was right before the new "revivial", has listings for a number of the theatrical studios-just don't expect an extensive list of the vocal actors, background artists or animators, though he does mention a lot and of course all of the directors. He praises one of my favorites, Art Davis, who directorial reign was cut off by the change in the cartoon business [though WB, and the UPA [aka the anti-animation studio] revulotiuon kept theatricals afloat thru the fifties [as did, of course, Disney].

    "Tex Avery King of Cartoons" focuses strictly on you know who, in his tenuyres at WB, MGM, and Walter Lantz, with filmographies as an epilogue at the end. Very witty and enterainting, author Joe Adamsom, who's profiles many Hollywood legends and is on Facebook to boot, does interviews and chit chats with Tex and some of the legends [Heck Allen, Mike Maltese], though he almost seems too praising..:)

    "The Warner Bros.Cartoons". This, of course, has to be the first book, (1981), on the studio, with the 1930-1969 filmography, with from time to time cultural references and music titles given. Jerry Beck and Will Friedwald make this their first contribution to the history. How little we know then of the web and "Cartoon Research" site/facebook page...:) Some gaps in voices [Larry Storch's voice credit as Cool Cat only is given in his third cartoon, 1968's "Hippy-Drome Tiger" when he was always voiced by Storch, also the voice [after Daws Butler in the first] of Merlin the Magic Mouse]. Since not all supporting voice info turned up, these credits were absent: Sheldon Leonard as Dodsworth the Cat, Margaret Hill-Talbot as Sniffles, Ersel Pat Patrick as the "Corn Plastered Crow", Daws Butler as the "Yankee Doodit" shoemaker/elf, Bea Benadaret and Stan Freberg(?) with Mel Blanc in "A Hick, A Slick and a Chick", Freberg's "Foxy by Proxy" voices,etcv. are omitted in the Beck & Friedwald first book. Also some odd stuff like saying the 1948 release "My Bunny Lies Over The Ocean" was "Directed by Bugs Bunny" in the credits or that Mel Blanc was narrator-credited in the 1953 "Flop! Goes the Weasel" [the Foghorn Leghorn/Brer Dog/weasel short, not to be confused with the Censored 11 1943 short "Plop Goes the Weasel], which may be typical copyright-theft infringement to catch infringers.Still very vastly covered and written by some of the most informative researchers and historians, a very good book.However, it's one of those that mentions some 1947-48 cartoons as released at the end of 1948 ["Two Gophers from Texas", and "A Horsefly Fleas", for instance] Scarecrow Press of Metuchten, New Jersey, published it for the library trade..so it's hard to find..but now comes..

    "Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies" by the same authors [Beck/Friedewald]. Published in 1989 by a much bigger company, Holt/Rinehart/Winston, despite the same mis-information listing some cartoons as being released in fall-winter 1948 when they were released earlier [a mistake made by most historians anyhow] this has much more information on additional voices and more animator info than others. All of the onscreen non-Blanc voice credits in the 60s shorts [Ben Frommer, Ed Prentiss,etc.] are given unlike the earlier book and descriptions of the stories are much longer and more detailed.

    "That's All Folks" by Steve Schneider, 1988, is probably the most accurate in terms of release dates, even the five shorts ("A Hick, A Slick and a Chick","A Horsefly Fleas","House Hunrting Mice","I Taw a Puddy Tat", and "Two Gophers from Texas") given wrong release dates by the books above have for once the right, pre-1948 release dates. This has a creditless filmography (Tweety being very justifiab;y placed in Sylvester's filmography since Tweety spent his starring era in Sylvester shorts since 1947's Oscar winning teaming debut in "Tweetie Pie") but accurate dates as mentioned..also Daffy Duck's "Upstanding Sitter" also has had wrong release dates, July 3, 1947, instead of the real one, July 3,1948. Dates of the 1935-36 shorts have been thrown around as well between the books..The book covers a lot of the main characters and also mentions the "Groovie Ghoulies" abomination briefly that Filmation did with the characters.Chapters are given to a number of characters, even the Goofy Gophers and Three Bears.
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  3. Dave Koch

    Dave Koch Cartoon Admin

    Oct 27, 2013
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    I have always been a fan of "Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies" by Beck/Friedewald. All the books are good, but thats the one I cut my teeth on...
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  4. saltyboot

    saltyboot A Moderating Moderator Staff Member Forum Member

    Nov 5, 2013
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    I would also like to add:

    "The Cartoon Music Book" by Goldmark and Taylor
    "Living Life inside the Lines" by Sigall. She talks about her personal experiences at Termite Terrace.

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