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Portland cartoon maven Ivan Gold celebrates the golden age of Warner Brothers’ Looney Tunes. “In 1930, 50% of America went to the movies each week. Leon Schlesinger hired a staff of ex-Disney animators, and started producing cartoons for Warner Brothers. Most were insipid copies of Disney’s work—fillers between double features. Then, Warner assigned “Tex” Avery to Schlesinger’s team and the change was dramatic.  Avery, Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, Bob Clampett and a stable of inspired writers and composers produced a new genre of distinctly American and timelessly funny cartoons. Decades on, the best are still great. This program includes 10 cartoons from 1947 to 1955, including: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd in Rabbit Fire (“Shoot me, Shoot me!”); Bully For Bugs (Bullfights aren’t funny!); three of the “great music” cartoons: Rossini Redux in Rabbit of Seville; Long Haired Hare (Figaro!); and a seven minute Wagner Ring cycle in What’s Opera Doc. Daffy’s abused in Duck Amuck; Sylvester’s terrified in Scaredy Cat; Wile E. Coyote premieres without the Roadrunner in Operation: Rabbit; and Foghorn Leghorn, Henery Hawk and B’rer Dog battle it out in Henhouse Henery: “The kid’s about as sharp as a pound of wet liver.” Finally, we’ll watch Michigan J. Frog in One Froggy Evening, Chuck Jones favorite cartoon, because “I couldn’t understand it.” That’s All Folks!—IG.

Genres: Animation

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.