Spotlight on Animation at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA): Review of The Warner Bros. Superstars: A Looney Tunes “Top Ten” Celebration at the Detroit Art Theatre.
Detroit Institute of Arts
5200 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48202
Main Line: 313.833.7900
Regular hours: Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday Closed Tuesday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.Wednesday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.Thursday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Friday 9 a.m. – 10 p.m.Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Animation historian and author of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes Cartoons, Jerry Beck gave a very informative lecture at the Detroit Film Theatre . He explained in great detail how cartoons played a very important role in the movie theater experience and how Warner Bros. Studios came to create their signature animated characters, and short films. His lecture also gave insight into the careers of those talented and creative individuals who produced these cartoons of the 1940’s and ‘50’s.
There was a very nice turn-out for the animation lecture and everyone in attendance seemed to enjoy viewing the classic cartoons on the large screen. The restoration quality of the cartoon footage was impressive and it was great seeing cartoon characters that entertained audiences of an era long ago.
Since time was limited, Mr. Jerry Beck shared only his top ten Cartoon Characters at Warner Bros. Studio, and they included some of my favorite. Admittedly, some of the cartoon characters featured are stereotypes and some people may find the portrayal of certain ethnic groups offensive. The following cartoon characters make up Jerry Becks top ten.
1. Porky Pig, 2. Daffy Duck,3. Bugs Bunny, 4. Tweety Bird 5. Sylvester, 6. Pepe Le Pew. 7. Foghorn Leghorn, 8. The Road Runner and Coyote , 9. Speedy Gonzales,10. Elmer Fudd,
I give the overall event a four star rating out of five. It was both entertaining and informative and appropriate for the whole family. The theatre is beautiful restored, but I had some problems hearing the questions and answers session that followed the short animated films. Still, I thought it was wonderful that Mr. Jerry Beck patiently answered each question given by audience members. There were quite a few people who lined up to ask questions about the animators techniques and restoration process of the Technicolor- film footage.
Classic Cartoon Footage Lost
I was amazed to learn that a lot of the cartoons made during the 1940’s and 50’s were lost because they weren’t considered valuable. Most Cartoon reels were thrown out or given as gifts to relatives and/or friends of people who worked in the industry; according to Mr. Jerry Beck. If you are interested to learn more Warner Brother’s Animation and characters it might be a good idea to purchase the book written by Jerry Beck, The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes Cartoons. that is available on Ebay.
To learn more about animation and Jerry Beck please click on the hyperlinks/highlighted words contained within the article. To view the featured slideshow and Video click on the links to the left of the article.
The Warner Bros. Superstars Lecture featuring Jerry Beck took place on September 19, 2013 at 7 pm. – to read more about this event on the Detroit Institute of Art’s website click the following link: http://www.dia.org/calendar/event.aspx?id=4116&iid=#sthash.MPR8fHil.dpuf
Current Animation Events at the Detroit Film Theatre located at the DIA include the following;
Detroit Film Theatre
Watch Me Move: The Animation Show (in progress)
Sunday, October 06, 2013 – Sunday, January 05, 2014
Detroit Film Theatre
WATCH ME MOVE: POST-WAR EUROPEAN ANIMATION (in progress)
Saturday, October 19, 2013 – 2:00 PM
Saturday, November 23, 2013 – 2:00 PM
Sunday, December 08, 2013 – 2:00 PM
Saturday, December 28, 2013 – 4:00 PM
Detroit Film Theatre
WATCH ME MOVE: ANIMATED ODDITIES AND UNEXPECTED PLEASURES (in progress)
Saturday, October 19, 2013 – 4:00 PM
Sunday, November 03, 2013 – 2:00 PM
Saturday, November 23, 2013 – 4:00 PM
Thursday, December 12, 2013 – 2:00 PM
Sunday, December 29, 2013 – 2:00 PM
To view the DIA’s current exhibit/ event calender click on the following link: http://www.dia.org/detroitfilmtheatre/14/DFT.aspx