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Oscars

Posted in WB Cartoon Companion on March 22, 2004

    The ultimate prize in American film-making, very much desired by movie moguls like J.L., supposedly, and absolutely by Jack Benny in Hollywood Daffy (Freleng, 1946), and of course by Bugs Bunny in What’s Cookin’ Doc? (Clampett, 1944).

    Until 1939, Warner Brothers had very little success in the Oscar race, which was dominated throughout the 1930s by the work of the Disney studio. Only one cartoon even received a nomination, It’s Got Me Again (Harman/Ising, 1932). Incidentally, one of the members of the nomination committee to select the cartoon was none other than Leon Schlesinger. The panel, which consisted of Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Walt and Roy Disney, Mack Sennett, and Leon Schlesinger picked eachother’s films as nominees in the category.

    Ironically, Edward Selzer, the feckless producer from 1945 through most of the 1950s, got to keep the first four Oscars the studio won. This in spite of the fact, for example, that he did not think Pépe le Pew was funny enough to merit a cartoon in the first place -- the first cartoon starring Pépe received an Oscar, and Selzer publicly took full credit for that cartoon. (Mel Blanc, in his autobiography, indicates that Selzer later gave him one of the Oscars.)

    The studio won five Oscars for producing short subject cartoons and a sixth for best documentary short out of twenty-six nominations, a fairly respectable showing. The following three lists sort these cartoons first chronologically, then alphabetically by director, and finally alphabetically according to recurring characters.

Academy Award nominations and wins, sorted chronologically:

    1932
        It’s Got Me Again (Harman/Ising)

    1939
        Detouring America (Avery)

    1940
        A Wild Hare (Avery)

    1941
        Hiawatha’s Rabbit Hunt (Freleng)
        Rhapsody in Rivets (Freleng)

    1943
        Pigs in a Polka (Freleng)
        Greetings Bait (Freleng)

    1944
        The Swooner Crooner (Tashlin)

    1945
        Life With Feathers (Freleng)

    1946
        Walky Talky Hawky (McKimson)

    1947
        Tweety Pie (Freleng) - Winner

    1949
        Mouse Wreckers (Jones)
        For Scent-Imental Reasons (Jones) - Winner for animated short
        So Much for So Little (Jones) - Winner for documentary short

    1954
        From A to Z-Z-Z-Z (Jones)

    1955
        Sandy Claws (Freleng)
        Speedy Gonzales (Freleng) - Winner

    1957
        Tabasco Road (McKimson)
        Birds Anonymous (Freleng) - Winner

    1958
        Knighty Knight Bugs (Freleng) - Winner

    1959
        Mexicali Schmoes (Freleng)

    1960
        Mouse and Garden (Freleng)
        High Note (Jones)

    1961
        The Pied Piper of Guadalupe (Freleng)
        Beep Prepared (Jones)
        Nelly’s Folly (Jones)

    1963
        Now Hear This (1963, Jones)

Academy Award nominations and wins, sorted by director:

    Tex Avery (two nominations, no wins)
        Detouring America (1939)
        A Wild Hare (1940)

    Friz Freleng (13 nominations, four wins)
        Hiawatha’s Rabbit Hunt (1941)
        Rhapsody in Rivets (1941)
        Pigs in a Polka (1943)
        Greetings Bait (1943)
        Life With Feathers (1945)
        Tweetie Pie (1947) - Winner
        Sandy Claws (1955)
        Speedy Gonzales (1955) - Winner
        Birds Anonymous (1957) - Winner
        Knighty Knight Bugs (1958) - Winner
        Mexicali Schmoes (1959)
        Mouse and Garden (1960)
        The Pied Piper of Guadalupe (1961)

    Hugh Harman & Rudy Ising (one nomination, no wins)
        It’s Got Me Again (1932)

    Chuck Jones (seven nominations, two wins)
        Mouse Wreckers (1949)
        For Scent-Imental Reasons (1949) - Winner
        So Much for So Little (1949) - Winner
        From A to Z-Z-Z-Z (1954)
        High Note (1960)
        Beep Prepared (1961)
        Nelly’s Folly (1961)
        Now Hear This (1963)

    Robert McKimson (two nominations, no wins)
        Walky Talky Hawky (1946)
        Tabasco Road (1957)

    Frank Tashlin (one nomination, no wins)
        The Swooner Crooner (1944)

Academy Award nominations, sorted by character:

    Barnyard Dog (one nomination, no wins)
        Walky Talky Hawky (McKimson, 1946)

    Bugs Bunny (three nominations, one win)
        A Wild Hare (Avery, 1940)
        Hiawatha’s Rabbit Hunt (Freleng, 1941)
        Knighty Knight Bugs (Freleng, 1958) - Winner

    Elmer Fudd (one nomination, no wins)
        A Wild Hare (Avery, 1940)

    Foghorn Leghorn (one nomination, no wins)
        Walky Talky Hawky (McKimson, 1946)

    Granny (one nomination, no wins)
        Sandy Claws (Freleng, 1955)

    Henery Hawk (one nomination, no wins)
        Walky Talky Hawky (McKimson, 1946)

    Hubie and Bertie (one nomination, no wins)
        Mouse Wreckers (Jones, 1949)

    Pépe le Pew (one nomination, one win)
        For Scent-imental Reasons (Jones, 1949)

    Porky Pig (one nomination, no wins)
        The Swooner Crooner (Tashlin, 1944)

    Ralph Phillips (one nomination, no wins)
        From A to Z-Z-Z-Z (Jones, 1954)

    Roadrunner (one nomination, no wins)
        Beep Prepared (Jones, 1961)

    Speedy Gonzales (four nominations, one win)
        Speedy Gonzales (Freleng, 1955) - Winner
        Tabasco Road (McKimson, 1957)
        Mexicali Schomes (Freleng, 1959)
        The Pied Piper of Guadalupe (Freleng, 1961)

    Sylvester (seven nominations, three wins)
        Life With Feathers (Freleng, 1945)
        Tweetie Pie (Freleng, 1947) - Winner
        Sandy Claws (Freleng, 1955)
        Speedy Gonzales (Freleng, 1955) - Winner
        Birds Anonymous (Freleng, 1957) - Winner
        Mouse and Garden (Freleng, 1960)
        The Pied Piper of Guadalupe (Freleng, 1961)

    Tweetie (three nominations, two wins)
        Tweetie Pie (Freleng, 1947) - Winner
        Sandy Claws (Freleng, 1955)
        Birds Anonymous (Freleng, 1957) - Winner

    Wile E. Coyote (one nomination, no wins)
        Beep Prepared (Jones, 1961)

    Yosemite Sam (one nomination, one win)
        Knighty Knight Bugs (Freleng, 1958)

    No recurring characters (eight nominations, no wins)
        It’s Got Me Again (Harman/Ising, 1932)
        Detouring America (Avery, 1939)
        Rhapsody in Rivets (Freleng, 1941)
        Pigs in a Polka (Freleng, 1943)
        Greetings Bait (Freleng, 1943)
        High Note (Jones, 1960)
        Nelly’s Folly (Jones, 1961)
        Now Hear This (Jones, 1963)

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• The Warner Brothers Cartoon Companion is © (copyright) 1996 E. O. Costello. All rights reserved.

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