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The colored concentric circles used in the introduction of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons changed every release season.

Contents

1936: Blue-Purple Rings, Black Background, Red Shield

Used from early to late 1936. "I Think You're Ducky" plays and each rendition is slightly different in each cartoon played. This scheme debuted in "I Wanna Play House" while the zooming WB shield and "Vitaphone" and "Presents" debuted in "Page Miss Glory". The last cartoon to use these rings in the opening titles is "Toy Town Hall", but the ending rings would remain to be used until "Don't Look Now".

1936-1937: Blue Rings, Black Background, Blue Shield

Used from late 1936-1937. "I Think You're Ducky" is replaced with "Merrily We Roll Along", which would be the theme of the series until 1964. The shield's color is now blue instead of red. "Boulevardier from the Bronx" uses a special opening title, including a new Merrie Melodies font, but this was quickly reverted back. The first five cartoons in this season ("Boulevardier from the Bronx" to "Pigs Is Pigs") play this song at a very fast pace, each with a slightly different variant.

However, starting with March 1937's "I Only Have Eyes for You", the tempo slowed down and the variant was the same. In July 1937's "Egghead Rides Again", a twanging noise played when the shield zoomed in on screen. In addition, beginning with "Plenty of Money and You", the closing theme would also be "Merrily We Roll Along", with a different variant used for the two following cartoons, "Speaking of the Weather" and "Dog Daze", until "I Wanna Be a Sailor" used a "finalized" version of both the opening and ending themes for the time. The last cartoon to use these rings is "The Lyin' Mouse".

1937-1938: Orange-Yellow Rings, Black Background, Blue Shield

Used from late 1937-1938. The production code moves to the first opening title, the Merrie Melodies font changes from being puffy to thin and more curved, and the opening theme now had a largely dominant woodwind arrangement for the opening and closing. In January 1938's "My Little Buckaroo", the opening theme was sparsely modified. Later, starting with August 1938's "The Major Lied 'Til Dawn", it was changed again, this time with a concert band full of brass instruments. Almost every short closed with the 1937-38 closing theme, with the only exceptions being "The Major Lied 'Til Dawn" and "You're an Education", which the latter featured a new "perfected" arrangement adapted from the opening theme. Starting with "Katnip Kollege", the "That's all Folks!" text was changed to resemble the text used for Looney Tunes during the 1935-1936 season, albeit without the quotation marks. In addition, the "Merrie Melodies" text in the closing title now resembled the 1933-1937 Merrie Melodies logo. The first ending title card is used in the 1995 Turner dub, which is sourced from "September in the Rain". The first cartoon to use these rings is "Little Red Walking Hood". The last cartoon to use these rings is "You're an Education".

1938-1939: Green-Yellow Rings, Black Background, Red Shield

This was used during the 1938-1939 season. The shield's color is changed back to red. The opening theme still remains the same as the brassy theme from August 1938. The closing theme is the same as in "You're an Education". Daffy Duck in Hollywood used a slightly different ending arrangement, similar to the one from "You're an Education," but with a rather weird zooming noise before the ending theme started. In 1939, the opening theme was heavily modified and made a much more perfect version of the theme with trombones. The first cartoon to use these rings is "The Night Watchman" and the last cartoon to use "Vitaphone" and "Presents" is "Daffy Duck and the Dinosaur". Also, starting with May 1939's "Naughty but Mice", "Vitaphone" is changed to "Warner Bros." and "Presents" and changed to "Present". There is also a variant in June 1939's "Believe It or Else" where "Warner Bros." is in a different font (similar to the Looney Tunes openings from 1939) and the shield is large like in the "Vitaphone Presents" cartoons from 1936 through 1939 while the last cartoon where "Warner Bros." is on a banner is "Hare-um Scare-um". In addition, starting with August 1939's "Detouring America", the banner was removed. The last cartoon to use these rings is "Sioux Me".

1939-early 1940: Red, White and Blue Rings, Cloudy Sky Background, Transparent Red Shield

Used from 1939 to early 1940. The opening and closing theme is exactly the same. Also, the cloud background resembles the cloud background from the modern-day Warner Bros. Pictures logo, and the WB shield is slightly translucent. As for the closing screen, the exclamation mark in the "That's all Folks!" text is on the inside of the quotation marks as opposed to the outside, meaning that this text has almost reached its finalized version. The first cartoon to use these rings is "Land of the Midnight Fun". The last cartoons to use these rings are "Cross Country Detours" and "Tom Thumb in Trouble".

Mid-late 1940: Red, White and Blue Rings, Black Background, Red Shield

Used from 1940. Everything else remains the same except the "That's all Folks!" text, which has reached its finalized version, as well as the shield itself, starting with July 1940's "A Wild Hare". The first cartoon to use these rings is "Confederate Honey". The last cartoon to use these rings is "Ceiling Hero".

1940-1941: Orange Rings, Black Background, Red Shield

Used from 1940-1941. "Malibu Beach Party" is the only cartoon where the music is exactly the same as before. After that, it was changed to a sparsely modified version which sounds like a mix of the 1938-1939 and 1939-1940 themes. "Good Night Elmer" is the only exception, which has a more brassier version of the aforementioned theme. The closing theme is the same until April 1941's "Toy Trouble", when the opening and closing themes were heavily modified and more brassy (the same arrangement of the theme that would later be used for the Blue Ribbon Merrie Melodies reissues and the Associated Artists Productions opening screen). The Merrie Melodies font was changed again. In "The Heckling Hare", Bugs Bunny appears on top of the shield, munching on a carrot, then pulls down the Merrie Melodies title card like a shade. This intro resembles the original 1937-1938 Merrie Melodies intro. The last cartoon to use these rings is "Sport Chumpions".

1941-1942: Dark Blue-Purple Rings, Black Background, Red Shield

Used from 1941-1942 shorts. The first cartoon to use these rings was "Snowtime for Comedy". The music is the same as 1941. A variant, introduced this season, appears with Bugs Bunny munching on the carrot except instead of pulling the logo down, he angrily glares at the camera, and the Merrie Melodies title card fades in. This variant only appears in Bugs Bunny cartoons. Starting with January 1942's "The Bird Came C.O.D.", the design of the shield changed again. This intro resembles the original 1936 Merrie Melodies intro. The last cartoon to use these rings is "Fox Pop".

1942-1944: Red Rings, Black Background, Red Shield

Used from 1942-early 1944. Everything is the same. This is the first Looney Tunes season to use the concentric circles. The black-and-white Looney Tunes shorts used a variant where the circles were gray. Apparently, however, in no B&W LT cartoon did they refuse to use the 1940-1942 shield, even to the point where all shields from that era, even the new shield they introduced in October 1943's "Falling Hare", were used in tandem with each other. Only when they stopped making B&W cartoons altogether did they stop using the 1940-1942 shield, as well as the 1942-1943 one. The last Merrie Melodies cartoon to use these rings is "What's Cookin' Doc?", while the last Looney Tunes cartoon to use it is "Daffy - The Commando" for the color version and "Puss n' Booty" for the black-and-white version.

1944-1945: Blue Rings, Red Background, Red Shield

Used from 1944-early 1945. Everything else is the same, except the Merrie Melodies text gets a new design that would last from 1944's "Meatless Flyday" until 1954 (when the studio reopened they used the smaller backgrounds for widescreen shorts). Prior to that, these rings only appeared on Blue Ribbon Merrie Melodies. After "Angel Puss", Porky and Daffy would be split on their appearances on the Looney Tunes rings, with the Porky Pig's face debuting in "Brother Brat" while Daffy Duck's face debuts in "Plane Daffy". Starting with "Hare Ribbin'", a new Bugs Bunny variant is introduced this season where the Warner Bros. shield zooms in, then it fades to a grinning mugshot of Bugs Bunny. The new Bugs Bunny variant is once again only on Bugs Bunny cartoons. Also, "Produced by Leon Schlesinger" changes to "Produced by Warner Bros. Cartoons Inc." briefly before changing to "A WARNER BROS. CARTOON" due to Leon Schlesinger selling his studio to Warner Bros. In addition, starting with "Stage Door Cartoon", the byline "PICTURES INC." is added under "WARNER BROS." In the closing title, the "Merrie Melodies" text now resembles the Merrie Melodies logo used from 1937-1940. The last cartoon to use these rings is "Odor-able Kitty".

1945-1946: Red Rings, Black Background, Red Shield

Used from 1945-1946. Its first appearance was on the Blue Ribbon reissue of "Let It Be Me", and its first appearance on a new cartoon was on "Herr Meets Hare", released a few months later. In addition, the end titles change from saying "Produced by Warner Bros. Cartoons Inc." to "A WARNER BROS. CARTOON". Everything is the same except the opening themes for both series are shortened due to the addition of credited staff. A new Bugs Bunny opening title variant was also introduced this season, which is essentially a re-animated version of "The Heckling Hare" variant. These backgrounds resemble the ones from the 1942-43 animation season. The last cartoon to use these rings was "Hush My Mouse".

1946-1948, 1949: Blue-Red Rings, Red Background, Red Shield

Used from 1946-1947. Looney Tunes added the "That's all Folks!" text at the end, similar to how Merrie Melodies did it and how Looney Tunes did it from 1936 to 1937. By this year, the drum ending was eliminated. Only two LT cartoons, "Kitty Kornered" and "Acrobatty Bunny", used the 1945-1946 opening theme, but not the 1941-1946 closing theme. "Kitty Kornered" used the 1941-1955 MM closing theme for some reason, while "Acrobatty Bunny" used a redone instrumental rendition of the 1941-1946 LT closing theme. Starting with July 1946's "The Great Piggy Bank Robbery", the opening and closing themes were modified, this time being much louder with the closing theme finally filling in that gap in the second half. For some reason, in that cartoon, along with "Kitty Kornered", the WB Shield does not zoom in. Everything else, especially those for MM, remains the same, until in August 1947's "A Pest in the House", when the shield design changes again. However, this is only apparent outside of Bugs Bunny cartoons. The final new cartoon to use these rings was "The Foxy Duckling". The ending rings however, would be used in Blue Ribbon reissues with the opening rings from the 1947-1948 season. The final cartoon to use these rings was the 1949 reissue of Horton Hatches the Egg.

1947-1948: Red Rings, Blue Background, Red Shield

Used from 1947-1948. Everything is mostly the same, except now on the standard versions the WB shield zooms to a slightly larger size, and appears somewhat wider and off-model after zooming up. Both the ending cards (taken from "Bugs Bunny Rides Again" (Merrie Melodies) and "Haredevil Hare" (Looney Tunes)) from this season are used in the 1995 Turner dubbed version prints. Blue Ribbon Merrie Melodies used these rings instead of the next rings; when these rings were in general use, Blue Ribbon Merrie Melodies had these rings at the start but the previous rings at the end. The last short to use these rings was "The Pest That Came to Dinner".

1947-1949: Green Rings, Red Background, Red Shield

This is the last Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes titles where Bugs Bunny sits on the top of the shield, which began with "The Heckling Hare" in 1941. The first cartoon to use these rings was "A Horse Fly Fleas", with the final cartoon being "Curtain Razor".

1948-1949: Orange-Yellow Rings, Blue Background, Red Shield

These rings may appear to have a black background on some prints due to fade. Their first appearance was on "The Up-Standing Sitter". These rings appeared on the last Cinecolor shorts in late 1948, and shorts from June-December 1949. The last cartoon to use these rings was "A Ham in a Role".

1950: Green-Yellow Rings, Green Background, Red Shield

These rings only appeared on most new cartoons released in 1950, the sole exceptions being "Dog Collared", "Hillbilly Hare", and "Two's a Crowd". Like the previous rings, the background may be black on some prints due to the condition of the source material. The first cartoon to use these rings was "Home, Tweet Home", and the last cartoon to use these rings was "Rabbit of Seville".

1950-1951: Red/Yellow Rings, Black Background, Red Shield

These rings first appeared in "Hillbilly Hare", however they wouldn't be used as the main color rings until "Two's a Crowd". This intro resembles the 1937-1938 and 1940-1941 Merrie Melodies intros. The final cartoon to use these rings was "The Prize Pest".

1951-1953 Blue-Red Rings, Red Background, Red Shield

These rings are identical to the 1946-1948, 1949 rings with the only difference being that Bugs doesn't appear on the WB shield anymore. The first cartoon to use these rings is "Tweety's S.O.S." The final cartoon to use these rings was "Don't Give Up the Sheep", though they would be used again on two Daffy Duck cartoons released in the late 1980's.

1952-1953 Green-Yellow Rings, Red Background, Red Shield

The first cartoon to use these rings is "Rabbit Seasoning"; the last to use the opening rings is "Cats A-weigh!", while the last one to use the ending rings is "Punch Trunk".

1953-1955 Orange-Yellow Rings, Blue Background, Red Shield

The original-styled rings were used from "Lumber Jack-Rabbit" up to "Punch Trunk" and this intro resembles the 1948-1949 until 1954. After the Termite Terrace studio reopened in 1954, the opening rings were adjusted to have more smaller rings for both titles starting with "Dog Pounded", and the central circle greatly was reduced in size, though all of the cartoons with this color rings scheme, both with and without the smaller opening rings, had the pre 1954 ending rings. The last cartoon to use these rings is "Feather Dusted".

1954-1955: Pink Rings, Blue Background, Red Shield

The first cartoon to use these rings was "By Word of Mouse". As the last cartoons using the older Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies themes, from 1946-55 and 1945-55 respectively, were released, a newly-orchestrated theme music, with more violins and woodwind instruments, was composed by Milt Franklyn for use in later cartoons starting with "Sahara Hare" and "Hare Brush" respectively, though in "This Is a Life?", a different, more brassier arrangement, also composed by Milt Franklyn, is used instead, even though the original closing theme from "Hare Brush" was used at the end. Throughout 1956, the ending rings from this season would often be used in combination with the following green rings. The last cartoon to use both rings in the opening and ending is "Lumber Jerks". "This Is a Life?" used these opening rings, but ended with the green rings. The ending rings would often be switched with the green rings on endings until "Raw! Raw! Rooster!"

1955-1956: Green-Yellow Rings, Red Background, Red Shield

The first cartoon to use the Merrie Melodies ending rings was "This Is a Life?", while the first cartoon to use both the opening and ending rings and the first cartoon to use the Looney Tunes ending rings was "Double or Mutton". The ending rings switched around with the previous pink rings. The last cartoon to use the ending rings was "The Slap-Hoppy Mouse" while the last cartoon to use the opening rings was "Raw! Raw! Rooster!" However, the ending rings were also used for "Touché and Go", "Mouse-Taken Identity", and "Rabbit Romeo".

1956-1957: Red-Yellow Rings, Green Background, Red Shield

The first cartoon to use these rings was "The Slap-Hoppy Mouse". Starting with "Two Crows from Tacos", the words "Color by Technicolor" is replaced with simply "Technicolor". The last cartoons to use these rings are "Zoom and Bored" and "Greedy for Tweety". Redrawn colorized cartoons reissued in the 1970's and early 1980's used the rings from "Deduce, You Say" with the copyright notice at the start replaced with a copyright notice from a 1967 cartoon.

1957-1959: Blue Rings, Red Background, Red Shield

The first cartoon to use these rings was "Touché and Go". The last cartoon to use these rings is "Here Today, Gone Tamale".

1959-1964: Crimson Rings, Blue Background, Red Shield

The first cartoon to use these rings was "Here Today, Gone Tamale" (Ending). Starting from "Bonanza Bunny" up to the studio's closure, these set of rings would be used for every cartoon with the exceptions of "Now Hear This", "Bartholomew Versus the Wheel", and "Señorella and the Glass Huarache". Starting from "From Hare to Heir" and "Hopalong Casualty", the "A VITAPHONE/VITAGRAPH RELEASE" byline was added to the ending titles and the opening title would fade to black then fade to the title card of the short instead of fading directly to the title card. The final cartoon to use these rings, and the final cartoon to use any color rings in the golden age of animation, was "False Hare".



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