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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 on "I Wanna Play House". 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 5 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 would be heard 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 on, starting with August 1938's "The Major Lied 'Til Dawn", it was changed again, this time with a concert band full of wind instruments. Almost every short closed with the 1937-38 closing theme, with the only exception 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 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". In 1939, the opening theme was heavily modified and made a much more perfect version of the theme with trombones. 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. 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 last cartoon to use these rings is "Cross Country Detours".
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 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 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 on 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 1944-1945. Everything else is the same, except the Merrie Melodies text gets a new design that would last from "Meatless Flyday" until 1954 (when the studio reopened they used the smaller backgrounds for widescreen shorts). 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 seen 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. 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.
1946-1947: 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.
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 from this season are used in the 1995 Turner dub.