MGM Animation/Visual Arts
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|Fate||closed by MGM due to firing Chuck Jones|
independent 1962-1964MGM 1964-1970
MGM Animation/Visual Arts was an American animation studio established in 1962 by animation director/producer Chuck Jones and producer Les Goldman as Sib Tower 12 Productions. It is noted for productions such as the last series of Tom and Jerry theatrical shorts, the TV special How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, and the feature film The Phantom Tollbooth, all released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
When Chuck Jones was fired from Warner Bros. Cartoons, where he had served for over 30 years, directing the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series, Sib Tower 12 received a contract from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to produce a new series of Tom and Jerry cartoons, with a number of animators who had worked under Jones during his Warner Bros. career following him to Sib Tower 12, notably Michael Maltese and Mel Blanc. These shorts proved successful, and MGM purchased the Sib Tower 12 studio and renamed it MGM Animation/Visual Arts in 1964. This studio continued with Jones' Tom and Jerry shorts until 1967, after a total of thirty-four cartoons.
In addition to the Tom and Jerry cartoons, Sib worked on two highly acclaimed TV specials. The first was a 1966 adaptation of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, which has become a mainstay of the holiday season. The second was another Seuss adaptation, Horton Hears a Who!, which first aired in 1970.
The studio's most ambitious work was its 1970 feature film The Phantom Tollbooth, adapted from another Norton Juster book.
MGM stopped releasing theatrical animated shorts in 1967. MGM closed the animation studio entirely in 1970, and virtually all of the staff followed Jones to his new ventures which were television programs for ABC, and TV specials under the name Chuck Jones Enterprises.
The MGM Animation/Visual Arts library, along with the rest of the pre-1986 MGM library, was bought by Turner Entertainment in 1986. Turner merged with Time Warner in 1996, so now Warner Bros. controls all distribution rights to the MGM Animation/Visual Arts library – an ironic twist, to say the least, given that WB's firing of Chuck Jones helped keep MGM in the animation business through 1970. All of the Tom and Jerry cartoons produced by MGM A/VA were released in a box set in June 2009. Moreover, The Dot and the Line and The Bear That Wasn't have been released as bonus features on other DVDs. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! has also enjoyed many home video incarnations with DVDs containing Horton Hears a Who! as a bonus feature (in turn, it was released as a solo release with other Dr. Seuss specials in March 2008). The Phantom Tollbooth was given a remastered DVD edition release by Warner Bros.
Theatrical cartoon shorts
- Tom and Jerry series (1963–1967)
- The Phantom Tollbooth (1970)
- Lemay, Brian. "History of Animation: 1961 - 70". Retrieved from http://www.brianlemay.com/History/timeline1961-1970.html on September 10, 2006.