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MGM Animation/Visual Arts

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MGM Animation/Visual Arts was an American animation studio established in 1962 by animation director/producer Chuck Jones</span> 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, released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

History

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 Productions (renamed Sib Tower 12) received a contract from MGM 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 34 cartoons.

In addition to the Tom and Jerry cartoons, Jones worked on two one-shot theatrical shorts. The first, The Dot and The Line: A Romance in Lower Mathmatics (1965), was an abstract piece based upon a children's book by Norton Juster. It won the 1965 Academy Award for Animated Short Film. In 1967, Jones collaborated with fellow Warner Bros. alumnus Frank Tashlin on The Bear That Wasn't, an adaptation of Tashlin's 1943 children's book about a bear whom no one believes is actually a bear.

MGM stopped releasing theatrical animated shorts in 1968. 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 2009. Moreover, The Dot and the Line and The Bear That Wasn't have been released as bonus features on other DVDs.

See also

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