Rhapsody Rabbit-Cat Concerto-680

Did you know there was a furor over two strikingly similar cartoons—one from MGM with Tom and Jerry, one from Warner Bros. with Bugs Bunny—back in 1946? If not, you need to check in to Jerry Beck’s wonderful new website, Cartoon Research (cartoonresearch.com). You may already know that Jerry has left Cartoon Brew and is rebuilding his own site, drawing not only on his vast knowledge of animation, past and present, but his collection of rare artwork and ephemera, and a network of fellow cartoon mavens. The new “2.0” version of Cartoon Research is still young, but Jerry has already posted a number of first-rate pieces and illustrations, including a link to the newly-issued trailer for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.

Cartoon Research-1a

Thad Komorowski contributed the fascinating, extensively researched article about the dust-up between Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera’s Oscar-nominated The Cat Concerto and Friz Freleng’s Rhapsody Rabbit. Was plagiarism involved or was it simply a coincidence that both shorts featured Liszt’s “Second Hungarian Rhapsody?” Click HERE to find out.

Keith Scott, who knows more about cartoon voices than anyone on the planet, wrote an equally interesting article about the origins of Foghorn Leghorn, whose Southern fried persona bore a striking resemblance to Senator Claghorn, a character on Fred Allen’s popular radio show performed by Kenny Delmar.

If you love animation, and have a particular fondness for vintage cartoons, you’ll want to check Cartoon Research on a regular basis, as I do. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll readily admit that Jerry Beck is an old friend who worked with me on my book Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons way back when…but even if I didn’t know him I’d still be hooked on this website.