Warner Bros. exhibit comes to Albuquerque

A 1949 image of Bugs Bunny is part of “The Art of Warner Bros. Cartoons” that will open Sept. 29 at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science. (Warner Bros/Julkaisun Teoskuvat)

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

Bugs Bunny will be making a stop in Albuquerque.

The iconic Looney Tunes character will be one of many featured in the exhibit, “The Art of Warner Bros. Cartoons,” which opens Sept. 29 at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science. It will run through Jan. 2.

Margie Marino, museum director, said she was looking for an exhibit that was fun while still educational.

“People are looking for something fun,” she says. “Generations of people grew up on the Warner Bros. cartoons and feel a connection with them.”

Marino pursued the exhibit – which is a private collection – while looking at this year’s poster for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta which features Bugs Bunny, Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner.

Marino says 130 original pieces of art will be featured in the exhibit.

“We thought it would be a great tie in to have the exhibit open during the Balloon Fiesta,” Marino said. “Plus, there’s a New Mexico connection with Bugs Bunny mentioning Albuquerque in a few episodes. Growing up on the East Coast, I

An image of Daffy Duck in 1948 is part of The Art of Warner Bros. Cartoons, which opens at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science. (Warner Bros/Julkaisun Teoskuvat)

wouldn’t have ever heard of Albuquerque if it wasn’t for Bugs. I’m sure it’s the case for a lot of people growing up outside of New Mexico.

Marino says there is a science to the traditional hand-drawn animation because it is a complex and time-consuming process.

Each character is conceptualized, sketched, drawn, and hand-colored. The exhibit gives a behind-the-scenes look at the process through the sketches, model sheets, paintings, and animation cells that went into creating these famous films from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.

Marino says there will be an educational component to the exhibit throughout its run.

“We have New Mexico Tech coming in to give a talk about how Wile E. Coyote blew things up while chasing the Road Runner,” she said.

The museum will also show Saturday morning cartoons at the Verus DynaTheater when the exhibit begins.

Marino said the exhibit is included with general admission.

“All generations enjoy cartoons,” Marino said. “These pieces of art gave many people a glimpse into the Southwest.”

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