Special Exhibitions

Play Ball, Doc!: The Art or Warner Bros. Cartoons Now Open

There’s something funny going on at Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory - a special exhibition entitled Play Ball, Doc! - The Art of Warner Bros. Cartoons featuring legendary Looney Tunes’ characters like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Sylvester and Tweety is open now through August 3rd.

The exhibit includes more than 70 original drawings, paintings and related objects used in the making of Warner Bros. cartoons from the 1930s through the 1960s. The exhibit shows, step-by-step, how animated films were painstakingly drawn by hand, a process now performed by computers.

“This bright and lively exhibition showcases original, remarkable cartoon artwork and the lasting impact these cartoons have had on American culture,” said Anne Jewell, Executive Director of Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory.  “Warner Bros. and Louisville Slugger are classic American brands. It’s fitting for them to come together to produce such a fun experience.”  The museum hosted a smaller version of the exhibit ten years ago.

A special supplement for the show, created exclusively for Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, spotlights original artwork from classic baseball-themed cartoons produced by Warner Bros. Like Bugs Bunny and his gang, baseball is an important and beloved cultural staple. The sport’s balance of good-natured fun and intense competition provided an ideal set-up for the antics and battles of the Looney Tunes lot. The exhibit includes interactive elements for guests, such as a virtual home run derby with Bugs Bunny and fun photo opportunities.

Since 1930, the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons of Warner Bros. have entertained audiences of all ages with their wit and sophistication.  Originally shown in movie theatres, the Warner Bros. cartoons developed new audiences with the rise of television in the 1950s.

The Warner Bros. studio’s rise to prominence on the animation front was confirmed with a People magazine poll, which named Bugs Bunny as “Best puppet or cartoon character,” as well as a TV Guide survey which named Bugs as the “Greatest Cartoon Character of All Time.”

Admission to the exhibit is included with the price of museum admission.  In addition to this special show, the museum also includes interactive exhibits, a short feature film, historic memorabilia, the World’s Biggest Baseball Bat and an award-winning factory tour. 

For an exclusive look at the making of the exhibit, click here.