Warner Bros. (abbreviated version of Warner Brothers) is one of the world's largest producers of film, television and recorded music entertainment. It is presently a subsidiary of the AOL Time Warner conglomerate. Warner Brothers includes several subsidiary companies, among them Warner Brothers Studios, Warner Brothers Pictures, Warner Brothers Television, Warner Brothers Records, Warner Home Video, Warner Music Australia, Castle Rock Entertainment, Turner Entertainment, Hanna-Barbara Productions, and Rhino Records.
The first Warner Bros. enterprise "Warner Brothers Studios" was founded in Hollywood, California in 1923 by four brothers, Jack, Sam, Harold and Albert Warner. The first major star of the studio was a dog, Rin Tin Tin. The canine actor is credited with saving the studio from bankruptcy. Rin Tin Tin made 26 films for warner Brothers starting in 1923 with Man From Hell's River.
In 1927, the Warner Brothers took a big financial risk that paid off handsomely: they invested in the new technology of "sound film," and they produced the movie The Jazz Singer, starring Al Jolson. The movie was a sensational box-office hit, and it sparked the wave of "talking pictures" that ended the era of silent film and made the Warner Bros. studio a force to contend with.
During the 1930s, the Warner Bros. studio became known for producing gritty, dark crime films that were accused of glorifying the gangster lifestyle. Stars such as James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart rose to the heights of Hollywood at Warner Bros. with their "tough guy" images. Warner Bros. also produced a number of action-adventure movies, practically monopolizing the genre of the swashbuckler and forever identifying the name of Errol Flynn with Robin Hood.
The Warner Bros. cartoon studio began modestly in 1930 under the management of Leon Schlesinger, as former Disney animators Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising, Jack King, and Friz Freleng directed a series of mediocre cartoons starring "Bosko the Talk-Ink Kid" and "Buddy." But with the arrival of Tex Avery at the studio and the birth of Termite Terrace, the Warner Bros. cartoon studio gave birth to a new wave of insane cartoons that captured the hearts and funny bones of fans around the world. The studio was bought outright by Warner Bros. in the mid 1940s and over the decades, the characters like Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck have become central figures of the company's image.
On January 11, 1995, Warner Brothers created the WB Network as a broadcast outlet for Warner Brothers' TV properties. Among its early programming included Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 7th Heaven and Dawson's Creek. Ironically, none of these three programs that helped to anchor the WB were produced by Warner Brothers. Buffy was produced by Fox, 7th Heaven by Aaron Spelling's production unit, and Dawson's Creek by Columbia Pictures Television.
Warner Bros. is currently headquartered in Burbank, California.
In addition to its own film library, the studio owns all pre-1985 titles from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and a majority of the RKO Radio Pictures library (both through its Turner Entertainment subsidiary), the Hanna-Barbera Productions library of television cartoons, and the Lorimar television and film holdings.
See also: List of record labels
Notable films include:
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