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An official list of The 50 Greatest Cartoons[1], compiled in 1994 by animation historian Jerry Beck of Cartoon Brew, along with many others in the animation field. The criterion was that each short be under 30 minutes long and cel animated (with Gertie the Dinosaur as the exception, predating cels). Tellingly, 42 of the shorts are from The Golden Age of Animation [2] and 17 of them are from from the Warner Bros studio (a full 1/5 of the list having been directed by Chuck Jones).

Compare to The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes list.

The Main List:

  1. "What's Opera Doc" — Chuck Jones, Warner Bros, 1957
  2. "Duck Amuck" — Chuck Jones, Warner Bros, 1953
  3. "The Band Concert" — Wilfred Jackson, Disney, 1935
  4. "Duck Dodgers in The Twenty Fourth And A Half Century" — Chuck Jones, Warner Bros, 1953
  5. "One Froggy Evening" — Chuck Jones, Warner Bros, 1955
  6. "Gertie the Dinosaur" — Winsor McCay, 1914
  7. "Red Hot Riding Hood" — Tex Avery, Metro Goldwyn Mayer, 1943
  8. "Porky in Wackyland" — Bob Clampett, Warner Bros, 1938
  9. "Gerald McBoing-Boing" — Robert Cannon, UPA (Columbia Pictures), 1951
  10. "King Size Canary" — Tex Avery, Metro Goldwyn Mayer, 1947
  11. "Three Little Pigs" — Burt Gillett, Disney, 1933
  12. "Rabbit of Seville" — Chuck Jones, Warner Bros, 1950
  13. "Steamboat Willie" — Ub Iwerks, Disney, 1928
  14. "The Old Mill" — Wilfred Jackson and Graham Heid, Disney, 1937
  15. "Bad Luck Blackie" — Tex Avery, Metro Goldwyn Mayer, 1949
  16. "The Great Piggy Bank Robbery" — Bob Clampett, Warner Bros, 1946
  17. "Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor" — Dave Fleischer, Fleischer Studios, 1936
  18. "The Skeleton Dance" — Ub Iwerks, Disney, 1929
  19. "Snow White" (The Betty Boop version) — Dave Fleischer, Fleischer Studios, 1933
  20. "Minnie the Moocher" — Dave Fleischer, Fleischer Studios, 1932
  21. "Coal Black and De Sebben Dwarfs" — Bob Clampett, Warner Bros, 1943
  22. "Der Fuehrers Face" — Jack Kinney, Disney, 1943
  23. "Little Rural Riding Hood" — Tex Avery, Metro Goldwyn Mayer, 1949
  24. "The Tell-Tale Heart" — Ted Parmelee, UPA (Columbia Pictures), 1953
  25. "The Big Snit" — Richard Condie, National Film Board of Canada, 1985
  26. "Brave Little Tailor" — Burt Gillett, Disney, 1938
  27. "Clock Cleaners" — Ben Sharpsteen, Disney, 1937
  28. "Northwest Hounded Police" — Tex Avery, Metro Goldwyn Mayer, 1946
  29. "Adventures In Music: Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom" — Charles Nicholls and Ward Kimball, Disney, 1953
  30. "Rabbit Seasoning" — Chuck Jones, Warner Bros, 1952
  31. "The Scarlet Pumpernickel" — Chuck Jones, Warner Bros, 1950
  32. "The Cat Came Back" — Cordell Barker, Richard Condie (National Film Board of Canada), 1988
  33. "The Mad Scientist" aka "Superman" — Dave Fleischer, Fleischer Studios, 1941
  34. "You Ought to Be In Pictures" — Friz Freleng, Warner Bros, 1940
  35. "Ali Baba Bunny" — Chuck Jones, Warner Bros, 1957
  36. "Feed the Kitty" — Chuck Jones, Warner Bros, 1952
  37. "Bimbo's Initiation" — Dave Fleischer, Fleischer Studios, 1931
  38. "Bambi Meets Godzilla" — Marv Newland, 1969
  39. "Little Red Riding Rabbit" — Friz Freleng, Warner Bros, 1944
  40. "Peace on Earth" — Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising, Metro Goldwyn Mayer, 1939
  41. "Rooty Toot Toot" — John Hubley, UPA (Columbia Pictures), 1953
  42. "The Cat Concerto" — William Hanna and Joe Barbera, Metro Goldwyn Mayer, 1946
  43. "Woody Woodpecker: The Barber of Seville" — James "Shamus" Culhane, Walter Lantz, 1944
  44. "The Man Who Planted Trees" (L'homme qui plantait des arbres) — Frédéric Back, 1987
  45. "Book Revue" — Bob Clampett, Warner Bros, 1946
  46. "Quasi at the Quackadero" — Sally Cruikshank, 1975
  47. "A Corny Concerto" — Bob Clampett, Warner Bros, 1943
  48. "The Unicorn in the Garden" — William T. Hurtz, UPA (Columbia Pictures), 1953
  49. "The Dover Boys at Pimento University or the Rivals of Roquefort Hall" — Chuck Jones, Warner Bros, 1942
  50. "Felix in Hollywood" — Otto Messmer, 1923

The Runners-Up

Besides the main list, the book also included a list of 57 runner up cartoons that almost made it to the list, but ultimately didn't get enough votes. Not surprisingly, 46 of these shorts are also from The Golden Age of Animation. For convienience, they are posted below:

  1. i.e., cartoon short films — neither full-length features nor television episodes are included
  2. with four shorts from The Silent Age of Animation, three shorts from The Dark Age of Animation, and one short from The Renaissance Age of Animation