Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., commonly referred to as Warner Bros. and abbreviated as WB, is an American entertainment company headquartered in Burbank, California and a subsidiary of AT&T's WarnerMedia. It has handled the Tom and Jerry franchise since Time Warner's acquisition of its former owner, Turner Entertainment, in 1996. Turner Entertainment in turn acquired the franchise from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1986.
The company's name originated from the four founding Warner brothers (born Wonskolaser or Wonsal before Anglicization): Harry, Albert, Sam, and Jack Warner. Harry, Albert and Sam emigrated as young children with their parents to Canada from Krasnosielc, Poland.
Jack, the youngest brother, was born in London, Ontario. The three elder brothers began in the movie theater business, having acquired a movie projector with which they showed films in the mining towns of Pennsylvania and Ohio. In the beginning, Sam and Albert Warner invested $150 to present Life of an American Fireman and The Great Train Robbery. They opened their first theater, the Cascade, in New Castle, Pennsylvania, in 1903.
When the original building was in danger of being demolished, the modern Warner Bros. called the current building owners, and arranged to save it. The owners noted people across the country had asked them to protect it for its historical significance.
In 1904, the Warners founded the Pittsburgh-based Duquesne Amusement & Supply Company, to distribute films. In 1912, Harry Warner hired an auditor named Paul Ashley Chase. By the time of World War I they had begun producing films. In 1918 they opened the first Warner Brothers Studio on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Sam and Jack produced the pictures, while Harry and Albert, along with their auditor and now controller Chase, handled finance and distribution in New York City. During World War I their first nationally syndicated film, My Four Years in Germany, based on a popular book by former ambassador James W. Gerard, was released. On April 4, 1923, with help from money loaned to Harry by his banker Motley Flint, they formally incorporated as Warner Bros. Pictures, Incorporated.
Venture into cartoons
Warner Bros. distributed the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoon series to theaters. Both series were created to compete with Walt Disney’s Silly Symphony cartoons and Looney Tunes featured a character named Bosko. Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising were in charge of directing the shorts until they started having issues with the producer, Leon Schlesinger. The issues led Harman and Ising to stop creating cartoons for Warner Bros. and instead create cartoons for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). Harman and Ising also took the rights to Bosko with them.