Thanks to Tom Sito we learned that on this date in 1914, Earl Hurd patented animation ‘cels’ (celluloids) and backgrounds. Before this cartoonists tried drawing the background settings over and over again hundreds of times or slashed the paper around the character and tried not to have it walk in front of anything. By the late 1990’s, most cels & cel paint had been replaced by digital imaging.
The inimitable Maurice Noble created the backgrounds for the Chuck Jones-directed 1966 “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. This example shows his layout for the interior of little Cindy Lou Who’s home during the opening sequence of the animated television special.
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Our Sunday (#7) and final winner of the Chuck Jones Gallery Black Friday Week Give-aways is Julia Knauss of Pennsylvania! Julia will receive an original production drawing of Bugs Bunny from the 1980 Chuck Jones-directed television special, “Bugs Bunny Bustin’ Out All Over” ! Congratulations, Julia!
Our Friday (#5) winner of the Chuck Jones Gallery Black Friday Week Give-aways is Bruce Gamble of Alabama! Bruce will receive a hand-painted cel art “Director’s Cut” edition, titled, “Fast and Furry-ous”! Congratulations, Bruce!
And, that’s not all! Our Saturday (#6) winner of the Chuck Jones Gallery Black Friday Week Give-aways is Ron Eenhuis of Colorado! Ron will receive a hand-painted cel art edition, titled, “Georgia on My Mind”! Congratulations, Ron!
Our Sunday and final winner will be announced tomorrow. Thank you everyone who participated!
Our Tuesday winner of the Chuck Jones Gallery Black Friday Week Give-aways is Michael A. Igafo-Te’o of Michigan! Michael will receive a limited edition fine art reproduction on paper titled, “Season to Taste”! Congratulations, Michael!
Our Wednesday winner of the Chuck Jones Gallery Black Friday Week Give-aways is Nancy Kingsley of New Hampshire! Nancy will receive a the charming desk-top mini-giclee titled, “Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote–Cliff”! Congratulations, Nancy!
Found this at EliseMerand.tumblr.com and thought it was too good not to share with you. You’ve probably wondered where an animator gets those facial expressions, you know, the ones that just seem so extreme. Well, now, we have the answer! They looked in the mirror! Take a gander at these terrific animators and their reflections vs. their drawings.
These two items, a drawing by Chuck Jones of “The Great Yellow Dog” and a letter from Uncle Lynn to Chuck and his siblings on the death of their beloved dog, Teddy, are not mutually exclusive, but they do underscore the importance of character animation that Jones was such a master of and his deep well of resourcefulness.
Dear Peggy and Dorothy and Chuck and Dick,
I had a telephone call last night. “Is this Uncle Lynn?” someone asked.
“Why yes,” I said. “My name is Lynn Martin. Are you some unregistered nephew?”
“This is Teddy.” He sounded a little impatient with me. “Teddy Jones, Teddy Jones the resident dog of 115 Wadsworth Avenue, Ocean Park, California. I’m calling long distance.”
“Excuse me,” I said. “I really don’t mean to offend you, but I’ve never heard you talk before—just bark, or whine, or yell at the moon.”
“Look who’s talking,” Teddy sniffed, a really impatient sniff if ever I’ve heard one. “Look, Peggy and Dorothy and Chuck and Dick seem to be having a very rough time of it because they think I’m dead.” Hesitate. “Well, I suppose in a way I am.”
I will admit that hearing a dog admit that he was dead was a new experience for me, and not a totally expected one. “If you’re dead,” I asked, not being sure of just how you talk to a dead dog, “how come you’re calling me?” There was another irritated pause. Clearly he was getting very impatient with me.
“Because,” he said, in as carefully a controlled voice as I’ve ever heard from a dog. “Because when you are alive, even if the kids don’t knowexactly where you are, they know you’re someplace. So I just want them to know I may be sort of dead, but I’m still someplace.”
“Maybe I should tell them you’re in Dog Heaven, Teddy, Maybe to make ‘em feel—”
“Oh, don’t be silly.” Teddy cleared his throat. “Look, where are you?”
“Oh, no, you don’t. We’re trying to find out where you are,” I barked.
“Hey, I didn’t know you could bark.” He sounded impressed with my command of the language.
“Wait just a minute,” I said. “You had to know where I am, or you couldn’t have called me on the telephone, right?”
“Boy, you know so little,” said Teddy. “I simply said I called you long distance. Who said anything about a telephone? They asked me if I knew where you were, and I said you were someplace else, besides 115 Wadsworth Avenue. So they dialled someplace else and here I am and here you are.”
“Can I call you back?” I asked dazedly. “Maybe that’ll give me a clue.”
“Be reasonable,” said Teddy. “How can you call me back when neither you nor I know where I am?”
“Oh, come on, give me a clue,” I begged desperately. “For instance, are there other dogs around there? I’ve got to tell the kids something.”
“Hold it,” said Teddy, apparently looking around. “I did see a pug/schnauzer with wings a minute ago. The wings could lift the schnauzer part of him off the ground, but the pug part just sort of dragged through the grass bumping into fireplugs.”
“Orchards of them, hundreds of ‘em. Yellow, red, white, striped. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to have to pee anymore. I strain a lot, but all I get is air. Perfumed air,” he added proudly.
“Sounds like Dog Heaven to me,” I said. “Are there trees full of lamb chops and stuff like that?”
“You know,” Teddy sighed. “For a fair to upper-middle-class uncle, you do have some weird ideas. But the reason I called you was Peggy, Dorothy, Chuck, and Dick trust you and will believe anything you say, which in my opinion is carrying the word ‘gullible’ about as far as it will stretch. Anyway, gullible or not, they trust you, so I want you to tell them that I’m still their faithful, noble, old dog, and—except for the noble part—that I’m in a place where they can’t see me but I can see them, and I’ll always be around keeping an eye, an ear, and a nose on them. Tell them that just because they can’t see me doesn’t mean I’m not there. Point out to them that during the day you can’t see the latitudes and you can’t really see a star, but they’re both still there. So get a little poetic and ask them to think of me as ‘good-dog,’ the good old Teddy, the Dog Star from the horse latitudes, and not to worry, I’ll bark the britches off anybody or anything that bothers them. Just because I bit the dust doesn’t mean I can’t bite the devils.”
That’s what he said. I never did find out exactly where he was, but I did find out where he wasn’t—not ever very far from Peggy, Dorothy, Chuck and old Dick Jones.
Lynn Martin, Uncle at Large
A few words from Craig Kausen, Chuck Jones’s grandson on this elephant walk:
“Whether you’re an artist, an animator, a scientist, a veterinarian, or just an observer of life, you can probably get inspired and intrigued by this simple yet elegant six frame walk sequence created by Chuck Jones in the 1960s.
“Notice the bends in the joints, the weight of the steps, the rhythm of head movement, or the minor details of the tail.
“The details and small nuances are what historians discuss when they look at the work of Chuck Jones. He was a student of life and had the passion and the skill to translate his observations into character and movement.”