Chuck Jones: Fast and Famished



The great comedian/film directors of the twentieth century: Keaton, Chaplin, Sturges, Wilder and Jones share a common trait: obsession.  An obsession with perfection and with defeat because many of their classic comic heroes are winning-challenged.  Chuck Jones is probably the most fortunate of the group as he had more opportunity to refine his art and craft, producing over 200 films in his tenure at Warner Bros., 1938-1963, in comparison to even Wilder's paltry 18 in the same time period.  And refine them he did.    

The film Fast and Furry-ous premierd September 16, 1949, presenting to the world the new characters, Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner.  With Michael Maltese, Chuck Jones set out to parody 'chase' movies that were popular at the time, but instead of parody, they created the acme (sorry, couldn't resist) of chase films.  And then to follow up, over the next 14 years repeated it perfectly 23 more times.  It's not that each film is so different from another in the series, but it is remarkable how rich the characters are and how closely many of us identify with them.  A quote from George Santayana, the American writer and philosopher, helps explain our fascination with the hapless Wile E., "A fanatic is someone who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim."  

Fast and Famished, in an edition of 60, is Chuck Jones' 38th hand-painted limited edition cel art that features this intrepid duo (the first being the 1978 cover of the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog, edition 50.)  Fast and Famished began life as an original drawing by Chuck Jones whose line was then transferred to acetate sheets (cels) using the fine art process of serigraphy.  Each cel was hand-painted by professional cel painters using 12 different colors.  Under the supervision of a Jones family member the Chuck Jones official signature-mark was then applied to the cel. 

2 thoughts on “Chuck Jones: Fast and Famished

  1. Larry Levine

    One major difference between Chuck and the above mentioned. Their later work was (to be kind) unremarkable while Chuck was still on top of his game when he directed Chariots of Fur—45 years after Fast & Furry-ous!!

  2. Silvia Lisart

    It was thanks to Wile E. and Road Runner that I found the inspiration that leads me to drawing and getting interested in animation! Chuck really was a Genius!!


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