Monthly Archives: September 2009

A Great Blog to Peruse If You’re Visiting Santa Fe (Or Live There!)

Partly because they featured the Daffy Duck bench outside the front door of our Santa Fe Chuck Jones Gallery (135 W. Palace Avenue) and partly because they have the niftiest photo blog we've encountered in some time, Santa Fe Daily Photo, we'd like to thank Randy for the great work and his beautiful blog.  Please visit it if you're a resident of Santa Fe "the dancing ground of the sun" or if you're planning a trip there–he really has a great eye (we're partial, we admit it) for seeing the beauty that is around us. 

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Image of the Day: Chuck Jones Sketchbook — Conveyances

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Chuck Jones quotes one of his Chouinard instructors, "You birds have a 100,000 bad drawings in you, start getting rid of them now." (The quote is oft-repeated in interviews with any Chouinard or CalArts graduate.)  He drew everyday, almost constantly; not only his beloved Warner Bros. characters, but also anything that caught his fancy or was of passing interest: planes, trains, automobiles, ocean liners, dogs, cats, ants, women, men, children, fanciful contraptions and so forth.  Image courtesy Chuck Jones Center for Creativity.

Chuck Jones: Monster Mohawk

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“If an
inter-esting monster can’t have an inter-esting hairdo, then I don’t know what
things are coming to!”  So says the
barber of Termite Terrace, Bugs Bunny. 
Give him a chainsaw for hair-clippers and there’s no telling what might
happen.  Our poor orange-furred,
hump-headed monster, Gossamer, peeved, but too stunned to act, looks askance at
his new ‘do’.  Gossamer first appeared in
Chuck Jones’ 1946 short animated film Hair-Raising Hare. 

Based on
original watercolors painted by Chuck Jones Monster Mohawk has been
re-interpreted as storyboards* complete with dialogue, cork bulletin board and
push pins.  Monster Mohawk bears the
official signature-mark of Chuck Jones.

“Designing
a character does involve drawing, but as soon as the character is animated, it
is the animation that makes the
character, not the drawing.  When you are
engaged in full animation, the character pushes aside and takes over.  Drawing becomes as unconscious a necessity to
you as body mechanics are to the dancer during a performance.  You are the interpreter of actions that
surprise both you and the character you visualize.  You and the character become that series of
surprises that is comedy.” —Chuck Jones in Chuck Reducks, Drawing From the
Fun Side of Life

*At Warner Bros., in the Golden Age of Animation…”writers
and directors wrote and directed animated cartoons by the development of
storyboards, very similar to gigantic Sunday comic strips—one hundred fifty 3 x
5 inch sketches thumb-tacked to a framed 4 x 8 foot storyboard.”  These storyboards were then presented to the
entire group in what Chuck Jones has called a “yes” session.  During these “yes” sessions, no one was
allowed to say no, each idea was allowed to have its moment, whether eventually
used or not, and all participants were afforded the opportunity to contribute
positively to the project at hand. 

Quote from Chuck Amuck, The Life and Times of an
Animated Cartoonist

Image of the Day: Much Ado About Nutting

Premiering May 23, 1953, the Chuck Jones directed Much Ado About Nutting was a character departure for the Jones unit in that it starred a single squirrel not from the regular stable of 'actors'.  Not unlike his masterpiece One Froggy Evening of 1955, this film is silent (except for sound-effects.)  Jones' use of pantomime to convey the human condition in an animated film is one of the hallmarks of his creativity.  Working with his unit including the talented designer Maurice Noble, writer Michael Maltese and animators Ben Washam and Ken Harris, Jones created another fable for modern times. 

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Character model sheet by Chuck Jones, gouache on 12 field animation paper. 

Chuck Jones Character Club: Bugs Bunny

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"I conceive Bugs to be a sort of counter-revolutionary rather than a revolutionary.  He is for peace in his home; he refuses to be put upon; he insists, in effect, upon being treated as a citizen rather than a rabbit."  –Chuck Jones, Stroke of Genius, A Collection of Paintings and Musings on Life, Love and Art

The Chuck Jones Character Club offers many benefits to beginning and seasoned collectors.  It is available now during the Show Your Memories with Your Favorite Chuck Jones Characters contest.  Check them out and join today!

Image of the Day: Double or Mutton

Double or Mutton, starring Sam Sheepdog and Ralph Wolf premiered in movie palaces around the country on July 13, 1955.  Directed by Chuck Jones, it featured a story by Michael Maltese and the animation was provided by Richard Thompson, Abe Levitow, Keith Darling and Ken Harris.  Backgrounds and scene layouts were designed by Philip DeGuard, with voice characterization by Mel Blanc.  Milt Franklyn orchestrated the music.  These three drawings are Chuck's layouts for the final scene–Sam's pulverization of Ralph is interrupted for the day by the whistle of the clock. 

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