Monthly Archives: November 2009

Chuck Jones: Master Series –Interview Conducted by Jeff DeGrandis

Take Your Dot for a Walk!

(Bring Pencil and Paper)

Chuck Jones, The Master Series — a lost interview — with host Jeff DeGrandis

To be released February 1, 2010

Tustin, CA–Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, the non-profit organization founded by Chuck Jones before his death in 2002, announced today the upcoming release of Chuck Jones–The Master Series the first of two DVDs culled from several hours of interviews conducted in 1990 by Emmy-nominated director Jeff DeGrandis. 

In this never-before-seen interview, animation pioneer and four-time Academy Award-winning director and creator, Chuck Jones, discusses the physics and properties of drawing with the irrepressible Jeff DeGrandis.  Selected from several hours of taped interviews with Chuck Jones, the vignettes in the DVD cover everything from the very essence of drawing to the more esotereic aspects of character development, all of which is liberally seasoned with the wit and wisdom of this artistic genius.

Chuck Jones–The Master Series is scheduled for delivery beginning February 1, 2010.  Animators, artists, and creatives as well as people interested in the arts (and art of animation) will find this interview a must-have for their reference library.  Pre-orders for a minimum donation of $19.95 are being accepted now by the Center.  For more details, contact DVD@ChuckJonesCenter.org or online at the Center's blog, Now Hare This!

You can now donate today!  If you live in the United States, click the 'Buy Now' button below.  The total charge including shipping via Priority Mail is $24.95.  Thank you for your donation!





If you live outside of the United States (all international destinations,) click the 'Buy Now' button below.  The total charge including shipping via International Priority Mail is $33.95. Thank you for your donation!





Chuck Jones Center for Creativity is dedicated to fostering and encouraging creativity, especially in young people, using the drawings, films, and writings of legendary animation director, Chuck Jones, as inspiration.  It encourages the expression of artistic creativity and promotes an environment where that spirit can flourish.  Jones' art and ideas continue to influence contemporary artists, filmmakers, and writers through the vast resource of his work accessible through the Center for Creativity's online archive.   www.ChuckJonesCenter.org

Image of the Day: Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas

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He stole the candy canes, the wreaths, the trees, the
wuzzles and puzzles!  He made off with
the presents, the Who Hash, the light bulbs, poinsettias, rugs and the window
sash!  He filled sack after sack with
bicycles and ribbons and bows!  He
purloined the wreaths and bizzel binks, the camera, the film, the candy, its
wrappers, quite possibly even the kitchen sinks!  (Pictured: a paste-up for a model sheet of drawings by Chuck Jones used in the creation of his 1966  Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas.)
 

The film of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
popularity may be unsurpassed today, but when Chuck Jones set out to bring it
to the screen he was unable to find a sponsor and eventually ended up pitching
the story 26 times.  Chuck Jones recounts, “In those days, the
network wouldn’t accept something unless you had a sponsor,” he said.  “So, I went to every one of the people who
were logical:  the breakfast food and
chocolate people.  I had done the
storyboards, there were seventeen hundred drawings and I went over that thing
again and again.  It got to the point
where I could almost shut my eyes and say it! 
At last, in the depths of my despair, success came from the most
unlikely source of all:  the Foundation
of Commercial Banks!”
 



Chuck Jones Quote of the Day: Since Childhood

"As a child I loved to draw, as do most children, and I have made at least twenty drawings every day of my life since childhood, and I intend to draw and paint for the rest of my life-if I live that long."

–Chuck Jones, page 100, Stroke of Genius, A Collection of Paintings and Musings on Life, Love and Art

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The West-141

Image of the Day: Muddy Feet

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The last of the series of whimsical watercolors we've featured this past week, Muddy Feet, is perhaps the most personal of these masterful paintings by Chuck Jones.  This one can be dated to the late 1940s, when Linda, Chuck's daughter, was around 10 or 11.  It seems that year she had had the habit of traipsing through the house with muddy feet.  We're led to believe that her mother (Dorothy) tolerated it for only so long until she finally put her foot down and confronted her daughter in displeasure.  Please note that Linda's tail is also a 'pony' tail. 

Chuck Jones’ letters to his daughter, Linda

February 4, 1955

Post # 58

Dearest Linda,

What do I think of the China situation and the President’s War Powers bill?  I wish that I could venture a simple opinion on the terrifyingly complex problem.  If only the principle of the Good Guys and the Bad Guys prevailed, how simple it all would be, yet there are intelligent people today who remember Chiang as a despot and a keen and ruthless enemy of the spirit of what [your history teacher] might call The American Way of Life.  These people might also remember that for ten years the same people who now compose RED CHINA were those who, with primitive weapons, formed FASCIST JAPAN.

I think I hate chicanery of words and ideas more than any other thing, for it traps man’s mind and reduces him to a fool and an idiot.  If it is to the best interest of the United States and/or United Nations to defend Formosa then we must do so.  But let us understand several things in so doing.  If we attempt to put this on the Moral Good for Mankind basis we must be prepared to explain why communism is despicable to us in China and acceptable to us in Yugoslavia, why we choke over Malenkov and swallow Franco and other minor league dictators.  The truth of the matter seems to be that we love those who hate our enemies regardless of their political beliefs or practices.

I can think of nothing greater or nobler for America than to stand as a paragon of the defender of the down-trodden, as the courageous detective who spot-lights injustice and abrogation of civil-liberties wherever they occur … in our own household, in those of our enemies or those who hate our enemies.

Let us understand something else, lest we become smug in our rather loose use of the term “American Way of Life”.  The roots of democracy extend into history much farther than Plato.  The father of our sacred documents was the Magna Carta, signed in England over three hundred years before Columbus blundered into the West Indies.  Thousands of brave and zealous men died for what they believed to be the ethical rights of man.  The history of man is indeed a great quest for free soil where the intellect could prosper and the spirit could stand unfearing and upright.

The greatness of America stems from the fact that Democracy was planted on the richest landmass in the world.  It is almost certain that this land would have become a world power under any form of government but the wonder is that by and large it has grown ethically as it grew agriculturally and industrially.  America grew and became the hope, the epitome, the beacon for the hopeless and the downtrodden, the dreamer and the thinker.  We were proud and brave people and we had ample reason to be so.

Are we that today?

If we are not, if we are looked at with suspicion, fear and sometimes hate is it because others are envious of our wealth, our intelligence, or our general well-being or is it because we have failed to keep our banner unsullied, because the “American Way of Life” may mean government of opportunism rather than idealism, power politics rather than power for universal freedom, encouragement of individualism giving way to subordination of individualism?

The answer to all this may perhaps be found in the following:  There is no clear answer on the Formosa question, even when the most rabid of Senator Knowland’s followers seem unable to explain why they do follow him or where he wants to lead us.  There is obviously no clear moral issue here.  The second thing that becomes increasingly clear is that most people are afraid to venture an opinion on a controversial subject without screening it to see if it coincides with popular opinion.  This is the most dangerous aspect of our society today, I believe.

All right.  I say this.  I do not believe in “The American Way of Life” because it is a catch-all phrase bandied by McCarthy, Coughlin, McCormick, Hearst and every other two-bit chauvinist in this country, it is a panacea and a foolish one at that, for it means anything anyone wants it to.  It can mean segregation, capital punishment, the right to starve without government interference.

My faith, my love and my desire to defend democracy as it was etched in America’s beginnings I will yield to no man, but the democratic ideal is universal in concept and must be defended so, democracy cannot function long on an island.  I believe in justice for mankind, believing this the surest way to protect his rights, moral and otherwise.

I believe that the rights of the individual must be always the true guide in social behaviour, for if the individual is always assured of justice no ultimate harm can accrue to mankind.

I love you very much and I loved your letter too.

 

Chuck Jones’ letters to his daughter, Linda

February 4, 1955

Post # 58

Dearest Linda,

What do I think of the China situation and the President’s War Powers bill?  I wish that I could venture a simple opinion on the terrifyingly complex problem.  If only the principle of the Good Guys and the Bad Guys prevailed, how simple it all would be, yet there are intelligent people today who remember Chiang as a despot and a keen and ruthless enemy of the spirit of what [your history teacher] might call The American Way of Life.  These people might also remember that for ten years the same people who now compose RED CHINA were those who, with primitive weapons, formed FASCIST JAPAN.

I think I hate chicanery of words and ideas more than any other thing, for it traps man’s mind and reduces him to a fool and an idiot.  If it is to the best interest of the United States and/or United Nations to defend Formosa then we must do so.  But let us understand several things in so doing.  If we attempt to put this on the Moral Good for Mankind basis we must be prepared to explain why communism is despicable to us in China and acceptable to us in Yugoslavia, why we choke over Malenkov and swallow Franco and other minor league dictators.  The truth of the matter seems to be that we love those who hate our enemies regardless of their political beliefs or practices.

I can think of nothing greater or nobler for America than to stand as a paragon of the defender of the down-trodden, as the courageous detective who spot-lights injustice and abrogation of civil-liberties wherever they occur … in our own household, in those of our enemies or those who hate our enemies.

Let us understand something else, lest we become smug in our rather loose use of the term “American Way of Life”.  The roots of democracy extend into history much farther than Plato.  The father of our sacred documents was the Magna Carta, signed in England over three hundred years before Columbus blundered into the West Indies.  Thousands of brave and zealous men died for what they believed to be the ethical rights of man.  The history of man is indeed a great quest for free soil where the intellect could prosper and the spirit could stand unfearing and upright.

The greatness of America stems from the fact that Democracy was planted on the richest landmass in the world.  It is almost certain that this land would have become a world power under any form of government but the wonder is that by and large it has grown ethically as it grew agriculturally and industrially.  America grew and became the hope, the epitome, the beacon for the hopeless and the downtrodden, the dreamer and the thinker.  We were proud and brave people and we had ample reason to be so.

Are we that today?

If we are not, if we are looked at with suspicion, fear and sometimes hate is it because others are envious of our wealth, our intelligence, or our general well-being or is it because we have failed to keep our banner unsullied, because the “American Way of Life” may mean government of opportunism rather than idealism, power politics rather than power for universal freedom, encouragement of individualism giving way to subordination of individualism?

The answer to all this may perhaps be found in the following:  There is no clear answer on the Formosa question, even when the most rabid of Senator Knowland’s followers seem unable to explain why they do follow him or where he wants to lead us.  There is obviously no clear moral issue here.  The second thing that becomes increasingly clear is that most people are afraid to venture an opinion on a controversial subject without screening it to see if it coincides with popular opinion.  This is the most dangerous aspect of our society today, I believe.

All right.  I say this.  I do not believe in “The American Way of Life” because it is a catch-all phrase bandied by McCarthy, Coughlin, McCormick, Hearst and every other two-bit chauvinist in this country, it is a panacea and a foolish one at that, for it means anything anyone wants it to.  It can mean segregation, capital punishment, the right to starve without government interference.

My faith, my love and my desire to defend democracy as it was etched in America’s beginnings I will yield to no man, but the democratic ideal is universal in concept and must be defended so, democracy cannot function long on an island.  I believe in justice for mankind, believing this the surest way to protect his rights, moral and otherwise.

I believe that the rights of the individual must be always the true guide in social behaviour, for if the individual is always assured of justice no ultimate harm can accrue to mankind.

I love you very much and I loved your letter too.

 

Chuck Jones Quote of the Day: Ample Materials

"I believe that all children will learn the joy of drawing if encouraged by ample materials, and love strong enough from their parents-and it must be very strong-to refrain from the well-intended but deadly use of unqualified criticism or excessive praise during the very early, very crucial, very creative years of childhood."

–Chuck Jones, page 96, Stroke of Genius, A Collection of Paintings and Musings on Life, Love and Art

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