Monthly Archives: October 2010

Ken Harris: Master Animator

"He was a master animator, a virtuoso…Ken Harris did it all."  – Chuck Jones


There is a wonderful website devoted to animator Ken Harris.  He worked alongside Chuck Jones for 28 years at Warner Bros. and continued to be a part of Chuck's unit well into the '60s at MGM and Chuck Jones Enterprises.  Chuck was even his best man at his wedding to his second wife in 1966!  

You can visit the site and learn more about this master animator by clicking here.


Image of the Day: Cats Bah

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"Darling! I have waited por vu."  Pepé le Pew makes his move in this original layout drawing by Chuck Jones for his 1954 short film, "Cats Bah."  In this film, the most Boyer-referential outing of the amorous skunk, Pepé is found reminiscing about his greatest love when he his smitten by the "belle Americaine touriste femme skunk."  The drawing is graphite on 12 field, two-hole punch animation paper and measures 10.5" x 12.5".  

Chuck Jones, Actor

Thanks to all of our readers who responded to yesterday's post and the question:  what films did Chuck Jones act in (theatrical & TV), other than Joe Dante's 1984 "Gremlins"?  Here's the complete list:

1.  The Pogo Birthday Special (TV special,) 1969: voice actor, Porky Pine, Bun Rab, Basil the Butterfly

2.  The Phantom Tollbooth (feature film,) 1970:  man sitting on trolley next to Milo (Butch Patrick)

3.  Horton Hears a Who! (TV special,) 1970: voice actor, Junyer Kangaroo

4.  The Curiosity Shop (TV show,) 1971

5.  Gremlins (Feature film,) 1984: man in bar

6.  Innerspace (Feature film,) 1987: grocery store customer

You may see that lists a role in the feature film "The Arrogant" from 1987 that they say Chuck Jones appeared in, but that is not confirmed by the Jones family.  


Tock, Milo and Humbug from the 1970 feature film, "The Phantom Tollbooth," directed by Chuck Jones.

What in the world does this blank wall have to do with “Creativity Season”?

"Creativity Season," the 2010 inaugural fundraiser for the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity is set for Saturday, October 23rd from 6 to 9 PM at the Center's facility, 131 W. Chapman, Orange, California.  Tickets are still available!  Order yours today by clicking here!

But the real conundrum and one that should be easy to solve is: What in the world does this blank wall have to do with "Creativity Season?"   And who is that with Craig Kausen?*  Do you have the answers?

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Find out all about the terrific LIVE AUCTION items that have been donated to further the art programs of the Center by clicking here!  You can bid in absentia if you're unable to attend; just let us know and we'll work with you!

*Jimmy Mulligan.  But who is he and what does he have to do with the blank wall and "Creativity Season?"  It is a puzzle!!!

Chuck Jones Makes a Cameo Appearance in…

Did you know that Chuck Jones appeared in Joe Dante's 1984 "Gremlins?"  We found this photo at Deadly Movies, click here to read the full article.  Of course, this begs the question: What other films did Chuck Jones have a cameo role in?  Leave a comment and we'll post the correct answers tomorrow.  


We get letters…

Craig Kausen, Chuck's grandson, just received this lovely note from Tracy Dillon at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in Beverly Hills:

Dear Craig,

It was wonderful meeting you at the Academy of Motion Pictures during the Chuck Jones exhibit.  What an incredible exhibit!  And the best part was during the opening night reception, as hundreds of people are milling around, looking at the incredible artwork and photographs, there were a group of children, of all ages, sitting cross-legged on the floor, eyes glued to the TV set running some of the Chuck Jones cartoons in the pavilion. And behind them were a 20-something year old  guy, a 30-something woman, me in my 40's, a 50-something man and a 60   year old fellow employee of the Academy.  Standing behind the children on the floor, we all looked at each, with big grins on our faces, feeling like kids again as Chuck Jones took us back to our childhoods, with the Roadrunner, Wile E. Coyote and my favorite, Bugs Bunny.  What a picture-perfect sight, at all ages, Chuck Jones wows us all…STILL!
Thank you again for participating in such a wonderful event!  It was a pleasure meeting you!

Best regards,
Tracy Dillon, AMPAS staff member

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Friday May 14 v2 use this


Image of the Day: Two Scent’s Worth

With all this talk about Pepé le Pew coming to the big screen and being voiced by Mike Myers, what could we do but post a couple of great layout drawings of the notorious le skunk français as created by his father, Chuck Jones.  If you'd like to read some of the blog posts and such, please click here or here or here or here.  You get the idea, it's le news du jour!

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Original layout drawing of Pepé le Pew by Chuck Jones for his 1955 "Two Scent's Worth", graphite on 12 field animation paper.

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"Le Mew, le meow" purrs the exquisite pussycat in Chuck Jones' "Two Scent's Worth" of 1955.  Original layout drawing, graphite on 12 field animation paper, 10.5" x 12.5".  

Harvest Productions Donates to the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity!

Yesterday, our friends from Harvest Productions stopped by our headquarters in Tustin and donated several roles of canvas and pallets of fresh, unused, snow white paper for use at the Center's art classes.  We've been working with Maryann and John Doe of Harvest since 1994 and their passion for creating art is evident in their generosity.

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Lisa Timmons, Production Manager for Linda Jones Enterprises, Jenny Coulston of Harvest Productions and Craig Kausen, Chairman of the Board of Trustees (and Chuck Jones' grandson) of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity mug for the camera as they unload Harvest's very generous gift.

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Jason Coulston of Harvest Productions assists Craig Kausen with a pallet of white paper.

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Chris Scardino, one of the teaching artists at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, gives Craig an oil painting demonstration on a remnant of canvas from one of the rolls of unused canvas donated by Harvest Productions.

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 Thank you, Harvest Productions for the wonderful gift!  Many young artists will benefit!  

From left: Chris Scardino, Craig Kausen, Jenny Coulston, Jason Coulston, and Lisa Timmons in their jaunty Center baseball caps.

Photos courtesy Mr. Travis Do.  

Image of the Day: Wile E. Van Gogh

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Wile E. Van Gogh by Chuck Jones was based upon one of two
self-portraits painted in January of 1889 by Vincent Van Gogh.  Van Gogh, whose influences ranged from the
Japanese artist Hiroshige to his contemporaries Pisarro and Seurat, had recently,
in a state of madness, cut off a portion of his left ear.  Both paintings from January 1889 show Van
Gogh with the bandaged ear. 

In Wile E. Van Gogh, Jones
sought to convey the passionate expressiveness and maniacal focus of his famed
alter ego.  Just as Van Gogh did in his
paintings, Jones has applied the paint using different interpretations of
Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist brushwork—separate patches of color being
applied in different directions to enliven and enhance the intensity of the
subject.  (Chuck Jones has also
re-interpreted Van Gogh’s other self-portrait of January 1889 in his limited
edition lithograph
Vincent Van Coyote released in 1989.) 

Wile E. Van Gogh has been recreated as a limited edition giclée on


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

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Original storyboard
by Maurice Noble (hand-signed.) 
¾” x 6 ½” mixed media on MGM storyboard paper.

One of the pre-eminent color designers and art
directors in 20th century animation, Maurice Noble’s film career
began in 1934 at Walt Disney Studios creating watercolor backgrounds for the Silly Symphonies.  Leaving Disney in 1941 after the bitter
animation strike of that same year, Noble joined the Army and worked in the
Capra unit alongside Chuck Jones and Ted Geisel (AKA Dr. Seuss.)  His work on the 1966 television special Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
involved storyboards, color design, art direction, background layouts and
co-direction.  It is arguably the most watched
animation special ever created for television.