Monthly Archives: November 2010

Image of the Day: Santa on Trial

What if?  That's a question that always intrigued Chuck Jones and was the cause of many a delightful cartoon or painting or drawing throughout his long career.  If you read yesterday's post about how the inspiration for his "Bunny Prince Charlie" came about, you know that even the most obscure reference might spark his creativity.  

Today we bring you "Santa on Trial" and although we don't know Chuck's original thoughts about Santa Claus on trial, it gives us the opportunity to giggle at the incongruity of it all.  

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Image of the Day: Bunny Prince Charlie

"Ideas for paintings came from all sorts of nooks and crannies and inspired happenchance.  I remember one day we were looking through a travel guide to Scotland.  Turning the pages, we came across a painting of the rather infamous Scottish heir to the British throne, Bonnie Prince Charlie.

"I could sense the creative wheels turning.  "Hmm..you know," he said, "maybe with a carrot sword…wouldn't Bugs look great in that prince outfit?"

"And so, on canvas, appeared the ever self-confident Bugs, magnificent in his coat of crimson, a portrait titled Bunny Prince Charlie."  –Marian Jones, writing in the foreword to "Stroke of Genius, A Collection of Paintings and Musings on Life, Love and Art by Chuck Jones".  

LITHO-137

"Bunny Prince Charlie" a hand-pulled fine art lithograph by Chuck Jones.  Image size 20" x 14", paper size 24" x 18", hand-signed by Chuck Jones in pencil, edition size 350.  The Chuck Jones quote accompanying this image in "Stroke of Genius" is "History always looks real simple from the far end."  

 

Quote of the Day: An Enormous Quantity of Books

"Fortunately for me I had a father who devoured an enormous quantity of books.  So I read everything that fell into my hands:  Aesop, Balzac, La Fontaine, Peter Rabbit, Mark Twain, Dickens, the dictionary, O. Henry, anything.  But even authors like Jean-Paul Sartre inspire me in a sort of reverse action with lots of ideas.  "No Exit" (that will surprise you) is for me a mine of gags, since it symbolizes the frustration of the human condition.  And as for James Joyce, whom I cannot read without a Gaelic dictionary–and a Greek dictionary, a Bible, a book of liturgical vestments and an almanac–well, anyone who has a Gaelic dictionary knows it is one of the humourous masterpieces of the world.  So the peripheral advantages of research are manifest.

LITHO-136.4x6.300 copy
"The Persistence of Carrots" fine art limited edition hand-pulled lithograph by Chuck Jones.

Happy Thanksgiving, constant readers, we appreciate you!

Trivia: Chuck Jones Question # 1

Let's have a bit o' fun, shall we?  On occasion (when the moon and stars are aligned and the Coyote is in the 7th house,) Chuck Redux will post a trivia question, sometimes related to Chuck Jones, other times not.  Submit your answers via the comments section of the blog post & we'll keep a running score of your correct answers.  One week (7 days) later, we'll publish the answer.  And just as randomly as the posts occur, Chuck Redux will award awesome prizes to selected participants. But, remember you must answer in the comments section of the post if you want to be recognized as a winner!  Capice?  Then, let's get started!

Trivia: Chuck Jones Question #1

In the 1950s Chuck Jones owned a horse.  What was its name?

Bugs on horse


Notes on “Another Froggy Evening,” Part 2

Last Friday, we posted a photograph of Chuck Jones taken during the recording session for his 1996 Michigan J. Frog short animated film, "Another Froggy Evening."  (Read and see it here.) One of our faithful readers, Brent, responded with a question, "Who are those men in the Roman Coliseum?"  Some of you may have recognized Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert as the larger caricatures, but who are all those other people, you may have thought (out loud or to yourself?)  

Well, thanks to some help from the inimitable Rose Long who worked at Chuck Jones Film Productions in the 1990s we can now tell you who is who.

Siskel 300dpi I D copy

1. Tina Raleigh, 2. Don Arioli, 3. Rose Long, 4. Chuck Jones, 5. Michael Breton, 6. Ben Jones, 7. Herman Sharaf, 8. Warren O'Neill, 9. Greg Whitaker, 10. Tod Polson, 11. Lawrence Marvit, 12. Steve Fossati, 13. Bob Givens, 14. Linda Jones Clough, 15. Greg Duffel, 16. Tom Decker, 17. Jill Petrilak, 18. Charlie Puzzo, 19. Ted Bemiller, 20. Mike Polvani, 21. Stan Freberg

Siskel 300dpi copy

Notes on “Another Froggy Evening”

LJC CJ JMCC

Taking a break from recording the soundtrack for Chuck Jones' 1996 short film, "Another Froggy Evening" are, from left, Linda Jones Clough (producer,) Chuck Jones (director & producer,) with actor, Jeff McCarthy.   "Another Froggy Evening" saw the return of Jones's mythic character, Michigan J. Frog as he traveled through the ages.  

"The person who is missing from this photo is George Daugherty [Who, along with Cameron Patrick, provided the original music score & the arrangements for "Another Froggy Evening". –ed.]   George and I auditioned about twenty singers for the part and Jeff was the only one who came close and he came so close we felt he was channeling the original, unnamed, baritone who voiced Michigan in the original film.  Jeff brought the warmth, enthusiasm, and exactly the right “note” to the job…  Jeff is one of the truly “good” guys and remains a good friend to this day," said Linda Jones Clough in a recent email exchange with Chuck Redux.  Click here to learn more about Jeff McCarthy.


Notes on “What’s Opera, Doc?”

Jone maltese photo 1956
You'd think they didn't have a funny bone in their bodies by the looks on their faces (Ha!)

This photo of animation pioneer Chuck Jones (left) and the brilliant writer Michael Maltese with record albums of Wagner's operas is dated October 1954; the note on the back (see below) indicates that they are standing in front of storyboards for Jones' "Rocket-Bye Baby" which was released in August of 1956, which means that at least three years were devoted to the making of "What's Opera, Doc?"  We know that while creating "What's Opera, Doc?" Jones' unit manipulated their time cards, utilizing time from a Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner film to work on the extravaganza (106 different camera shots!) that became the first short animated film inducted into the Smithsonian's National Film Registry in 1992. (Since then two of Jones' other films, "Duck Amuck" and "One Froggy Evening," were also added to the Registry.)

  Back of photo copy

Here is Jones' list of music to be used in the film, please note the "chase stuff" (which makes me giggle, because you know it was shorthand between Jones and the music director, Milt Franklyn.)

Song list for wod

Image of the Day: A Very Merry Cricket

VEME-02-001 copy

Original mixed media model drawing of the Connecticut Cat by Chuck Jones for his 1973 television special, "A Very Merry Cricket."  The sequel to his "A Cricket in Times Square" (original book by George Selden), "A Very Merry Cricket" finds our intrepid heroes Tucker Mouse (voiced by Mel Blanc) and Harry the Cat (voiced by Les Tremayne) off to Connecticut to find their friend, the musically-gifted cricket, Chester.  The final Christmas montage of the film is cited by many to be some of Chuck's finest post-Warner Bros. work, see for yourself and let us know if you agree: