How to Talk to Children: Chuck Jones Video of the Day

Chuck Jones writes in Chuck Reducks how he learned from his Uncle Lynn the best way to talk to children: as you would anyone you encountered, with grace, humility, interest and understanding. 

He writes, "Never in all the years I knew him did Uncle Lynn ever muss my hair or thump my head.  If he had something to say to me when I was half his height, he would sit casually down in a chair, to be level with me.  He never squatted to communicate with me or any child–a demeaning gesture defining the difference in relative statuses.  He never talked down, physically or philosophically, to any human being, any dog, cat, or housefly.  He is the only person I ever knew who would talk to caterpillars, reassuring them of their thrilling future as butterflies.

Another problem with Uncle Lynn was that he made you think.  Most other adults told you what to think, which of course wasn't thinking at all."  

In the video below, Chris Scardino, one of our volunteer Teaching Artists at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, discusses how he integrates Chuck's philosophies into the classes he leads at the Center.  (Video courtesy Nicholas W. Snyder of Chapman University, Orange, California.) 

Exercise no. 4: Monologue Verite from Nicholas W. Snyder on Vimeo.

2 thoughts on “How to Talk to Children: Chuck Jones Video of the Day

  1. Rachael

    Somehow I find the story of the boy drawing a “squashed, short” Wile E Coyote, to be misleading…. did you actually bother asking him if he was doing it on purpose? did you bother trying to show him a side-by-side comparision?
    Im all for letting kids draw to have fun, but dont go overboard with claims that theyre “in their own style” when and if they dont understand construction in the first place.

  2. Chris

    Interesting comment.
    If you sat in on a class I am sure you would have a better understanding of what I do, but let me enlighten.
    The boy in question was awkward from head to toe and he even held the graphite pencil in a strange fashion, but when he drew it was fluid and he beamed with wonder and excitiement.
    I show everyone how I might go about a drawing from simple construction to detail, but some individuals have their own “style”.
    His drawings were not perfect for you, but for me, they were unique and still stand out in my mind as grand creations and this was 2 years ago.
    My Bugs and Daffy and Coyote and Roadrunner drawings are still a little “different”, but then again I am no Chuck Jones. I don’t want my students to merely copy what is in front of them. I want to see what is inside their entire beings. That is what Art should be.
    Come and draw with me sometimes if you are close…


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