Monthly Archives: June 2011

Explore Your Creativity from the Chuck Jones Side of Your Brain!

Bugs at drawing table cjcc

Explore the spirit of legendary animation director Chuck Jones this summer with three very special programs at the world-famous Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California!  Each seminar will meet on a Wednesday in August (3rd, 10th, 17th) from 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM at the museum, 2002 N. Main Street (just south of the 5) in Santa Ana.  Tickets for all three seminars are $50.00 for members and $80.00 for non-members.  Individual sessions are $20.00 members and $30.00 non-members.  

The first seminar, "Embracing the Line, Facing the Lion", will be led by Marian Jones, a gifted photographer, artist, and writer.   As the late Chuck Jones' beloved wife and creative co-conspirator, Marian will share insights into Chuck's imagination–and help you explore and learn to trust your own unique creativity!

According to Chuck Jones, "failure as success" is just one of several great contradictions of creative endeavors. In this seminar, learn the "grammar" of drawing – learn to control the line, not the other way around! Session includes viewing of short cartoons and clips from Chuck Jones interviews, as well as a lively discussion of what "success" really means.

This session will include a presentation of several of Chuck Jones's cartoons plus a hands-on art project for participants.  

The second seminar, "Bringing Life to the Characters: Its the Oddities that Count!", presented by Linda Jones Clough, Chuck's daughter and sole focus of Chuck's fatherly affection.  She is an innovative and skilled entrepreneur and producer who has found success both on her own and working with her late father (look her up on IMDB and be dazzled.) 

Whether you draw, write, or tell stories, what allows you to bring what you imagine to life?  What makes cartoon characters so believable?  This seminar uses Chuck Jones films and sketches to demonstrate the astonishing things that can be done with seemingly lifeless, inanimate objects. Each participant in this seminar will draw, describe, or create an original character–and find genuine inspiration along the way.

For the third and final session, "The Pencil, the Computer, Children and Creativity" you'll join Craig Kausen, grandson of Chuck Jones, Chairman of the Board of Trustees (and a founding member) of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, as he shares his own personal perspective on the life of the imagination.

Whether we work with the oldest or the newest tools, the human touch is an absolutely essential component of creativity. This seminar highlights the Chuck Jones brand of character study:  how to harness the most subtle details of human and animal movement to bring your creations to life. Everyone participating in this highly interactive seminar will discuss which tools to use, and why, and will leave with tips on fostering children's (and adults') natural enthusiasm for creating art.   It will also include an art project for participants.  

But wait! To wrap up this series of imaginative and fun programs (in a bright shiny bow) will be a Chuck Jones Film Festival hosted by Craig Kausen on Sunday, July 28th, from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM.  Starring all of your favorite cartoon characters, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner, it will be a not-to-be-missed event at the Bowers!  

For more information, please email education@bowers.org , call 714.567.3677, or visit the Bowers website. 

 

 

Explore Your Creativity from the Chuck Jones Side of Your Brain!

Bugs at drawing table cjcc

Explore the spirit of legendary animation director Chuck Jones this summer with three very special programs at the world-famous Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California!  Each seminar will meet on a Wednesday in August (3rd, 10th, 17th) from 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM at the museum, 2002 N. Main Street (just south of the 5) in Santa Ana.  Tickets for all three seminars are $50.00 for members and $80.00 for non-members.  Individual sessions are $20.00 members and $30.00 non-members.  

The first seminar, "Embracing the Line, Facing the Lion", will be led by Marian Jones, a gifted photographer, artist, and writer.   As the late Chuck Jones' beloved wife and creative co-conspirator, Marian will share insights into Chuck's imagination–and help you explore and learn to trust your own unique creativity!

According to Chuck Jones, "failure as success" is just one of several great contradictions of creative endeavors. In this seminar, learn the "grammar" of drawing – learn to control the line, not the other way around! Session includes viewing of short cartoons and clips from Chuck Jones interviews, as well as a lively discussion of what "success" really means.

This session will include a presentation of several of Chuck Jones's cartoons plus a hands-on art project for participants.  

The second seminar, "Bringing Life to the Characters: Its the Oddities that Count!", presented by Linda Jones Clough, Chuck's daughter and sole focus of Chuck's fatherly affection.  She is an innovative and skilled entrepreneur and producer who has found success both on her own and working with her late father (look her up on IMDB and be dazzled.) 

Whether you draw, write, or tell stories, what allows you to bring what you imagine to life?  What makes cartoon characters so believable?  This seminar uses Chuck Jones films and sketches to demonstrate the astonishing things that can be done with seemingly lifeless, inanimate objects. Each participant in this seminar will draw, describe, or create an original character–and find genuine inspiration along the way.

For the third and final session, "The Pencil, the Computer, Children and Creativity" you'll join Craig Kausen, grandson of Chuck Jones, Chairman of the Board of Trustees (and a founding member) of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, as he shares his own personal perspective on the life of the imagination.

Whether we work with the oldest or the newest tools, the human touch is an absolutely essential component of creativity. This seminar highlights the Chuck Jones brand of character study:  how to harness the most subtle details of human and animal movement to bring your creations to life. Everyone participating in this highly interactive seminar will discuss which tools to use, and why, and will leave with tips on fostering children's (and adults') natural enthusiasm for creating art.   It will also include an art project for participants.  

But wait! To wrap up this series of imaginative and fun programs (in a bright shiny bow) will be a Chuck Jones Film Festival hosted by Craig Kausen on Sunday, July 28th, from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM.  Starring all of your favorite cartoon characters, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner, it will be a not-to-be-missed event at the Bowers!  

For more information, please email education@bowers.org , call 714.567.3677, or visit the Bowers website. 

 

The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie, 1979 – The 25 All-TIME Best Animated Films – TIME

All right, this is cheating: including in this countdown a collection of shorts that (unlike Fantasia) were not made as part of an animated feature. Yet this feature-length medley of Chuck Jones cartoons from his postwar peak period at Warner Bros. has too much wit, melodrama and sheer delight not to be placed high on any list of animation achievements. Taken together, the 10 shorts compiled here — Hare-Way to the Stars, Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century, Robin Hood Daffy, Duck Amuck, Bully for Bugs, Ali Baba Bunny, Rabbit Fire, For Scent-imental Reasons, Long-Haired Hare, What's Opera, Doc? and Operation Rabbit — could serve as a child's finest introduction to the raucous rapture of the animated film.

via www.time.com

Author and critic Richard Corliss waxes poetic about the 1979 Chuck Jones film "The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie." A must read for our fans!

A Creative Way to Begin Father’s Day

The engaging and lively radio personality and journalist, Cynthia Fox (KLOS 95.5 FM), interviewed Craig Kausen, chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and teaching artist (and all around bon vivant) Christopher Scardino for the KLOS "Spotlight on the Community" program which airs this Sunday, June 19th at 6 AM on 95.5 FM — KLOS radio.  (Yes, it's early, but it's a fun and entertaining interview with a short bit of Einstein quote one-upmanship between Craig and Chris, not to be missed.) 

The CJCC Crew
Christopher Scardino (left), Craig Kausen, Cynthia Fox and Chuck Jones Center for Creativity volunteer community ambassador Linda Krall pause for a photo-op before the taping.

KLOS Mktg & Promo
No visit to KLOS is complete without a tour of the pinatas in the marketing and promo department.

DJ Chris
True or False: In another life (like Walter Mitty) Chris dreamed of being a DJ.

Craig & Cynthia
As a token of his appreciation, Craig gave the Chuck Jones limited edition print, "Pepe Bouquet" to Cynthia.  Word is she loved it!

Photos courtesy Linda Krall

Cats That Have Known Chuck Jones, a Portfolio

The cat has been domesticated since ancient times.  Of the genus Felis, the common (and as we’ll discover, uncommon) house cat, Felix Sylvestri (wherever did those cat names come from?), has been the visual inspiration for untold centuries of artists, from the tombs of the Pharaohs to contemporary society.   For Chuck Jones it began with one cat called Johnson.   

Johnson entered the Jones household one foggy morning in 1918, carefully picking his way through the sand at Balboa, to stand looking up at their home requesting admission.  “He moved into our house that morning, bag and baggage.  The bag was that cat bag all cats live in, one of the few characteristics he shared with other cats.  He sat fat and walked thin like other cats, but the resemblance to other cats stopped there,” reminisces Chuck Jones in his autobiography, Chuck Amuck.  “His baggage was what appeared to be a very old, very used tongue depressor, fastened securely about his neck…bearing the crude inscription…Johnson.”

Chuck Jones recalls that morning because he realized that it marked a turning point in his perception of character and one of the most important lessons of animation: individuality.  Johnson demonstrated for Jones that it is the individual, the oddity and peculiarity of character that counts.  In response to the question, “Why do animated cartoonists use animals?” Jones has said that it is easier and more believable to humanize animals than to humanize humans. 

The Cat Portfolio is a limited edition collection of 9 cats drawn by Chuck Jones over a 50-year period.  The ten fine art reproductions on paper (one cat is seen in x-ray as well) that comprise the portfolio are led off by a drawing of Johnson, jauntily wearing three-quarters of a grapefruit rind on his head like a space helmet.  “On such occasions he seemed to enjoy this raffish adornment and would saunter out onto the sand, often with only one eye visible under the overhang, a curious sight to many people, a delight to our family, and a source of sheer terror to small dogs and old ladies,” Jones continues in his autobiography.  And if that weren’t enough, Johnson liked to swim in the ocean, too.   

GICLEE-99 copy

Ali Baba Bunny

On their way to Pismo Beach*, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck make that wrong turn at Albuquerque and end up in a secret treasure cave in Baghdad.  Thus opens, Chuck Jones’ 1957 “Ali Baba Bunny”.  It doesn’t take but a New York second for Daffy to realize that their travel mistake will make him “comfortably well-off”.  The guardian of the treasure, Hassan, tries his best to halt the thievery, but is stopped by the implacable Bugs Bunny.  “Rabbit Rope Trick” (below) brings to life one of the classic moments from this film.  Created from Chuck Jones’ original drawing, each cel has been hand-painted by expert cel painters much as it would've been when the film was originally made.

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“Ali Baba Bunny” premiered February 9 and was directed by Charles M. Jones.  Michael Maltese wrote the story with animation by Richard Thompson, Ken Harris, Abe Levitow and Ben Washam and effects animation by Harry Love.  Maurice Noble created the layouts, the backgrounds were painted by Philip DeGuard and the film editor was Treg Brown.  Voice characterization was provided by Mel Blanc and musical direction by Carl Stalling and Milt Franklyn. 

*Pismo Beach, California is located on the central coast between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.  In the early part of this century through the 1950’s, Pismo Beach had a reputation in Hollywood for a less than genteel population.  Noted for its gambling dens and bordellos situated in quaint little cottages by the sea, it drew many a Hollywood personality.  (And the clams weren’t half-bad either, although they’re a protected species now.)

Long-Haired Hare

“Of course, you know this means war!”  And with those words the battle begins pitting the ingenious Bugs Bunny against the pompous and self-absorbed opera singer, Giovanni Jones.  The results are to be expected (the rabbit wins!) but getting there is all the fun.  Gainers by Giovanni into the horn section of the orchestra pit, liquid alum shrinking his head, and in the scene depicted here, Bugs dressed as a bobby soxer requesting an autograph by handing our vain singer a lit dynamite pen!  The coup-de-grâce comes as Bugs enters the Hollywood Bowl dressed as Leopold Stokowski, the famed conductor, wreaking havoc as he conducts Jones in his final bow before the Bowl blows up and buries him in its debris.

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Long Haired Hare made its début in theaters nationwide on June 25, 1949.  Directed by Charles M. Jones with a story by Michael Maltese, it was animated by Phil Monroe, Ben Washam, Lloyd Vaughan and Ken Harris.  Robert Gribbroek designed the layouts and the backgrounds were painted by Peter Alvarado. Mel Blanc provided the voice characterizations and the music was provided by Carl W. Stalling.

The White Seal

In 1974, Chuck Jones brought to life the story of Kotick, the white seal, while a vice-president in charge of children’s programming at ABC.  This television special was based on the story of survival and perseverance of a group of seals living in the Bering Straits.  The original tale is by Rudyard Kipling and can be found in his collection* of stories, “The Jungle Book”.   Chuck Jones also recreated for television two other Kipling tales, “Rikki Tikki Tavi” 1975 and “Mowgli’s Brothers” 1976.  This image below is a recreation by lithography of an original production cel and background used in the film and later featured on the cover of the book based on the television special “The White Seal”. 

LITHO-142 copy

*From “Chuck Amuck” by Chuck Jones:  “We always had books in the house we lived in.  We not only had books, we had books (old or new) that were fresh to us.  The way it worked was this: a house in those days of the early twenties had books.  Incredible as it seems, that’s what people did: they read.  We didn’t have a phonograph until I was twelve, a radio until I was seventeen, or television until I was forty-six.

“So that left books.  When you rented a furnished house, it was equipped with furniture and books.  …Father would scout around for a furnished house.  “Furnished” in his lexicon meant furnished with books, hundreds being mandatory, thousands being preferable.  Colonel Terhune’s big house on the Speedway in Ocean Park had thousands of books, as did Times editor Harry Carr’s place on Mount Washington Drive, so the six or seven or eight of our family stayed in each house for over five years, until we had exhausted the supply,  a sort of omnivorous plague of indiscriminate readers.”