Monthly Archives: December 2011

A Very Merry Cricket, 1973

Not much has changed in the nearly 40 years since Chuck Jones directed "A Very Merry Cricket".  There is still the mad rushing around from this store to that one, the short tempers, the car horns, and the endless mall parking lots ("…wherever did I park that car?" you very well could be asking yourself about right now.)  

But the perfect antidote to all that madness, is to take a 25 minute break, right now if you can, and enjoy this beautifully animated television special that was released late in 1973 after the success of Chuck's animated interpretation of George Selden's beloved "A Cricket in Times Square."  Merry Christmas!

 

Linda Jones Clough to Be Interviewed Tomorrow on Womensradio.com

Susan Brender of "V is for Vitality" a weekly program on WomensRadio.com will be posting her interview with Linda Jones Clough, Chuck Jones's daughter tomorrow, Wednesday, December 21st.  "V is for Vitality" features interviews with artists discussing how the arts play a vital role in maintaining youth and vitality. This show will discuss the fundamental importance of the arts in the mind-body-spirit relationship as a health strategy. 

Brender has 20 years experience as a television producer with diversified broadcasting experience in the Political, Entertainment, Legal, and Business arenas. She is the recipient of the ACE Award for (Best Program in an Educational Series):Teenagers: Drinking and Driving “A Killer.” She has recently directed her talents and energy working in communications and development for non-profits dedicated to arts and education and arts and health.

Linda Jones Clough, the Emmy Award-winning producer ("Peter and the Wolf", 1996, Best Prime Time Children's Program) is the founder of Linda Jones Enterprises, the art publishing and art gallery business she established in 1977 to distribute the art of her father, legendary animation pioneer, Chuck Jones. Today, Jones devotes much of her time to the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, the non-profit organization founded by Chuck Jones in 1999 to promote and encourage the creative spirit that resides in all of us through educational programs, art exhibits, film festivals that draw on the material in the Chuck Jones archive and Chuck Jones's unique teaching philosophy.  

The Grinch Lands in Columbus, Ohio– ‘Art of the Film’ Exhibit at Franklin Park Conservatory

The Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio working with the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity has mounted an exhibit of original art from the 1966 Chuck Jones directed and produced television special, "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas."  The exhibit is open to the public (it closes January 4th), for more information regarding the programs at the Conservatory or to visit, please go here.

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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like…The Chuck Jones Experience

Okay, it doesn't have the same lilting cadence, but Chuck Redux is here in Las Vegas where the temperature is frosty (no snowmen that we could see, but brrrr!), and we're ready to tell you that the Chuck Jones Experience is one amazing attraction.  Craig Kausen, Chuck's grandson, and I flew in yesterday to install the art exhibit at the Experience (more on that with photos tomorrow) and since this was the first time your author had seen it, I'm here to tell you that you won't believe how awesome it is. From the moment you walk in until the second you walk out — there is something fun to do, beautiful to see, and exciting to feel.  Fans of Chuck Jones, actually I'm going to include everyone who is a fan of animation and great cartoons, is going to find this experience, the Chuck Jones Experience, thrilling and that is not just me being hyperbolic.  Forthwith, some photos:

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When you first enter, you encounter Tareco Drive, the street that Chuck lived on in the Hollywood Hills for many years.  The name of the street was derived from Tarbell Realty Company (Ta-Re-Co) who had developed and sold much of the property.

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Tareco Drive will take you past the Chuck Jones Theater, where you'll…

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…stop to watch a cartoon and maybe a short film on the life of Chuck Jones or some other aspect of the world of animation, while you're there, you may even run into…

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…the awesome designer of the Experience, John Ramirez, a creative genius who knew Chuck Jones and has created some of the world's great theme park attractions, floats and other spectacles that entertain and amuse.  He's tops in our book!

Speaking of running into people (were we?)…while you're there, you never know who you might get to meet…

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…there's always the chance that Chuck's grandson and chairman of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, Craig Kausen (seen standing left speaking with designer John Ramirez–seated–and Neil Cantor–whose committment to this project is without peer–and to the right, guests John and his son, Michael.) 

When you exit the Chuck Jones Theater, you might want to look down…

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…because you might just discover that you're standing on the manhole cover over the sewer where your 100,000 bad drawings drain away.  You do know that story, don't you?  About the 100,000 bad drawings?  Chuck had an art teacher at Chouinard Art Institute in the 1920s who told his class, "You birds have 100,000 bad drawings in you, start getting rid of them now!"

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 You'll not be surprised to run into your friends, Daffy W. Griffith and his cameraman, Bugs Bunny as they film….but, i've gotta run and get to work putting the finishing touches on the art installationsin Chuck's office, the "Measure Up" room and the museum, plus much, much more!

Send in the Clowns: Chuck Jones and Ringling Bros. Clown College

Chuck Jones met the clown TJ Tatters, also known as Steve Smith, in the early 1990s.  Smith, a graduate of the Ringling Bros. Clown College and its director from 1985 until 1995, invited Jones down to Sarasota, Florida on several occasions to speak with the students.  As was his nature, Chuck gifted many of the students a drawing of their favorite Warner Bros. character.  On one such trip he drew this:
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 This past September, the Clowns (past, present and future) got together on Cape Cod for a reunion and to celebrate Chuck's birthday, Valerie Kausen, Chuck's granddaughter went out to join them in their festivities.  

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“Being at the Clown College Reunion made my heart so happy to feel the love and respect that each and every one of those fabulous laugh loving people loved Chuck as much as I do. My face hurt from smiling so much. I had such a great time!", said Valerie, seen here with Steve Smith (aka TJ Tatters), Clown Hall of Fame member, and the talent development coordinator for Chuck Jones Film Productions, in Provincetown this past September for their Reunion.