Here's a photo of Chuck Jones's hands with a Blackwing 602.
Stephen Worth, the art historian for ASIFA-Hollywood has written a detailed account of the impact that the artist and animator, Grim Natwick, had on the nascent animation film community. Natwick's story is the story of animation in America and I think you'll find it a marvelously entertaining and informative read (plus there's a terrific short interview with Natwick about Ub Iwerks, where he met and worked with a young animator named Chuck Jones.)
Our friends (and cartoon co-conspirators) at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity are gearing up for some changes on their blogs, both at ChuckJonesCenter.org and our sister blog, Now Hare This! Make sure you add them to your RSS feed or even better, sign up for the newsletter & blog updates!
One of the new features coming to the blogs is called "The Chuck Jones Character of the Week": Starting this Wednesday, you will see a new weekly feature on their blogs called, “The Chuck Jones Character of the Week.” In the spirit of Chuck’s ideas and creations, we will be writing a short feature on a different character each Wednesday. Although our initial character has already been selected, we will be taking nominations for next week’s winner and beyond. Feel free to comment on our Facebook, Twitter or blog comments page with your nominations! Whether it’s your favorite character or a character you don’t think gets enough recognition–let us know! We’ll look through the nominations to see which characters are mentioned most often, factoring your nominations into each week’s selection.
Also: This Friday, the Center will be taking part in the 2011 Take the Lead program at Cal State Fullerton. This annual teen summit promotes volunteerism, develops leadership skills and increases social awareness among high school students. While tickets to the summit are going for $20, students who use the “Chuck Jones Center” name can register for $10! Last year, our workshop was the highest-rated session of the day. Craig Kausen, Chuck Jones’ grandson, guided last year’s workshop and returns on Friday with Christopher Scardino for “Get Creative,” a hands-on, wildly imaginative session. Take the Lead is a great opportunity for young people to get involved in the community, learn important life skills, meet new people — and have fun while doing it. If you or someone you know is interested, you can register at Take the Lead. We look forward to seeing you there!
The wonderful folks at ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive recently came across a 1974 article Chuck Jones wrote for them about being an artist, animator, poet, writer, musician (or anyone who works in the arts, for that matter.)
"A young man was once sent fresh from Columbia University with a mutual friend’s introduction to Robert Frost. Frost scanned the young man’s writings, then looking quizzically up through his craggy white brows he asked, “What do you do, son?” The young man drew himself up proudly; he was, after all, one with the great Frost. “I am a poet,” he said. Frost gently answered, “The term ‘poet’ is a gift word, son; you cannot give it to yourself.”"
Jones continues at length about the importance of your work as an animator and what the possibilities are for animation in the now and in the future. It's a fascinatingly good read, click here to read it! To learn more about ASIFA-Hollywood, click on their name.
P.S. There are also several awesome Chuck Jones layout drawings accompanying the text.
Digital media maven and radio personality, Kim Komando, recently selected Chuck Jones's 1955 masterpiece, the animated short film "One Froggy Evening" as her favorite cartoon of all time. Citing Steven Spielberg "The "Citizen Kane" of animated film" and the National Film Registry "culturally significant", Komando calls it a "wonderful classic." (Of course, we agree!) Thank you Kim, for the rave and for your love of Chuck Jones cartoons! To watch the cartoon and read her post click on Kim Komando. To visit Kim's website, click here.
Writing for Investment Business Daily and excerpted in Business Management Daily, writer Curt Schleier distills some of the points that Chuck Jones makes about his successful career:
"Even as a little kid, cartoon creator and producer Chuck Jones grabbed opportunities.
Jones credits his career to his father’s string of business failures. Every time the old man launched a business, he’d print nice stationery and buy promotional pencils. Using those cast-off tools, Jones drew and drew.
Eventually, he went on to create Daffy Duck, Road Runner, Pepe Le Pew and Wile E. Coyote. He also breathed new life into Bugs Bunny.
Some secrets to his success:
He perceived each character individually. It started with the family cat, Johnson, whose favorite food was grapefruit and who enjoyed swimming in the Pacific Ocean.
Johnson was “different than other cats. … That laid the groundwork, so when I got to doing Daffy Duck or Bugs Bunny or Coyote, [I understood] that’s it’s not all coyotes, that it’s the particular coyote. Wile E. Coyote, genius. That’s what he calls himself. He’s different.”
In this 1948 short cartoon directed by Chuck Jones, Daffy Duck is first seen as a down-on-his-luck peddler peddling (that is what peddlers do, they peddle) gags on a street corner in a busy metropolis, when he overhears a radio report about a dying gazillionaire (my word) who would pay anyone a million dollars if they could only make him laugh before he passes on to his great reward.
At the blog, What About Thad?, the author, Thad Komorowski, who, by the way, is a great source of knowledge about animated films, has written an interesting article on the short, "Daffy Dilly" delving into the relationship each of Jones' animators had with the Warner Bros. characters, Daffy particularly, their drawing strengths, and Jones's use of their talents. He has also posted an excellent copy of the cartoon, which I think all of you will agree is a perfect example of how Chuck Jones's work with the character of Daffy is so different from that of the other directors (Freleng and McKimson, particularly.)
On September 21st, the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity was proud to participate in the International Day of Peace at the Orange County Center for Living Peace. To learn more about the work of the Center for Living Peace, please visit their website at www.goodhappens.org.
"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.
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.