Category Archives: Quote of the Day

Critical Opinions on Chuck Jones’s Work

We're in the midst of a big scanning project here, digitizing press and publicity from the past couple of decades so that we can share it with you at some point in the future as a resource on ChuckJonesCenter.org. Today, a sheet of paper, a photocopy really, surfaced that had a series of comments from a variety of writers, historians, and critics about the work of Chuck Jones. They're just too wonderful not to share them with you now. 

"Chuck Jones is considered by many to be no less than a seminal figure in the development of the animated film." –Alex Ward, Washington Post

"He has made moviegoers laugh as often and as well as Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. His work is among the best of American film comedy." —Jay Cocks, TIME Magazine

"Chuck Jones is a worldly-wise child who knows animation downside up and outside in and can also do a perfect imitation of a cat swimming…" –Joseph Morgenstern, Newsweek Magazine

"[With animation becoming a vital part of modern cinema] is Chuck Jones the real successor to Walt Disney? Many knowledgeable observers of the scene think so." –Dr. Richard MacCann, Professor, University of Kansas in an introduction to an evening with Chuck Jones at the University in 1967.

University of Kansas Jayhawker 1967 cropped copy

"I may get an argument from people franticallly pointing at light bulbs, but yesterday I met the greatest inventor in the world, a man far greater than Edison–and funnier–Chuck Jones…" –Herbert Lockwood, San Diego Daily Transcript

"Since Jones never made topical jokes, his stuff remains, like all good fables and only the best art, both timeless and universal." –Peter Bogdonavich, Film Director, writing in Esquire Magazine

"For more than a generation, Chuck Jones has been one of the most imaginative and accomplished film makers in the America…" –Jeff Simon, Buffalo Evening News

Ray Bradbury and Chuck Jones

With the passing of Ray Bradbury this week, it brought to mind a wonderful quote from him when he was at a birthday party celebrating Jones's 55th.  Someone asked Bradbury what he would like to be when he grew up and he replied, "I want to be 14 years old, just like Chuck Jones."

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Chuck Jones (r) and Ray Bradbury enjoying each other's company.  

ACME Quicksand, the Tool Drawer, and a Spiny Frog

Chuck Jones Homage artist, Bob Elias, dropped by the other day to show us his progress on a new painting he's been working on of Road Runner with Wile E. Coyote mired in a puddle of ACME Quicksand.

"The Coyote is a history of my own frustration and war with all tools, multiplied only slightly. I can remember my wife and daughter would start to weep bitterly and seek hiding places whenever they saw me head toward the tool drawer, if only to hang a picture. I have never reached into that devilish drawer without starting a chain of errors and disasters of various but inevitable proportions. Like any other man, I would rather succeed in what I can't do than do what I have successfully done before. I have never reached into that drawer without encountering one of those spiny things you stick flowers in. We don't keep that thing in that drawer, but it is always there. I count it a good day when I get only one spine under a fingernail. I tried to get the spiny thing out of the drawer once, but found out that the last time, when it had stuck to four fingers at once and had been lifted a few inches out of its next in the resulting shriek, it had fallen on a tube of glue, puncturing the tube and affixing itslef to the drawer for all time. I have tried lackadaisicallly from time to time to remove it, and have succeeded in breaking a rattail file, a kitchen knife, three fingernails, a nailfile, a pair of manicure scissors, an eggbeater (in one of my more fanciful efforts), and a window, when the tail of the rattail file separated from the rattail file." –Chuck Jones, writing in his 1989 autobiography, "Chuck Amuck, the Life and Times of a Animated Cartoonist"

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Chuck Jones Homage artist Bob Elias on the left with this blog's author posing with a painting of quicksand that also includes Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner. And yes, you're not mistaken, those are Christmas decorations hanging up above our heads. We would have taken them down sooner, but decided that we liked their resemblance to planets and outer space, so left them until just the other day, when they finally were removed and stored for another time. Time is relative, is it not?

P.S. What did this post have to do with spiny frogs? Leave a comment if you think you know why. Who knows the first person to answer correctly may win something! 

The Difference Between Truth and Falsity

We stumbled upon this note from Chuck Jones the other day as we do and thought it was worth sharing with you.  His hand-writing has been translated below for your easy reading pleasure. 

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The dot makes the line.

"My little dot goes for a walk." Kandinski [sic]  (editor's note: this paraphrases a quote by artist Paul Klee, "A line is a dot that went for a walk.")

"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -Mark Twain

And the difference between the right line and the almost right line is the difference between truth and falsity.

Chuck Jones Quote for the Day: Marvelous Confidence

"I have come to know Bugs so well that I no longer have to think about what he is doing in any situation. I let the part of me that is Bugs come to the surface, knowing, with regret, that I can never match his marvelous confidence."

–Chuck Jones, page 26, Stoke of Genius, A Collection of Paintings and Musings on Life, Love and Art

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Chuck Jones Quote of the Day: Sensible Rules for Marriage

"The purpose of making films is to delight. The purpose of making films is to excite. The purpose of making films is to have fun. Not a bad set of rules for a marriage-which needs some sensible rules. Do these rules apply only to your expected audience? No, they only apply to you."

–Chuck Jones, page 62, Stroke of Genius, A Collection of Paintings and Musings on Life, Love and Art

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Actor Geoffrey Rush on Chuck Jones

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Academy Award-winning actor, Geoffrey Rush (currently in "The King's Speech and nominated this morning for a Best Supporting Oscar for his role!) is also a noted stage actor.  Soon to be appearing at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) in Gogol's "The Diary of a Madman," Rush had this to say about the role he is playing:

"Gogol walks this very knife-edge, fine line between a very sharp observation of someone's descent into madness and, at the same time, playing fairly deliciously with their own sense of delusion," the actor says. Discovering his character, he says, was like constantly having "a Daffy Duck moment — where, you know, his beak has suddenly been smashed around to the back of his face."

"We took a lot of inspiration from [Warner Bros. animation director] Chuck Jones," Rush says. "He said, 'Bugs Bunny is the person we would probably all like to be. Daffy Duck is the person we probably really are.' So it's a comment on that level of self-delusion — [on] what our aspirations might be and how short they might fall."

Read the entire article at NPR.org or by clicking here

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.

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"The Persistence of Carrots" fine art limited edition hand-pulled lithograph by Chuck Jones.

Happy Thanksgiving, constant readers, we appreciate you!