Tag Archives: animated

“It Held Me Smellbound.”

When Chuck Jones's 1949 short animated film starring Pepé le Pew, "For Scent-i-mental Reasons" won the Oscar for best short animated film at the Oscars held in March of 1950, he received many congratulatory telegrams (of course, he did not get the actual Oscar statuette, that honor was bestowed upon the producer, the irascible Eddie Selzer), but of all of the congratulations, the telegram below, from the inimitable Tex Avery is perhaps the most delightful.  This artfact will be on display at the soon-to-open Chuck Jones Experience at Circus Circus in Las Vegas.




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                MEDIA CONTACT:  Kim Sudhalter, Urban Legend PR, 213-369-6062 or kim@urbanlegendpr.com

 HOLLYWOOD, CA, August 22, 2011 – The legacy and creativity of Chuck Jones, one of animation’s pioneering director-producers, will be brought to life with the opening of The Chuck Jones Experience, an interactive exhibit at Circus Circus Las Vegas designed to “Educate, Inspire & Entertain” people of all ages. The attraction will celebrate its grand opening in mid-October with a press conference featuring some of animation’s brightest stars.

A four-time Academy Award-recipient, Jones created some of today’s most beloved and enduring animated characters including Wile E. Coyote, Road Runner and Pepé le Pew among many others.  In 1999, with the establishment of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, Chuck Jones envisioned a time when people of all ages could explore their creativity…when all ideas would be welcome, when inspiration would be nurtured without prejudice, and creativity would blossom and grow. The Chuck Jones Experience, utilizing the art, writings and films of Jones, will nurture that spirit of creativity in an environment that is playful, lively, inspirational and educational. The project is being developed by Jones’ grandson, Craig Kausen, Jones’ daughter, Linda Jones Clough, and a group of Chuck Jones fans who have believed in and supported its creation for years.

“My grandfather said that if you provide the right materials and an environment of love, creative magic will come out of young people,” said Kausen. “The Chuck Jones Experience will provide kids, and animation fans of all ages, with an extraordinary place to not only learn about the art of animation, but to discover the creativity and magic that’s inside us all. We are thrilled to kick off Chuck’s Centennial year with the opening of this exciting new venture.”

The Chuck Jones Experience is a nearly 10,000 square-foot destination. At its entrance is the 1,000 square-foot glass-enclosed Chuck Jones Center for Creativity class room where creative art projects will be encouraged and guided by teachers from the field of animation and the arts. Heading inside, your first stop is the Chuck Jones Theatre, designed to simulate a 1930s-style movie theater. There, you’ll meet Chuck Jones via a short film, introduced by one of his characters, the Connecticut Cat.

Moving on, you’ll walk down a virtual street surrounded by many of Jones’ most memorable characters and a timeline of his extraordinary life. Next, you’ll arrive at a re-creation of Jones’ studio, where you’ll see how he worked, and discover what inspired him to create his beloved characters. From there, you‘ll enter the “How Do You Measure Up?” room where 3-D characters are on display.  You’ll learn more about how characters are developed and experience some of the original key drawings Jones drew during the creation of these characters.

Continuing along, you can view some of Jones’ fine art work from various periods in his life and see classic photos of him, his fellow animators and his family. This leads into “Animation Alley,” a multimedia wall where animation pieces are on display from the permanent collection of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and from other animation studios and collections.

Finally, you’ll arrive at the Acme Workshop, where you can create your own sound effects and voiceovers for a Chuck Jones cartoon at the Chuck Jones Experience Foley Stage. You can commemorate your experience forever at the Chuck Jones Experience Gift Shop with a variety of creative gifts and souvenirs.

“My father knew that creativity was the key to any innovation and breakthrough and therefore it must be encouraged and supported in order for society to succeed,” added Jones Clough. “It has been our family’s dream to develop locations where creativity could flourish. We established the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity in Orange County, CA, as a first step in bringing this vision to life. The opening of The Chuck Jones Experience represents a delightful next step in making creativity accessible to everyone, whether they’re visiting Las Vegas, or living nearby.”

“We are pleased to be joining forces with such a great partner as Circus Circus to make this project a reality,” continued Kausen. “Creative inspiration can be achieved in a very short time and being on vacation is a perfect time to tap into it.  Circus Circus is well known for the fun and wonderment it inspires in guests, and it’s a crossroads for travelers from around the world. These qualities make it a great location for The Chuck Jones Experience.”

The Chuck Jones Experience is an exciting addition to our assortment of family-friendly entertainment offerings at Circus Circus and we are honored to become home to such a fascinating interactive attraction,” said Don Thrasher, president and chief operating officer of Circus Circus. “This experience is unlike anything else in Las Vegas and it is certain to create hours of fun and enlightenment for guests of all ages.”

"Speaking on behalf of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, I am very excited that the programs which have been so successful here will be accessible by a much broader group of people at The Chuck Jones Experience,” said Tracy Tanner, president of the Chuck Jones Council for Creativity.

About Chuck Jones:

Chuck Jones created the legendary Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts for Warner Bros. Tom & Jerry cartoons and the TV version of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas for MGM, along with many other well-known classics such as The Phantom Tollbooth, George Selden’s The Cricket in Times Square, Rudyard Kipling’s Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and The White Seal.

About Circus Circus Las Vegas

The hallmark of the 3,767-room Circus Circus Las Vegas lies under the legendary Big Top, where celebrated circus acts perform on the Midway Stage as part of the world's largest permanent circus.  The Adventuredome, America’s largest indoor theme park, offers five acres of climate-controlled fun for all ages.  Guests of Circus Circus may dine in a variety of restaurants including THE Steak House, rated the best steakhouse by Zagat and recognized a record 20 times in Las Vegas Review-Journal’s “Best of Las Vegas” awards, and Rock & Rita’s, where flair bartenders and live music enliven the scene.  Circus Circus also offers a casino, wedding chapel, meeting and convention space and a 30-acre RV park.  Circus Circus is a wholly owned subsidiary of MGM Resorts International™ (NYSE: MGM).  For more information and reservations, visit www.circuscircus.com or call toll free at (800) 634-3450 or find us on Facebook and Twitter.


“I’m in the Money” — Chuck Jones Image of the Day

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Daffy Duck doesn’t just do rich; he does ‘comfortably well-off!’  “I’m in the Money” depicts this despot of ducks drowning in ducats and buckets of lucre.  Talk about bling.

Daffy Duck doesn’t want to share and says so.  Reminiscing about his childhood once, Chuck Jones spoke about how we learn to be socially acceptable by telling the story of a birthday party given for his 6th or 7th year.  A beautiful cake had been lovingly prepared by his mother and when he, presented with the cake and a knife with which to cut slices for the other celebrants, stated “I won’t be needing the knife as I don’t plan on sharing the cake with anyone,” and was then quickly whisked away from the table and spent the rest of his birthday alone in his room contemplating the difference between what we really want and what is considered acceptable behavior in polite society. 

“It is never a struggle for [Daffy] to determine his priorities.  Daffy does what we would like to do if we had the guts. 

"Good comedy arises from the ability to bring to the surface, without shame, parts of yourself you would rather keep hidden.  A character such as Daffy can act out things that you are not particularly interested in having anyone associate with you, but that you are perfectly willing to associate with someone you draw.

"He is so honest that it hurts.  Underlying his avariciousness, sneakiness, and selfishness is an admirable will to survive.”  Chuck Jones, Chuck Reducks 

I’m in the Money is a limited edition fine art reproduction on canvas and has been lovingly created from an original oil painting by Chuck Jones (pictured on page 146 of Chuck Reducks, Drawing from the Fun Side of Life and on page 81 of Stroke of Genius: A Collection of Paintings and Musings on Life, Love and Art by Chuck Jones.)  

“Abominable Snow Rabbit” — Chuck Jones Image of the Day

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"The Abominable Snow Rabbit" shoveled its way into theaters on May 20, 1961.  Directed by Chuck Jones (and co-directed by Maurice Noble) the cartoon finds our intrepid heroes (Bugs Bunny & Daffy Duck) on their way to Palm Springs, which is all fine and well, except they took that wrong turn at _________ (according to Daffy they should've turned west at East St. Louis,) whatever, (have you ever noticed that Bugs's sense of direction is, well, a bit off, especially when he's tunneling underground?   This is hardly the first time such a 'wrong turn at __________' has thrown our man in Havana — excuse me — our rabbit in the Himalayas off course.)  

But I digress.  The drawing above is a rough layout drawing by Chuck Jones of Daffy Duck when first introduced to the Abominable Snowman.  It is graphite on 12 field animation paper and if you watch this clip carefully you will see how closely Chuck's animators (for this film: Ken Harris, Richard Thompson, Bob Bransford, and Tom Ray) hew to his layouts.  

Where in the World is Oscar?

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Chuck Jones's Oscar for his 1965 short animated film, "The Dot and the Line" is seen in the lovely hands of Stephanie (left) and Val, his flight attendants yesterday.  Stephanie, when first seeing Oscar is quoted as saying, "Shut the front door!"  

Oscar is  scheduled to make an appearance this evening…stay tuned for more.  

Image of the Day: The Scarlet Pumpernickel (Strike that! It’s the th-cript of the day!)

What struck us about Chuck Jones' 1950 short animated cartoon, "The Scarlet Pumpernickel" was not just that he's paying homage to Errol Flynn sword & dagger-type melodramas that were so popular with movie-goers of the time (and coincidentally, skewering them), but also how contemporary this kind of costume drama is (you know the kind, where every actor — usually British — has a major/minor/cameo role all wrapped up in the service of art.)  Here's the first page of the script, edited, we imagine, on the fly, during the recording (remember, there was no extra money for post-production work); it should give you a good idea of the machinations and inside workings of both Jones' and Maltese's creativity.  (The cartoon is below this, you can read along…)

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Today is the 44th Anniversary of “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” TV Special

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Above and below are pre-production mixed media (graphite, colored pencil and marker pen on paper) concept drawings by Chuck Jones for his 1966 TV special "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" that aired December 18, 1966 on CBS, pre-empting Lassie.

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"Cindy-Lou Who surprises the Grinch.  I drew Cindy-Lou to appear like a great-grandchild of the Grinch, but with everything right where he is wrong."–Chuck Jones

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Boris Karloff narrated, June Foray was the voice of Cindy-Lou Who and Thurl Ravenscroft (the voice of Tony the Tiger) sang "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," which was composed by Albert Hague with lyrics by Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss.)  

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"'Christmas day will always be, just as long as we have we."

Image of the Day: Claws for Alarm

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"Maurice–Can you get a sort of malevolent face out of this bldg.?", asks Chuck Jones of famed layout designer, Maurice Noble, regarding Noble's design for Scene 3 of the 1954 Jones directed "Claws for Alarm" (production #1288.)  Porky and Sylvester star in this spooky animated cartoon that finds them spending the night in a haunted hotel in the ghost town they've found themselves in.  Porky blithely overlooks all of the creepy aspects (nooses, mooses, and mouse eyes,) but Sylvester is wise to what's going on and guards Porky throughout a hilarious sequence of frightening events.  A classic!