Tag Archives: Ben Washam

The Linda Jones Clough Archive: Ode to the Washam Wedding

Chuck Jones’s daughter, Linda Jones Clough, will be posting weekly, material from her personal archive of writings and ephemera created by her father over the course of his lifetime. Today, she presents “Ode the Washam Wedding” a poem Chuck Jones wrote celebrating the wedding anniversary of his friend and colleague, Ben Washam. It is important to note that Chuck was intimate friends with his animators throughout his career.

Linda recounted that as a four-year old, Ben Washam’s wife, Eddie, was one of her favorite visitors–always ready with a lap and a kind word.

From: Chuck Jones

To: Ben and Eddie Washam

Re: Eighth wedding anniversary, October 1942

ODE TO THE WASHAM WEDDING

Happy wedding anniversary to the Washams. I.E.: to Benny and Eddie,

Who apparently have gone together for a long time. Steady.

From where I sit it looks like you have been married since nineteen

thirty-four. To be exact, in October.

Were you sober?

Or were you drunk with love or liquor.

And so woke up the next morning with a screaming headache thinking

you had never felt worse or been sicquor?

Eight years is a good long time to have been married.

Some people I know quite well would rather be hari-karied.

But I want you to know that marriage is a thing that I spend a good deal

of time endorsing.

It’s better than horsing

And being a general gadabout,

Even though some irresponsible wolves may be madabout

You.

Pew!

Just remember that when you’re a hundred and nine years old and not

married and not pretty.

It’s pretty s—-y.

(That line is only dirty if you make it so.

I might have meant ‘sweaty’ if you pronounced ‘pretty’ ‘pretty’

instead of ‘pritty’, or I might have meant ‘sweety’ if you

pronounced ‘pretty’ ‘preety’ like Mexicans do, no?)

Well, anyway, you dirty-minded little couple you, Happy Birthday to

the inception of your connubial bliss.

Do you realize this:

For twenty-nine hundred and nineteen nights Benny has been saying:

“Beddie?”

And Eddie answers, “Ready.”

Ben Washam, contemporary to the poem. Alas, no photo of Eddie Washam to share.

Ben Washam, contemporary to the poem. Alas, no photo of Eddie Washam to share.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Hare Conditioned”

We can't let Friday slip by without a Chuck Jones cartoon.  "Hare Conditioned" dropped into theaters nationwide on August 11, 1945 starring Bugs Bunny–"A rabbit's woik is never done"–and a character based on Throckmorton P. (Philharmonic) Gildersleeve, a popular character from radio's "Fibber McGee and Molly".  Much hilarity ensues.  Directed by Charles M. Jones with story by Tedd Pierce.  Animation provided by Ken Harris, Ben Washam, Basil Davidovich and Lloyd Vaughn.  

 

Image of the Day: Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas

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Original production cel from “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” directed by Chuck Jones.

This is what it took to complete the 24-minute film of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas:  Gestation period eleven to fourteen months, finding the voices (Boris Karloff, June Foray and Thurl Ravenscroft,) recording them, writing the music (Albert Hague, music; Theodore Geisel, lyrics), drawing hundreds of key character layouts (Chuck Jones), designing a couple of hundred backgrounds (Maurice Noble), painting all of those backgrounds (Phil DeGuard), animating more than 15,000 usable drawings (Ken Harris, Abe Levitow, Ben Washam, Dick Thompson), and having them all painted, shot, and dubbed (putting sound effects, music, dialogue and film together.)  Of the 15,000 usable drawings, approximately 40,000 to 50,000 were discarded.  250 backgrounds, 250 background layout drawings, 1,200 character layout drawings, 4,500 unusable and dispensable character layout drawings, sixty musicians for eight hours, a composer for six months, a sound editor for four weeks.

Image of the Day: Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Max)

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Original model drawing of Max by Chuck Jones, mixed media on 12 field (12.5" x 10.5") animation paper.

Character, not plot, evokes our film and book
memories.  In designing and building the
characters that inhabit an animated film, Chuck Jones, along with his
tremendously talented crew (Maurice Noble, Ben Washam et al.), have always
relied on the character to provide the motivation that propels the action of
the film.  

"Max the dog has a skimpy, scraggly, horizontal,
pear-shaped body, a sad snout, and forlorn eyes.  [Dr. Seuss described him as “Everydog—all
love and limpness and loyalty.]"–Chuck Jones, Chuck Reducks