Tag Archives: caricature

New in the Gallery: Caricatures by Thornton Hee (AKA T. Hee)

It’s hard to believe, but this is the 85th birthday of Warner Bros. Animation. You have to imagine a group of young men, many in their mid-20s, employed in animation during the Great Depression. How will they entertain themselves? One way was through caricature. Each of them in their own style would skewer the uppity, rib(ald) the randy, and generally make good-natured fun of their associates. The Chuck Jones Gallery is pleased to present a collection for sale of caricatures of animators, directors, story writers, and others from the hand of Thornton Hee.

Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng as imagined by T. Hee.

Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng as imagined by T. Hee. For information about the availability of these drawings, please contact your Chuck Jones Gallery art consultant. Phone numbers available at the end of the post.

Thornton Hee was one of these young men. Although his legendary status was in its formative years, he was noted for his quick wit and sharp pencil. Hee is known for working at the biggest and the best Hollywood studios, such as Disney, directing the “Dance of the Hours” segment of “Fantasia”. Later he worked at UPA (United Productions of America) where he was responsible for story and designs for many of their classic Mr. Magoo, Gerald McBoing Boing, and other one-shot cartoons.

Tex Avery by Thornton Hee

Tex Avery by Thornton Hee

But, for two years, 1935-36, T. Hee helped revolutionize the Warner Bros. animation style. His designs for the caricatures of Hollywood movie stars were used in the classic Tex Avery short, “The Coo Coo Nut Grove”, as well as one of Bob Clampett’s shorts, “Russian Rhapsody”.

Ken Harris wasn't safe either from the razor sharp wit of T. Hee.

Ken Harris wasn’t safe either from the razor sharp wit of T. Hee.

Years later, T. Hee, along with veteran Disney director, Jack Hannah, became the heads of the character animation department at CalArts; he later became the chairman of the Fine Arts department at the school.

Tedd Pierce got the Hee treatment.

Tedd Pierce got the Hee treatment.

Hee-Cal Dalton-PB399-1450 Hee-Melvin (Tubby) Millar-PB396-1800

Chuck Jones Gallery–San Diego: 888-294-9880

Chuck Jones Gallery–Costa Mesa: 866-248-2556

Chuck Jones Gallery–Santa Fe: 800-290-5999

Notes on “Another Froggy Evening,” Part 2

Last Friday, we posted a photograph of Chuck Jones taken during the recording session for his 1996 Michigan J. Frog short animated film, "Another Froggy Evening."  (Read and see it here.) One of our faithful readers, Brent, responded with a question, "Who are those men in the Roman Coliseum?"  Some of you may have recognized Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert as the larger caricatures, but who are all those other people, you may have thought (out loud or to yourself?)  

Well, thanks to some help from the inimitable Rose Long who worked at Chuck Jones Film Productions in the 1990s we can now tell you who is who.

Siskel 300dpi I D copy

1. Tina Raleigh, 2. Don Arioli, 3. Rose Long, 4. Chuck Jones, 5. Michael Breton, 6. Ben Jones, 7. Herman Sharaf, 8. Warren O'Neill, 9. Greg Whitaker, 10. Tod Polson, 11. Lawrence Marvit, 12. Steve Fossati, 13. Bob Givens, 14. Linda Jones Clough, 15. Greg Duffel, 16. Tom Decker, 17. Jill Petrilak, 18. Charlie Puzzo, 19. Ted Bemiller, 20. Mike Polvani, 21. Stan Freberg

Siskel 300dpi copy

Chuck Jones Center for Creativity Art Program Decorates for the Holidays!

On Sunday, November 7th, the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity held an art program for 6 Orange County, California Girl Scout Troops (a total of 26 girls!)  Our teaching artists (all volunteer) Jamie Sugarman and Elisa Hastings led the girls through several processes, one of which was "Litter-ally It's Art" where they created multi-dimensional sculptures from found and recycled objects.  


Another part of the day was spent reversing colors in Chuck Jones artwork to create a new mood and to experience how color can affect one's emotional perspective.

Ms. Sugarman, a former Disney caricature artist, led a group of nine girls in a session where they decorated the windows of not only the Center, but also two adjacent businesses, the restaurant "Byblos" and the children's vintage clothing store, "Hope Chests."





All-in-all it was a great way to spend a Sunday!  

Photos courtesy Vicki Woods, Girl Scout Troop leader and member of the Chuck Jones Council for Creativity, the volunteer community ambassadors for the Center.  If you would like to volunteer at the Center, please contact Pam Marsden, Program Director at 949-660-7793.