Tag Archives: Charlie Chaplin

From Crickets to Coyotes and Everything In-between! Red Dot Auction Update!

So much awesomeness! Artists, where do you get all of your ideas? The theme this year, as it has been in the past, was “The Life and Times of Chuck Jones”. Chuck was born in 1912 and passed away in 2002; his nine decade life spanned most of the 20th century as well as the history of the animated film. He was interested in, no, let me put that another way, he was fascinated by everything in the world around him. A voracious reader, Chuck Jones cited influences as diverse as Mark Twain and Carlos Santayana; and from the actor and director Charlie Chaplin to the grapefruit-loving Johnson the Cat.  Nothing was too small not to catch his attention.

That gave our artists for this year’s Red Dot Auction a lot to consider and to be inspired by as witnessed in the works below.

What’s that you say? You haven’t bought your tickets for the Red Dot Auction on Friday, May 1 from 7 to 10 PM? What are you waiting for? They’re just $25 per person online (click here) or $35 per at the door. Be there or be square (just like the canvases!)

Mel Blanc, pyrography (wood burning) on wood, 12" square.

Mel Blanc, pyrography (wood burning) on wood, 12″ square.

Claude and Frisky Puppy, colored pencil on canvas,

Claude and Frisky Puppy, colored pencil on canvas, 12″ square.

"Roughing It" acrylic on canvas, 12" square.

“Roughing It” acrylic on canvas, 12″ square.

Cricket and Kandinsky, digital art on paper, 12" square.

Cricket and Kandinsky, digital art on paper, 12″ square.


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

Image of the Day: The Kid


"The Kid" hand-painted cel art edition by Chuck Jones

"I was raised in Hollywood when the great comedians were at the top of their power, and I soon realized that–just like our temporarily demented cat Othello–what they looked like had nothing to do with what they were.  It was how they moved that made them what they were…

"From 1918 to 1920, the Jones clan lived in an orange grove directly across the street from Hollywood High School on Sunset Boulevard.  if I thought about the matter at all, I would not have considered myslf privileged. 

"And, as far as I knew, any other boy in the self-same world could, by walking two blocks to Charlie Chaplin's studio at La Brea Avenue and looking through an open-link fence, watch Chaplin at work, which, I am sorry to say, I often found deadly dull.  I loved his films; so easy, so natural, so appealing to my sense of rebelliousness and anarchy, they were a complete contrast to the endless repetition of the filming itself, which I found almost unbearably tiresome.

"One evening I lost faith in both my father and Chaplin when my father came home to tell us that he had seen Chaplin shoot a single fifteen-second scene 132 times.  He was trying to perfect the little choppy run he used when he was being chased around a corner.  To simulate running on ice, he put down an oilcloth and oiled it, but his feet kept going out from under him–131 times!  Either my father was lying (a possibility I could not ignore) or Chaplin didn't know what he was doing (another possibility, which observation had taught me I could not ignore either.)

"Why," I asked myself, "not do it right in the first place?  Can't he learn how to do it by watching his own movies?"  Everything was always right the first time in the movies!"  — Chuck Jones writing in Chuck Reducks, Drawing from the Fun Side of Life