Tag Archives: Chris Bailey

Chuck 102Gether at the Alex Theatre — A Terrific Event!

If you were at the Alex Theatre this past Sunday, September 21st for Chuck 102Gether then you’ll know that the following is not hyperbole: IT WAS AN AWESOME AFTERNOON!

Outside the Alex Theatre

Outside the Alex Theatre

First, there’s the Alex Theatre itself…an Art Deco pile on Brand Blvd. in Glendale that is absolutely a knock-out–it’s just a good time being there! When you walk through the forecourt into the cool interior you just know you’re going to be treated to a film spectacle and Chuck 102Gether delivered just that.

A corner of the lobby of the Alex Theatre

A corner of the lobby of the Alex Theatre

Chuck 102Gether was a celebration of collaborative creativity…many family members of the original group of directors and artists who worked at Leon Schlesinger Studios, then Warner Bros. on the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies were in attendance: Sybil and Hope Freleng, Ruth Clampett, Linda Jones, Robert McKimson, Jr., and the children of Abe Levitow: Judy, Roberta, and Jon. Heck, even Leon Schlesinger’s relatives were there!

 

Juls Aspinall, right, meets Robert McKimson, Jr., the author of "I Say, I Say Son!" a biography of his father, director Robert McKimson, Sr.

Juls Aspinall, right, meets Robert McKimson, Jr., the author of “I Say, I Say Son!” a biography of his father, director Robert McKimson, Sr.

The afternoon got off to a rousing start with a screening of Chuck Jones’s classic, “Duck Amuck”, followed by introductory words from Linda Jones Clough, Chuck Joens’s daughter who introduced the Master of Ceremonies for the afternoon, George Daugherty (a world-class symphony orchestra conductor who regularly guest conducts for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, and other major ensembles. Creator and producer — with David Ka Lik Wong) of the “Bugs Bunny at the Symphony” and “Bugs Bunny on Broadway” touring concerts that have played to millions of people worldwide. He is also a five-time Emmy nominee, and Emmy Award-winning producer/writer/director/conductor of Chuck Jones’s “Peter and the Wolf.”

George Daugherty on the stage of the Alex Theatre with a photo of him and Chuck Jones at Warner Bros. in the early 1990s projected onto the screen behind him.

George Daugherty on the stage of the Alex Theatre with a photo of him and Chuck Jones at Warner Bros. in the early 1990s projected onto the screen behind him.

George was a fantastic M.C.! Not only because he worked closely with Chuck Jones for so many years, in fact, he said he considered Chuck a second father…his own father having been born on the same day as Chuck, but also because he’s a font of knowledge about the music, arranged and conducted by the amazing Carl Stalling, and shared many insights into the how and the why of the music used in the cartoons, particularly those of Friz Freleng, Chuck Jones, and Bob Clampett. Great stuff!

In between cartoons by Looney Tunes directors Tex Avery, Chuck Jones, Bob Clampett, Friz Freleng, and Robert McKimson, Sr. there were panel discussions about the directors and films we'd seen. This one is composed of Leith Adams, former Executive Director Warner Bros. Corporate Archives; Bill Kroyer, director of "Ferngully" and Director of Digital Arts at Chapman University; Tom Sito, now head of the Animation Department at USC's film school; Linda Jones Clough, Emmy Award-winning producer and founder of Linda Jones Enterprises.

In between cartoons by Looney Tunes directors Tex Avery, Chuck Jones, Bob Clampett, Friz Freleng, and Robert McKimson, Sr. there were panel discussions about the directors and films we’d seen. This one is composed of Leith Adams, former Executive Director Warner Bros. Corporate Archives; Bill Kroyer, director of “Ferngully” and Director of Digital Arts at Chapman University; Tom Sito, now head of the Animation Department at USC’s film school; Linda Jones Clough, Emmy Award-winning producer and founder of Linda Jones Enterprises.

The second panel was made up of three of the four "Dover Boys": Chris Bailey, Jeff DeGrandis, and Rob Minkoff along with the indomitable Eric Goldberg. Seen here with a photo of them meeting Chuck Jones for the first time in the early 1980s at CalArts. That's Jeff in the rabbit ears! Their list of credits is pretty impressive too: DeGrandis is the former producer of Nickelodeon's "Dora the Explorer" and is now a producer at DreamWorks; Chris Bailey was the director of the animated feature, "Hop"; Rob Minkoff was the director of "The Lion King", "Stuart Little", and "Mr. Peabody; and Eric Goldberg was the director of "Pocahontas" and the supervising animator of the Genie in "Aladdin".

The second panel was made up of three of the four “Dover Boys”: Chris Bailey, Jeff DeGrandis, and Rob Minkoff along with the indomitable Eric Goldberg. Seen here with a photo of them meeting Chuck Jones for the first time in the early 1980s at CalArts. That’s Jeff in the rabbit ears! Their list of credits is pretty impressive too: DeGrandis is the former producer of Nickelodeon’s “Dora the Explorer” and is now a producer at DreamWorks; Chris Bailey was the director of the animated feature, “Hop”; Rob Minkoff was the director of “The Lion King”, “Stuart Little”, and “Mr. Peabody; and Eric Goldberg was the director of “Pocahontas” and the supervising animator of the Genie in “Aladdin”.

Linda Jones Clough, right, with Tom Sito.

Linda Jones Clough, right, with Tom Sito.

Hope and Sybil Freleng

Hope and Sybil Freleng

Marian Jones, Chuck's widow, with Eric Goldberg

Marian Jones, Chuck’s widow, with Eric Goldberg

From left: Ruth Clampett, Robert McKimson, Jr., and Phil Roman

From left: Ruth Clampett, Robert McKimson, Jr., and Phil Roman

From left: Robert McKimson, Jr., Robert Schlesinger, Linda Jones Clough, Hope Freleng Shaw, Sybil Freleng Bergman, George Daugherty, Judy Levitow, Ruth Clampett, and Valerie Kausen

From left: Robert McKimson, Jr., Robert Schlesinger, Linda Jones Clough, Hope Freleng Shaw, Sybil Freleng Bergman, George Daugherty, Judy Levitow, Ruth Clampett, and Valerie Kausen (granddaughter of Chuck Jones)

There was a lot of laughter brought to us by the following cartoons (selected, by the way, by the director’s family members): Chuck Jones’s “Duck Amuck”, “They’re They Go Go”, “One Froggy Evening”; Friz Freleng’s “Birds Anonymous” and “High Diving Hare”; Tex Avery’s “I Love to Singa” and “A Wild Hare”; Bob Clampett’s “The Great Piggy Bank Robbery” and “Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid”; Robert McKimson’s “Hillbilly Hare” and “Walky Talky Hawk”. Thank you all for joining us!

 

Photographs courtesy Stephen Russo as noted.

 

Chuck Jones Centennial Celebration of Animation at the Newport Beach Film Festival 2012

The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, a Newport Beach Film Festival Event Sponsor, will be hosting a morning of Chuck Jones animated cartoons at Triangle Square, Costa Mesa (at the intersection of Newport Blvd., 19th St., and the terminus of the 55 freeway) on Saturday, April 28th at 11 AM. Among the many favorite short cartoons to be shown will be one of his masterpieces, "One Froggy Evening."

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Following the showing at 1:30 PM will be a panel discussion and seminar on animation with celebrated voice actress, June Foray (Rocky the Flying Squirrel, Natasha Fatale, and Witch Hazel); Emmy Award-winning producer Linda Jones Clough; "Dora the Explorer" producer and director, Jeff DeGrandis; animation director, character designer ("Hop"), and writer, Chris Bailey and photographer Marian Jones, Chuck Jones's widow. The discussion will be moderated by Craig Kausen, chairman of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity.

A ticket for both events is $5.00 for adults. For more information and to purchase tickets, please contact the Newport Beach Film Festival by clicking on their name in this sentence or on the images. 

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The Dover Boys Decamp to Culver City, Part Two

The amazing Dave Lowenstein (what can be said about him that hasn't been said already?  Let me try:  Dave is a gracious and gregarious host, a raconteur extraordinaire, a passionate collector & an all-around-fun guy) hosted a wonderful evening for the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity last night at his home (filled from floor to ceiling, corner to corner with an astounding collection of the art of the animated film.)

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Dave Lowenstein (2nd from left) flanked by Cheryl Posner & Pamela Marsden (l to r) Executive Director & Program Director, respectively, of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and at far right, artist Sonny Dolberg, at last night's fund-raising event for the Center.

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Craig Kausen, far right, grandson of Chuck Jones and Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Center guffaws (and we might add, that image is the perfect visual description of the word 'guffaw') at the bons mots dropping like a hard rain from the Dover Boys, from left, Rob Minkoff, Kelly Asbury, Chris Bailey and Jeff DeGrandis. 

These "Dover Boys" were so named by Linda Jones Clough, Chuck's daughter, after they started hanging out with Chuck in the early 1980s while they were students at CalArts in Valencia.  Linda, center below, is shown with, from left, Kelly Asbury, Rob Minkoff, Clough, Chris Bailey and Jeff DeGrandis.

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Want to know more about these amazing animation directors and producers?  Read the first part of this article, by clicking here.

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Kelly Asbury, director of the hit animated film, "Gnomeo & Juliet" brought a roll of movie posters which he graciously signed for attendees at last night's evening get-together for the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity.

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Linda Jones Clough, Chuck Jones' daughter (and only child) shares a laugh with the very funny Emmy Award-winning animation director & producer, Bob Kurtz. (All photos courtesy Stephen Russo.)

The Dover Boys Decamp to Culver City

On the evening of Thursday, April 7th, at 6 PM, The Dover Boys will be guests-of-honor at the home of animation art collector and patron of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, Dave Lowenstein.  

Because you may know who we speak of when we say "The Dover Boys" and you'd like to meet them and at the same time support the important work that the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity is doing, all you have to do is donate here.  Call Pamela Marsden for event address, 949-660-7793 and to confirm your reservation.  SPACE IS LIMITED.

 

On the other hand, you might ask who are The Dover Boys?  Well, they're not these Dover Boys:

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These Dover Boys (Tom, Dick and Larry) are the young men who appeared in the Chuck Jones 1942 ground-breaking short cartoon of the same name.  No, we're talking about a group of young men (yes, still) who made Jones's acquaintance when they were students at CalArts (in Valencia, CA) in the early 1980s.  As students of animation they had the opportunity to meet Chuck when he gave a lecture at the school and afterward, Jones stunned them by inviting them down to his home in Orange County "to talk."  (Now, they're all better at telling this story and quite a story it is, so you'll want to make sure you take the opportunity to put this very special fund-raising event on your calendar.)

These Dover Boys (a named coined for them by Chuck's daughter, Linda, BTW,) are Kelly Asbury, Rob Minkoff, Chris Bailey and Jeff DeGrandis.  

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Kelly Asbury (from left,) Chris Bailey, Jeff DeGrandis and Rob Minkoff at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in August of 2010 participating in a panel discussion at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater after a showing of all nine of Chuck Jones' Oscar-nominated short cartoons.

Kelly Asbury:  Kelly Asbury is the Director and co-writer of the 3D computer-animated feature filmGnomeo & Juliet (2011).

Asbury's past directorial efforts include the Oscar-nominated films "Shrek 2" (2004) and "Spirit – Stallion of the Cimarron" (2002). During his twenty-seven year career as an animation artist, Kelly Asbury has served many creative capacities on some of Hollywood's most popular animated films, including "Shrek" (2001), "Toy Story" (1995), "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas" (1993), "Beauty and the Beast" (1992) and "The Little Mermaid" (1989). Asbury also provided a variety of character voices on "Gnomeo and Juliet" and "Shrek 2". In addition to films, Asbury is a noted author and illustrator of several published children's books, as well as having written and compiled the offbeat, non-fiction book, "Dummy Days – America's Favorite Ventriloquists from Radio and Early TV" (Angel City Press – 2003) Read more at his IMDB page. (Biography courtesy Internet Movie Database)

Rob Minkoff:  Known for directing the Academy Award-winning animated film, "The Lion King", Minkoff is also the director of "Stuart Little" and "Stuart Little 2."  While at Disney, Rob wrote the song "Good Company" for "Oliver & Company" and directed two Roger Rabbit shorts, "Tummy Trouble" and "Roller Coaster Rabbit," along with the feature films, "The Haunted Mansion" and "The Forbidden Kingdom."  He has a new film due for release this year, "Flypaper."  Visit his IMDB page for a complete listing of his credits.  

Chris Bailey: Writer, director, special effects wizard, animator, all words that describe Chris Bailey's career.  Born in Portland, Oregon, Bailey has worked in TV and film throughout his career including Disney's "Oliver & Company" (writer,) "The Little Mermaid" and "The Rescuers Down Under" (character animation) and the producer and director of the hit TV series "Kim Possible."  You can read the details of Chris Bailey's career at this IMDB page.  

Jeff DeGrandis:  DeGrandis has made his name in the world of TV animation as the producer and director of the hit TV series, "Dora the Explorer," "Go, Diego, Go!" and "Ni Hao Kai Lan."  Jeff got his first big break working with Chuck Jones on the animation for the 1992 movie, "Stay Tuned" and sharpened his skills at "The Ren and Stimpy Show."  If it involves drag racing, Jeff DeGrandis will be there.  He cites the custom car stylings of the iconic Ed "Big Daddy" Roth as one of his major influences. If you absolutely must know more about Jeff DeGrandis, click on his name to view his IMDB profile and credits.  

And as if that were not enough!   

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This will be the setting for the evening's entertainment!  Dave Lowenstein has collected animation art for many years and his home is a museum of contemporary animation art collecting.  He's graciously opened his doors (and his heart and his wallet) to the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity  for the evening.  

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Oh, and one more thing!

To top off the evening we will be paying special tribute to animation pioneer, Martha Sigall as she and her husband, Sol, celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary!  

Please join us for this special evening, meet the Dover Boys, wish glad tidings to Martha and Sol, chat with Linda Jones (Chuck's daughter) and her children, Craig and Todd Kausen.  Tickets are just $50.00, use the PayPal button to make your reservation today!

Chuck Jones Film Fest at Samuel Goldwyn Theater

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As we were saying earlier this week,
a group of like-minded individuals got together for a road trip that
began at the Chuck Jones Galley in Tustin (3065 Edinger Avenue, open
M-F, 9-6 PM, 949-660-7791) and up to Burbank and the Warner Bros.
Studios for a private screening of their new 3D short cartoons (directed
by Matthew O'Callaghan) which were awesome!  After that incredibly fun
experience, what better way to celebrate all things Chuck Jones than to
drive over the hills to Beverly, Beverly Hills that is, movie stars,
swimming pools, (oof, I'm off topic) and down to the Academy of Motion
Picture Arts & Sciences where Linda Jones Clough, Chuck Jones'
daughter, led a tour of the exhibition "Chuck Jones: An Animator's Life
From A to Z-Z-Z-Z". 

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Her insightful (and first-hand) knowledge of the subject matter made for a fascinating tour of the exhibit.  It was at turns, nostalgic and heart-warming, funny and laugh-out-loud (LOL for you internet users,) and filled with the kind of knowledge only someone as intimately involved with the creator of so many magical moments could share with us.  We all felt honored to have shared in that moment.

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Linda Jones with collectors Brian S. (center) and Jim O'N.

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Leigh Y. and her son, John Jr., pore over some of the dialogue sheets from a Chuck Jones directed cartoon.

Later that afternoon we strolled down Wilshire Blvd. (like we owned it) and had a fantastic dinner at Kate Mantilini's (Wilshire & Doheny, if you're in the 'hood.)  It was a great time for all of us to recount the favorite part of our day, and share in some good old-fashion camaraderie, the kind that's so often missing in today's fast-paced, plugged-in, media saturated environment.  It also gave us a chance to get all fired up about the evening's presentation back at AMPAS of all of Chuck Jones' Academy Award-nominated and -winning short films, many of which some of us had never seen before on the big screen in their original 35 mm form.  Woo Hoo!

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Cathy Dicken, wife of Scott Dicken, the VP of Retail for Linda Jones Enterprises, peeks over the menu at Kate Mantilini's. 

After the screening at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater a panel discussion was held led by Bill Kroyer, head of Digital Arts at Chapman University & featuring “The Dover Boys”, four animators who were mentored by Chuck Jones in the
early 1980s; Kelly Asbury, Chris Bailey, Jeff DeGrandis & Rob Minkoff (all of whom have become extremely successful & well-respected directors/producers & artists.)

Hooray for Hollywood!  Although the day was long the rewards were great, exhilarating & heart-warming.

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From left: Bill Kroyer, Linda Jones Clough, Marian Jones (wife of Chuck Jones) and Kelly Asbury.

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"The Dover Boys" from left: Kelly Asbury, Chris Bailey, Jeff DeGrandis and Rob Minkoff.  So named by Linda Jones because she envisioned starting a production company with the four of them when they were first being mentored by Chuck Jones in the early 1980s.