Tag Archives: Circus Circus

When in Doubt, Ask…You Never Know Who Might Answer

Chuck Redux recently came across a flurry of questions about the value of visiting the Chuck Jones Experience at Circus Circus in Las Vegas on a Vegas Message Board

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They were good questions, and it seemed like an opportunity for someone close to Chuck Jones to answer them. 

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So, Craig Kausen, Chuck's grandson had this to say in reply to their questions:

"Well, I must start out by revealing that I'm terribly biased in my review of the Chuck Jones Experience. I am Chuck Jones' grandson, Craig.

"However, although I must say that I personally think it is well worth the admission price, each person or group that sends me notes, text messages, pictures, or even actual letters (forbid!), has said that they were enthralled by the journey they were taken on inside the Experience. Just yesterday a friend said her accountant was out there with 10 young soccer players (10 or 12 years old), along with parents, and although she thought it was big ticket amount for the group when they arrived, she said they spent a couple of hours and could hardly get the kids and many of the parents to leave when they had to go to their next game.

"It is like walking inside of a Chuck Jones cartoon that is super life-sized, as well as walking into his studio (with his actual desk setting right before you), that includes hundreds of books from his own personal library, so you can glimpse a bit inside of his genius. 

"There is a room where you can see how you measure up next to Life-sized characters and then walk into a filming of a Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote cartoon being filmed by Bugs Bunny and directed by Daffy W. Griffith, all in larger than life-sized three dimensional creations.

"There are over 250 original works of art ranging from historical production materials to oil paintings, to traditional fine art, all by Chuck himself.

"There is also an interactive area where you can record sound effects at the Rikki Tikki Tavi Foley station and create your own Zoetrope animation strip.

"There are great photo opportunities throughout.

"If I'm there, I'll take you on a personal tour too!

"And, yes, there are plenty of t-shirts to be had as well as other great things to take home if you like.

"I'll even make a bold statement that if you don't like it, ask for Neil and I'm sure he'll give you your money back. (Neil???)

"Plus, there are $5 coupons all over Las Vegas to make it even more affordable.

"I hope you at least go by to take a look if you're in town.

Craig

"PS Gregrio, you are so right about THE Steak House at Circus Circus. Best steaks I've ever had…"

To read the entire thread, click on Chuck's photo below.

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And when in Vegas, do as the Vegans do. Or is that do as the Vegasians do? Or is it Vegasites? Hmmm, something to think about…

A Day at the Chuck Jones Experience

Chuck Redux had the opportunity to spend this past Monday in Las Vegas working with the people that make your visit to the Chuck Jones Experience memorable.  What a great day it was, too! We spent the whold day talking about Chuck's life, art, and genius. It's always wonderful to hear how his work and life has impacted those who spend most of their waking hours talking with his fans and collectors, in other words, people just like you.

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From left, a few of the men and women who make your experience at the Chuck Jones Experience at Circus Circus in Las Vegas memorable: Emi, Joseph, Mike, Eddie, and Jessica. Missing in the photo, but there in spirit are Robin, Veronica, and Paula.

If you haven't "liked" the Chuck Jones Experience on Facebook, please do! Be on the lookout for special offers and news about upcoming art classes and other special events that will happen only in Vegas, baby. (I know, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, but I just can't keep my mouth shut about how wonderful everyone is at the Chuck Jones Experience. You'll just have to experience it for yourself!)

The Big Day: The Chuck Jones Experience Opens With a Big Kaboom!

The Chuck Jones Experience at Circus Circus, Las Vegas, opened Thursday, January 19th with a big kaboom!

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On hand to inaugurate the new space were artists (from left) Jeff DeGrandis, producer and director of "Dora the Explorer" and other Nickelodeon cartoons; Eric Goldberg, renowned Disney animator and director who had also worked with Chuck Jones; Mike Peraza, Disney art director ("The Little Mermaid" and many others); muralist and actor, James C. Mulligan; celebrated mat painter and fine artist, James Coleman; emerging POP/OP artist Tennessee Loveless, Art Deco-inspired artist, Mike Kungl, and surf artist, Bob Elias (not shown).  All of the artists are creating artwork for the Chuck Jones Centennial Homage series to be released throughout 2012.  Watch this space for more information!

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There was speechifying: Craig Kausen, grandson of Chuck Jones and Chairman of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity acted as the Master of Ceremonies and kept the assembled journalists, photographers, videographers, fans, and collectors laughing and the proceedings humming along.

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Craig (left) introduced Neil Cantor, managing director of The Chuck Jones Experience, and the man who 17 years ago had dinner with Bill Hanna, Joe Barbera, and Chuck Jones where his idea for the Experience first blossomed. 

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Don Thrasher (right), President of Circus Circus enjoyed the Experience and officially welcomed it to the hotel.

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The Jones Family was on hand to celebrate, from left: Todd Kausen, Valerie Kausen, Marian Jones, Linda Jones Clough, and Craig Kausen. 

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The inimitable animator and director, Eric Goldberg, shared with the crowd his love of all things Chuck Jones and how, over the years, Jones has influenced his work.

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Linda Jones Clough, Chuck's daughter, made everyone laugh with her self-deprecating wit and then everyone teared up when she read a letter Chuck had written to Craig on his first birthday, "You charm me completely.  I am captured by your smile, touched by your bright love of life, enchanted completely and absolutely by your uniqueness. I think that being within you, looking out at this wonderful world must be a very splendid thing."  (There was not a dry eye in sight.)

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"Dover Boys" Rob Minkoff (left) and Jeff DeGrandis (right) flank Craig Kausen. "The Dover Boys", so named by Linda Jones Clough, were a young group of students at CalArts that Chuck took a shine to and mentored over the remaining years of his life. 

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How would you rather have a grand opening, by cutting a boring old red ribbon (see scissors in Craig's right hand) or blow it up with a bouquet of ACME TNT as Neil is suggesting?  Everyone chose the ACME TNT and the plunger was pushed, the explosion 'rocked' and The Chuck Jones Experience opened with a bang (that big kaboom I mentioned at the beginning of the post.) 

Visit The Chuck Jones Experience online for more information and make sure to add it to your "to-do" list, "bucket" list or any other list you might be making.  As we celebrate the Chuck Jones Centennial (1912–2012) this year, we're hoping to reach 100,000 'likes' (or more) on Facebook.  If you're not a fan already, please join us in celebrating this amazing artist's life and times.

Today is the Day!

Writing from the 15th floor of Circus Circus:  It's 6:00 AM, Thursday, January 19th, and the Chuck Jones Experience is set to open officially (in a non-traditional ribbon cutting ceremony that only a certain Coyote would have dreamt of…) just 5 hours from now at its location in Circus Circus, Las Vegas, Nevada!  To say we're all excited would be understatement.

Yesterday, Linda Jones Clough, daughter of Chuck Jones, her sons Craig and Todd, along with Marian Jones, Chuck's wife, led a group of devotees on a sneak peek through the Experience.  

Earlier in the day, artisans sweated the details; here's Danny putting the finishing touches on the columns just outside the main entrance.  When you visit, make sure to check out his handiwork…you'll be surprised and delighted at what you'll find!

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Simon (right) and Jumbo promised me they would watch over "Oscar", Chuck's Academy Award from "The Dot and the Line" 1966.

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Just before she led the group into yesterday's sneak peek, Linda Jones Clough stopped to dedicate and sign a copy of her father's autobiography, "Chuck Amuck" for an adoring fan.

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There was more, but who wants to look at it online when you can jump on a plane, get in your car, take a train, swim, crawl, walk, run to the Chuck Jones Experience and see it for yourself?  You won't be sorry that you did…in fact, our prediction is that you'll come back over and over again and that you'll find inspiration and creativity bubbling up inside of you.

Okay, one final image:  one of the several zoetropes at the Experience…

ONLY 1 (ONE!) DAY UNTIL…

DATELINE LAS VEGAS: In a little more than 24 hours, at 11 AM sharp on Thursday, January 19, 2012, all of Las Vegas will be gathered (okay, "all of" may be a bit of hyperbole, but there will be lots of people gathered) at Circus Circus to witness the grand opening of the most remarkable, the most sensational, the most entertaining, the most inspirational, the most creative, the new, the exciting, the one, the only, the Chuck Jones Experience!  (Cue the trumpets! Ta da!)

More than 17 years ago, an idea was born at a dinner with three of the world's great animators and one dedicated fan.  In 2009, the trustees of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity were approached by that fan, Neil Cantor, and asked what they would envision if there were a Chuck Jones museum.  That simple question prompted an immediate bout of brain-storming creativity and tomorrow, their ideas will be made real.  

Words fail to adequately describe what the Chuck Jones Experience will offer you, but the closest and possibly the most reasonable (and obviously the most exciting) explanation is that it's like walking into the head of Chuck Jones.  It's at turns inspiring, delightful, creative, playful, entertaining, enlightening, invigorating, and beautiful.  So, take this reporter's advice: book your flights to Vegas, baby, and experience The Chuck Jones Experience.

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Some of the staff of the Chuck Jones Galleries (from left: Jocelyne Brown (Santa Fe), Kate Bowerman, Joel Shapiro (both of San Diego), Carol Erickson (Costa Mesa at SOCO–coming soon), Erin Liddell (San Diego), Michael Bundy (Santa Fe), Christopher Scardino (Tustin and the Center's teaching artist), along with Kyle Armstrong (Santa Fe) have a "ta-da" moment as the gate rolls up on the Chuck Jones Experience on Tuesday the 17th.

The Night Watchman

We're busy curating the exhibition for the Chuck Jones Experience opening in Las Vegas at Circus Circus (truly, it's coming, promise!) One of the exhibitions will feature some marvelous telegrams and a charming letter from Chuck's brother Dick (Richard Jones, who also worked as an in-betweener and animator at Schlesinger Studios and for a while was a part of Chuck's unit; after enlisting in the Service during WWII, went on to make quite a career for himself as a noted photographer and painter,) on the release of this, "The Night Watchman", his first directorial effort (although they called it then 'supervision'.)  Here's the letter from his brother, followed by the cartoon.

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Agile Acrobats, Circus Strongmen and Artful Artifacts

You'll forgive us for that bit of alliteration, won't you?  It's hard not to be inspired when you see some of the outstanding drawings and fascinating news-clippings that preparing for the Chuck Jones Experience in Las Vegas has brought to our attention (and by default to yours).  

For instance, this drawing by Chuck Jones of a winsome, pony-tailed acrobat and a big, beer-bellied (of course, that is only our opinion about the beer belly, it could just as well be because to balance those guns and massive forearms one must have a counter-weight and Chuck thought a belly would do so perfectly) circus strongman is a perfect example of some of the art you'll be seeing at the Chuck Jones Experience when it opens in late September/early October at Circus Circus in Las Vegas.  

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There'll also be several display cases filled with the ephemera a life such as Chuck Jones's accumulates.  Telegrams (who remembers those?), letters, photographs and news clipping such as this February 1958 review of an exhibit of Chuck Jones's life drawings at the Cowie Gallery in the Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles.  

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CIRCUS CIRCUS LAS VEGAS GETS ANIMATED THIS OCTOBER WITH THE OPENING OF “THE CHUCK JONES EXPERIENCE”

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.