As happens here, on our way to other things we stumbled across these two beautiful Daffy Duck model drawings by Chuck Jones (graphite on 12 field animation paper.) They so perfectly capture the character of Daffy (Chuck once remarked, "I dream of being Bugs Bunny, but I wake up Daffy Duck."), that it was imperative we stop and share them with you. And because they are so classic, we're following them with Chuck's 1953 masterpiece, "Duck Amuck". Enjoy!
"The Abominable Snow Rabbit" shoveled its way into theaters on May 20, 1961. Directed by Chuck Jones (and co-directed by Maurice Noble) the cartoon finds our intrepid heroes (Bugs Bunny & Daffy Duck) on their way to Palm Springs, which is all fine and well, except they took that wrong turn at _________ (according to Daffy they should've turned west at East St. Louis,) whatever, (have you ever noticed that Bugs's sense of direction is, well, a bit off, especially when he's tunneling underground? This is hardly the first time such a 'wrong turn at __________' has thrown our man in Havana — excuse me — our rabbit in the Himalayas off course.)
But I digress. The drawing above is a rough layout drawing by Chuck Jones of Daffy Duck when first introduced to the Abominable Snowman. It is graphite on 12 field animation paper and if you watch this clip carefully you will see how closely Chuck's animators (for this film: Ken Harris, Richard Thompson, Bob Bransford, and Tom Ray) hew to his layouts.
"Scent-imental Over You" is the second Pepe le Pew cartoon directed by Chuck Jones. This 'Scent' was released in theaters nationwide on May 8, 1947, a couple of years after Pepe's first film, "Odor-able Kitty" and two years before Jones won his first Oscar (who, BTW, is going on holiday, watch this space for more news in the coming days as to his whereabouts…) for the Pepe le Pew vehicle "For Scent-imental Reasons".
This original production layout drawing by Chuck Jones of Pepe chasing after the poor little Chihuahua (who as a "Mexican Hairless" has disguised himself in his mistress's furs so that he would look more like the other dogs, alas to his chagrin) is graphite on 12 field two-hole punch animation paper. It will be featured in the Archive Art Exhibit at Art Partners Gallery this Saturday, February 5th at 7:30 PM. Throw on your snowshoes and come meet Craig Kausen, Chuck Jones' grandson, as he inaugurates the exhibit Chuck Jones: Frame by Frame, An Animator's Story at the gallery. More details? Call 847-517-5757!
The cartoon has Russian translations for the dialogue, but you'll get the idea…
One of the most famous of Chuck Jones (and definitely the most complicated short animated cartoon he directed) is his 1957 "What's Opera, Doc?" Jones, along with the immensely talented Maurice Noble and his crew of brilliant animators, created a cartoon that is both spoof of and love-letter to "high art." With its primary action the oft-used Bugs Bunny/Elmer Fudd chase sequence, but this time, set in the mythic grandeur of Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle, "What's Opera, Doc?" manages to combine high and low art with equal aplomb, obliterating the barriers between the two.
"Darling! I have waited por vu." Pepé le Pew makes his move in this original layout drawing by Chuck Jones for his 1954 short film, "Cats Bah." In this film, the most Boyer-referential outing of the amorous skunk, Pepé is found reminiscing about his greatest love when he his smitten by the "belle Americaine touriste femme skunk." The drawing is graphite on 12 field, two-hole punch animation paper and measures 10.5" x 12.5".
“Who Scent You” premiered in theaters nationwide
along with writer Michael Maltese continued their examination of all things le
Francais. With classics like “Your
aloneness is almost ovair” and “You are my peanut, I am your brittle,” who
could argue with the e’scent’ial reasoning of this amorous skunk? This original layout drawing by Chuck Jones includes his dialog notes (graphite on 12 field animation paper, 10.5″ x 12.5″).
Original layout drawing by Chuck Jones for his
1954 “Bewitched Bunny”, graphite on two-hole punch 12 field animation
paper. This drawing was used to create
the 2004 cel art edition “Bewitched Bunny—1954" seen below. The cel has been signed by June Foray, the original voice actor. (Correction: Bea Benaderet voiced Witch Hazel in "Bewitched Bunny" and Ms. Foray in her subsequent cartoons. Please see the comments.)
Original Chuck Jones layout drawing (graphite on 2 hole-punch 12 field animation paper, 10.5" x 12.5") for his 1943 short cartoon, "Inki and the Minah Bird".
With a tip of the hat to the surrealists holding
court in painterly circles in Europe—Chuck Jones commands an outrageously
magical brush in this pastiche of a film.
Read what you will into its rhythms and syncopations, appearances and
disappearances and outright lunacy, but don’t deny its hold on your