In 1974, Chuck Jones brought to life the story of Kotick, the white seal, while a vice-president in charge of children’s programming at ABC. This television special was based on the story of survival and perseverance of a group of seals living in the Bering Straits. The original tale is by Rudyard Kipling and can be found in his collection* of stories, “The Jungle Book”. Chuck Jones also recreated for television two other Kipling tales, “Rikki Tikki Tavi” 1975 and “Mowgli’s Brothers” 1976. This image below is a recreation by lithography of an original production cel and background used in the film and later featured on the cover of the book based on the television special “The White Seal”.
*From “Chuck Amuck” by Chuck Jones: “We always had books in the house we lived in. We not only had books, we had books (old or new) that were fresh to us. The way it worked was this: a house in those days of the early twenties had books. Incredible as it seems, that’s what people did: they read. We didn’t have a phonograph until I was twelve, a radio until I was seventeen, or television until I was forty-six.
“So that left books. When you rented a furnished house, it was equipped with furniture and books. …Father would scout around for a furnished house. “Furnished” in his lexicon meant furnished with books, hundreds being mandatory, thousands being preferable. Colonel Terhune’s big house on the Speedway in Ocean Park had thousands of books, as did Times editor Harry Carr’s place on Mount Washington Drive, so the six or seven or eight of our family stayed in each house for over five years, until we had exhausted the supply, a sort of omnivorous plague of indiscriminate readers.”