Tag Archives: London

At the Bus Stop–Oxford Circus – London 1960

As we get closer to installing the Chuck Jones exhibition at the Chuck Jones Experience in Circus Circus — Las Vegas, we continue to unearth amazing little gems of drawings and watercolors from Chuck's travel notebooks.  In 1960 he and his wife, Dorothy, traveled to Europe and visited England, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany.  

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When I showed one of the drawings to Chris, the Center's resident teaching artist, he said that you knew by looking at the drawing that Chuck just had his hand to paper and wasn't looking specifically at the drawing as it unfolded, but at what he was drawing — that the free flowing line (so simple, but so telling at the same time) conveyed the immediacy of the moment — really, you could have been standing there next to him, they are that fresh.  On display at the Experience will be several of these notebooks revealing moments that Chuck experienced first-hand and because of his natural genius and talent with pen & ink (and watercolor as seen in the work featured here), you will be able to do the same.  

AQUABEE PAD #810-1 72 dpi

about Boris Karloff, the man whose voice tells the story…

That's the title at the top of the page from the MGM press booklet for the 1966 Chuck Jones-directed animated television special, "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" that introduces Boris Karloff. It goes on to reveal some fascinating aspects of Karloff's character and reads in part:

"When it comes to villains, Boris Karloff is the epitome, so for Dr. Seuss' HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS–a tale of a Christmas villain, Karloff is the appropriate narrator.

"Both Jones and Dr. Seuss agreed that Boris Karloff was the only man to tell the tale over the colorful animated film.  The choice was not so much for the association with Karloff's monster roles (although the Grinch is somewhat of a monster in the beginning of the story) but because of the rich mellow voice of this distinguished actor.  He can sound miserable and mean on the one hand, and bright and cheerful on the other–both qualities necessary to the story of HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS.

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Chuck Jones and Boris Karloff during the taping of the audio for the animated film, "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas."

"Through the years, Karloff has played literally hundreds of different characters–so many that he honestly can't remember them all… In fact, this past year has been a busy one for him at MGM, where he also did the role of Mother Muffin in an episode of "The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.", and still another character portrayal in the MGM feature presentation, "The Venetian Affair".

GRINCH PRESS BOOK

The multi-page Press Book (each page hand-typed!) from MGM for the release of "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas."

"Today, Karloff commutes between Hollywood and London, where he maintains a flat, and a cottage in Hampshire.  Says he, "You know, it's a funny thing, when I'm in England and I speak of California–that's home, but when I'm here, I think of England as home".  

"His chief interests are flower gardens, poetry and the stage.  He's an avid fan of cricket and Rugby football–in all, quite a mild, cultured, soft spoken English gentleman–a complete contrast to most of his menacing characters on the screen."

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Original pencil on animation paper drawing of Boris Karloff as the Grinch (with the Cat in the Hat hat on) by Chuck Jones; created during the audio taping of Karloff's narration of the classic animated film.  

Image of the Day: Nescafe Fur Jeden and Bus Queue London

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This watercolor (above & currently on view at the Tempe Center for the Arts Chuck Jones exhibition) on paper by Chuck Jones was painted during a trip he took to visit his daughter Linda and her husband while they were living in Berlin, Germany in 1960.  It clearly demonstrates his amazing facility with the medium and his unerring eye for character.  In a similar vein, his "Bus Queue London" watercolor (below) from the same trip in 1960 captures a vibrant joie de vivre that is one of the hallmarks of Jones' style. 

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