Tag Archives: Looney Tunes

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Artist Mike Bilz at the Chuck Jones Gallery

Do you have a moment for a funny story? Not funny, “ha, ha”, but funny like “what an interesting coincidence”.

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A couple of years ago, a beautiful bride-to-be named Ashley, came into the gallery to meet with her wedding planner (we share our gallery space with event planners). Carol, our art consultant, and Ashley got to talking and turns out that not only do Ashley and her fiance, Mike, love the art of Chuck Jones, but Mike’s also an artist. Carol invites him to submit a canvas to that year’s Red Dot Auction.

"Genius at Work", fine art reproduction on canvas by Mike Bilz. Click image for details.

“Genius at Work”, fine art reproduction on canvas by Mike Bilz. Click image for details.

And everyone loved his work (still do, for that matter)! So, that’s how Mike Bilz became one of the artist working with the Chuck Jones Looney Tunes character legacy. Mike’s unusual and funny point-of-view coupled with his rich, baroque palette and luminous painterly technique make for delightfully unique works of art.

"Socially Secure" a fine art reproduction on canvas by Mike Bilz. Click image for details.

“Socially Secure” a fine art reproduction on canvas by Mike Bilz. Click image for details.

"Laundry Day" a fine art reproduction on canvas by Mike Bilz. Click image for details.

“Laundry Day” a fine art reproduction on canvas by Mike Bilz. Click image for details.

For more information about the original and limited edition art of Mike Bilz, please contact Carol Erickson at the gallery, 949-274-4834 or your own personal Chuck Jones Gallery art consultant.

Mike Bilz signing the Chuck Jones Gallery--Orange County "artist" door. Click image for his biography.

Mike Bilz signing the Chuck Jones Gallery–Orange County “artist” door. Click image for his biography.

"Tunnel Vision" acrylic on canvas, 18" x 24", by Daniel Killen

The Droll Wit and Wisdom of Artist Daniel Killen

Do you suffer from “Tunnel Vision”? Let our art consultants give you a little “Friendly Advice” about the original paintings and drawings by the inimitable and thoroughly unique Daniel Killen that are currently on view and for sale in the Chuck Jones Galleries.

"Tunnel Vision" acrylic on canvas, 18" x 24", by Daniel Killen

“Tunnel Vision” acrylic on canvas, 18″ x 24″, by Daniel Killen

Daniel, with his background in animation (“Iron Giant”, “Space Jam”), brings his gimlet eye to the Looney Tunes characters made famous by Chuck Jones. With his droll sense of humor on full display in these exquisite works of art, whether in acrylics on canvas or Prismacolor pencils on toned paper, each one comes complete with gag and punchline. You’re guaranteed to laugh every day when you look at his work in your home.

"Friendly Advice" Prismacolor pencil on toned paper, 10" x 8", by Daniel Killen

“Friendly Advice” Prismacolor pencil on toned paper, 10″ x 8″, by Daniel Killen

His expertise with a brush will leave you wondering how he even applied the paint, the canvas surface is as smooth as a glacier. And his drawings are as perfect as you’d imagine from this master comedic artist.

In the artist's studio.

In the artist’s studio.

For more information and to view the entire Daniel Killen oeuvre, contact gallery director, Michael Fiacco, in our San Diego gallery, 619-294-9880 or write SanDiego@ChuckJones.com.

Chuck Jones Gallery at D23!

Going to D23 this weekend? Visit the Chuck Jones Gallery at booth #C1900 and say hello! We’ll be there from 9 AM to 7 PM Friday through Sunday, August 14-16. Four of our artists will be making an appearance at the booth, schedule below. Sign up to win a work of art! Ask about our D23 specials! We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

Scott and John installing artwork at the Chuck Jones Gallery booth #C1900

Scott and John installing artwork at the Chuck Jones Gallery booth #C1900

Almost finished! What you can't see is all of the terrific unframed art we have to share with you!

Almost finished! What you can’t see is all of the terrific unframed art we have to share with you!

Daniel Killen, Friday from 2 to 3 PM

Daniel Killen, Friday from 2 to 3 PM

Mike Kungl, Saturday from 11 AM to Noon

Mike Kungl, Saturday from 11 AM to Noon

Bob Elias, Saturday & Sunday from 3 to 4 PM

Bob Elias, Saturday & Sunday from 3 to 4 PM

Mike Peraza, Saturday from 6 to 7 PM

Mike Peraza, Saturday from 6 to 7 PM

New in the Gallery: Caricatures by Thornton Hee (AKA T. Hee)

It’s hard to believe, but this is the 85th birthday of Warner Bros. Animation. You have to imagine a group of young men, many in their mid-20s, employed in animation during the Great Depression. How will they entertain themselves? One way was through caricature. Each of them in their own style would skewer the uppity, rib(ald) the randy, and generally make good-natured fun of their associates. The Chuck Jones Gallery is pleased to present a collection for sale of caricatures of animators, directors, story writers, and others from the hand of Thornton Hee.

Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng as imagined by T. Hee.

Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng as imagined by T. Hee. For information about the availability of these drawings, please contact your Chuck Jones Gallery art consultant. Phone numbers available at the end of the post.

Thornton Hee was one of these young men. Although his legendary status was in its formative years, he was noted for his quick wit and sharp pencil. Hee is known for working at the biggest and the best Hollywood studios, such as Disney, directing the “Dance of the Hours” segment of “Fantasia”. Later he worked at UPA (United Productions of America) where he was responsible for story and designs for many of their classic Mr. Magoo, Gerald McBoing Boing, and other one-shot cartoons.

Tex Avery by Thornton Hee

Tex Avery by Thornton Hee

But, for two years, 1935-36, T. Hee helped revolutionize the Warner Bros. animation style. His designs for the caricatures of Hollywood movie stars were used in the classic Tex Avery short, “The Coo Coo Nut Grove”, as well as one of Bob Clampett’s shorts, “Russian Rhapsody”.

Ken Harris wasn't safe either from the razor sharp wit of T. Hee.

Ken Harris wasn’t safe either from the razor sharp wit of T. Hee.

Years later, T. Hee, along with veteran Disney director, Jack Hannah, became the heads of the character animation department at CalArts; he later became the chairman of the Fine Arts department at the school.

Tedd Pierce got the Hee treatment.

Tedd Pierce got the Hee treatment.

Hee-Cal Dalton-PB399-1450 Hee-Melvin (Tubby) Millar-PB396-1800

Chuck Jones Gallery–San Diego: 888-294-9880

Chuck Jones Gallery–Costa Mesa: 866-248-2556

Chuck Jones Gallery–Santa Fe: 800-290-5999

A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody… Red Dot Auction Update!

These four artists, in their creative contributions to this year’s Red Dot Auction, a fundraiser benefiting the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity–a 501(c)3 public charity, have found inspiration in female beauty, whether the enigmatic smile of the “Mona Bunny” or the provocative deshabillé of the target of Pepé le Pew’s attention, each one has captured that magical essence that keeps wolf’s tongues on the floor, and skunks in hot pursuit.

Have you been online yet to view the work and pre-bid on your favorites at Heritage Auctions? These and other fabulous works of art are available for pre-bidding through April 29th. The silent auction will close on Friday, May 1st by 10 PM PDT. Tickets are available here.

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…There’s a New Rabbit in Town

“What’s Up, Doc? The Animated Art of Chuck Jones” opens Saturday, February 14th in Fort Worth, Texas a their Museum of Science and History.

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Chuck’s daughter, Linda Jones Clough, and his granddaughter, Valerie Kausen, will be special guests on opening day. The exhibit, organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibits with the collaboration of the Museum of the Moving Image, New York; Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, Beverly Hills, and the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, Costa Mesa, explores what it takes to make a cartoon and how Chuck Jones’s unique perspective on film-making, his comedic genius, precision timing, and intense focus on character shaped and guided the evolution of the animated film. It is a not-to-be-missed exhibit.

For more information, visit the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History website by clicking on either image.

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Image of the Day: “The Night Watchman” + a Bonus Feature!

Chuck Jones’s first cartoon as a director premiered in October of 1938 “The Night Watchman”. His advancement to ‘supervisor’ from animator at Leon Schlesinger Productions was noted in the film trade journal, Daily Variety, prompting not only a flurry of congratulatory letters from co-workers (Grim Natwick, for instance) and family (his brother Dick, an in-betweener at Schlesinger), but also a few telegrams from the likes of Mickey Mouse, Walt Disney, and Max Fleischer (sent, we believe, with a wink from his co-workers.)

THE NIGHT WATCH MAN DRAWING #2-HOODLUM MICE

THE NIGHT WATCH MAN DRAWING #1-TOMMY CAT

Top: Model drawing of the head rat from “The Night Watchman” by Chuck Jones, colored pencil on 12 field animation paper, 10.5” x 12.5”. Model drawings of the Night Watchman by Chuck Jones, graphite on 12 field animation paper.

Bonus feature: “Text messages from the early 20th century”!

TELEGRAM-MAX FLEISCHER 10-20-1938 TELEGRAM-MICKEY MOUSE 10-20-1938 TELEGRAM-WALT DISNEY 10-20-1938

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.

 

Special Guests @ Chuck 102Gether!

Chuck 102Gether at the Alex Theatre, Sunday, September 21 from 3 to 5 PM!

A Film Festival celebrating the collaborative creativity of the Golden Age of Looney Tunes!

Need another reason to attend besides being able to see these great cartoons on the big screen as they’re meant to be shown? Here’s a partial list of guest panelists:

GEORGE DAUGHERTY, creator of “Bugs Bunny at the Symphony” will be the afternoon’s Master of Ceremonies.
ROB MINKOFF–Director of “The Lion King” and “Mr. Peabody & Sherman”
TOM SITO–Key figure in the Disney Renaissance and one of the 100 most influential people in animation
LEITH ADAMS–Longtime Executive Director of the Warner Bros. Archive
JEFF DEGRANDIS–Now at Dreamworks, formerly a supervising producer at Nickelodeon
ERIC GOLDBERG–Animator of the Genie in “Aladdin” and director of “Fantasia 2000” and so much more!

Other special guests may include: JUNE FORAY, AURIL THOMPSON, and MARTHA SIGALL (health permitting.)

Tickets from $10 available at AlexTheatre.org!

Employees of Leon Schlesinger Studios, circa 1935.

Employees of Leon Schlesinger Studios, circa 1935.

The Playful God of a Manic Valhalla

In tomorrow’s New York Times, a wonderful art review by Ken Johnson of the exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image, “What’s Up, Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones”. An excellent read! (Click the image to read the article.)

Drawings from “What’s Opera, Doc?,” a 1957 parody of “The Ring Cycle,” are in the Chuck Jones exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image. Credit Chuck Jones Center for Creativity

Drawings from “What’s Opera, Doc?,” a 1957 parody of “The Ring Cycle,” are in the Chuck Jones exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image. Credit Chuck Jones Center for Creativity