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!
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.
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.
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”.
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.
Chuck Jones Gallery–San Diego: 888-294-9880
Chuck Jones Gallery–Costa Mesa: 866-248-2556
Chuck Jones Gallery–Santa Fe: 800-290-5999
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.
“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.
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.
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.)
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”!
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!
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.
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!
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 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!
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.
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!
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.)
The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity held Chuck 101 yesterday at Hollywood’s historic 91 year-old Egyptian Theater. The day started with Center-sponsored art projects in the courtyard.
There was mask-making and drawing, led by our talented team of teaching artists, including the Center’s resident teaching artist, Christopher Scardino; the Sleeper Sisters, Debbie & Jennifer; Doug Lothers and Darrell Park. Sasha Advani, the Center’s program director had organized the activities.
The art classes were followed by a screening of the Chuck Jones feature film, “The Phantom Tollbooth” (1970).The film was from Chuck’s personal collection of 35mm films. Before the screening, a Q & A with the indomitable Ms. June Foray, the voice actress known for her adept talent and wonderful acting ability. Ms. Foray was feted in the lobby for 96th birthday.
That evening, the Center brought over a dozen of Chuck’s short Looney Tunes cartoons to share with a full house — a portion of ticket sales went to the programs of the Center. Before the screening, though, major donors and supporters of the Center were feted in the Spielberg lobby with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails.
The inimitable George Daugherty, creator, conductor, and producer of the film and live music extravaganza, “Bugs Bunny at the Symphony” is seen here with Marian Jones, Chuck’s widow, and her friend, Bev White.
A full house enjoys cartoons by Chuck Jones. The shorts were interspersed with remembrances of Chuck Jones from all of his family and from special guests, Leonard Maltin, Charles Solomon, John Schulman, George Daugherty, and David Wong.
Watch this space for details regarding Chuck 102, scheduled for Chuck’s birthday, September 21, 2014 at a theater near you.
Terrific article by Susan King in today’s Los Angeles Times about the upcoming film tribute on Chuck Jones’s 101st birthday, Saturday, September 21 at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. She writes in part:
“He was probably the best father anybody could have,” said Linda Jones, an only child. “His father had a difficult time being a father, and he vowed he would never impose that kind of difficulty and challenge on a child.”
Her dad, she said, “was pretty much a 9 to 5 guy. He didn’t bring his work home with him.” Follow this link to read entire article.