A model sheet drawn by Chuck Jones for his 1939 Little Lion Hunter that will be on display at the Tempe Center for the Arts retrospective exhibition, Chuck Amuck, A Legacy of Laughter that opens a week from today. This will be the largest exhibit of original artwork from the archive of Chuck Jones Center for Creativity ever assembled.
Chuck Jones and his film crew (animation, sound, music, voice actors) all worked within a discipline; a discipline that defined his film-making career. In his book, Chuck Reducks, Drawing From the Fun Side of Life, Jones captures the essence of this discipline in 16 simple rules to animated film success.
Grinch Model Sheet is a 16 field (13.5" x 16.5") hand-painted cel art edition, limited to 200 and was created from an original model sheet drawn by Chuck Jones in the pre-production of his 1966 film, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It embodies the lessons of the 16 simple rules, particularly no. 8: It is not what or where a character is, nor is it the circumstances under which he finds himself that determines who he is. And it falls back to no. 7: If you start with character, you probably will end up with good drawings.
The Grinch Model Sheet, the map to the character of the Grinch for the animators, displays the same insouciant joie de vivre that is a hallmark of the Chuck Jones style of animated film direction.
Original model drawing of Max by Chuck Jones, mixed media on 12 field (12.5" x 10.5") animation paper.
Character, not plot, evokes our film and book
memories. In designing and building the
characters that inhabit an animated film, Chuck Jones, along with his
tremendously talented crew (Maurice Noble, Ben Washam et al.), have always
relied on the character to provide the motivation that propels the action of
"Max the dog has a skimpy, scraggly, horizontal,
pear-shaped body, a sad snout, and forlorn eyes. [Dr. Seuss described him as “Everydog—all
love and limpness and loyalty.]"–Chuck Jones, Chuck Reducks
He stole the candy canes, the wreaths, the trees, the
wuzzles and puzzles!He made off with
the presents, the Who Hash, the light bulbs, poinsettias, rugs and the window
sash!He filled sack after sack with
bicycles and ribbons and bows!He
purloined the wreaths and bizzel binks, the camera, the film, the candy, its
wrappers, quite possibly even the kitchen sinks! (Pictured: a paste-up for a model sheet of drawings by Chuck Jones used in the creation of his 1966 Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas.)
The film of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
popularity may be unsurpassed today, but when Chuck Jones set out to bring it
to the screen he was unable to find a sponsor and eventually ended up pitching
the story 26 times.Chuck Jones recounts, “In those days, the
network wouldn’t accept something unless you had a sponsor,” he said.“So, I went to every one of the people who
were logical:the breakfast food and
chocolate people.I had done the
storyboards, there were seventeen hundred drawings and I went over that thing
again and again.It got to the point
where I could almost shut my eyes and say it! At last, in the depths of my despair, success came from the most
unlikely source of all:the Foundation
of Commercial Banks!”