Hats off to Minnesota Public Radio for their short, but sweet, tribute to Chuck Jones's Centennial!
St. Paul, Minn. — Chuck Jones — the animator, cartoon artist, writer, producer and director of countless classic televisions cartoons, from episodes of Looney Tunes and Tom & Jerry to How the Grinch Stole Christmas — would have turned 100 today. Born on September 21, 1912 in Spokane, Wash., Jones took low-level animation jobs after graduating from art school and slowly worked his way up into the entertainment industry. He went on to create hundreds of memorable shorts during a career that spanned eight decades. Jones passed away on February 22, 2002.
To read the entire article and to watch Chuck Jones's classic short cartoon, "What's Opera, Doc?" click on Minnesota Publi Radio!
"Herr Loves Me, Hare Loves Me Not!" hand-painted cel art created from original art for the 1957 Chuck Jones masterpiece, "What's Opera, Doc?" Edition of 50, estate-signed.
Chuck Jones on Bugs Bunny: "…We had a happy life together, but, as the six-year-old boy protested when I was introduced to him as the man who draws Bugs Bunny, 'He does not! He draws pictures of Bugs Bunny.' He was absolutely right, and I can think of no happier career than as a man who drew pictures of such a fabulous character."
You'd think they didn't have a funny bone in their bodies by the looks on their faces (Ha!)
This photo of animation pioneer Chuck Jones (left) and the brilliant writer Michael Maltese with record albums of Wagner's operas is dated October 1954; the note on the back (see below) indicates that they are standing in front of storyboards for Jones' "Rocket-Bye Baby" which was released in August of 1956, which means that at least three years were devoted to the making of "What's Opera, Doc?" We know that while creating "What's Opera, Doc?" Jones' unit manipulated their time cards, utilizing time from a Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner film to work on the extravaganza (106 different camera shots!) that became the first short animated film inducted into the Smithsonian's National Film Registry in 1992. (Since then two of Jones' other films, "Duck Amuck" and "One Froggy Evening," were also added to the Registry.)
Here is Jones' list of music to be used in the film, please note the "chase stuff" (which makes me giggle, because you know it was shorthand between Jones and the music director, Milt Franklyn.)
“Rabbit of Seville” 16 field pan cel art edition created from Chuck Jones’ original line drawing. (Click on image for special limited time offer.)
Today, the Seattle Opera Blog posted an article about Bel Canto Opera in which they said, “You can hear the Overture to Rossini’s Barber of Seville throughout the great Chuck Jones cartoon The Rabbit of Seville.”
The article is fascinating reading for anyone who enjoys opera, music, and cartoons (particularly cartoons where opera had such an important impact on the action). You may read the article by clicking here.
“The Rabbit of Seville–1950″ a Director’s Cut edition of 200 (hand-painted, gouache on 12 field acetate, 12.5″ x 10.5” unframed).
“Spear and Magic Helmet” is a limited edition fine art reproduction on canvas created from an original oil painting by Chuck Jones. Jones began painting his cartoon characters in oil paint in the early 1980s and throughout the rest of his life enjoyed expressing their lives in this manner. His handling of the paint, particularly in the later work such as “Spear and Magic Helmet” was fresh and spontaneous, exhibiting a nuance of understanding that would have eluded an artist of lesser skill. Classically trained in the visual arts as he was, Jones’ paintings, not unlike his work in animation, expressed his view of the world and the little things that make us all human. It is the relationships that matter.
The Jones short animated film, “What’s Opera, Doc?” was part of an evenings’ worth of animated films that incorporated or otherwise were inspired by classical and operatic music at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences this past Friday. Jim Hill, of Jim Hill Media wrote a great column on his website that you can read by clicking here.
“What if…?” That is a question that Chuck Jones often asked himself. “What if Bugs Bunny were wearing a tartan plaid?” (The result: a painting titled “Bunny Prince Charlie.”) “What if Mozart (Bugs Bunny in the above image) had a hard time coming up with a title for his latest opera?” A child-like wonder at the possibilities of language and of art sustained his creativity throughout his long and productive life. “Cosi Fan Tutti” was created as part of a commission by Opera Pacific in 1997; it is a 12 field (12.5″ x 10.5″) hand-painted cel art edition.
In 1997 Chuck Jones was commissioned by Opera Pacific to create images for their upcoming season. On view is "La Bohème" starring Wile E. Coyote and Bugs Bunny. One of these 'bohemian' cartoon characters (one painter, one poet) are in love with the beautiful but doomed Mimi. As Bugs is writing, "Roses sont rouges (Roses are red,) Violettes sont bleus (Violets are blue,) Carrots sont oranges (Carrots are orange,) et je t'aime Mimi (and I love Mimi.)
As part of the promotion for the '97 season, this image (and three others) were created as hand-painted cel art editions from Chuck Jones original line drawings.
In 1997 Chuck Jones was commissioned by Opera Pacific to create artwork to be used to promote their upcoming season of four operas. Jones, in his inimitable style, utilized characters from his Warner Bros. repertoire, the resulting images were greeted with much acclaim (and some shock) by opera aficionados. Pictured below is "The Mikado" featuring Tweety Bird and Sylvester (as Ko-Ko the Lord High Executioner of Titipu) and based on the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta of the same name.