Tag Archives: Porky Pig

Artist Mike Kungl at the Chuck Jones Gallery–San Diego, a Comic Con Moment

Artist Mike Kungl and his beautiful wife, Dana, made a rare public appearance last night at the Chuck Jones Gallery–San Diego, the first night of Comic Con 2012. The gallery displayed the largest collection of original paintings by the artist to have been exhibited in many years. 

The gallery, located at 232 Fifth Avenue in San Diego's notorious Gaslamp Quarter (just one half block north of the Convention Center) was thrilled to premier new original work and the artist's rare and sold-through editions, such as "Illudium Q36". Kungl has been chosen as a Chuck Jones Homage Artist, celebrating the Chuck Jones Centennial.

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Mike Kungl (center) poses with a Storm Trooper at last night's reception for the artist. Is this a case of art imitating life or life imitating art? You tell me.

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"Rocket Squad" original mixed media on board by Mike Kungl, 14" x 11" available at the Chuck Jones Gallery–San Diego. 

Mike Kungl participated in this year's Chuck Jones Center for Creativity's spring fundraiser, the Red Dot Auction, and in this short video talks about his work and the Center.

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"Duck Dodgers–The Quest for Planet X", mixed media on board by Mike Kungl, available at the Chuck Jones Gallery–San Diego. See this and other works by Mike Kungl when you visit the gallery!

“What’s Up Doc? The Animated Art of Chuck Jones” at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge

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Robin Miller, writing in Sunday's "The Advocate" (the daily newspaper in Baton Rouge, Louisiana), interviewed Craig Kausen, chairman of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and Chuck Jones's grandson. She begins the interview: 

"You stand among Bugs and Daffy and Porky and Pepe.

"Ah, yes, The ever-romantic Pepe Le Pew, who has been a part of your life since, well, when? Since you can remember — really remember — laughing? Since you first watched the fuse blow up in Wile E. Coyote’s face while the Roadrunner zooms by?

"Or could it be the realization that though the characters and gags haven’t changed through the years, your understanding of them has? That’s when it hits you, when you realize Chuck Jones’ Looney Tunes characters are a part of your life. No, it runs deeper than that. They’re as much a part of you as they are Craig Kausen." To read the entire article, click here or on the image above. 

“What’s Up Doc? The Animated Art of Chuck Jones” at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge

STYLE GUIDE -MISC-2 copy
Robin Miller, writing in Sunday's "The Advocate" (the daily newspaper in Baton Rouge, Louisiana), interviewed Craig Kausen, chairman of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and Chuck Jones's grandson. She begins the interview: 

"You stand among Bugs and Daffy and Porky and Pepe.

"Ah, yes, The ever-romantic Pepe Le Pew, who has been a part of your life since, well, when? Since you can remember — really remember — laughing? Since you first watched the fuse blow up in Wile E. Coyote’s face while the Roadrunner zooms by?

"Or could it be the realization that though the characters and gags haven’t changed through the years, your understanding of them has? That’s when it hits you, when you realize Chuck Jones’ Looney Tunes characters are a part of your life. No, it runs deeper than that. They’re as much a part of you as they are Craig Kausen." To read the entire article, click here or on the image above. 

Chuck Jones Center for Creativity Welcomes Guest Film Curator

This just could not wait another minute…

The Guest Curator page on the soon-to-be-brand-new-exciting-and-thrilling Chuck Jones Center for Creativity website will be devoted to commentary provided by a variety of experts and fans of the art and films of Chuck Jones.  Throughout this series, we plan to bring you new insight and fresh perspectives on Jones's oeuvre.  Stay tuned!

Animation expert, author, and historian, Jerry Beck, graciously agreed to inaugurate the Guest Curator page on the Center's website, but due to a delay in launching that brand-new-exciting-and-thrilling-website, we've decided to share his insights with you today here at Chuck Redux.  Selecting three Chuck Jones cartoons to highlight proved a challenge, but one he met with his usual gusto, delight, and expertise.   Read on! 

ONE FROGGY EVENING – Chuck Jones probably never set out to create a classic when he began directing this one-shot cartoon (originally titled “It Hopped One Night”), but that’s exactly what he did. Michael Maltese’s premise, about a singing frog that performs only in view of its owner, must have appealed to Chuck for its witty use of popular tunes from an earlier generation, and a story told virtually through pantomime, poses and facial expressions.
 
But it turned out to be (in my humble opinion) his greatest piece of animation storytelling, where every subtle nuance conveys feelings we can all relate to, including happiness, greed, frustration and failure. One Froggy Evening plays upon our desire to achieve the American Dream of easy success, and finds humor in the realities of how that success may or may not be obtained. Jones’ animation unit at this time was at the height of its talents, producing cartoons as contemporary as the UPA shorts, as timeless as Disney, and utterly original on their own terms. A masterpiece!
Unfortunately, One Froggy Evening is only available by hyperlink, click on the title in this sentence to watch the cartoon.
 
OPERATION RABBIT – The best cartoon characters represent identifiable personalities that are either who we are – or who we want to be. Operation Rabbit presents the eternal battle between those two forces. Bugs Bunny has always been smarter than his various adversaries (think Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam and Taz), but here he encounters his brainest foe – a “genius” in fact – Wile E. Coyote.
 
Jones concocted the coyote as the personification of his own bewilderment with tools, machinery or simply building things. He knew how funny this sort of character could be up against the cool, calm and confident Bugs, just as he was in his debut film versus the Road Runner two years earlier.
 
Operation Rabbit is Wile E.’s second screen appearance and his first speaking role (not to mention the first time the character is named). I personally think its one of the best Bugs Bunny cartoons ever made and debatably the funniest. The scene of the coyote hanging on a rock ledge, having just been blown to bits by a train hitting his nitro glycerin shack, repeating his name “Wile E. Coyote, Super-Genius” – that never fails to make me laugh out loud. I know that guy. He’s me, he’s Chuck and he’s probably you.
 
Unlike the Coyote, Jones hit the Bullseye with this one!
 

SCAREDY CAT – Scaredy Cat is the first of several Porky Pig and Sylvester “Gothics”, three cartoons Jones made with a similarly eerie premise, and one of my all-time favorites. This one has the pair spending a hair raising night in an old dark house. The humor comes from Sylvester’s observations and actions to protect an oblivious Porky from a legion of killer mice.
 
Every director at Warners had their shot to work with Porky and Sylvester and each succeeded in creating an individual persona for the characters. Jones’ Porky is never more appealing than he is here – optimistic, self-assured and quite a strict pet owner. Sylvester is also tweaked in a Jonesian way: silent and scared, paranoid yet uncharacteristically brave. Oh, and I also believe this is the first cartoon where the cat (unnamed in previous screen appearances under Clampett, Davis and McKimson – and dubbed “Thomas” in Freleng’s Oscar winning “Tweetie Pie”) is given his proper name, Sylvester.
 
That sound like something Jones and Maltese would make up for this speech-impaired putty tat. “Sufferin’ Succotash!”

 

Chuck Jones at the Port of Portland

Beginning September 19th, a new Chuck Jones exhibit based on his drawings for his 1996 book, "Chuck Reducks–Drawing from the Fun Side of Life" will be featured along Concourse A at the Portland, Oregon airport.  If you're traveling through Portland then (particularly on Alaska or Horizon airlines) make sure you check out this original artwork, much of it never-before-seen, from the hand of Chuck Jones.  The exhibit will close at the end of March 2012.  

The exhibit focuses on drawings that Jones created to illustrate how he drew the characters that we've all come to know and love, including, Sam Sheepdog, Porky Pig, Marvin Martian, Bugs Bunny and others.  The works below are a sample of the original artwork that will be on display.

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Image of the Day: Old Glory

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"Old Glory" limited edition hand-painted cel created from an original drawing by Chuck Jones for his 1939 film of the same title that had Uncle Sam demonstrating to Porky Pig why learning the Pledge of Allegiance was important.  Edition of 39 examples, 12.5" x 10.5" and hand-signed by Martha Sigal, one of the original Leon Schlesinger Productions ink & paint department denizens.  Purchase this cel from your Chuck Jones Gallery by July 4, 2011 and receive 2 free tickets to the August 6th performance of "Bugs Bunny at the Symphony" at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine, California as well as two free tickets to "The Chuck Jones Big Draw" a family event on Sunday, August 7, 2011 from 11 AM to 5 PM, held at SOCO (South Coast Collection) in Costa Mesa.  Call San Diego: 888-294-9880 or email SanDiego@ChuckJones.com; Santa Fe 800-290-5999 or email SantaFe@ChuckJones.com and Tustin 800-959-7175 or email Tustin@ChuckJones.com for more details and to place your order.  

100% Charlie Dog

Rescued by Chuck Jones from the Warner Bros. character pound where he had been abandoned, Charlie Dog had first appeared in Bob Clampett’s 1941 Porky’s Pooch.   Jones, however, had found an altogether different dog upon his release from the ‘pound’ and it is this dog that debuted in Jones’ Little Orphan Airedale of 1947.

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“Charlie Dog is one of my favorite characters.  I don’t understand him, but I do like him.  He is so unquestionably a dog.  Charlie is merely trying to find a master and a home, which are perfectly natural ambitions for any dog.  Comedy is always concerned with simple matters such as this.”—Chuck Jones, Chuck Reducks, Drawing From the Fun Side of the Life

Filmography, all directed by Jones:

  • Little Orphan Airedale (1947) with Porky
  • The Awful Orphan (1949) with Porky
  • Often an Orphan (1949) with Porky
  • Dog Gone South (1950) with Colonel Shuffle and Belvedere
  • A Hound for Trouble (1951)

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Although foreshadowed in Little Orphan Airedale, it wasn’t until Often an Orphan that Charlie Dog produced his greatest sales pitch, to be whatever you need him to be.  Whether it’s 50 percent Pointer (pointing), 50 percent Boxer (boxing), 50 percent Setter (setting), 50 percent Spitz (into a spittoon, no less!), 50 percent Pinscher (ouch!) or 100 percent Labrador Retriever!  He says, “If you doubt my word, get me a labrador and I’ll retrieve it!”  Best of all, Charlie Dog is 100 percent “Saint" Bernard (with the emphasis on saint.)  

“The Wearing of the Grin” 1951

It's hard to believe that this cartoon is 60 years old!  Where does the time go?  As we draw closer to that time of year when "everyone is a little bit Irish" we give you Chuck Jones's 1951 "The Wearing of the Grin"–starring the much put-upon and often-maligned Porky Pig.  Beset by the leprechauns and just about everything else you were taught came from Ireland (if you're a certain age, at least)–pots of gold, wee folk, four-leaf clovers (shamrocks), blarney (oh, there's plenty of blarney in this one, that's for sure!), and after all that, Porky makes his escape through a Dali-esque landscape (layouts by Robert Gribbroek, backgrounds painted by Philip DeGuard.)  

 

Image of the Day: Claws for Alarm

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"Maurice–Can you get a sort of malevolent face out of this bldg.?", asks Chuck Jones of famed layout designer, Maurice Noble, regarding Noble's design for Scene 3 of the 1954 Jones directed "Claws for Alarm" (production #1288.)  Porky and Sylvester star in this spooky animated cartoon that finds them spending the night in a haunted hotel in the ghost town they've found themselves in.  Porky blithely overlooks all of the creepy aspects (nooses, mooses, and mouse eyes,) but Sylvester is wise to what's going on and guards Porky throughout a hilarious sequence of frightening events.  A classic!

 

Image of the Day: Porky the Giant Killer


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Original 12 field production cel with dedication
and stamped signature by Leon Schlesinger (film supervision by Ben Hardaway and Cal Dalton).

Many of the early Schlesinger produced cartoons
pushed Warner Bros. popular music and Porky
the Giant Killer
is no different.  We
hear Porky belt out “You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby” along with “The
Alphabet Song” (over and over and over again.) 
BTW, the Giant’s toddler is 5’ 7” tall, dwarfing Porky and ‘patty
caking’ him across the nursery!