Tag Archives: Valerie Kausen

Valerie Kausen at the Bradford Animation Festival

The talented Valerie Kausen is the special guest of honor at the Bradford Animation Festival at the National Media Museum in the United Kingdom. They screened "The Magical World of Chuck Jones" on the big screen for the first time in 20 years (Valerie was a producer) while Chuck Jones short cartoons played in other venues. The Festival ends on the 17th…so if you're in the Bradford, U.K. area (near Manchester) skootchy on over and see what's happening. (In case you were wondering, "Skootchy" is a technical term that means "come on down".)

BAF Chuck Jones centenary

BAF Valerie Magical World

Valerie, 20 years ago.

BAF Magical World

BAF Chuck Magical World

It's always wonderful to poke around in the Chuck Jones archives (what some people call 'curating' — but isn't everyone a curator? 'Poking around' sounds like more fun to me) to see what might be just right for an exhibition (big or small) like the works selected for Bradford Animation Festival's Chuck Jones Centenary Tribute.

BAF display 1

In the photo above, Chuck demonstrates how three of the characters he developed and/or created are drawn in a similar way: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote. These drawings are featured on pages 132, 133 of "Chuck Reducks: Drawing From the Fun Side of Life" by Chuck Jones.

BAF display 2

The five drawings in the photograph above are from three of the many archive boxes filled with Chuck Jones sketches–animals, children, conveyances. BTW, if you want a baby to look like a baby, don't give it a cigar to smoke (see image lower left.)

BAF display 3

These last drawings appeared in Chuck Jones's autobiography, "Chuck Amuck: the Life and Times of an Animated Cartoonist". Clockwise from upper left, Johnson the cat, Teddy, a dachshund in a wet suit (drawn during the pre-production for Jones's "The White Seal"), a 1941 caricature holiday card from his Unit A at Leon Schlesinger Productions and Johnson with his tongue depressor.

 

Remembering Chuck Jones

Chuck Jones passed away on February 22, 2002.  It doesn't seem possible that a decade has passed since then, for his spirit truly does live on, not only in each of you, but also in the hearts and minds of his three grandchildren, Valerie, Craig, and Todd.    

Craig linda valerie todd AMPAS 5.13.2010

Pictured from left: Craig Kausen, Linda Jones Clough, Valerie, and Todd Kausen at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with Chuck Jones's Oscar® for his 1965 short animated film, "The Dot and the Line". 

 

THOUGHTS ON THIS DAY...

From Valerie: People love Chuck Jones. In the decade that has passed since Chuck’s death, I have found myself getting to know (and love) him even more deeply. I have the great honor of working with the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and witnessing innumerable people being inspired by Chuck’s work, his words, his philosophy, the memories of his kindness and humor.

Valerie Chuck copyright

I had the great pleasure of growing up with Chuck, being able to work with him closely for many years, to represent him in many situations over the years and be his only granddaughter. 

It would seem that when someone leaves this world that the memory might fade, become less important over time, but Chuck’s influence is growing stronger. The importance of a heartfelt, humor-filled life is now more clear than ever. I am more inspired, connected and dedicated to a creative life and to the pursuit of my own soul’s contribution to this world and I know that this is because of Chuck and what is still alive in this world that he left for us.

People love Chuck Jones. It is a love affair that never seems to end. Chuck changed lives through his work, his encouragement or just by his deep love of living. He is still changing lives, ten years after his passing. 

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From Todd: Ten years seems like a long time in most situations, but for some reason, it does not feel very long when thinking back to when Chuck left us.  When I was at the new Chuck Jones Experience in Las Vegas at the Circus Circus Hotel, I was filled with a feeling of missing him. It really is a great experience whether you knew him or not.

Todd Chuck copyright

I'm so honored to be associated with him and his great legacy, albeit strictly through nepotism and certainly not through any kind of deserved place.  However, as Chuck used to say, "Even if I don't deserve it, that doesn't mean I can't enjoy it!"  So on this day, I shall reflect on him, his legacy, his impact on me personally and be very grateful for the tiniest piece of his humor, wit and genius that somehow trickled into my blood and allows me to occasionally find the humor in this wacky journey of life.  Thanks for that, Chief!

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From Craig: It is quite startling for me to think that it has been 10 years since my Grandfather, Chuck, passed away.  Not only do I recall that day quite vividly, just as I’m sure everyone who has had someone important to them leave, I reflect that now a fifth of my life has been without him here to be able to visit with, ask questions, and laugh with at dinners.  The realization doesn’t quite seem to fit in the scheme of time for me.  Perhaps it is that time is much more relative these days for me, or just that my memories of him within our lives are so ingrained.  But in any case, I would describe my life as being almost completely with him and just a brief moment since without him.  I’m sure that being around his persona, his name, and the memories of him recounted by so many on a regular basis bridges the gap of him not physically being here, but my own memories are as constant and as clear as they ever were. 

Chuck Craig Bike copyright

On this day, 10 years later, still my fondest memories are the personal ones; the ones where he created a special moment when I was young(er) like jumping in the pool fully clothed when I learned to swim, or teaching me how to ride my bike, or telling me how special it was when my son was born.  No matter what the memory is for me, each of them, when it includes Chuck, makes me smile.

Send in the Clowns: Chuck Jones and Ringling Bros. Clown College

Chuck Jones met the clown TJ Tatters, also known as Steve Smith, in the early 1990s.  Smith, a graduate of the Ringling Bros. Clown College and its director from 1985 until 1995, invited Jones down to Sarasota, Florida on several occasions to speak with the students.  As was his nature, Chuck gifted many of the students a drawing of their favorite Warner Bros. character.  On one such trip he drew this:
CJ Michigan J Frog018 copy
 This past September, the Clowns (past, present and future) got together on Cape Cod for a reunion and to celebrate Chuck's birthday, Valerie Kausen, Chuck's granddaughter went out to join them in their festivities.  

Stevesmithvkausen
“Being at the Clown College Reunion made my heart so happy to feel the love and respect that each and every one of those fabulous laugh loving people loved Chuck as much as I do. My face hurt from smiling so much. I had such a great time!", said Valerie, seen here with Steve Smith (aka TJ Tatters), Clown Hall of Fame member, and the talent development coordinator for Chuck Jones Film Productions, in Provincetown this past September for their Reunion.