Tag Archives: What’s Opera

Minnesota Public Radio Celebrates the Chuck Jones Centennial!

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!

How to Celebrate 100 Years of Joy! Chuck Jones Film Festival at the Alex Theatre

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Order your tickets today by clicking the image above or visiting the Alex Theatre website, AlexTheatre.org.   

The Chuck Jones Centennial Celebration Film Festival will be an evening devoted to honoring the artist who brought to life such famous cartoon characters as Wile E. Coyote, Road Runner, Pepé le Pew, Marvin Martian, and Marc Anthony. Hosted by the family of Chuck Jones, the evening will include reminiscences from noted artists* whose careers and lives have been impacted by Chuck Jones and the work he created.

Of course, there will be cartoons, many of them from Jones' personal 35mm collection. Chuck Jones, whose credits include four Academy Award-winning short films, directed over 300 films in his lifetime, with such memorable titles as "Rabbit Seasoning?", "Robin Hood Daffy", and "Feed the Kitty".  In 1992 his "What's Opera, Doc?" was the first short animated film to be inducted into the Library of Congress' National Film Registry, subsequently two others have been added, "One Froggy Evening" and "Duck Amuck".  Jones, an honorary lifetime member of the Director's Guild, is considered to be one of the pioneers of the animated film, feted and honored at dozens of International Film Festivals from Annecy to Zagreb.  In 1985 Jones was the subject of a film retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.  In 1999, Jones founded the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, a non-profit public charity whose vision is to inspire the innate creative genius within each person that leads to a more joyous, passionate, and harmonious life and world.

Join the Jones family (Marian, Linda, Craig, Todd, and Valerie) as they welcome our special guests, including:

*Carl Bell, animator and clean-up artist, will be one of the presenters. A Governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Bell worked with Jones in the late 1960s and early 1970s at MGM. His career includes work with Clampett Productions early in his career and most recently with Disney Studios.

*Eric Goldberg:  Eric Goldberg joined Disney Studios in 1990 as the supervising animator responsible for the movements, personality and soul of the Genie in Aladdin.  Goldberg's strong background in animation next earned him his directorial debut on Pocahontas, which he followed up as the supervising animator on Phil, the salty satyr and trainer of heroes in Hercules.  Goldberg also directed the "Carnival of the Animals" and "Rhapsody in Blue" segments ofFantasia 2000, the continuation of Walt Disney's 1940 masterpiece.Goldberg not only served as the director of animation for Warner Bros.' 2003 live-action and animation hybrid feature "Looney Tunes: Back in Action," but he also provided the voices of the cartoon characters Marvin Martian, Tweety and Speedy Gonzalez.  Working with Bob Kurtz of Kurtz + Friends, he animated the title sequence of MGM's 2006 remake of "The Pink Panther".  His relationship with Chuck Jones began in the early 1990s and continued until Jones' passing in 2002.

*Jerry Beck is an animation historian, author, blogger, animation producer and industry consultant to Warner Bros. Studios and has been an executive with Nickelodeon and Disney. 

More names of presenters as they become available.

The Alex Theatre is located at 216 North Brand Boulevard, Glendale, CA 91203. The phone number is 818-243-ALEX (2539).

Celebrating Chuck Jones’ 99th Birthday

Thomas J. McLean of Animation Magazine has written a tribute to Chuck Jones in honor of his 99th birthday.  He's also included three cartoons, "What's Opera, Doc?", "Prest-O Change-O" and a Tom & Jerry short, "Jerry, Jerry, Quite Contrary".  To read his article and to watch the cartoons, click on this sentence.

Bugs Bunny at the Symphony Coming to Irvine, CA on August 6th!

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If you live in Orange County or the surrounding areas, don't forget that the amazing, spectacular, fabulous, awesome, terrific, funny, moving, heart-warming, hysterical, beautiful and awesome "Bugs Bunny at the Symphony" created, produced and conducted by impressario George Daugherty is playing the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater on Saturday, August 6th in Irvine (just off the 405 at Irvine Center Drive).  

There will be a great display of art from Chuck Jones's most famous cartoon, "What's Opera, Doc?" and a great photo op for those arriving early.  Go to the Pacific Symphony website to purchase tickets and for more information.  

“Kill da Wabbit”

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Arguably the most famous short animated film ever created, Chuck Jones’ What’s Opera, Doc? of 1957 has been feted, lauded, praised and applauded.  The first animated short film inducted into the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry and the #1 animated cartoon as selected by 1,000 animation art professionals, critics and collectors (so sayeth Jerry Beck), What’s Opera, Doc? is the boisterously rhapsodic retelling of Wagner’s operatic Der Ring des Nibelungen cycle.

What normally would take three full days (with intermissions…) to stage and produce has been condensed in the Jones version to just seven sweet and sublime minutes.  And not a nuance of the original is lost.  Bugs Bunny in horned helmet and Brunhilde braids, Elmer Fudd with sword and magic helmet continue their epic struggle to the Wagnerian strains of the Valkyrie’s melody.   Even co-librettists (Jones and Maltese) tune in for a mournful Return My Love as Bugs’ deception is revealed to the love-struck Bavarian bumbler, Elmer. 

What’s Opera, Doc? succeeds on many different levels with the audience.  It is first and foremost a deliciously devilish send-up of the pretensions of the opera world, but at the same time, handled with great sincerity and honesty.   We are invited to share in the antics of the very well known characters as they romp through a magnificently mythic stage set (designed by the incomparable Maurice Noble) and yet they themselves are somewhat mythical in their own right.  A punch and counter-punch effect is created that enhances the silliness factor tenfold. 

“For sheer production quality, magnificent music, and wonderful animation, this is probably our most elaborate and satisfying production.”  —Chuck Jones, quoted in The Fifty Greatest Cartoons As Selected By 1,000 Animation Professionals

This video is of George Daugherty conducting the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra as they play the music that accompanies the Chuck Jones 1957 masterpiece, "What's Opera, Doc?" during a presentation of his "Bugs Bunny on Broadway."  George is bringing his revamped, enhanced and newly titled "Bugs Bunny at the Symphony" to the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine, CA this coming August 6th.  Click here to buy tickets or here to learn more about Bugs Bunny at the Symphony.