Roger Ebert on Chuck Jones (and 3 of Jones’ Masterpieces)

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Original layout drawing by Chuck Jones (graphite on 12 field animation paper, 10.5" x 12.5") for his 1957 short film, "What's Opera, Doc?".  

We stumbled upon (isn't the internet grand?) an article by film critic Roger Ebert that he had written several years ago about three of Chuck Jones' masterpieces.  "Duck Amuck", "One Froggy Evening" and "What's Opera, Doc?" are arguably the crème de la crème of Jones' prolific career, so much so that the Smithsonian's National Film Registry added them to their list of archived films.

Ebert, in his inimitable style, lays out a great argument for Jones' mastery of the genre, "The subtext of "Duck Amuck" is Daffy's desire to be the star of the studio, and his career-long rivalry with Bugs Bunny, who came along just as Daffy was becoming Warner's star. In both "Duck Amuck" and "What's Opera, Doc?" Jones gives himself freedom to rewrite cartoon conventions.

"In the opera spoof, bits of half a dozen Wagner operas create a pastiche of romantic turmoil as Elmer woos Bugs. There are sensational shots (the opening lightning storm) and quieter moments that surprise us, as when Elmer Fudd seems sad and takes the plot seriously."

To read the article in its entirety, click here.  

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