Not much has changed in the nearly 40 years since Chuck Jones directed "A Very Merry Cricket". There is still the mad rushing around from this store to that one, the short tempers, the car horns, and the endless mall parking lots ("…wherever did I park that car?" you very well could be asking yourself about right now.)
But the perfect antidote to all that madness, is to take a 25 minute break, right now if you can, and enjoy this beautifully animated television special that was released late in 1973 after the success of Chuck's animated interpretation of George Selden's beloved "A Cricket in Times Square." Merry Christmas!
You might very well look at this image and ask yourself, "What do these characters have to do with our nation's founding?" Well wonder no more, here's the story as told to us by a very wise person…
In the middle 1970s Chuck Jones was producing and directing several half hour TV specials based on the George Selden "Cricket in Times Square" books and characters. The last of a trio of films starring Harry Cat, Chester Cricket and Tucker Mouse was "Yankee Doodle Cricket" and as was often the case with Chuck, he made a thorough investigation of the period (revolutionary, my good fellow!) and while working on model drawings, the look and feel of the film, he took that left turn at Albuquerque and created the drawing that was used as the line for this hand-painted limited edition cel that stars Pepe le Pew, Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam as they witness Daffy Duck applying his "Daffy Duck" (did you think I was going to say his "John Hancock"?) to the Ducklaration of Independence.
Each "Ducklaration" in the edition has been hand-painted by expert cel painters, one color at a time (from darkest to lightest) on the reverse side of the acetate (cel) sheet, Chuck approved each by hand-signing each example. To add this special work of art to your collection, please contact your Chuck Jones Gallery art consultant and you will receive two free tickets to "Bugs Bunny at the Symphony" on Saturday, August 6, 2011 at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, Irvine, California and two free tickets to the Chuck Jones Big Draw on Sunday, August 7, 2011 at SOCO (South Coast Collection) in Costa Mesa, California, a $150.00 value! San Diego: 888-294-9880; Santa Fe: 800-290-5999; Tustin: 800-959-7175.
Original mixed media model drawing of the Connecticut Cat by Chuck Jones for his 1973 television special, "A Very Merry Cricket." The sequel to his "A Cricket in Times Square" (original book by George Selden), "A Very Merry Cricket" finds our intrepid heroes Tucker Mouse (voiced by Mel Blanc) and Harry the Cat (voiced by Les Tremayne) off to Connecticut to find their friend, the musically-gifted cricket, Chester. The final Christmas montage of the film is cited by many to be some of Chuck's finest post-Warner Bros. work, see for yourself and let us know if you agree:
Original storyboard page for Chuck Jones' 1973 television special "A Cricket in Times Square." This artwork will be part of Chuck Jones: An Animator's Life from A to Z-Z-Z-Z opening May 14th at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills.
Based on the children's book of the same title by George Selden, the film finds a braunschweiger-eating cricket named Chester trapped in a picnic basket and transported from his home in Connecticut to New York City, with voice actors Mel Blanc, June Foray and Les Tremayne.