Chuck Jones

Here is another example of the amazing talent Warner Bros. had. Born in 1912, he was the son of an unsuccessful business man. When his father would start up a new business, he would always get some stationary with the new company name on them. When they failed, he told his children to use them up as fast as possible. As such, young Charles got plenty of practice. Good thing too, in an art class later in his life, the professor said that everyone has 100,000 bad drawings in them that they have to get out before they can draw anything worthwhile. (Harsh, but that explains why I can’t draw.) Chuck had no such worry as thanks to all that paper, he was well over the 200,000 mark. After graduating from Chouinard Art Institute, he recieved a call from a friend who had been hired by the Ub Iwerks studio. Starting as a cel washer, he moved up from painter to in-betweener, (the person who draws what comes between the drawings the animators make) He met a cel painter named Dorothy Webster, who would one day become Dorothy Jones. He joined Warner Bros. in 1933 as an assisstant animator, but got promoted to actual animator two years later. He was assigned to work with another man named Tex Avery. They moved into what they called Termite Terrace with other men named Bob Clampett, Sid Suterland, and Virgil Ross. When Frank Tashlin left the studio, Chuck became a director. The man created many characters for the studio. Some not quite well known, (Charlie dog, the three bears, Hubie and Bertie) and some that are considered cartoon legends. (Marvin the Martian, Pepe Le Pew, and Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner) He worked with Dr. Seuss himself, Theodore Geisel on Private Snafu shorts, (and later would help with “How the Grinch stole Christmas”) he did some uncredited work on Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” and wrote the screenplay for the film “Gay Purr-ee” (Animated cats in France? Why does that sound so Disney?) He left Warner Bros. in 1963 and worked for MGM, making some Tom and Jerry shorts until 1967. He continued work on animated TV adaptaions of storis like “Rikki Tikki Tavi”, “The White Seal”, and “Horton hears a Who.” Also producing the “The Phantom Tollbooth” movie.  He even made a cameo in the movie “Gremlins.” His last Looney Tune was 1996’s “From Hare to Eternity” which was a tribute to Friz Freleng, who had died the previous year. (It’s surreal to see Sam being directed by Jones. Yosemite Sam that is, not Sam the sheepdog.) The man died in 2002 due to heart failure, and his ashes were set out to sea. He may be gone, but his work is still higly celebrated. He won the Academy award for best animated short three times. (“For Scent-imental reasons”, “So much for so little”, and “The dot and the line.”) And in “The 50 greatest cartoons”, Numbers 5, 4, 2, and 1 are all shorts he directed. Mr. Jones, I salute you. You were one of the most talented Human beings on this planet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *