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Posts Tagged ‘Chuck Jones

“Beep, Beep”*…

 

Here is a parable. For decades, a master artisan crafts works of beauty and genius. His creations are acclaimed by virtually all who behold them. Nearing the end of his life, the artisan, wealthy and revered, his name rightly and indelibly etched into the history of his medium, sets out to describe for posterity how he created such great works, the discipline underlying their brilliance. He writes down the rules he set for himself. And they are wrong…

From Albert Burneko‘s fascinating essay on Chuck Jones [c.f. here and here], his Road Runner cartoons, his “Nine Rules” for creating those masterpieces… and the profound way in which those rules miss the point. Some readers will agree with Burneko; others may disagree. But all will enjoy the journey (and perhaps especially the exquisite cartoons that are liberally used as examples):

How Wile E. Coyote Explains The World.”

* Road Runner

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As we buy Acme, we might recall that it was on this date in 1919 that two men who were to figure prominently in the development of animation were mustered out of the armed services:  A.A. Milne was discharged from the Signal Corps of the British Army, and Roy Disney was released from the U.S. Navy.  Milne went on to write one of the best-love children’s series ever, featuring a character, Winnie the Pooh, that Roy Disney helped his brother and partner Walt turn into an animated staple.

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Written by LW

February 14, 2016 at 1:01 am

“The older I get, the more individuality I find in animals and the less I find in humans”*…

 

Long-time readers will know of your correspondent’s deep affection and respect for Chuck Jones, who once observed that “the name ‘Chuck Jones,’ according to my uncle, limited my choice of profession to second baseman or cartoonist.”  Happily for the world, he chose the pen over the bat.

The (wonderfully appropriately user-named) Every Frame a Painting has done us all a tremendous service:

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If you grew up watching Looney Tunes, then you know Chuck Jones, one of all-time masters of visual comedy. Normally I would talk about his ingenious framing and timing, but not today. Instead, I’d like to explore the evolution of his sensibilities as an artist. To see the names of the films, press the CC button and select “Movie Titles.”

* Charles Martin “Chuck” Jones

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As we agree that this is in fact “what’s up, Doc,” we might send send beautifully-collaged birthday greetings to another animation giant, Evelyn Lambart; she was born on this date in 1914.  Lambart joined the National Film Board of Canada in 1942– their first female animator; one of the few women in the world working even as a co-director in any form of cinema during the 1940s and ’50s, she made beautiful films– and animation history– both as a co-director with the great Norman McLaren and on her own.

Read more of her story, and see several of her works here.

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Written by LW

July 23, 2015 at 1:01 am

Tis the season…

from “Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny”

Your correspondent is headed into the ice and snow of his annual holiday hiatus; regular service will resume early in the new year…  But lest readers be at loose ends:

From classics like Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

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… to Christmas Evil, the film John Waters called “the greatest Christmas movie ever made”…

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… “13 of the Weirdest Holiday Movies Ever Made.”

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As we deck the halls, we might recall that it was on this date in 1966 that CBS first aired Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. Directed by the great Chuck Jones and narrated by Boris Karloff (who also voiced the Grinch), it featured songs with lyrics by Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel himself.

TV Guide, Dec 17-23, 1966 (Chicago edition)

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Happy Holidays!!

Eh… What’s up, Doc?…

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The inimitable Chuck Jones— animator, and director of well over 200 Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts (plus TV specials and feature films) starring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, Sylvester, Pepé Le Pew and others from the Warner Bros. menagerie– on “how to draw Bugs Bunny”:

From the terrific film Chuck Amuck.

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As we keep an eye out for Elmer, we might send rhyming birthday wishes to Ben Jonson; he was born on this date in 1572.  While Jonson is probably best remembered these days as the author of hysterically-funny satirical plays like  VolponeThe Alchemist, and Bartholomew Fair, he was also an accomplished poet, whose work  (especially his lyric poetry) was tremendously influential and his Jacobean contemporaries and on the Carolines.

Jonson was a contemporary of Shakespeare, and is often remembered as a rival– probably, given the competitive atmosphere of the theater in those days, accurately.  But it was Jonson who provided the prefatory verse that opens Shakespeare’s First Folio (which Jonson may, some scholars believe, have helped to edit).  Indeed, it was Jonson who animated the view of Shakespeare as a “natural,” an author who, despite “small Latine, and lesse Greeke,” wrote works of genius.  But lest one take that as back-handed praise (Jonson was himself classically educated), Jonson concludes:

Yet must I not give Nature all: Thy Art,

My gentle Shakespeare, must enjoy a part.

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Written by LW

June 11, 2012 at 1:08 am

From the Department of Superfluous Redundancy…

 

From Damn Cool Pictures, “50 Completely Useless Signs“…

More at Damn Cool Pictures.

As we await further instructions, we might recall that it was on this date in 1940 that the Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies animated short “A Wild Hare”– the first “official” Bugs Bunny cartoon– premiered (though readers will recall that Bugs [or at least, his prototype] made his inaugural screen appearance two years earlier).  Directed by Tex Avery, “A Wild Hare” was nominated for an Academy Award.

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There’s a throat in my frog…

Stephen Spielberg has called it “the Citizen Kane of animated films.” It has landed squarely in the Top Ten lists of both professional animators and (IMDB) fans.  It has been selected for preservation by the Library of Congress…  Written by Michael Maltese, directed by Chuck Jones, starring Michigan J. Frog, it’s One Froggy Evening:

As we marvel at the glorious madness of it all, we might recall that it was on this date in 1977 that Captain Stubing and his crew first sailed on ABC’s The Love Boat.  A hit for 9 seasons, the series helped popularize the “multiple parallel storyline” format, via which three separate stories set on the cruise ship ran intertwined through the hour.  (An unintended by-product: notorious continuity errors, most notably in social director Julie’s outfits during boarding and debarkation, which were often inconsistent between storylines.)

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Owning a piece of the past: an investment option for our times?…

source: Bonhams

As one passes the first anniversary of the failure of Lehman Brothers, one might be wondering where (beyond one’s mattress) one should be parking what’s left of one’s resources.

As Wired.com reports, the auctioneers Bonhams have an idea:  natural history artifacts.  The 42 items to be gaveled in a sale to held in Las Vegas on October 3 range from a fossilized fish, estimated to go for about $1,000, to a 66 million-year-old T-Rex skeleton (above), one of the best ever found– and estimated to fetch as much as $8 million.  Other highlights include the largest shark jaw ever found, a giant pig skull, and the skeleton of a duck-billed dinosaur.

Collectables, of course, have an uneven history as investments…  but then, how’s that stock portfolio doing this last year or so?

As we rethink our portfolios (and the arrangement of our living rooms), we might recall that it was on this date in 1949 that Warner. Bros. introduced the Road Runner in the cartoon short “Fast and Furry-ous.”  Created by Michael Maltese and the incomparable Chuck Jones, The Road Runner’s “beep, beep” (like the sounds of most other Warner Bros. cartoon characters) was voiced by Mel Blanc.

The Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote make their debut

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