Jump to content


Photo

Jones, Chuck


  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1 Izo

Izo

    The Piano Has Been Drinking, Not Me

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,150 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 22 March 2010 - 02:20 PM

Posted Image

A small pet peeve of mine is when old animated shorts are referred to as "episodes" instead of "films". That animated features are looked down upon is nothing new, and that animated shorts are even further scoffed at is common knowledge. The Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies studio was churning them out at an incredible rate. There were a number of notable director-writers that worked at the studio - Fritz Freleng, the great animated anarchist Bob Clampett, Tex Avery, among others - but Chuck Jones is my favorite. He is a true artist who pushed the boundaries of his medium to its breaking point. Look at the masterpiece "Duck Amuck", which features Daffy Duck desperately trying to escape his own fate as a self-aware cartoon character, the walls of the frame literally collapsing in around him. My favorite animated short of all time is "What's Opera, Doc?" which brilliantly examines the relationship between Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd - all while condensing Wagner's entire Ring cycle into about six-and-a-half minutes. Then there are other things, like the brilliant, Oscar-winning short film "The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics", which I cannot even begin to describe. Jones would frequently churn out easier cartoons that would take less time (but often were every bit as funny) so that he'd be able to spend more time on his pet projects. Jones created dozens of wonderful films, and deserves to be taken as seriously as any other great filmmaker.

Roger Ebert on "One Froggy Evening", "Duck Amuck", and "What's Opera, Doc?"

Senses of Cinema "Great Directors" Appreciation


Highly Recommended, off the top of my head:

The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas!
Rikki-Tikki-Tavi
What's Opera, Doc?
Duck Amuck
One Froggy Evening
The Hunting Trilogy: Rabbit Fire, Rabbit Seasoning, Duck! Rabbit! Duck!
Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2 Century
Robin Hood Daffy





#2 Jon Dambacher

Jon Dambacher

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 96 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 22 March 2010 - 07:22 PM

Thank you for adding this.

This, in one's humble opinion, is a step in the right direction in terms of what this database needs to embrace. This deserves props along with the cat who wrote the "Flesh Gordon" piece.
Props.

#3 littlefuzzy

littlefuzzy

    Ooo, shiny!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,100 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oklahoma
  • Interests:Anime, Disney, Horror, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Classics, Musicals, Martial Arts, Comedy, TV, Reading, Video Games, Manga, Graphic Novels, and more.

Posted 22 March 2010 - 11:03 PM

This deserves props along with the cat who wrote the "Flesh Gordon" piece.

:D

I've got a couple of Chuck Jones collections I need to go through (not like it's a chore.)

I've been watching the Tom & Jerry Spotlight collections (although I stopped there for a bit), and when I am done with them, I'll move on to the Tom & Jerry from Chuck Jones. I also have the TV animation collection (Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, Mowgli's Brothers, etc.), along with the two Seuss works, and a scattering of random cartoons from the various Looney Toons Golden Collection.

DVD Aficionado | My Video Games

Posted Image


Criterions: (Red = 1st printing/OOP - blue = new remastered version/Special Edition)
2 (1st), 3 (1st), 4 (SE), 13, 14, 17 (SE), 20, 21, 23, 30 (1st), 37, 40, 41, 55, 56, 57 (1st), 75, 78, 79, 98, 100, 108, 112 (SE), 120, 135, 136, 137, 149, 157, 163, 164, 173, 175, 179, 180, 181, 182, 184, 196, 216, 234, 241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 260, 266, 271, 300 (2-disc), 309, 316, 389

#4 mikesncc1701

mikesncc1701

    Semi-Aquatic Egg Laying Mammal Of Action

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,119 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 23 March 2010 - 12:13 AM

Duck Amuck trips me out every time I see it and I've always been a fan of Duck Dodgers even in the recent incarnation they did on Cartoon Network. They did an especially great episode in which Duck Dodgers accidentally takes Hal Jordan's uniform from the dry cleaners and becomes a part of the Green lantern Corps.

Posted Image

#5 Izo

Izo

    The Piano Has Been Drinking, Not Me

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,150 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 23 March 2010 - 07:02 AM

I've always loved all the Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner cartoons. To me, it's animated comedy at it's simplest and purest, and there's brilliance to the simplicity of it. Pure physical, silent comedy that would make Chaplin and Keaton proud.

#6 masterofoneinchpunch

masterofoneinchpunch

    The Artful Dodger

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,371 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Modesto, CA
  • Interests:NBA, MMA, Movies, Setting fires.

Posted 23 March 2010 - 10:31 AM

I've always loved all the Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner cartoons. To me, it's animated comedy at it's simplest and purest, and there's brilliance to the simplicity of it. Pure physical, silent comedy that would make Chaplin and Keaton proud.


Well since they were alive when many of those cartoons came out it would be interesting to hear what they said/wrote about animation especially in dealing with Chuck Jones (but any quotation on animation would be interesting).

Does anyone have any quotes and/or stories dealing with this subject?
Under Construction:
My Criterion Collection (408; I Own and Have Watched):
1-16, 18, 19, 20, 21(2nd), 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51(1st & 2nd), 52, 52, 53, 53, 55, 56, 57, 58, 61, 62, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86. 87, 88, 90, 91, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 105, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 121, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 143, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151(1st), 157, 158, 159, 160, 161, 164, 165, 167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 177, 180, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 193, 194, 195, 196, 197, 198, 199, 201, 202, 204, 205, 206, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 216, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 222, 224, 226, 227, 231, 232, 233, 234, 235, 237, 239, 239, 240, 241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 246, 247, 248, 249, 250, 251, 252, 253, 254, 255, 256, 260, 263, 266, 267, 268, 271, 273, 274, 275, 276, 277, 280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 288, 289, 290, 291, 292, 293, 294, 297, 298, 300(2D), 301, 302, 304, 305, 306, 308, 309, 310, 311, 312, 313, 314, 315, 316, 317, 318, 319, 320, 321, 322, 323, 324, 325, 326, 327, 328, 329, 330, 331, 332, 335, 336, 338, 339, 340, 341, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346, 347, 348, 349, 351, 352, 353, 354, 357, 358, 359, 362, 363, 364, 365, 366, 367, 368, 369, 370, 371, 372, 373, 374, 375, 376, 378, 379, 380, 383, 385, 386, 387, 388, 391, 392, 393, 394, 395, 396, 397, 398, 399, 402, 404, 405, 408, 409, 410, 412, 413, 414, 415, 416, 417, 418, 419, 420, 421, 422, 424, 425, 427, 428, 429, 430, 431, 432, 433, 434, 435, 437, 439, 441, 445, 446, 447, 448, 451, 453, 455, 456, 457, 459, 460, 461, 462, 465, 470, 475, 476, 478, 481, 482, 487, 490, 497, 498, 499, 500, 501, 503, 505, 512, 524, 525, 526, 528, 529, 530, 531, 539, 540, 543, 556, 565, 572, 578, 579, 580, 586, 596, 650, 664, 677

Previous Editions: 2,
Eclipse: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 23, 26, 33

“Empty your bladder of that bitter black urine you call coffee.” – The Tick

My HK movie reviews
My Amazon Reviews

#7 Izo

Izo

    The Piano Has Been Drinking, Not Me

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,150 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 24 March 2010 - 04:59 PM

Well since they were alive when many of those cartoons came out it would be interesting to hear what they said/wrote about animation especially in dealing with Chuck Jones (but any quotation on animation would be interesting).

Does anyone have any quotes and/or stories dealing with this subject?


That was just an offhand comment on my part. I've been searching for a while and nothing's coming up.

#8 Izo

Izo

    The Piano Has Been Drinking, Not Me

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,150 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 24 March 2010 - 05:01 PM

Duck Amuck trips me out every time I see it and I've always been a fan of Duck Dodgers even in the recent incarnation they did on Cartoon Network. They did an especially great episode in which Duck Dodgers accidentally takes Hal Jordan's uniform from the dry cleaners and becomes a part of the Green lantern Corps.

Posted Image


I didn't care for that show at all, but I did love the theme song by The Flaming Lips and Tom Jones!

#9 Izo

Izo

    The Piano Has Been Drinking, Not Me

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,150 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 08 April 2010 - 12:20 PM

Very good Jones-directed Tom and Jerry short that I hadn't seen before, Duel Personalities. Tom wins!



#10 Izo

Izo

    The Piano Has Been Drinking, Not Me

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,150 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 21 June 2010 - 11:09 AM

Now here's a strange one from Jones: Now Hear This. A deaf man finds a horn to hear with that turns out to be from the head of the Devil.



#11 Izo

Izo

    The Piano Has Been Drinking, Not Me

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,150 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 24 September 2010 - 09:50 PM

I've just watched an absolutely fascinating documentary on Chuck Jones, called Chuck Amuck, which I think was produced by the BBC. The story, largely, is told in Jones' own words - the doc appears to have been made in the late '80s or so - and this is precisely why it's so valuable. What I love so dearly about Chuck Jones is the way he intellectualizes his 7-and-a-half-minute-long animated films, and he does it consistently. "Bugs Bunny is an aspiration," he says, "Daffy Duck is a realization." Think about that, it's a brilliant piece of low-art analysis. If only all film criticism were so succinct and accurate.

Lately, I've been watching a lot of these Looney Tunes short films. It's actually a phase I go through every so often, but this time I find myself really studying them, picking apart the differences between the directors of the movies. The only major Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies director whose work is largely unseen by me at this point is Frank Tashlin, who apparently had a short-but-brilliant run and has a full disc dedicated to himself in Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 4. I only have sets one through three.

I'm going to attempt to briefly break down my feelings of the five (excluding Tashlin) major Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies directors. If these begin to seem only tangentially related to the thread dedicated to Chuck Jones, I beg your forgiveness.

Tex Avery: Avery seems to me to be the true trailblazer. He was the single animator who started to drag the studio away from the Mickey Mouse knockoffs that they were so content in producing in the early '30s. Take a look at "Sinkin' in the Bathtub", starring Bosko from 1930. This film is quite entertaining, actually, beyond being a historical oddity, and yet it could also have been made from literally any other studio at this exact same time, there are absolutely no defining marks whatsoever in it. Avery came along around 1935 and somehow seemed to convince the Leon Schlesinger that they needed to do things differently. His first major cartoon is, from what I've seen, the wildly entertaining "I Love to Singa". My favorite is "Thugs With Dirty Mugs", which is a spot-on send-up of 1930s gangster movies and the conventions of them. What you'll find in this short film is sublimely artful angles and brilliant breaking of the fourth wall. At one point, we see a Mystery Science Theater 3000-type character stand up from his chair to exit the theater. He sits back down when a character "on screen" holds a gun up to him and makes him sit down until the movie's over.

Bob Clampett: The craziest, most bizarre animator in the entire studio. His masterpiece "Porky in Wackyland" is closer to Dali than Disney. I posted about another masterpiece, "The Great Piggy Bank Robbery", in the animation thread. Why it took so long is anyone's guess, but Clampett was the first director who seemed to realize that in animation you can do anything you want: all you have to do is draw it. Clampett loved gags that made no sense. You laugh at them without knowing why. He stretched physics to emphasize the cartoon-ness of his characters. When looked at frame-by-frame, his films oftentimes seem like a slideshow of completely unrelated images with drawings of such lunacy, such absolute freedom, that it's really astounding. Go back and watch "The Great Piggy Bank Robbery", especially the sequence of Daffy on the phones where the character stretches himself to move to a location to the opposite side of the screen. There are one or two specific frames where all we see is a gigantic eyeball stretched across the frame. And it all goes by so fast when in motion that it's almost a subliminal feeling of cartoon-ness. Clampett always let his characters dictate where a story would go, and given the characters that he followed, the destination was rarely uninteresting. It's entirely likely that Clampett is the most influential animator to come out of the WB studios, even if he's not the most beloved.

Friz Freleng: In many ways, Friz Freleng was the backbone of the Warner Bros. animation studio. He was the most prolific director at the studio - and this is saying something. He was also the most critically lauded, with several of his shorts winning Academy Awards. His films tended to be more conventional than his counterparts, less zany than Avery and Clampett, and less fatalistic and experimental than Jones. Freleng's cartoons featured dark, solid linework and a relative adherence to real-world physical laws. This likely came from his early days in the late '20s, when he worked at the Disney studios, working on the "Alice" and "Oswald the Lucky Rabbit" shorts. One can see the Disney influence on Freleng's early Warner Bros. works, including the Bosko and Buddy short films. The Disney character style is still prevalent in his earliest masterpiece (that I've seen), "She Was an Acrobat's Daughter", which brilliantly satirizes everything about movies, including the people who go to them and the studio that paid Freleng's check. It's an astoundingly brilliant short, and one that any movie buff should see. Freleng, because of his conventionality, seems to be underrated among the fans of animation, overshadowed by Jones, Clampett, and Avery. This is unjust, since many of Freleng's films are among the most iconic of all the Looney Tunes shorts. Take "Baseball Bugs", with the unforgettable sequence where Bugs Bunny simultaneously plays every single position on the baseball field, zooming here and there. There are innumerable others, of course. Unquestionably, no other director did more to develop the Looney Tunes characters' personality into what we know them as today then Freleng. His lack of ambition causes many to cast him aside for the more "artistic" animators, but he made countless great films, and created the most immediately likable films.

Note: Freleng was born in my home town, Kansas City, Missouri, which in the 1920s was an animation buff's wet dream. Others who came from KC at this time: Ub Iwerks, Hugh Harman, Rudy Ising, Carman Maxwell, Carl Stalling, and Walt Disney.

Chuck Jones: To me, Chuck Jones is the greatest artist to come out of the WB animation studios. Obviously, he is my favorite of the major directors of the studio. Specifically, Jones had a mastery of subtle facial expressions that I believe is unmatched in 2D animation. With one unmistakable look, we can know exactly what is going on in one of Jones' characters minds. Jones loved to create rules for himself, and he never broke them. Jones' cartoons, especially from the late '40s on, grew increasingly loftier in their ambitions. He would often rush through less ambitious cartoons so that he could spend more time on something like "One Froggy Evening", one of his greatest masterpieces and a truly flawless parable. In Jones films, fate seems to be predetermined for his characters. Compare his films to Bob Clampett's, who always allowed his characters to control the story they were in. In a Jones film, like any of his brilliant hunting trilogy, Daffy Duck, for example, is doomed to failure from the beginning and there is nothing he can do to avoid this. I find Chuck Jones' films to be the most consistently intellectually stimulating of any of the WB animators. Take one of my very favorite films, "What's Opera Doc?" - with "Rabbit Rampage", the glaring exception to Jones' "predestined fate" rule, but that too is part of the joke - where Jones gleefully butchers Wagner in service of a gag. My favorite Jones cartoon though is undoubtedly "Duck Amuck", in which Jones sadistically toys with one of the most popular Looney Tunes characters. It's a film I love so dearly that I cannot even bring myself to ruin any gags. Just watch it. Watch as many Chuck Jones films as you can. The man put real thought into his work, not only the animation but the conventions, the possibilities of his medium, and that is why he is, for me, one of the greatest artists you will find in the form.

Robert McKimson: I do not like Robert McKimson's films, or at least I have not liked any that I've seen yet. Sure, some of the kangaroo/Sylvester pairings were fun, and Foghorn Leghorn is a pretty good character (I've always loved the little Chickenhawk more, so much so that I made him my avatar), but aside from that I really don't have much good to say about McKimson. He made several atrocious TV parodies in the '50s, including "The Mouse That Jack Built" and "The Honey-Mousers". McKimson's style is very much like Freleng's, if less grounded in physics. This isn't surprising as, like Freleng, McKimson got his start in the Disney studios. Looking through his credits on IMDB, I did find at least one cartoon that I personally could not do without: "Gorilla My Dreams". This is the hilarious film where Bugs Bunny is mistakenly adopted by a female gorilla, whose husband wants to destroy Bugs. Hilarity ensues.

#12 littlefuzzy

littlefuzzy

    Ooo, shiny!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,100 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oklahoma
  • Interests:Anime, Disney, Horror, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Classics, Musicals, Martial Arts, Comedy, TV, Reading, Video Games, Manga, Graphic Novels, and more.

Posted 25 September 2010 - 12:03 PM

Very good Jones-directed Tom and Jerry short that I hadn't seen before, Duel Personalities. Tom wins!



I've watched some of the T&J shorts recently, and while this one is very good, the other Chuck Jones shorts I've seen just don't measure up to the Hanna Barbera titles. Of course, Jones is far better than the weird Gene Deitch shorts. I like Jones' standalone works (Grinch, etc.,) as well as his Looney Tunes output, maybe it's just that he didn't get the vibe of the T&J characters at first.

DVD Aficionado | My Video Games

Posted Image


Criterions: (Red = 1st printing/OOP - blue = new remastered version/Special Edition)
2 (1st), 3 (1st), 4 (SE), 13, 14, 17 (SE), 20, 21, 23, 30 (1st), 37, 40, 41, 55, 56, 57 (1st), 75, 78, 79, 98, 100, 108, 112 (SE), 120, 135, 136, 137, 149, 157, 163, 164, 173, 175, 179, 180, 181, 182, 184, 196, 216, 234, 241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 260, 266, 271, 300 (2-disc), 309, 316, 389

#13 Izo

Izo

    The Piano Has Been Drinking, Not Me

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,150 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 25 September 2010 - 05:24 PM

Finished my little project up there. Feedback will be greatly appreciated.

#14 Izo

Izo

    The Piano Has Been Drinking, Not Me

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,150 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 17 December 2010 - 06:19 PM

The Phantom Tollbooth

Chuck Jones' only feature-length film. A real treat for animation fans, though the terrible, terrible, terrible songs are a serious drawback and the live action segments that bookend the film are truly atrocious. Still, there's a lot to love here, and the beautiful abstractions of the environments are a real treat. I've read complaints that this film features too much post-hippie psychadelic imagery, but Jones was doing this stuff thirty years before this film was even made. Look at the insane backgrounds of "Waikiki Rabbit", or the brilliantly expressionistic environments of "What's Opera, Doc?" or "Rabbit of Seville", and of course "Duck Amuck". This is old hat for the master.

#15 cfkane

cfkane

    Number Six

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 744 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 18 December 2010 - 09:36 AM

Well since they were alive when many of those cartoons came out it would be interesting to hear what they said/wrote about animation especially in dealing with Chuck Jones (but any quotation on animation would be interesting).

Does anyone have any quotes and/or stories dealing with this subject?


I can't give a direct quote, but I remember hearing in a documentary long ago that either Chaplin or Keaton said that they (the live action comedian) could not compete with cartoons because they had to take a breath now and again.
I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own.

#16 xizor42

xizor42

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 112 posts

Posted 22 December 2010 - 02:30 PM

Just got my 2 year old hooked on Riki Tiki Tavi.

#17 Izo

Izo

    The Piano Has Been Drinking, Not Me

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,150 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 22 December 2010 - 08:19 PM

Any thoughts on it yourself?

#18 Izo

Izo

    The Piano Has Been Drinking, Not Me

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,150 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 11 August 2011 - 12:05 PM

Now here's a treat, Chuck Jones' The Bear That Wasn't, a lovely short film exploring the problems and virtues of individuality. Adapted from Frank Tashlin's children's book. Enjoy!






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users