Talk:Chuck Jones

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Untitled[edit]

I just learned from paying some attention to the the rolling credits, last night, that Chuck Jones is the director, etc. of my favourite Christmas movie of all time, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". Bugs Bunny is already one of my very favourite cartoon so it was amazing to find out about the Mr. Grinch connection after all these years.

Yep, Chuck Jones was certainly a talented animator/director, arguably the best that we've ever seen. I love the "Grinch" special too. You can see some of his Looney Tunes masterpieces just recently restored and released on DVD (see Looney Tunes Golden Collections). Some of the very best Chuck Jones cartoons are on these sets, including "What's Opera, Doc?", "The Rabbit of Seville", "Duck Amuck", "The Ducksters", "The Dover Boys", and of course, "One Froggy Evening". The DVDs include special features devoted to Chuck Jones and other cartoon directors (like Bob Clampett). Volume 1 includes a very nice introduction to the Looney Tunes characters by Chuck himself (if you're curious to see what he looked like in his later years). Volume 2 also includes at least one audio commentary by Chuck Jones himself (pieced together from various interviews post mortem, since Chuck passed away before DVDs hit the mainstream). It's great to hear his perspective on some of these cartoons. Jeff schiller 17:53, 2004 Dec 16 (UTC)

----[edit]

Thanks Jeff for the information about the Looney Tunes Collection. I'd like to get it soon from Amazon or the like, I'm sure it will cost some pretty pennies but it'd be nice to have.

RE: "Controversy"[edit]

I removed the "Controversy" section. It's very much violating our NPOV policy, as it's an opnion shared by some people, but not by many others. --b. Touch 03:14, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)

RE: RE: "Controversy"[edit]

Controversy section is not from a point of view. It is view nuetral. It is no more biased that this quote from the beginning of the article:

Many of Jones' cartoons of the 1930s and early 1940s were lavishly animated, but lacking in genuine humor. Often slow-moving and overbearing with "cuteness," Jones' cartoons seemed to be an attempt to follow in the footsteps of Walt Disney (especially with such cartoons as Tom Thumb in Trouble and the Sniffles cartoons)

For similarly themed article see the "Quality Controversy" section of Hanna Barbera.

Some people may like these elements of Jones' career, others may not. If you can only despute the negative or positiveness of the facts and not the facts themselves this section should not be removed. Please explain what about it is factually wrong before removing it again. What would be even better is if we could work together to make the section more acceptable to you as nuetral if you truly feel it isnt already.

Because it's a long section with a completely negative viewpoint. It needs to be re-written and presented from both sides of the story, therfore renaming it "Critical analyses of Jones' work". The Hanna-Barbera section explains and justifys both sides of the story and keeps a neutral viewpoint; this on the other hand looks like it stands to trash Jones and no other reason. On top of all of that, it's not even properly formatted: a section like this doesn't NEED headers; it causes it to draw undue attention to itself. I will rewrite it and neutralize the point of view in an hour or so. --b. Touch 13:40, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Okay, I cleaned up the article, removing these two sections:
  • Jones also reenvisioned many established characters' personalities dramatically to the versions we recognize as standard today. Bugs Bunny became far more docile and kind, protagonist Daffy Duck lost all his daffiness and became an angry spoiled sport antagonist, and Porky Pig went from a clumsy straight man style star to a mostly irrelevant sidekick.

All Warners directors had different versions of the main characters: Robert McKimson's Bugs is more talkative and scheming and less active, while Friz Freleng's Bugs s more mischevous and playful. Freleng re-invented Bob Clampett's Tweety characer int othe cute, docile one adrning childrens' backpacks to this day, Frelend and Jones have seperate characterizations of Sylvester, and McKimson reinvented Jones' Henery Hawk into Fogehorn Leghorn's brash-talking antagonist.

And as far as repetition, Freleng's Bugs/Yosemite Sam cartoons, McKimson's Foghorn Leghorn cartoons, and--most obviously--the Tweety & Sylvester cartoons all use the same plots (and gags sometimes) over and over again. In the case of some of the Warners series (particularly the Tweety & Sylvester, Road Runner, and Sam Sheepdog/Ralph Wolf cartoons), the repitition is the point of the series; and the challenge is to explore all of the different variations one can get from the same theme. Jones has a list of rules that he does not break for the Road Runner series ("The Road Runner must tstay on the road", "they must stay in the desert setting", etc). Remember, many of these cartoons were released to theaters anywhere from a few months to an entire year apart, they aren't meantto be digested all at one time asa whole; Jones in particular ususally made only one Road Runner cartoon a year.

The thing about the cuteness factor is dead-on, however, particualrly the bit about Tom & Jerry. THat, obviously, needs to stay. I added a paragraph discussing the other side of the token; i.e. why Jones is the most honored and recognized director fro mthe Warner cartoon studio. Also, as stated before, such a section should be written in paragraph form, not sectioned off as a list; it makes the formatting of the page awkward. --b. Touch 14:06, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Re: editing controvery[edit]

I agree with most of your edits, but I think you are being a bit one sided in some ways. The entire article could be seen as a slanted positive toward jones. This section is a sort of balance. Idolizing someone is as bad as simply bashing them. I'm glad that the part about plot is left in, but I think the character reenvisionment must be put back in and I will be reincorporating it. After all saying it doesn't belong because other animators did it too is a "two wrongs" falacy. Daffy was NOT an antagonist until jones and porky was NOT a sidekick until jones. He was a star or costar, no simply giggling in the background. --Mark 2000

"If we're going to characterize disputes fairly, we should present competing views with a consistently positive, sympathetic tone." (direct from Wikipedia:Neutral point of view). Jones is a major figure in animation, and the prupose for having an encyclopedia article about him is to explain why he's important, not to tear him down because of our own personal preferneces. As much as I like Jones' work, I like Avery's and Clampett's just as much, and I'm not a big fan of greedy Daffy. You can go ahead and enter a paragraph on the character reimaginement, but please remember to use NPOV. --b. Touch 18:31, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I've already added that information back to the article. But, again, all articles need a generally positve (though not glowing, which this article does not have) tone. The Diana Ross article doesn't attack the lesser elements of her character, and the articles for Tex Avery, Bob Clampett, etc. do not attack their works. A consistent tone has to be maintained. If you do not like Jones' work, and want people to know, the Wikipedia is not the place for that. --b. Touch 18:54, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)


While I agree with you 100% on using paragraphs as opposed to bullets, I think this has been a large exercise in your ego. I don't see how you've changed any of the ideas I wrote except to enlongated them in your own prose. My usage of words like "reinvented" amd "reenvisioned" are completely nuetral. I could have used "ruined" instead if I intended to be negative. You're paragraph comes off as more negative because it sites that some views don't like it. I never placed a value on the change in characteristics or on the cuteness factor, I just stated it existed. I think the sections on Jones' wanting to bring respect to cartoons boarders on the sycophantical. I think every director of the 40's was out for the same goal, especially Clampett who considered his work an extention Surrealism. The way you phrase Jones as the only force besides disney, makes light of other directors' work.

Jones is not the first to add obscure intellectual notes into his work. The Fleischers were the masters of this and their, and ealier WB directors were much more daring in their use of oscure Jazz songs and classical music. I think this is another spot where Jones was influenced, but was not an innovator as you make him seem. --Mark 2000

No. Give me an example of a Fleischer film that uses obscure intellectual references. Many of them have obscure references in general, but noting like what Jones later did, and certainly not with his intent. And earlier WB directors generally didn't use obscure jazz or classical music; if anything they were (then) familiar pieces, contemporary hits, or, more often than not, current songs from Warner Bros. movies that the studio wanted the cartoons to promote. Carl Stalling is noted for appropriating the works of people like Raymond Scott in his works, but that was done without the intent of the directors, even Jones. Like all the Warners directors, Jones is very much an innovator. And the article(s) should reflect such. This isn't about my ego or anyone else's--this is about maintaining an encyclopediaic tone for the article. When you're writing, you have to ask yourself "would this appear in an encyclopedia?" And Jones said--from his own mouth, in both books he wrote and in on-screen interviews--that he wanted to advance the art and usage of animation, and he did more avant-garde works than the other directors.
As far as the article is concerned, however, it works the way you fixed it. I just did some very minor copyedits, basically combining two short paragraphs and fixing one sentence. --b. Touch 23:03, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)

For the sake of aurgument, though, I'd like you to explain to me how anything Jones did was avant-gaurde. Lifting the same eyebrow over an over again isn't avant-gaurde, nor is using popular pieces like Ride of the Valkeries or Barber of Seville. If these are considered obscure references then Blue Danube and Hungarian Rhapsedy are equally innovative and were done first. Certainly its not as daring as using Cab Calloway as the Fleischers did or the back alley Jazz Musicians that Clampett did. The Fleischers are often cited as the first to bring jazz to film, not just cartoons. They incorperated black jazz into the entire flow and style of their productions. This may have been contempoary music, but it was considered degenerate as opposed to the socially acceptable white "jazz" crooners of the day. Clampett also took the "book covers come to life" formula to a level beyond just nursery rhymes, not to mention his attachment to the surrealists. And Freleng's "A Hare Grows in Brooklyn" is also far more into the literary spectrum than most. So please give examples for Jones. Is it in Bugs Bunny in outerspace, Daffy Duck in outerspace, or Tom and Jerry in outerspace? --Mark 2000


For the sake of argument, here we go...:

I'd like you to explain to me how anything Jones did was avant-gaurde. Lifting the same eyebrow over an over again isn't avant-gaurde, nor is using popular pieces like Ride of the Valkeries or Barber of Seville. If these are considered obscure references then Blue Danube and Hungarian Rhapsedy are equally innovative and were done first.

Certainly those pieces are anything but obscure. I was referring to things such as referencing Sergei Eisenstein in Conrad the Sailor. And perhaps "unusual for an animated film" might be better than "obscure", because Eisenstein wasn't particularly obscure by standard terms. Also, Felix Mendelssohn's "Fingal's Cave Overture" isn't completely obscure, but the idea of having the stone-faced crow walk casually through a cartoon, hopping (and hovering) on every odd note, isn't a typical one.

Certainly its not as daring as using Cab Calloway as the Fleischers did or the back alley Jazz Musicians that Clampett did. The Fleischers are often cited as the first to bring jazz to film, not just cartoons. They incorperated black jazz into the entire flow and style of their productions. This may have been contempoary music, but it was considered degenerate as opposed to the socially acceptable white "jazz" crooners of the day.

When Fleischer made those Betty Boop pictures, Calloway was, like a number of other musical performers, white and black, under contract to Paramount. While it's certainly ground-breaking and culturally significant, "daring" might be a stretch as (a) Calloway was a popular up-and-coming performer, who soon corssed over successfully to white audiences, and (b) the short with Louis Armstrong, I'll Be Glad When You're Dead You Rascal You, shows that insensitivity and racialism (not racism) still took precedent over equality.

By the time Clampett made his black jazz film Coal Black and De Sebben Dwarfs, black jazz wasn't as socically inacceptable (granted, even in 1932 when the first of the Boop/Calloway films were made, it had been part of the mainstream for about six or seven years). In addition, Clampett's work post dates a number of significant films staring African-Americans, most notably The Green Pastures.

However, I don't mean to say that Fleischer's and Clampett's contributions were at all minor. In fact, they are very important works in both animation and in jazz music as well. I just don't know if they are "daring", superlatively speaking, especially since the usage of black people in the films kept them in the "safe" realm of musical entertainemnt.

Relating to the main subject, Jones never really did anything socially ground-braking like that. He used ethnic people in stereotypical roles: the French skunk, the African warrior boy, the Stepin Fetchit-type "Negro" characterization, etc.

Clampett also took the "book covers come to life" formula to a level beyond just nursery rhymes, not to mention his attachment to the surrealists.

...but Frank Tashlin beat him to that.

And Freleng's "A Hare Grows in Brooklyn" is also far more into the literary spectrum than most. So please give examples for Jones. Is it in Bugs Bunny in outerspace, Daffy Duck in outerspace, or Tom and Jerry in outerspace?

By avante-guard, I mean artistically groundbreaking, unusual, and significantly outside of the norm. Films like The Dover Boys, Hell-Bent for Re-Election, What's Opera, Doc? (the fact that the whole short actually IS in operatic form), and The Dot and the Line. Jones is certainly not the only Warners director to delve into such types of work, but the fact is that he did turn out films like these. Each Warners director contributed something to the legacy of the studio and its work:

Jones: the intellectual influences, the refinement of characterization, sharp traditional comedic timing. Friz Freleng: timing involving music and musical sequences, directness of impact Tex Avery: definition of the Warners style of zany humor, introduction of new types of characters, extreme comedic gags, and a more modern and workable form of self-reference to the field of animation. Frank Tashlin: sharp ZANY comedic timing (as opposed to Jones' more traditional style) and cinematic use of cutting, camera angles and camera moves, etc. Also, he and Avery collectively are responsible for defining the use of speed in animation. Robert McKimson: devinitive versions of characters' looks, the Warners drawing style, expressive dialogue animation. Bob Clampett: built upon Avery's zaniness with surrealism, high energy gags, and wackiness. When most people think of a Looney Tunes cartoon stlye, they're thinking of a Clampett (or maybe Avery) style.

--b. Touch 02:39, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)


You change your aurgument often. You go from stating Jones was the only true innovator to he was one of many with his own special talents that he brought to the table.

I think you honestly don't give enough credit to the use of Jazz. Just because these people were signed to a studio didn't mean they were being used effectively or were popular. Most of the time they were signed so their work could be covered by whites. Remember, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosbey, and Elvis are all household words today, while Cab Calloway, King Oliver, and Chuck Berry are obscure references for intellectuals like you and I.

You two biggest examples for innovation (what's opera doc, dot and line)are great, no aurguement. But they aren't innovations. Both (operatic direction/abstract forms) were done by fantasia nearly 20 years prior. Oscar Fischinger origianlly wanted Fantasia to be all abstraction to music, perhaps the first piece of psychadellia. Jones stab at opera amounts to parody, which Clampett had already done with "Corny Concetro"

Again, I think Jones is less an innovator than he is a hard working cog in a machine. He was presurred by peers to do some of his best work and became somewhat stale on his own. How many times can I watch Witch Hazel split a hair with an axe (though the line "But aren't they all witches inside?" is a brilliant piece of misogyny)? Jones was good, great even, but, dispite his own intentions, he wasn't that great and he wasn't an innovator. He was just the only one left alive when animation was revived recently as an art form.

I never originally intended to state that Jones was the ONLY innovator, and though he's not the most influential, I'd say he's third after Avery and Clampett. But you do make some good points about Jones making use of what came before. --b. Touch 17:19, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Filmography[edit]

Walt Disney Studios[edit]

Miramax Home Entertaiment[edit]

Was Jones Really Fired Over "Gay Purr-ee"?[edit]

This story about Jones being fired from Warner Brothers as a result of writing "Gay Purr-ee" sounds a bit fishy for a number of reasons, the main one being the timeline. More than a year before "Gay Purr-ee" was released, ALL of the Warner Brothers animation staff was laid off. The animation unit always maintained a substantial backlog of cartoons, so WB continued to release Looney Toons and Merrie Melodies up until 1964. WB probably would have stopped releasing cartoons at that point if the newly formed DePatie-Freling studio had not offered to make more cartoons using the WB characters, albiet with a substantially lower budget.

The point is, by the time "Gay Purr-ee" hit the theaters, Jones was already gone. So if Chuck Jones was fired for writing "Gay Purr-ee", it must have happened well before the film's release. This seems unlikely. Does anyone have any references to back this up?


Jones remained at Warner's up to July 23, 1962, as explained in this thread. Apparently the Warner's executives saw Jones' name in the credits several months before "Gay Purr-ee" was released on October 24. The last Bugs Bunny cartoon, False Hare, was in production in late November 1962 and the studio closed in early 1963. --Angilbas 08:14, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

"War and Pieces", a Road Runner cartoon, was the final Jones cartoon released by Warner before the original studio closed in 1963.Steelbeard1 (talk) 21:33, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

I know this thread's been dead for over a year, but I just have to open this issue up again. That thread simply contains the claim (if a very detailed version), unsourced. Jones, in his book Chuck Amuck and during several personal appearances, flatly and invariably said he was laid off with everyone else when Jack W. closed the studio. The article's source note, an external link titled "An Interview with Chuck Jones," is misleading as Jones says there what I just said he always said. The interviewer, Michael Barrier, does claim in an aside to his readers that this is not true and references his book with an account of the alleged Gay Purr-ee situation. Not good enough for me, especially since he states this interview was conducted in 1969, meaning Chuck was consistent about this beginning shortly after it happened until his death. For comparison to another WB cartoon shop alumnus with low credibility claims, Mel Blanc's various statements of B.S. can be found only in his last decade or so, and the evidence contradicting him is very convincing and often conclusive. Furthermore, many other relevant works, such as Leonard Maltin's Of Mice and Magic, fail to indicate anything of the sort happened. Sorry, but until and unless I read Barrier's book and find it well-sourced and convincing (which I don't expect to be the case), I have to disbelieve this and I don't believe it should be in the article as a flat fact. To be fair, it shouldn't flatly say Jones was laid off with everyone else, either. --Ted Watson (talk) 22:57, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Clampett Smear Campaign[edit]

I removed the following text added on July 22nd by an anonymous contributor:

"Another criticism of Jones is his deliberate and vicious smear campaign against Bob Clampett. In the 1940's, Clampett's cartoons were the most popular, while Jones's were not. Leon Schlesinger told the other directors to "Be like Clampett". Jones, who was described as being a cold, calculating person with a large ego, did not take kindly to this. In the late 1960s and 70s Jones spread false rumors about Bob, even creating pamphlets full of lies to hand out to animation fans. This eventually destroyed Bob's reputation, while Chuck wrote a book taking credit for things he had atacked Bob for taking credit for."

I have heard stories about this within the animation community and is the Clampett side of the Clampett-Jones fued. Until it is cited with references and changed to NPOV, it should not be included in an encyclopedic article. Jeff schiller 21:51, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

I would suggest reviewing both Clampett's and Jones' articles. To me, the article for Bob Clampett seems more biased against its subject than does the Chuck Jones article. This problem could be remedied using Milton Gray's article, "Bob Clampett Remembered" as a source. However, if material concerning the Jones-Clampett controversy is added to the Jones article, it cannot be as it was previously included in the article. As it then existed, the bias was in Clampett's favor. I feel that the controversy needs included in both articles (not just in Clampett's as it is presently), without being necessarily in favor or against either animator, as Wikipedia's standards of neutrality encourage. William Rehtworc 20:42, 23 June 2008 (PST) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 65.61.62.181 (talk)

A little confusing[edit]

Jones started Chuck Jones Enterprises in 1963, and this lasted till at least the 80's or 90's (some says it did animation for feature movies like Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)). Then we have Chuck Jones Productions, which was created in the early 70's (I don't know when it closed). And from 1962-1970, we have Sib Tower 12 Productions. And finally there is Chuck Jones Film Productions (1993-1997). Seems like he created a lot of animation studios, but it's all confusing. What is what, and did he work in two or three studios at once? 193.217.194.114 23:39, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Source that could be used[edit]

Maureen Furniss published a collection of interviews related to Jones, so someone could use that. WhisperToMe (talk) 22:59, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Chuck Jones for Walt Disney Feature Animation[edit]

Chuck Jones was NOT working at Walt Disney Feature Animation, he died in 2002. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.148.6.118 (talk) 00:42, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Hercules (Disney character)[edit]

Chuck Jones did not created Hercules as a Disney character. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.64.226.32 (talk) 23:04, 14 June 2017 (UTC)

Did anyone make that mistake? Why are you saying this?Crboyer (talk) 00:03, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

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