Hes very confident in his drawings.
You can see how his post-Warner work appears to suffer from a re-Disneyfication - the eyes are too wide, too cute, and somehow all the chatacters have gained weight. They've lost the lean, hungry appearance that in many ways made them more palatable, maybe even more sincere. Even their legs have all shrunk. Yes he IS very confident in his drawings, that is clear. But was it over-confidence? Had Jones in a sense bought into the Benevolent Grandfather of Animation image that he and his daughter crafted in order to sell his sketches and paintings commercially? I can't tell. I just don't care for the cutesy and revisionist direction his work took on from the 1970s forward. In a sense it was full circle to the bulky, labored, and overly-childlike appearance of his Merrie Melodies shorts of 1939-1941.
A couple of years back, I was watching one of the WB short collection DVDs with a friend. We browsed through the extras and found this studio gag reel. It included a pan across the "hard-working gals of Ink & Paint" - it started with the women, and then the directors, dressed in drag, came into view. Most of them were playing it for laughs, but... Jones was quiet, and seemed to be taking it a lot more seriously, with a look of deep embarrassment that, honestly, looked pretty familiar to a couple of transsexual women.I'm not pretending to claim him as a closeted anything. But there was just something in the way this gangly boy in a dress was acting, in those few seconds of film, that really struck a chord with us.Make your own decision how to relate this to Jones' lifelong tendency to put long-lashed bedroom eyes on everything he drew, even the lummoxes.
I'll probably take a lot of flack for this, but Chuck Jones work just isn't very appealing to me. I definitely prefer Bob Clampett and Tex Avery over this stuff. I'm not sure what it is, really…Maybe it's the angles he puts here and there? Some of this stuff looks sorta lumpy? or something…Oh well.
Anyone reading Will Finn's excellent blog already knows how much Chuck's work means to me.John, Here's an image to add, a "Crawford" Sunday strip Chuck drew in the late 70's.http://www.cartoonresearch.com/crawford1.jpg
John, These Alvin & the Chipmunk layouts by Chuck are blowing me away--they're incredible! Are there more?
Excellent drawings. I love the Chipmunks layouts. The Grinch drawing is awesome. You've posted some awesome art. I do have to agree that Jones art suffered from Disneyfication again after he left Warners. That's just too bad. Can anyone give a reason as to why it happened? I think it's because he no longer had to please the bosses when he left Warners and he could draw his characters the way he really wanted them to look like.
That's some great stuff there, John. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for the link John. These are a thought-provoking selection of images. He sure as hell was a talented guy and even his late stuff holds fascination on us, for a lot of different reasons...
I loves me some Chuck, before he became up-Chuck.
Beautiful. Simply beautiful.
>>You can see how his post-Warner work appears to suffer from a re-Disneyfication - the eyes are too wide, too cute, and somehow all the chatacters have gained weight.>>Could you give some specific examples? Just curious... I've never noticed any of Jones' work, even his later stuff, looking "Disneyfied"...>>John, These Alvin & the Chipmunk layouts by Chuck are blowing me away--they're incredible! Are there more?>>Chuck did layouts for Alvin and the Chipmunks? 0_o Which incarnation?
Wow!I always learn a lot of you!!!Thank you, John!!!
Not to split "hares" or anything but the picture of Bugs dressed like Romeo saying "No, I art bashful..." is, I believe, an Abe Levitow drawing. It's from one of the three cartoons he directed with Jones' unit in 1959 A Witch's Tangled Hare.I do see what you and Will Finn mean though. Some artists evolve and/or devolve with time. Sometimes this process can be controlled through extensive practice to keep the skills fresh but other times there's outside factors involved that can't be prevented.
Chuck did layouts for Alvin and the Chipmunks? Which incarnation?Chuck redesign Alvin, Simon & Theodore for the 1981 Phil Monroe directed TV special "A Chimpmunk Christmas". John began posting these earlier this month.
Chuck Jones cartoons were always by a gigantic margin my favorite as a kid.. I paid attention to copyright dates and director and the stuff from the mid to late 50s directed by him were always my favorite! (and me and my sister would always talk about Now Hear This or "the devil cartoon" as we called it)I personally don't think Chuck Jones was gay or transexual or anything like that (not that there's anything wrong with that!) I just... don't see it.. Effeminate perhaps, but he was an artist, after all. And what guy doesn't like wearing a dress and prancing around from time to time? eh, I mean, not me! no! never!
Chuck Jones was great. Forget about his corny self last work and all the lame topics about his work induced by pedantic historicians. It´s not only Duck Amuck... it´s his Charlie Dog, Three Bears or Hubie and Bertie stuff (for example). Sure, I hate these lame post-Warner cuteness but who can stay fresh for 40 or 50 years? But Jones directed awesome shorts... lots of them. Honest and skilled animator as well. :)
Some of the very Disneyfication I'm talking about is quite clear in the stills John posted with this article, and the rare "Crawford" comic posted elsewhere. Similar characteristics can be found in "Return of Duck Dodgers" and in the one theatrical Road Runner short he also completed at that time - both of which I don't like because they are too talky and self-referential to the point of being obnoxious. ALL the Jones characters appear doughy regardless of age or type (such as Wile E. Coyote - completely inappropriate), and ALL have those Ralph Phillips starry eyes.Now let's be clear here - we're not talking about Disneyfication in the garish, unpleasant 1980s and forward sense; we're talking about Disneyfication in the 1930s sense. But considering that the Termite Terrace crew led the pack in revolting against Disney's stultifying influence on American animation, I just consider it unsettling that Jones - one of the chief advocates for all that Termite Terrace achieved - would have reintroduced cutesyness in the belated fashion he did.
it's interesting hearing chuck in intereviews, vs. talking with him one on one. he's a little more forward and forthcoming about certain things.my friend mike peters ( 'mother goose and grimm' ) introduced us one night by phone, and the experience was a total thrill.read about 'my conversation with chuck jones' here:http://boootooons.blogspot.com/2008/01/my-conversation-with-chuck-jones.html- trevor
"the picture of Bugs dressed like Romeo saying "No, I art bashful..." is, I believe, an Abe Levitow drawing. It's from one of the three cartoons he directed with Jones' unit in 1959 A Witch's Tangled Hare."This is indeed Chuck's drawing, he started the that cartoon & drew the layout poses but because of the Bugs Bunny Show workload gave it to Levitow to complete. Chuck did the same thing with Baton Bunny.
I love all these drawings. Chuck Jones really set himself apart from other animation directors.So what's the big deal? So his style changed over the years. I happen to like both his Looney Tunes years and especially his 1970's work. He got older. He made his own artistic decisions, just like most artists should. His later art is still great. Don't read too much into how artists change as they get older. Sometimes, that's just natural.
hah i like that you threw in that dover boys villan drawing of chucks. Dan Baxter. They called it limited animation? That ole stretch across the screen style. chuck caught hell from the bosses. Those bosses were wrong. i love that lookwww.myspace.com/rodriguezz
I love Chuck Jones, as an aspiring cartoonist I love his work and I hope to repeat history (I was born in Spokane, WA).
Really great post!Marco M.
As much as I love Chuck as a director,I'm not keen on the way he drew Bugs in his latter years.The eyelashes and simpering expressions,the scrawny limbs,the flat nose-I can't think of another director whose drawing style actually got worse with age.I've been reading some interesting essays over at Michael Barrier's website.I never knew Chuck hated Bob Clampett so much.John,what was up with that?I love both their work and could never understand why Chuck would denigrate Bob's work to the degree that he did.Any thoughts?
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