Chuck Jones Biography, Death, Characters, Movies and Warner Bros

Last Updated on August 7, 2022 by Administrator

Chuck Jones Biography

Chuck Jones born Charles Martin Jones was an American animator, filmmaker, cartoonist, author, artist, and screenwriter, known for his work with Warner Bros. Cartoons on the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts.

Chuck Jones

Chuck Jones-Born

He was born on 21 September 1912, Spokane, Washington, United States.

Chuck Jones  Dead

Jones died of heart failure on February 22, 2002. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered at sea. After his death, the Looney Tunes cartoon Daffy Duck for President, based on the book that Jones had written and using Jones’ style for the characters, originally scheduled to be released in 2000, was released in 2004 as part of disc three of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 2 DVD set.

Chuck Jones Image

Chuck Jones Image

Chuck Jones Wife

In 1978, Jones’ wife Dorothy died; three years later, he married Marian Dern, the writer of the comic strip Rick O’Shay.

Chuck Jones Warner Bros.

Jones joined Leon Schlesinger Productions, the independent studio that produced Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies for Warner Bros., in 1933 as an assistant animator. In 1935, he was promoted to animator, and assigned to work with new Schlesinger director Tex Avery. There was no room for the new Avery unit in Schlesinger’s small studio, so Avery, Jones, and fellow animators Bob Clampett, Virgil Ross, and Sid Sutherland were moved into a small adjacent building they dubbed “Termite Terrace”. When Clampett was promoted to director in 1937, Jones was assigned to his unit; the Clampett unit was briefly assigned to work with Jones’ old employer, Ub Iwerks when Iwerks subcontracted four cartoons to Schlesinger in 1937. Jones became a director (or “supervisor”, the original title for an animation director in the studio) himself in 1938 when Frank Tashlin left the studio. The following year Jones created his first major character, Sniffles, a cute Disney-style mouse, who went on to star in twelve Warner Bros. cartoons.

He was actively involved in efforts to unionize the staff of Leon Schlesinger Studios. He was responsible for recruiting animators, layout men, and background people. Almost all animators joined, in reaction to salary cuts imposed by Leon Schlesinger. The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer cartoon studio had already signed a union contract, encouraging their counterparts under Schlesinger. In a meeting with his staff, Schlesinger talked for a few minutes, then turned over the meeting to his attorney. His insulting manner had a unifying effect on the staff. Jones gave a pep talk at the union headquarters. As negotiations broke down, the staff decided to go on strike. Schlesinger locked them out of the studio for a few days, before agreeing to sign the contract. A Labor Management Committee was formed and Jones served as a moderator. Because of his role as a supervisor in the studio, he could not himself join the union. Jones created many of his lesser-known characters during this period, including Charlie Dog, Hubie and Bertie, and The Three Bears.
During World War II, Jones worked closely with Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, to create the Private Snafu series of Army educational cartoons (the character was created by director Frank Capra). Jones later collaborated with Seuss on animated adaptations of Seuss’ books, including How the Grinch Stole Christmas! in 1966. Jones directed such shorts as The Weakly Reporter, a 1944 short that related to shortages and rationing on the home front. During the same year, he directed Hell-Bent for Election, a campaign film for Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Jones created characters through the late 1940s and the 1950s, which include Claude Cat, Marc Antony and Pussyfoot, Charlie Dog, Michigan J. Frog, and his four most popular creations, Marvin the Martian, Pepé Le Pew, Wile E. Coyote and The Road Runner. Jones and writer Michael Maltese collaborated on the Road Runner cartoons, Duck Amuck, One Froggy Evening, and What’s Opera, Doc?. Other staff at Unit A that Jones collaborated with include layout artist, background designer, co-director Maurice Noble; animator and co-director Abe Levitow; and animators Ken Harris and Ben Washam.

Jones remained at Warner Bros. throughout the 1950s, except for a brief period in 1953 when Warner closed the animation studio. During this interim, Jones found employment at Walt Disney Productions, where he teamed with Ward Kimball for a four-month period of uncredited work on Sleeping Beauty (1959). Upon the reopening of the Warner animation department, Jones was rehired and reunited with most of his unit.

In the early 1960s, Jones and his wife Dorothy wrote the screenplay for the animated feature Gay Purr-ee. The finished film would feature the voices of Judy Garland, Robert Goulet and Red Buttons as cats in Paris, France. The feature was produced by UPA and directed by his former Warner Bros. collaborator, Abe Levitow.

Jones moonlighted to work on the film since he had an exclusive contract with Warner Bros. UPA completed the film and made it available for distribution in 1962; it was picked up by Warner Bros. When Warner Bros. discovered that Jones had violated his exclusive contract with them, they terminated him. Jones’ former animation unit was laid off after completing the final cartoon in their pipeline, The Iceman Ducketh, and the rest of the Warner Bros. Cartoons studio was closed in early 1963.

Chuck Jones Post -Warner Bros

With business partner Les Goldman, Jones started an independent animation studio, Sib Tower 12 Productions, and brought on most of his unit from Warner Bros., including Maurice Noble and Michael Maltese. In 1963, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contracted with Sib Tower 12 to have Jones and his staff produce new Tom and Jerry cartoons as well as a television adaptation of all Tom and Jerry theatricals produced to that date. This included major editing, including writing out the African-American maid, Mammy Two-Shoes, and replacing her with one of Irish descent voiced by June Foray. In 1964, Sib Tower 12 was absorbed by MGM and was renamed MGM Animation/Visual Arts. His animated short film, The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics, won the 1965 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. Jones directed the classic animated short The Bear That Wasn’t.

As the Tom and Jerry series wound down (it was discontinued in 1967), Jones produced more for television. In 1966, he produced and directed the TV special How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, featuring the voice and facial models based on the readings by Boris Karloff.

Jones continued to work on other TV specials such as Horton Hears a Who! (1970), but his main focus during this time was producing the feature film The Phantom Tollbooth, which did lukewarm business when MGM released it in 1970. Jones co-directed 1969’s The Pogo Special Birthday Special, based on the Walt Kelly comic strip, and voiced the characters of Porky Pine and Bun Rab. It was at this point that he decided to start ST Incorporated.

MGM closed the animation division in 1970, and Jones once again started his own studio, Chuck Jones Enterprises. He produced a Saturday morning children’s TV series for the American Broadcasting Company called The Curiosity Shop in 1971. In 1973, he produced an animated version of the George Selden book The Cricket in Times Square and would go on to produce two sequels.

Three of his works during this period were animated TV adaptations of short stories from Rudyard Kipling’s Mowgli’s Brothers, The White Seal and Rikki-Tikki-Tavi. During this period, Jones began to experiment with more realistically designed characters, most of which having larger eyes, leaner bodies, and altered proportions, such as those of the Looney Tunes characters.

Jones resumed working with Warner Bros. in 1976 with the animated TV adaptation of The Carnival of the Animals with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. Jones also produced the 1979 film The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie which was a compilation of Jones’ best theatrical shorts; Jones produced new Road Runner shorts for The Electric Company series and Bugs Bunny’s Looney Christmas Tales (1979), and even newer shorts were made for Bugs Bunny’s Bustin’ Out All Over (1980).

From 1977 to 1978, Jones wrote and drew the newspaper comic strip Crawford (also known as Crawford & Morgan) for the Chicago Tribune-NY News Syndicate. In 2011 IDW Publishing collected Jones’ strip as part of their Library of American Comic Strips.

In 1978, Jones’ wife Dorothy died; three years later, he married Marian Dern, the writer of the comic strip Rick O’Shay.

Chuck Jones Tom And Jerry |Chuck Jones Collection

Tom and Jerry: The Chuck Jones Collection is a two-disc DVD collection of animated short cartoons starring Tom and Jerry, produced by Chuck Jones, released on June 23, 2009, in the US and September 21, 2009, in the UK.

Chuck Jones Characters

Bugs Bunny
Pepe Le Pew
Elmer Fudd
Road Runner
Marvin the Martian
Michigan J. Frog
Penelope Pussycat
Melissa Duck
Wile E. Coyote
Henery Hawk
Gossamer
Inki
Marc Antony and Pussyfoot
Charlie Dog
Nasty Canasta
Witch Hazel
Claude Cat
Playboy Penguin
Duck Dodgers
Sniffles
The Three Bears
Oliver the Cat
Ralph Wolf

Chuck Jones Accolades

Jones was a historical authority as well as a major contributor to the development of animation throughout the 20th century. He received an honorary degree from Oglethorpe University in 1993. For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Jones has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7011 Hollywood Blvd.

So Much for So Little from 1949 won Jones an Academy Award
Jones, whose work had been nominated eight times over his career for an Oscar (winning the award three times: For Scent-imental Reasons, So Much for So Little, and The Dot and the Line), received an Honorary Academy Award in 1996 by the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, for “the creation of classic cartoons and cartoon characters whose animated lives have brought joy to our real ones for more than half a century.” At that year’s awards show, Robin Williams, a self-confessed “Jones-aholic,” presented the honorary award to Jones, calling him “The Orson Welles of cartoons.”, and the audience gave Jones a standing ovation as he walked onto the stage. For himself, a flattered Jones wryly remarked in his acceptance speech, “Well, what can I say in the face of such humiliating evidence? I stand guilty before the world of directing over three hundred cartoons in the last fifty or sixty years. Hopefully, this means you’ve forgiven me.” He received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the World Festival of Animated Film – Animafest Zagreb in 1988.

Jones’ life and legacy were celebrated January 12, 2012, with the official grand opening of The Chuck Jones Experience at Circus Circus Las Vegas. Many of Jones’ family welcomed celebrities, animation aficionados and visitors to the new attraction when they opened the attraction in an appropriate and unconventional way. Among those in attendance were Jones’ widow, Marian Jones; daughter Linda Clough; and grandchildren Craig, Todd and Valerie Kausen

Chuck Jones Quotes

To read some of his quotes Click Here

Chuck Jones Jones–Avery letter

On December 11, 1975, shortly after the release of Bugs Bunny Superstar, which prominently featured Bob Clampett, Jones wrote a letter to Tex Avery, accusing Clampett of taking credit for ideas that were not his, and for characters created by other directors (notably Jones’s Sniffles and Friz Freleng’s Yosemite Sam). Their correspondence was never published in the media. It was forwarded to Michael Barrier, who conducted the interview with Clampett and was distributed by Jones to multiple people concerned with animation over the years. Robert McKimson claimed in an interview that many animators but mostly Clampett contributed to the crazy personality of Bugs, while others like Chuck Jones concentrated more on the more calmed-down gags. As far as plagiarism is concerned, McKimson claimed the animators would always be looking at each other’s sheets to see if they could borrow some punchlines and cracks.

Chuck Jones Jungle Book

Mowgli’s Brothers is a 1976 television animated special directed by American animator Chuck Jones. It is based on the first chapter of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. The special was narrated by Roddy McDowall, who also performs the voices of all the male characters in the film. June Foray was the voice of Raksha, the Mother Wolf. It originally aired on CBS on February 11, 1976. The special was released on VHS, Betamax, and Laserdisc by Family Home Entertainment in 1985, and it was released on VHS again in 1999 and on DVD in 2002 and 2007 by Lionsgate. Jones also directed adaptations of two other The Jungle Book stories, “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi” and “The White Seal”, in 1975.

Initial release: 11 February 1976
Directors: Chuck Jones, Hal Ambro
Network: CBS
Music composed by Dean Elliott
Story by: Rudyard Kipling

Chuck Jones Publications

  • Chuck Jones; Steven Spielberg (February 19, 1990). Chuck Amuck: The Life and Times of an Animated Cartoonist. Simon & Schuster Ltd.
  • Jones, Chuck (1996). Chuck Reducks: Drawing from the Fun Side of Life. New York: Warner Books.
  • Chuck Jones (July 1997). Daffy Duck for President. Warner Bros.
  • Stefan Kanfer; Chuck Jones (May 1, 2000). Serious Business: The Art and Commerce of Animation in America from Betty Boop to Toy Story. Da Capo.
  • Chuck Jones (December 27, 2011). Chuck Jones: The Dream that Never Was. IDW Publishing & The Library of American Comics. 

Chuck Jones Space Jam

Space Jam is a 1996 American live-action/animated family sports comedy film directed by Joe Pytka. Starring basketball player Michael Jordan, the film depicts an alternate history of what happened between Jordan’s initial retirement from the NBA in 1993 and his comeback in 1995, in which he is enlisted by Looney Tunes characters Bugs Bunny and his friends to help them win a basketball match against a group of aliens who want to enslave them for their amusement park. The film also marks the first appearance of Bugs’ love interest, Lola Bunny.

Released theatrically by Warner Bros. Family Entertainment on November 15, 1996, Space Jam opened at No. 1 in the North American box office and grossed over $230 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing basketball film of all time. Despite this, the film received mixed reviews from critics for the film’s merits of combining Jordan and his profession with the Looney Tunes characters.

A sequel, starring LeBron James, is scheduled for release on July 16, 2021.

Chuck Jones Movies

To view a full list of his films Click Here

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