In tomorrow's New York Times, a wonderful art review by Ken Johnson of the exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image, "What's Up, Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones".
NEWPORT BEACH – (August 27, 2014) “What’s Up, Doc?” You are! Studies show that controlling depression, engaging in intellectual pursuits and expressing creativity can help to slow or prevent the development of dementia as a person ages. So this fall, Hoag Neurosciences Institute’s Orange County Vital Brain Aging Program (OCVBAP) will enlist an unlikely ally in the battle against Alzheimer’s disease: Bugs Bunny.The OCVBAP and Chuck Jones Center for Creativity on Sept. 19 will team up for a fun, family-friendly evening to highlight the ways creative pursuits and intellectual activity in early adulthood can help prevent the development of dementia as a person ages.
The OCVBAP supports local efforts to help Orange County residents maintain a healthy brain for life, while the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity in Costa Mesa strives to inspire the innate creative genius within each person.
By joining forces, the groups hope to show the public that creativity is not just the realm of the artist and that creative problem solving can be taught.
“When you activate a brain area, it works like a muscle – it gets bigger, functions more efficiently. Creative activity activates more brain areas than just about any other kind of activity and might help to prevent damage from various diseases like Alzheimer’s,” said William R. Shankle, M.S., M.D., F.A.C.P., the Judy & Richard Voltmer Endowed Chair in Memory and Cognitive Disorders at Hoag. “Chuck Jones created or helped create all these iconic characters in our culture: Bugs Bunny, Wile E. Coyote. Using these characters to educate and inspire people to be more creative is an exciting exercise.”
The organizations are particularly interested in reaching the “sandwich generation,” people who don’t normally think about their risk of dementia or ways they can protect themselves in early adulthood from the ravages of progressive cognitive disorders.
Dr. Shankle will present information about the importance of keeping the mind “young” through creative pursuits. Chuck Jones Center for Creativity representatives will offer participants – including children – the opportunity to put that creativity to work at various “creativity stations.” Refreshments will be served.
The program will take place on Sept. 19 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Hoag Hospital Newport Beach Conference Center, One Hoag Drive, Building 44, Newport Beach, CA 92663. Reservations required. To RSVP, call 800-400-HOAG. For more information, visit www.hoag.org/brainhealth.
ABOUT HOAG MEMORIAL HOSPITAL PRESBYTERIAN
Hoag is an approximately $1 billion nonprofit, regional health care delivery network in Orange County, California, that treats more than 24,000 inpatients and 362,000 outpatients annually. Hoag consists of two acute-care hospitals, six health centers, and six urgent care centers. Hoag Hospital Newport Beach, which has served Orange County since 1952, and Hoag Hospital Irvine, which opened in 2010, are designated Magnet hospitals by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Hoag offers a comprehensive blend of health care services that includes five institutes providing specialized services in the following areas: cancer, heart and vascular, neurosciences, women’s health, and orthopedics through Hoag’s affiliate, Hoag Orthopedic Institute. In 2013, Hoag entered into an alliance with St. Joseph Health to further expand health care services in the Orange County community, known as St. Joseph Hoag Health. Hoag has been named one of the Best Regional Hospitals in the U.S. News & World Report Metro Edition. National Research Corporation has endorsed Hoag as Orange County’s most preferred hospital for the past 18 consecutive years and, for an unprecedented 18 years, residents of Orange County have chosen Hoag as the county’s best hospital in a local newspaper survey. Visit www.hoag.org for more information.
About Chuck Jones Center for Creativity
The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 public charity located in Costa Mesa, California. Founded in 1999 by four-time Academy Award recipient and legendary animation creator and director, Chuck Jones, the Center's vision is a world where creativity is known and experienced in every discipline, by the many, not just the few.
This is an important goal, particularly in today's world, when arts education is practically non-existent; we are dedicated to re-invigorating the creative spirit and we are doing it through art classes, exhibitions, lectures, and film festivals, all of which spring from the material in the Chuck Jones archive. Jones was a determined saver and his writings, art, and other ephemera from a nine-decade life along with his philosophy of guiding and nurturing instruction form the basis of our programs.
Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, 3321 Hyland Avenue, Suite A, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, 949-660-7793 x 22107.ChuckJonesCenter.org.
Bugs Bunny TM & © Warner Bros.
Wednesday…September 24, 1952Dearest Linda;
Another day, another letter and my damned typewriting doesn’t seem to improve. The two initial fingers of my right hand do all the work and others just go along for the ride. The index finger of my left hand pushes the shift key. I suppose it thinks it’s earning its keep. It just pointed out to me by doing so that it also returns the carriage. Big deal!! Do you know I used a typewriter for about six years before I discovered what the tabular key is for? I felt like I’d just invented it.
I’m on a diet. I found to my horror Sunday morning that I weighed 194 pounds. Pure flab. So when Donn came over I challenged him to a two-week diet: no sugars, sweets, starches, breads, potatoes, butter, milk, salad dressings or etcetera. No beer! We agreed on a $50.00 penalty if either broke it, so I think I’ll go through with it. What a dreadful thing it is to have no will power.
I saw [two of your friends] last evening. They came tripping past the house, giggling and gabbling. They were in bathing suits, had just been swimming. They want you to write to them. Write to me instead, hm?
Has the Senator Nixon controversy struck the school? I hope not. It’s a hopeless sort of argument. Had to do, as I suppose you know, as to whether he should gave accepted $18,000 as a sort of expense fund to help his income. In my opinion he is, at best, naive, and dammit, I don’t want a naïve vice-president. My advice to you, if you need it, is, while over there, to indulge in political controversies sparingly. You’re probably in a nest of children from Republican families so you won’t win many converts to the Democratic Party.
‘Bye for now.
102Gether is a film festival tribute to the teams that created the Golden Age of Warner Bros. cartoons. For the first time ever, the families of many of the great directors, producers, writers and more of the era will come together, including the families of Robert Clampett, Friz Freleng, Chuck Jones, Robert McKimson, as well as Leon Schlesinger, Mel Blanc, Michael Maltese. Also expected to appear are living members of the Warner Bros. team, June Foray, Auril Thompson, and Martha Segal. Cartoons from each director will be shown on the big screen. M.C. for the evening: Bugs Bunny on Broadway/Bugs Bunny at the Symphony creator and conductor, Maestro George Daugherty. Q&A with representatives of each family on stage following the program.
BUY TICKETS HERE!
Doors open: 2:30 p.m.
Meet and greet in the lobby: 2:30 to 3:00
Program begins: 3:00 p.m.
Running Time: 120 minutes +
Intermission: Fifteen minute intermission at 4:00.
Age Suitability: All ages.
Photography and video recording: allowed for live portions of program.
Sept. 22, 1952…Monday morningDear Linda;
At work, by Joe, at 8:15 and awake, too. An amazing thing. My co-workers look a little shocked, why? We spent Saturday night and Sunday day with [friends], so we had little chance to get lonely for you. Good thing, too. You must be a pretty big girl because you leave a very large hole in our household.
I got a fifth of I.W. Harper bourbon, a very, very fine and old whiskey for my birthday. A nice gesture from [the guy who sent it], but there is no way I could tell him that I’m not used to good liquor and that it would probably just give me the pip.
The weather continues very hot and muggy. As Henry Morgan used to say, “Muggy, followed by Tueggy, Weggy, Thurgy and Frygey.” At ten o’clock last night we went for a ride through the Hollywood hills in the convertible, with top down, and the air was precisely the same as our bodies. Sort of like floating in a lukewarm lake.
I am going to start a carving. I found that one of those pieces of driftwood was very nice inside. I don’t know what it will be, but it will be fun. Nothing else in the world quite resembles the effect one gets from handling wood. Try it some time. Received your telegram at 9:30 Sunday morning. Thanks very much. Keep us informed when inclined and when convenient. I know you have other correspondents.
IntroductionThroughout his life, Chuck Jones wrote letters to friends, family, heroes and fools. Many of his letters were typed (with three or four fingers) on a manual typewriter, and a carbon copy stayed in his files.
In the fall of 1952, at the age of 15, I departed for boarding school in Arizona and started receiving weekly letters from my father.
Sadly, letters from my mother did not survive the intervening years. Most of my letters home, saved by a doting mother, did survive and are, by and large, unnecessarily dramatic and adolescent. Please forgive me, as I was, in fact, an adolescent. Nevertheless, most of my letters are similar in tone and content to any teen-age girl’s rants, and few are important to record for posterity.
Chuck’s letters, however, as is true of so many of his writings, deserve a public outing, and I have decided to share passages here, for those who might wish to get a glimpse of the 40-year-old mind of the man who was, at the time, directing some of the most memorable cartoons ever made: Feed the Kitty; Rabbit Seasoning; Don’t Give Up the Sheep; Duck Amuck; Much Ado About Nutting; Duck Dodgers in the 24 ½ Century; Bully for Bugs; Duck, Rabbit, Duck!; Claws for Alarm; From A to Z-Z-Z-Z; My Little Duckaroo; Beanstalk Bunny; Jumpin’ Jupiter; and One Froggy Evening… to name just a few.
Below, we’ll start with September 19, 1952…the day I left home.
September 19, 1952 (part 1)
[My mother and father saw me off on the train from Los Angeles to Phoenix (where I was to be met by someone I didn’t know) on the morning of September 19, 1952. I had just turned 15 and in a daze of mixed emotions, expectations, and fears, I set off on my new adventure…boarding school. This letter arrived a few days after I arrived]
As you read this I presume you are pulling out of Los Angeles station on your way to Phoenix and what will be a happy and exciting year for you. (and for me too, for this is the sort of thing that I so dreamed of when I was your age and I am going to enjoy every minute of it with you, just as if I at long last had this wonderful opportunity) “Opportunity” is one of those words I always have to look up in the dictionary, to see if it has one or two “p”s.
I’m afraid that I’m going to be unable to write the kind of a letter I’m supposed to write as a father to a daughter going away for the first time, full of “don’t’s” and “watch out fors” and “avoids” and “promise me’s”. I seem to just be full of love for you and delight for you and confidence in you. I find little room in my mind for in my heart for doubts about your ability to cope with any situation, critical or otherwise. There will be crises, some you will meet with wisdom and instant dispatch, some will take thought and some you will doubtless fumble…like other human beings, as different from machines.
Carl Stallings is in the next room writing the music for the next Pepé picture, the one set at the Paris World’s Fair of 1900. He runs the sound track on his Moviola and I keep hearing Pepé singing, over and over again, to the tune of “Billie Boy” (“Billy”?): “Can you kees a preety girl, Pepé Boy, Pepé Boy? Can you kees a preety girl, charmeeng Pepé?? I can kees a preety girl, ‘fore she can shake a preety curl, I’m a yong theeng and cannot leave my mo-thair” … I think it will be very cute.
[more of this letter next time…]
The Smithsonian is having a competition for the one item that says "Smithsonian" like no other. Included as part of the *Culture* category is Chuck Jones's Wile E. Coyote. Now, we can't think of anything more iconic, more American, more unique, more popular than Wile E. Coyote! It's pure "Genius" is what it is! Follow this link to vote today, tomorrow, until the final vote is counted! We thank you for your vote. Remember that www.ChuckJonesNow.com is your portal to all things Chuck Jones.
The Man Behind the Looney Tunes
How Bugs and Daffy came to life.
July 18, 2014 6:05 p.m. ET
'Duck Amuck' (1953) is a benchmark of American film comedy Chuck Jones Center for Creativity/TM Warner Bros.
By 1953, nearly every Hollywood cartoon seemed to be about conflict: Somebody was always chasing or hunting somebody else. But in Chuck Jones's remarkable "Duck Amuck," the confrontation was between Daffy Duck and the off-screen animator who controlled his pen-and-ink destiny. The brief, seven-minute piece continually broke through the cinematic "fourth wall" in a way no live-action film ever could, but at the time that was hardly a new idea: Cartoon characters had been directly addressing movie audiences for years. What made "Duck Amuck" a classic was the degree to which Daffy—as directed by Jones, animated by Ken Harris and voiced by Mel Blanc—becomes such a believable character. No matter how many times his image is erased and redrawn, Daffy remains completely three-dimensional in a two-dimensional medium as he goes on an emotional journey through confusion, anger and, ultimately, resignation, in which he constantly bickers and bargains with his creator. Every aspect of the film reminds us that Daffy is just a drawing, and yet, over the past 60 years, Daffy has become no less real to us than Clark Gable or Humphrey Bogart. With a less-believable star, the conceit of character vs. animator could have been a big snooze; instead, with this "despicable" fall guy of a leading man placed in the accomplished hands of Jones and company, "Duck Amuck" became a masterpiece of American film comedy.
What's Up, Doc?
The Animation Art
Of Chuck Jones
Museum of the Moving Image
Through Jan. 19
Charles M. Jones (1912-2002) was, in fact, easily one of the greatest comedy directors in the history of motion pictures, indisputably on a par with Preston Sturges, Billy Wilder, Mel Brooks or Woody Allen. Jones's role in the history of animation and film comedy is explored in a new exhibit, "What's Up, Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones," which opened Saturday at the Museum of the Moving Image. The exhibition, a co-production of the Smithsonian, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, and MoMI, will close in January and then tour the country through 2019. It includes more than 125 pieces of production artwork on display and 23 of Jones's cartoons, some screened in two different film shows and others as part of the exhibit itself.
Even though Jones would never be as famous as the characters he directed or helped create—Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, the Road Runner and Coyote, and Pepe Le Pew, among others—he came closer than any animated filmmaker (after Walt Disney) to attaining the name-above-the-title status of a Frank Capra, Alfred Hitchcock or Martin Scorsese. In 1996, the Motion Picture Academy presented Jones with an Honorary Academy Award—a lifetime-achievement award to add to the three Oscars he already won for best short.
In a sense, Jones is an even more distinctive stylist than any Hollywood feature director; you can quickly identify his work from just a single frame, the same way you can immediately distinguish between comic strips by George Harriman and Al Capp. Jones's earliest directorial efforts, particularly those starring the talkative, rather phlegmatic mouse named "Sniffles," show an ability to create a naturalistic, believable character—but little else. By World War II, however, Jones was in step with the rest of the studio in placing his characters in situations that were fast and funny.
Like Duke Ellington and Frank Sinatra, Jones was a visionary who brought a touch of the avant-garde to the mainstream—he encouraged his animators and designers to push the limits of the animated medium and do things that had never been done before, with faster, razor-sharp timing and a bolder, more innovative look. He was miraculously subtle: "Cartoon" implies the broadest possible action and situations, but Jones's work was all about the tiniest of nuances. It isn't just that Wile E. Coyote falls off a cliff in his Acme-aided efforts to catch the Road Runner—it's the tiny, almost unnoticeable puff of smoke that appears at the bottom of the canyon that seals the deal.
Throughout the 1950s, Jones turned out classics with astonishing regularity, making the now-established Looney Tunes formulas work better than anyone else could by continually turning them on their head: "One Froggy Evening" (1955) pivots around a frog who miraculously sings and dances; "What's Opera, Doc?" (1957) overlays two sets of myths on top of each other: the pantheon of Norse-Germanic deities (as codified by Richard Wagner in his "Ring" cycle) and the equally well-known and oft-told rabbit-hunting framework (as codified by Tex Avery in the 1940 "A Wild Hare"). Thus Elmer in a viking helmet chases Bugs, who is disguised in drag as Wagner's metal-bosomed Valkyrie Brünnhilde. When Elmer finally "kills the wabbit," he is overcome with remorse and begins toting the lifeless carcass to Valhalla in a climax of "wabbiterdamewung."
(Oddly, "Duck Amuck," "One Froggy Evening" and "What's Opera, Doc?" aren't among Jones's Oscar-winning efforts.)
It was, indeed, a twilight of the gods in the Hollywood studio system as the regime—for both live and animated film—was already being dismantled. Yet Jones went on to do some of his best work in the years that followed, including the two best adaptations of Dr. Seuss stories: "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (1966) and "Horton Hears a Who" (1970). He lived to be an elder statesman, with a broad range of stylistic descendants not only in animation (the climactic scene in "Monsters, Inc." is an homage to Jones's 1952 "Feed the Kitty"), but live-action feature films, television, theater and even music. Jones said over and over—to me and anyone else who ever knew him—that his characters embodied different aspects of himself: Bugs was the suave, cool customer he aspired to be, but Daffy more accurately embodied his real-life frustrations while the Coyote represented his perceived ineptitude with tools. In laying out his own foibles for the whole world to laugh at, Jones touched us in a way that other directors could only dream about.
Mr. Friedwald writes the weekly Jazz Scene column for the Journal.
Last night, Hook & Loop, the creative arm of business software giant, Infor, along with the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, launched ChuckJonesNow.com at the Museum of the Moving Image, a web portal that operates across all devices (smart phones, tablets, and computer monitors) and that will provide you with up-to-the-minute news on all things Chuck Jones. It will include exhibition information about "What's Up, Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones" as well as other exhibition openings and events around the country and around the world. Hook & Loop's creative director, Marc Scibelli, along with his team of web designers and creatives, and through the generosity of Infor, created, built, and launched this new web portal. Besides information about Chuck Jones exhibitions and events, there are also many delightful features to the website that will keep you actively engaged, from coloring a character drawing to videos and a media gallery of drawings, watercolors, and oil paintings by Chuck Jones.
The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity wishes to express its thanks to Infor, Hook & Loop, and Marc Scibelli and his team of experts for this wonderful, generous, thoughtful, and creative gift. Now get online and go directly to ChuckJonesNow.com to see what we're talking about!
And what a night it was! Hundreds of cartoon and film fans, along with patrons of the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, New York, came out to preview the stunning new exhibit, "What's Up, Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones. This exhibit came to fruition with a years-long collaboration between the Smithsonian Institute Traveling Exhibits Services, Academy of Motion Pictures, Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, and the Museum of the Moving Image. Possibly the most comprehensive examination of the art and career of Chuck Jones ever mounted, the exhibit will tour through 13 other locations through 2019 (next stop in January 2015 is Fort Worth, Texas.) Look for it at a location near you!Tonight, there will be a special event at MoMI launching an exciting new portal to the world of Chuck Jones. Stay tuned for more details!
What a wonderful morning we had taking a walk-through of the Chuck Jones exhibit before the grand opening gala this evening. It was so wonderful to see Chuck's life and work so beautifully curated and exquisitely exhibited. Thrilling!
Live from New York! "What's Up, Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones" is set to open to the public this Satuday, July 19th at the Museum of the Moving Image, New York. We'll be bringing you live updates from the museum's opening events scheduled for tonight and tomorrow evening. Watch this space for more information. Follow us on Facebook @ Facebook.com/OfficialChuckJones. There's bound to be lots of photos and nifty info.
The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity has joined forces with Urgency Network to raise funds for the Center’s programs. When you donate through the Urgency Network, you are automatically entered to win a trip to space! You may not be able to actually visit Marvin if you win, but it’s “outer space” and wouldn’t that tick off one of those items on your bucket list? Donate today to be entered to win a trip to space!
ACME Inventions came to Chuck Jones Center for Creativity yesterday and these young ladies created "Birdseedville" an entire village devoted to capturing the Road Runner. They even enlisted the assistance of one of their mothers. Over the next hour and a half and under the watchful guidance of resident teaching artist, Chris Scardino, they plotted, they planned, they re-purposed, they invented !
Last night, the Center was the epicenter for student art from Laguna College of Art & Design. Selected by the Chairs of the Animation and Illustration Departments at the college, Dave Kuhn and Michael Savas, respectively, 50 works of art were on display at the Center by 22 students, from freshmen to graduating seniors. President of the college, Jonathan Burke, was so moved by the quality of the work that he selected several works for the college's permanent collection. The students exhibiting are: Ye Htut Aung, John Bajet, Justin Bechtold, Autumn Bell, Jenny Calabro, Courtney Candelario, Melissa Chen, Gabriel Del Valle, Catherine Esquerra, Ludia Fenwick, Ashleigh Izienicki, Audrey Jung, Cheryl Kook, Jasmine Lee, Clayton Lindvall, Kristen Maslanka, Breanne Paulsen, Alex Salyer, Michael Scarberry, Sharlene Tuiasoa, Michael Wansing, and Jesse Yang. To view photos from the reception, click here!The exhibit will close June 30. The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity is located at 3321 Hyland Ave., Suite A in Costa Mesa, California.
What a fabulous night it was this past Friday, May 9th, as the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity hosted its Red Dot Auction! Over 350 people flowed into the Center's main gallery space where it was hung with 193 twelve inch square canvases donated by over 175 artists from all levels of experience, from the world-famous to the yet-to-be-discovered. Bidding was robust as the five sections closed throughout the three hours of the event. Tens of thousands of dollars were raised to help support the educational programs of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity. Special thanks goes out to our Artist Tribute Sponsors, many of whom could not make it that evening, but feel strongly about the success and future of the Center. To view a selection of photographs from the event, click here.
The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and Urgency Network have teamed up to offer you this incredible chance to win a trip to outer space. Take action today to enter for this awesome opportunity! Donate, share, watch, all for opportunities to win this amazing trip into outer space plus lots of other special prizes. Visit the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity page at the Urgency Network and learn how you can enter to win the grand prize of a trip into outer space or many other special prizes by clicking here. Donate to support the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and walk in the footsteps of greatness.
A sneak peek at a few of the photos coming in from the night of the 4th Annual Red Dot Auction. More to follow and will be posted in the photo gallery on the website. Special thanks to Stephen Russo for his photographs of our events.
All of us at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity wish to express our deepest gratitude to our Artist Tribute and Wish List Sponsors who helped make the 4th Annual Red Dot Auction the success it was. Without your commitment to the vision of the Center we would not have been able to have had the evening we did. Thank you, thank you, thank you!ARTIST TRIBUTE SPONSORS
Gold Level Sponsors $500.00
Silver Level Sponsors $250.00
Maureen & Ron Hubbard
Neils Lunceford, Inc.
Bronze Level $125.00
WISH LIST SPONSORS
Talbot Media TalbotMedia.com
Dave Lowenstein Volunteer Crew Extraordinaire
Guess what Academy Award-winning animator has contributed a painting -- anonymously, of course -- to this year's Red Dot Auction? Watch this space for an announcement regarding Red Dot Auction pre-bidding opportunities with Heritage Auctions!