Saturday 22 September 2012

Chuck Jones' 100th Birthday!

We're a day late, but the sentiment remains just as strong.

Yesterday would've marked the 100th birthday of the animation legend, Chuck Jones. The revered Looney Tunes director, though, tragically passed away just over a decade ago at the ripe old age of 89. The world lost an animation legend that day; Chuck Jones was, and still is, one of the most respected men in animation.

The director of some of the most famous Looney Tunes shorts, including many Bugs Bunny ones; the creator of the fantastic pairing of Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner, and oh so much more: Chuck Jones is to Looney Tunes, as John Lasseter is to Pixar. In a world of filmmakers ever trying to distance their animated work from its comical origins, eager to push boundaries to the sophisticated and the complex, here was a man whose work had all of the above, yet was proud to call them cartoons.

The animation community is bursting with celebrations of the great man's life and work. Chuck's daughter Linda hosted a "Chuck Jones Centennial Celebration Film Festival" yesterday, which included screenings of some of Chuck's best and most beloved work, and guests like Disney legend Eric Goldberg (co-director, Pocahontas) and Cartoon Brew's Jerry Beck. Later tonight, the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity is hosting a fundraiser, called "Creativity Season", hosted by film critic Leonard Maltin and with guests including Eric Goldberg, Kelly Asbury (Shrek 2) and Rob Minkoff (The Lion King) - at the time of writing there's one ticket left, going for $100. And finally, this coming Wednesday (26th) CalArts will host "Chuck Jones at 100", again screening Chuck's films, with words from Toy Story director John Lasseter, and proceeds to "benefit the Joe Ranft CalArts Alumni Scholarship Fund and the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity." (Event listings via Cartoon Brew.)

Chuck Jones is, and always will be, a legend, and we'll leave you with his most self-aware, and of his best, Looney Tunes cartoons, Duck Amuck. Because, what this short does is it shows how timeless and indestructible a good character, like the ones Chuck crafted, is, how legendary Looney Tunes is, and it gets you thinking about who's behind the ink and the lines, and that's Chuck Jones.

"Animation isn't the illusion of life; it is life!" - Chuck Jones

To read more about Chuck's legendary life and career, check out our Bitesized Biography of him.

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