Chuck Jones

Animator


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his three-hour Archive interview, Chuck Jones (1912-2002) fondly recalls creating notable Looney Tunes characters, including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Pepe Le Pew, Wile E. Coyote and Road-Runner. He speaks about attending art school, outlines the early days of Hollywood's animation industry in the 1930s and recounts joining the Leon Schlesinger studio in 1933. He discusses Schelsinger's sale of the studio to Warner Brothers, comments on his brief tenure at Walt Disney's studio, and speaks of creating training films with Dr. Seuss during World War II. Jones describes the basics of the animation process, the importance of story, and the challenges of directing a cartoon, and speaks in depth about directing the successful 1967 television special, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Tom Sito conducted the interview in Orange County, CA on June 17, 1998.

"The difference between Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny is very simple. Bugs is a comic hero. Daffy is a comic loser. And if you'll think about the history of all comics, you find that most of them fall into the latter category."

Highlights
Chuck Jones on Bugs Bunny's character
02:25
Chuck Jones on the difference between Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck
02:15
Chuck Jones on voiceover master Mel Blanc
04:26
Chuck Jones on on the creation of Daffy Duck
02:38
Chuck Jones on the song "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch"- sung by the man who voiced "Tony the Tiger"
01:11
Chuck Jones on convincing Dr. Seuss to allow How the Grinch Stole Christmas to come to television; on getting Boris Karloff to narrate How the Grinch Stole Christmas; on putting memories of his childhood dog into "Max" the dog in How the Grinch Stole Christmas
07:50
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his childhood and early influences; on growing up in Southern California; on growing up across from Chaplin studios; on attending art school at the Chouinard Art Institute; on being an avid reader when he was young and skipping three grades in school
10:09
On cartoons that influenced him; on his time at art school; on pep talks from his uncle when he second guessed his talent; on the importance of understanding bone structure and musculature for drawing; on the "thoughtful line"
10:23
On working for Tex Avery; on working for Ub Iwerks - the animator for Mickey Mouse; on washing cells for Iwerks; on "in-betweeners"
08:48

Chapter 2

On Walt Disney and Walt Lantz; on composer Carl Stalling and Walt Disney's early films; on becoming a painter, then inker for Iwerks; on drawing portraits; on assisting the Yale puppeteers; on drawing figures so they have weight; on Disney's early success in shorts - Brave Little Tailor and Three Little Pigs
14:54
On working for Leon Schlesinger; on animator Friz Freleng; on how talented people attract other talented people to the workplace; on animation director Bob Clampett; on William Randolph Hearst's love of cartoons; on the production schedule for early animated short films - films with no edits
13:19

Chapter 3

On producing six-minute shorts; on test reels; on cleaning up dialogue; on "Bugs Bunny's" catch phrase "What's up, doc?"; on voiceover master Mel Blanc; on the first short he directed, The Night Watchman; on Merrie Melodies
15:35
On music and sound effects for cartoons - by Carl Stalling and Treg Brown; on film distribution and block booking; on an idea for a short by Friz Freleng that was tied to the era; on the writers with whom he worked - Tedd Pierce, Michael Maltese, and Friz Freleng
11:29
On the creation of "Daffy Duck"; on "Bugs Bunny's" catch phrase "What's up, doc?" - on where the "doc" came from, and how "Bugs Bunny" got his name
02:44

Chapter 4

On his characters always being in the process of learning; on Bugs Bunny's character; on helping to organize the Cartoonist's Guild; on the creation of Daffy Duck; on the difference between Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck
14:50
On World War II and working with Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) on cartoon war films starring "Private Snafu"; on Leon Schlesinger selling his studio to Warner Brothers; on poor management after the sale to Warner Brothers; on 1963 being a pivotal year; on meeting the Warner brothers; on the studio closing and his move to Disney; on Warner wanting to do pictures in 3D; on working on Sleeping Beauty at Disney
14:38

Chapter 5

On leaving Disney for Warner Brothers; on moving to MGM; on stitching together shorts for the Bugs Bunny Show on television; on knowing his job was to make people laugh; on Saturday morning cartoons; on the life of a cartoon film being 3 years before television extended their lives; on the first time he saw television; on working on Tom and Jerry cartoons at MGM
10:10
Chuck Jones on convincing Dr. Seuss to allow How the Grinch Stole Christmas to come to television; on getting Boris Karloff to narrate How the Grinch Stole Christmas; on putting memories of his childhood dog into "Max" the dog in How the Grinch Stole Christmas
07:50
On the song "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch"; on being a consultant for Sesame Street; on his own company and making The Jungle Book movies and how they differed from Disney's; on serving as VP of Children's Programming for ABC TV; on winning awards
09:19

Chapter 6

On 1971's Bugs Bunny show; on admiring Richard Williams and getting involved in the British version of A Christmas Carol; on the state on animation in 1998 (when the interview was conducted); on the importance of short films in training animators; on advice to an aspiring animator
12:02
On people with whom he's worked; on his wife, Marian Jones; on Pepe Le Pew; on Wile E. Coyote
15:24
Shows

Bugs Bunny Show, The

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Chuck Jones on "Bugs'" catch phrase "What's up, doc?"
00:51
Chuck Jones on stitching together shorts for the Bugs Bunny Show on television
05:01
Chuck Jones on 1971's Bugs Bunny show
01:13

Curiosity Shop

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Chuck Jones on serving as VP of Children's Programming for ABC TV
02:09

Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas

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Chuck Jones on How the Grinch Stole Christmas
09:05

Sesame Street

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Chuck Jones on being a consultant for Sesame Street
01:42

Tom and Jerry

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Chuck Jones on Tom and Jerr y cartoons and '60s cartoon shows
01:55
Topics

Characters & Catchphrases

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Chuck Jones on the creation of "Daffy Duck"; on "Bugs Bunny's" catch phrase "What's up, doc?" - on where the "doc" came from, and how "Bugs Bunny" got his name
02:44
Chuck Jones on the difference between Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck
02:15
Chuck Jones on the creation of Daffy Duck
02:38
Chuck Jones on Pepe Le Pew and confidence; on the difference between nude and naked
03:50
Chuck Jones on Wile E. Coyote and the parody of a chase
03:57

Memorable Moments on Television

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Chuck Jones on How the Grinch Stole Christmas
09:05

Pop Culture

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Chuck Jones on How the Grinch Stole Christmas
09:05
Professions

Animation Professionals

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Chuck Jones on directing for the first time, on The Night Watchman
02:31

Animator

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Chuck Jones on wanting to be an artist
01:25

Executives

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Chuck Jones on serving as VP of Children's Programming for ABC TV
02:09
Genres

Animation

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Chuck Jones on the creation of "Daffy Duck" and how "Bugs Bunny" got his name
02:44
Chuck Jones on the difference between Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck
02:15
Chuck Jones on the creation of Daffy Duck
02:38
Chuck Jones on How the Grinch Stole Christmas
09:05
Chuck Jones on 1971's Bugs Bunny show
01:13
People

Tex Avery

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Chuck Jones on working for animator Tex Avery
02:41
Chuck Jones on "Bugs'" catch phrase "What's up, doc?" - on where the "doc" came from, and how "Bugs Bunny" got his name
01:13
Chuck Jones on the creation of Daffy Duck - and using Leon Schlesinger's for the character
02:38

Mel Blanc

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Chuck Jones on voiceover master Mel Blanc; on Blanc doing "Daffy Duck's" "you're despicable"
04:26

Frank Capra

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Chuck Jones on the difference between Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck
02:15

Charlie Chaplin

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Chuck Jones on growing up 2 blocks from Charlies Chaplin's studios
01:42

Bob Clampett

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Animator Chuck Jones on animation director Bob Clampett
00:38

Philip Deguard

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Chuck Jones on animator Phil Degard
00:28

Walt Disney

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Animator Chuck Jones on Walt Disney
01:04
Chuck Jones on leaving Disney because everything needed Walt Disney's approval
00:42

June Foray

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Chuck Jones on voiceover artist June Foray - "Cindy Lou Who"
00:38

Friz Freleng

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Animator Chuck Jones on animator Friz Freleng
03:05
Chuck Jones on an idea for a short by Friz Freleng that's tied to the era
02:16
Chuck Jones on working with Tedd Pierce, Michael Maltese, and Friz Freleng
03:36
Chuck Jones on Friz Freleng and why 1963 was a pivotal year; on meeting the Warner brothers
02:23
Chuck Jones on 1971's Bugs Bunny show
01:13

Theodor Seuss Geisel

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Chuck Jones on working with Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) on cartoon war films starring "Private Snafu"
05:07
Chuck Jones on How the Grinch Stole Christmas - - securing a sponsor for the program, getting Boris Karloff to narrate, and extending the story in the book
09:05

Boris Karloff

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Chuck Jones on getting Boris Karloff to narrate How the Grinch Stole Christmas
06:18

Walter Lantz

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Chuck Jones on animator Walter Lantz
00:31

Maurice Noble

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Chuck Jones on animator Maurice Noble
00:44

Leon Schlesinger

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Animator Chuck Jones on Leon Schlesinger and the animators he hired
19:42
Chuck Jones on Leon Schlesinger wanting to make six-minute films
05:04
Chuck Jones on helping to organize the Cartoonist's Guild
04:54
Chuck Jones on the creation of Daffy Duck - and using Leon Schlesinger's for the character
02:38
Chuck Jones on Leon Schlesinger selling his studio to Warner Brothers
02:30

Carl Stalling

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Chuck Jones on sound man Carl Stalling
00:49

Richard Williams

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Chuck Jones on admiring Richard Williams and getting involved in the British version of A Christmas Carol
01:52

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