Chuck Jones Exhibit Promotional Art (Image via Museum of The Moving Image)
This Saturday, make sure you take that left turn at Albuquerque and head to Astoria’s Museum of The Moving Image for their newest exhibit on the life, and art of Chuck Jones. The exhibit, which runs until January 19th, 2015, is a partnership between the MOMI, The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, The Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences and The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity. NYC has the honor of being the first of fourteen cities to host the exhibition.
Born Charles Martin Jones, the artist and animation director is behind some of the most iconic animated short films in the medium’s history. From his time in “Termite Terrace” to bringing Dr. Seuss’s vision to animated life. David Schwartz,the Chief Curator of the MOMI, who curated this exhibition along with the Museums Curator of The Collections and Exhibitions Barbara Miller, speaks about Jones’s influence; “Chuck Jones is one of the enduring geniuses of American comedy, as accomplished in the art of animation as his hero Mark Twain was in literature.” It is not an outrageous comparison for Jones, much like Twain, is highly respected by his peers and fans for furthering the timeless quality of his art-form; he is responsible for entertaining countless children (and adults) both in theaters and on television for decades, and Jones has helped his platform live on by inspiring future generations of animators.
What’s Opera Doc? Character Layout Drawing by Chuck Jones
Graduating from what is now known as the California Institute of The Arts in 1931, Jones started working for the Warner Bros. animation studios in 1933, a partnership that would last almost thirty years. In the beginning, Jones worked alongside other animation geniuses likes Tex Avery and Bob Campbell in a small building on the Warner Bros lot they termed “Termite Terrace.” In those 30 years Chuck Jones transformed Daffy Duck from just another Looney Tune, into an egomaniac who wanted nothing more than to thrust Bugs out of his spotlight. Jones made Daffy Duck go into the 24th and half century, the boxing ring, and is responsible for bringing so much pain and stress to Daffy’s existence. It was Daffy Duck whom Jones put his most emotion into, for he is quoted as saying that “Bugs is who we want to be. Daffy is who we are.”
As for his peer/nemesis Bugs Bunny, Jones updated his personality from the “wascaly wabbit” into the wise guy we love him for today. He took Bugs out of the forest and into the opera twice, with the latter What’s Opera Doc? becoming one of the iconic and mesmerizing animated short films of all time. Both funny apart, but more so together, it was Jones who directed the famous Hunting Trilogy of animated short films, which pit Bugs and Daffy against one another and asking the age old question: is it rabbit season, or duck season?
The exhibition will feature those classic animated shorts and more, including the first animated shorts to feature iconic characters like the Road Runner, Pepe Le Pew and Benjamin J. Frog; the screenings will go along with the incredible amount of animation cells, storyboard art and photographs detailing the career of one animation’s greatest minds.
To come see the frog he found who sings only Beyonce songs, contact the author @TatteredFedora