Survey of Animation and Visual Effects
Dec 4, 2015
Final Project: Research Essay on Chuck Jones
Chuck Jones is seen as one of the great animators of the Looney Tunes including Daffy Duck and Wile-E-Coyote. Chuck Jones full name Charles Martin Jones born September 21, 1912, in Spokane, Washington, was both an animator and animation director. Jones animations were done through cel animation allowing the backgrounds to be more consistent without the need to redraw the whole background. Starting of in UB Iwerks studio as a cel washer in 1931, till he became assistant animator for Grim Natwick. In 1933, Jones moved on to working under the warner Bros. Banner.(Ashe) In Chuck Jones: A Flurry of Drawings a reference “Chuck Amuke” states, “… the familiar Warner Bros. Repertory Company consisted of humanesque figures with animal faces and proportions.” In the image below taken from Chuck Jones: A Flurry of Drawings we can see how the difference between Bugs and a real rabbit and how the change in the bones length to give the characters a more human stance makes it hard for them to take the natural stances of real animals.(Kenner 17-20)
In the animation short, “Duck Amuke,” one can see the different styles of backgrounds created as each scene is deferent from a farm to a childish city drawing lacking color. The backgrounds that had color were of a simple selection of colors for each like in may of Jones works. As scene in the arctic background done in blues and whites.There is even a section where Daffy is recreated as an odd character walking in all fours that has only one color for the background. In this work Daffy is kept mostly in the foreground except for the sailing scene where he is in the background till the close-up. At the end Jones has Bugs Bunny as the one that was messing with Daffy rapping the story together with an explanation for the artist pranking Daffy.
In the animation short, “The Froggy Evening,” there is more details to the background with the details done in the buildings. Though the scene depicting the interior of the theater has a purple base color with simple colored lines showing the detail with a few dark purple shades to add shadows. Characters are shown in the foreground or mid-ground with either the whole body or just from the waist up. There are also scenes that focus in on the frog as he sings an dances with a far away scene during the theater scene that shows the frog on a high wire. In the end just like with “Duck Amuke” Jones ends the cartoon explaining how the frog was in the box in the begging by having the man get rid of the frog in the same way.
In the animation short, “Fast And Furry-ous,” one of the debut episodes fWile E. Coyote and the Road Runner who are known to always be in a sort of chase which ends with Wile being hurt in some way that he easily jumps back from. The first few seconds give a bit of look behind the movements of drawn characters as the Road Runner’s movements are slowed down.The background are created with the sample simple color selections as Jones is known for with farther back scenery being just simple shapes and color ,while closer up, the scenery has more detail and texture. As in the other works the characters stay mostly in the foreground but some of the chase scenes and falling scenes a more arial view is given with dust clouds marking the characters position as they run. The creation of one Wile E. Coyote is said to be inspired by Mark Twain’s Roughing chapter 5 that Jones read when he was seven. In the chapter Twain describes a coyote as:
“… a long, slim, sick, and sorry-looking skeleton, with a gray wolf-skin stretched over it, a tolerably bushy tail that forever sags down with a despairing expression of forsakenness and misery, a furtive and evil eye, and a long, sharp face, with slightly lifted lip and exposed teeth. He has a general slinking expression all over.” (Inge 13-14)
Even the speed of the characters was inspired by Twain’s reference to how a dog following a coyote can in an instant be left behind by the coyotes speed (Inge 14). Also debut in the animation was the Acme Corporation named after a time in Jones childhood where they would play shop that was called Acme. In the animation any of the products that Wile E. Coyote gets usually ends up back firing on him. In the cartoon the background change as the characters speed up till the background blurs to simple colors and shapes that are distorted. The difference between the cels and background as the characters have less detail and are primarily one color for each part but the backgrounds have gradients and mixed colors on the same object.
Chuck Jones has made many contributions to the animation world. Just as he and other artist were inspired by Winsor McCay and his animation of Gertie the Dinosaur which was a full animation, Chuck Jones inspires many of today’s animators with Jones’ characters still around today thought the style changed some the base that they were set on still stands. Daffy is still an attention seeker, Bugs still says “What’s up doc?”, and Wile E. Coyote still can not catch the Roadrunner.
Ashe, Brandie. “Chuck Jones: An Animated Life.” trueclassics.net. Sep. 17 2012. Web. Dec. 2 2015.
Inge, M. Thomas. “Mark Twain, Chuck Jones, And The Art Of Animation.” Studies In American Humor 3.17 (2008): 11-17. Literary Reference Center. Web. 1 Dec. 2015.
Kenner, Hugh. Chuck Jones: A Flurry of Drawings, Portraits of American Genius. Berkeley: University of California Press, c1994: Web. 1 Dec. 2015