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Chuck Jones - Conversations

Chuck Jones


Edited by Maureen Furniss
Series: Conversations with Comic Artists Series

Paperback : 9781578067299, 256 pages, March 2005

Interviews with the legendary Warner Bros. artist who helped shaped the history of American animation


Chuck Jones: Conversations brings to life the legendary Warner Bros. artist who helped shape the history of American animation, defining our impressions of such characters as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, and Pepé le Pew. These interviews span more than thirty years, beginning with a 1968 conversation in which Jones (1912–2002) shares the spotlight with science fiction giant Ray Bradbury.

Throughout, the interviews illustrate the development of Jones's career, including shifts that came after the Warner Bros. animation unit closed in the early 1960s-from the uncertain years of American animation during that decade and the 1970s through the “rediscovery” of Jones and Hollywood studio animation during the 1980s and 1990s. Jones candidly discusses his aesthetic sensibilities, providing tips for aspiring animators and describing Warner Bros. animation in its heyday.

Jones was an art college graduate who struggled through the Depression, trying to establish himself within the Hollywood industry. In these conversations he emerges as a witty raconteur and a well-read, inspiring advocate for animation art, intent on nurturing future generations of animators. Jones recalls vividly the Golden Age of studio animation from the 1930s to the 1950s, including his connections with the Walt Disney studio and United Productions of America. With pleasure, insight, and depth, he describes his family and early life as well as his post-Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies days. These interviews reveal Jones's struggles as an artist, the many influences upon him, and the creative process that made him famous. This volume contains previously unpublished material along with classic interviews.


"Chuck Jones (1912–2002), responsible for a host of classic Warner Brothers cartoons and the Road Runner's creator, was the most thoughtful and articulate great animation director. These dozen interviews, all conducted after Warner Brothers closed its animation unit in 1962, come from Jones's long stint as an elder statesman of animation and attest to how much thought and skill went into what are casually viewed as simple, seven-minute cartoons. The interviews come from various sources, including newspapers and radio shows. The best are lengthy conversations with well-informed interlocutors from film journals and animation zines. Jones attractively balances justifiable pride in his accomplishments and humorous self-deprecation. Although he received an honorary Academy Award in 1996, and his One Froggy Evening (1956) is on the Library of Congress's National Film Registry, he repeatedly states that he and his crew didn't regard themselves as artists while they were producing the cartoons, which they figured were pretty ephemeral. Their handiwork's persistent popularity on TV and in lavishly produced DVD sets shows how wrong they were."

- Booklist