By Casey Burchby
Second only to Walt Disney, Chuck Jones was one of the most influential American animators in history. Eleven years after his death at age 89, Jones' style continues to influence animators and cartoonists by the dozen. Closely associated with Warner Bros. throughout his career, Jones directed hundreds of Looney Tunes shorts and created Marvin the Martian, Pepe le Pew, the Road Runner, and Wile E. Coyote.
In the 1950s, Jones
directed a trio of Looney Tunes
shorts that are
considered among the very best ever made: Duck Amuck
(in which Daffy is tormented by his animator), One
(starring Michigan J. Frog, later the mascot of the
short-lived WB network), and What's Opera, Doc?
(the famous Wagner parody).
Jones' exaggerated character design and flat,
semi-abstract backgrounds continue to provide the dominant Warner Bros. look.
The Cartoon Art Museum, working with the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity in
Costa Mesa, presents the centennial exhibition, "Chuck Jones: Drawing on Imagination"
through May 5. On Saturday, CAM hosts a special
reception for the exhibition with Jones' widow, Marion, his daughter, and
grandson, who lead a VIP tour of the exhibition at 6 p.m.
Chuck Jones: Drawing on Imagination" starts at
7 p.m. (6 p.m. for the VIP event) at the Cartoon Art Museum, 655 Mission St.,
S.F. Tickets are $10-$50; visit cartoonart.org