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Also Known As: Charles Martin Jones, Chuck M Jones, Charles M Jones Died: February 22, 2002
Born: September 21, 1912 Cause of Death: congestive heart failure
Birth Place: Spokane, Washington, USA Profession: screenwriter, producer, director, animation consultant, animator, executive, puppeteer, portrait painter, author, extra, actor, seaman

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

As one of the chief animators and directors during the golden age of Warner Bros. animation, Chuck Jones forged a legacy as being the creator of some of the funniest and most beautifully designed cartoons ever produced by the Hollywood studio system. Alongside Tex Avery, Bob Clampett and Friz Freleng, Jones spearheaded the innovative and wildly popular cartoons that populated the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies worlds. With such iconic characters as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and Elmer Fudd, the cartoons were irreverent comedies that broke new ground and rankled future generations, which often sought to censor re-airings on television for violence and racial stereotypes. For his part, Jones was responsible for some of the most famous cartoons, directing such popular ones as "Hare-Raising Hare" (1946), "Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century" (1953), "Baby Buggy Bunny" (1954) and "What's Opera, Doc?" (1957), widely considered to be the greatest cartoon ever made. He also was the creator of several characters, including Pepe Le Pew, Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner. After being let go from Warner Bros. in the early 1960s, Jones revived the "Tom and Jerry" cartoons before serving as an independent...

As one of the chief animators and directors during the golden age of Warner Bros. animation, Chuck Jones forged a legacy as being the creator of some of the funniest and most beautifully designed cartoons ever produced by the Hollywood studio system. Alongside Tex Avery, Bob Clampett and Friz Freleng, Jones spearheaded the innovative and wildly popular cartoons that populated the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies worlds. With such iconic characters as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and Elmer Fudd, the cartoons were irreverent comedies that broke new ground and rankled future generations, which often sought to censor re-airings on television for violence and racial stereotypes. For his part, Jones was responsible for some of the most famous cartoons, directing such popular ones as "Hare-Raising Hare" (1946), "Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century" (1953), "Baby Buggy Bunny" (1954) and "What's Opera, Doc?" (1957), widely considered to be the greatest cartoon ever made. He also was the creator of several characters, including Pepe Le Pew, Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner. After being let go from Warner Bros. in the early 1960s, Jones revived the "Tom and Jerry" cartoons before serving as an independent producer on a number of made-for-television movies. Both unpretentious and self-conscious, Jones' animation mastery during the 1940s and 1950s was unparalleled, and cemented his place as an innovative contrarian.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Another Froggy Evening (1995) Director
2.
  Chariots of Fur (1994) Director
3.
  Daffy Duck's Quackbusters (1988) Sequences Director
4.
  Porky Pig in Hollywood (1986) Director
6.
  Uncensored Cartoons (1981) Director
8.
  The Phantom Tollbooth (1970) Director
9.
  Duck Amuck (1953) Director
10.
  Dover Boys (1941)

CAST: (feature film)

4.
6.
 Innerspace (1987) Supermarket Customer
7.
 Gremlins (1984) Mr Jones
8.
 Walt: The Man Behind the Myth (2001) Interviewee
9.
 75 Years of Laughter (1998) Interviewee
10.
 Cartoons Go to War (1995) Interviewee
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Grew up in Southern California
:
As a child, worked as an extra in silent movies shot near his home
1930:
After art school, found work in a commercial art studio
1931:
Hired as a cel-washer by the Ub Iwerks Studio which was then producing Flip the Frog cartoons
:
Worked successively as a cel painter, cel inker and in-betweener (assistant animator) before being fired by Iwerks
:
Worked briefly for producers Charles Mintz and subsequently Walter Lantz
:
Rehired by the Iwerks Studio; soon fired by Iwerks' secretary, Dorothy Webster (whom Jones would marry in 1935)
:
Worked as a seaman on a large schooner which caught fire
:
Moved to a "bohemian" section of Los Angeles and worked as a puppeteer and portrait artist ($1 per picture)
1933:
Dorothy Webster obtained a job for Jones as an in-betweener at Leon Schlesinger Productions (date approximate)
1934:
Promoted to animator
:
Assigned with animator Bob Clampett to director Tex Avery's unit at the bungalow nicknamed "Termite Terrace" on the Warner Brothers lot
1936:
Shared animator credit with Clampett on "Gold Diggers of '49", the first cartoon helmed by Avery at Warner Brothers
:
Briefly loaned out with Clampett to Iwerks to work as (uncredited) co-directors on two cartoons in the Gabby Goat series
:
Became Clampett's animator when Clampett was promoted to director
:
On the recommendation of Harry Bender, Schlesinger's assistant, promoted to director after Frank Tashlin left the studio
1938:
Directing debut, "The Night Watchman"
1939:
Introduced Sniffles, a cute little mouse, in "Naughty But Mice"; Jones' first original character
1939:
Directed "Prest-o Change-o", the second appearance of the prototype Bugs Bunny as a magician's rabbit who bedazzles the Two Curious Puppies
1939:
Directed his first cartoon featuring Porky Pig, the patriotic "Old Glory"; marked the character's first appearance in color; notable as the studio's first completely serious cartoon
1940:
Directed the third cartoon featuring the prototypical Bugs Bunny, "Elmer's Candid Camera"; most important for its revision of the character of Elmer Fudd
:
Collaborated with Theodor Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss) on a WWII series of instructional cartoons starring Private Snafu
1941:
Became deeply involved in the animators' strike at the Walt Disney studio
1942:
Based the staging of his animated short "Conrad the Sailor" on the writings of Soviet filmmaker/theoretician Sergei Eisenstein
1942:
Directed "The Dover Boys", an influential Warner Brothers cartoon that influenced the style, method and timing for the acclaimed cartoons to follow from UPA (United Productions of America) in the 1940s and 50s
1944:
Working nights without compensation, directed "Hell Bent for Election" in support of Franklin D Roosevelt's re-election; the first full-length UPA short; worked with a crew of other moonlighters
1945:
Introduced the amorous French skunk Pepe Le Pew in "Odor-able Kitty"
1946:
Began publishing articles on the art of animation (date approximate)
:
Conducted art classes for his crew
1946:
Began his most productive era as a Warner Brothers animation director
1948:
Introduced the Little Man from Mars (aka Commander X-2; aka Marvin the Martian) in "Haredevil Hare"
1949:
Directed the landmark cartoon "Fast and Furry-ous" which introduced the Road Runner and (subsequently named Wile E.) Coyote, his most successful Warners creations
1949:
Directed Pepe Le Pew in "For Scent-imental Reasons", the second Warners cartoon to win the Oscar for best animated short subject
1950:
Directed and co-scripted (with Friz Freleng) "So Much for So Little", an animated documentary short on the importance of sanitation and health services commissioned by the Public Health Service; first cartoon to win the Oscar for best documentary short subject
1953:
Directed one of his most celebrated cartoons, "Duck Amuck", in which Daffy Duck is tormented by a (mostly) off-screen animator
1953:
Directed the classic Cold War satire, "Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2 Century", starring Daffy, Porky and the Little Man from Mars
1954:
Directed the only "3-D" Warner Brothers cartoon, "Lumberjack Rabbit"
1954:
Left Warners for a period when Jack Warner--thinking that "3-D" would sweep the industry and drive up costs--closed the animation unit
1954:
Worked briefly as a gag writer at Walter Lantz Studio
1955:
Worked for four months at the Walt Disney Studio after Jack Warner temporarily closed the animation unit at Warner Brothers; worked uncredited on Disney's "Sleeping Beauty"
1955:
Directed his most celebrated "one-shot" cartoon, "One Froggy Evening", an unsettling allegory about a singing frog
1957:
Directed "What's Opera, Doc?", an acclaimed parodic condensation of Wagner's 14-hour "Der Ring des Nibelungen" into a classic six-minute cartoon
1962:
Feature screenwriting debut (with wife Dorothy Webster Jones), wrote screenplay for the UPA feature "Gay Purr-ee"
1962:
Established an independent production company, Chuck Jones Enterprises
1963:
Formed Tower 12 Productions (with producer Les Goldman)
:
Hired by MGM to produce a new series of Tom and Jerry cartoons
:
Tower 12 Productions absorbed by MGM and renamed MGM Animation/Visual Arts Department
1966:
Named head of department
1969:
Feature debut as producer-director, "The Phantom Tollbooth" (also co-wrote screenplay; directed animated sequences with Abe Levitow)
1970:
Named vice president in charge of Children's Programming at ABC
1979:
Co-directed (with Phil Monroe) and co-scripted (with Michael Maltese) "The Bugs Bunny/Road-Runner Movie"
1979:
Served as an uncredited creative assistant on Steven Spielberg's "1941"
1984:
Made a cameo appearance as Mr. Jones in Joe Dante's "Gremlins"
1987:
Made a cameo appearance as a supermarket customer in Dante's "Innerspace"
1988:
Served as an animation consultant on Robert Zemeckis' "Who Framed Roger Rabbit"
1990:
Worked as an animation writer and director for a sequence in Dante's "Gremlins 2: The New Batch" (also made a cameo appearance)
1992:
"What's Opera, Doc?" selected for inclusion in the Library of Congress' National Film Registry
1992:
Served as animation director on the Robocat sequence of the comedy fantasy "Stay Tuned"
1992:
Profiled in the feature-length documentary "The Magical World of Chuck Jones" directed by George Daugherty and featuring interviews with the likes of Spielberg, Dante, George Lucas, Matt Groening and Friz Freleng
1993:
Signed a deal with Warner Bros. to produce and direct animated shorts featuring "classic" (as well as possibly new) Warners characters for theatrical release
1994:
Produced and directed "Chariots of Fur", his first short under his deal at Warners (released with the feature "Richie Rich")
1994:
Subject of a career retrospective at NYC's American Museum of the Moving Image entitled "Chuck Amuck: The Cartoons of Chuck Jones"
1995:
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
1995:
Served as a creative consultant on the animated title sequence of "Four Rooms", a comedy anthology feature
2000:
Created new cartoon character Thomas T Wolk (aka Timber Wolf) for Warner Bros. Online and the Internet site Entertaindom; with partner Stephen Fossati, created 13 short films featuring the character
2000:
Was subject of TV documentary "Chuck Jones: Extremes and In-Betweens, A Life in Animation" (PBS)
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Chouinard Art Institute: Pasadena , California -

Notes

Jones was billed as Charles M. Jones until the mid-1950s.

"These cartoons were never made for children. Nor were they made for adults. They were made for ME." --Chuck Jones, quoted in "Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons" by Leonard Maltin (NY: Plume, 1987).

"All that I am and all that I hope to be, I owe to Chuck Jones!" --Theodor Geisel aka Dr. Seuss (from a signed drawing included in "Chuck Amuck")

Jones and Dr. Seuss collaborated on two animated TV specials entitled "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (CBS, 1966) and "Horton Hears a Who" (CBS, 1970) which won the Peabody Award for Television Programming Excellence.

"The difference between what we did at Warner Bros. and what's on Saturday morning is the difference between animation and what I call illustrated radio. For Saturday morning, they make a full radio track and then use as few drawings as possible in front of it."

"The best way to tell the difference is this: if you can turn off the picture and know what's going on, that's illustrated radio. But if you can turn off the sound and know what's going on, that's animation." --Chuck Jones (Quoted in "That's All Folks!: The Art of Warner Bros. Animation" by Steve Scheider (NY: Henry Holt & Co., 1988)

"In 1962 I established my own independent production company, Chuck Jones Enterprises. Chuck Jones Enterprises produced nine half-hour prime-time television specials, all produced, written, and directed by me. They are: "The Cricket in Times Square", "A Very Merry Cricket", and "Yankee Doodle Cricket" (for ABC); three stories from Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book"--"Rikki-Tikki-Tavi", "Mowgli's Brothers" (both of which received the Parents' Choice Awards in 1985) and "The White Seal" (for CBS); two specials populated by some of the classic characters from Warner Bros., "Carnival of the Animals" ... and "A Connecticut Rabbit in King Arthur's Court" ... Both were aired on CBS. Also for CBS: "Raggedy Ann and Andy in: The Great Santa Claus Caper", and "The Pumpkin Who Couldn't Smile" ..." --From "Chuck Amuck" by Chuck Jones (NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1989)

Jones is a Regents Lecturer at the University of California at La Jolla and Visiting Lecturer at Cambridge University, England, and Guardian Lecturer in England.

Jones has lectured and conducted workshops at Stanford University, the University of Kansas, the University of Iowa, Johns Hopkins, the Universities of California and Nevada, San Francisco State College, Art Center Ccollege of Design in Pasadena, Cal Arts, USC, UCLA, and many others.

The University of California at Santa Cruz offered an accredited course on the films of Chuck Jones, under the direction of Tim Hunter.

Jones has been honored with a three-day retrospective at London's British Film Institute, twice at the Kennedy Film Center and by the American Film Institute. He has also received tributes in Toronto, Zagreb and Montreal.

"I don't want to criticize. I'm SORRY that people who are as good as Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera once were are not doing the kinds of things they are capable of. I'm sorry that Friz [Freleng] isn't doing the kinds of things he's capable of. I'm sorry I'm not, for that matter, but at least I'm not doing that kind of crap."

--From "Chuck Jones Interviewed" by Joe Adamson in "The American Animated Cartoon: A Critical Anthology", edited by Gerald Peary and Danny Peary (NY: E.P. Dutton, 1980).

"Perhaps the most accurate remark about me was uttered by Ray Bradbury at his fifty-fifth birthday party. In answer to the usual question: 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' Ray replied: 'I want to be fourteen years old like Chuck Jones.'"

"Perhaps this will be my most apt possible epitaph."

--From "Chuck Amuck" by Chuck Jones.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Dorothy Webster Jones. Writer. Married to Jones from January 31, 1936 until her death in 1978; co-wrote (with Jones) the screenplay for UPA animated feature "Gay Purr-ee" (1962).
wife:
Marian J Jones. Journalist. screenwriter, researcher. Married in January 1983; worked as a editor and film reviewer for a Beverly Hills newspaper, national staff writer for <i>TV Guide</i>, writer for the comic strip "Rick O'Shay and Hipshot"; worked as a writer-researcher for Jones' Kipling and Cricket TV specials; survived him.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Charles Adams Jones. Published cookbook entitled "Fifty Ways to Serve Avocados".
mother:
Mabel Martin Jones.
sister:
Margaret Barbara Jones. Older.
sister:
Dorothy Jane Jones. Older.
brother:
Richard Kent Jones. Older.
daughter:
Linda Jones Clough. Executive, producer. Born in 1937; heads Chuck Jones Enterprises and Linda Jones Enterprises, both devoted to producing, preserving and authenticating drawings and cels by Chuck Jones and selling them through major art galleries; with Jones, presided over new animation unit established in Burbank by Warners in early 1994.
step-son:
Peter Dern. Survived him.
step-daughter:
Rosalind Dern Bellante. Survived him.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"William, the Backwards Skunk" Crown
"Chuck Amuck: The Life and Times of an Animated Cartoonist" Farrar, Straus & Giroux
"Chuck Reducks"

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