Master Animator Chuck Jones Passes Away | Culture| Arts, music and lifestyle reporting from Germany | DW | 23.02.2002
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Master Animator Chuck Jones Passes Away

Renowned animator, Chuck Jones, creator of such cartoon classics as Tweety, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and Elmer Fudd died in California yesterday at the age of 89.


"I taw I taw a puddy tat!" - canary bird Tweety with Bugs Bunny

With a personality as engaging as the characters he brought to the screen, legendary animator Chuck Jones had his audiences around the globe roaring with laughter at the antics of his timeless cartoon creations.

Often compared to the likes of Walt Disney, Chuck Jones was the last living legend of the golden age of animation in the 1930s and 1940s.

That was when he brought to life the famous Warner Bros. Comic heroes the cunning Bugs Bunny, the lisping Daffy Duck and Porky Pig among a host of other loveable characters.

Jones made more than 300 animated films, was awarded four Oscars including the prestigious Oscar for Lifetime Achievement in 1996. He later worked for the MGM studios on new episodes of the cartoon series, "Tom and Jerry".

While there he also co-produced and co-wrote the screenplay for the critically acclaimed full-length feature The Phantom Tollbooth and directed the Academy Award-winning film The Dot and the Line.

Jack of all trades

Born on September 21, 1912 in Spokane, Washington, Chuck Jones grew up in Hollywood. He observed the talents of comedians Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton while occasionally working as a child extra in Mack Sennett comedies.

Chuck Johnes, Trickfilmzeichner

Animator Chuck Jones, seen in this undated handout photo, best known for bringing Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd and Porky Pig to animated life, died of congestive heart failure Friday, Feb. 22, 2002, at his home in Corona Del Mar, Calif. He was 89. In a career spanning more than 60 years, Jones made more that 300 animated films and won three Oscars and many other awards and recognitions. Jones is shown in an undated black-and-white file photo.

After graduating from Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, he worked variously as a sailor, a puppeteer and a street artist drawing pencil portraits for a dollar apiece to make ends meet.

In 1932, he got his first job in the fledgling animation industry as worker for former Disney animator Ubbe Iwerks. Finally in 1936, he became an animator for the Leon Schlesinger Studio which was later sold to Warner Bros.

He was assigned to Tex Avery's animation unit and joined the Warner Bros. Team that made Looney Tunes and Merry Melodies. It was there that Porky Pig, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck were born and their characteristics and personalities carefully developed and nurtured.

Talent and creativity

Chuck Jones was just 25 when he made his first animated film, The Night Watchman, a six-minute cartoon, for which he used up to 5,000 animation drawings.

As a director, he was responsible for everything right from the time he began putting his pencil to a blank sheet of paper - the script, art design, music, sound effects and animation.

Creative, original and always ready with a chuckle, Jones is one of the most widely collected animation artists in the world. His works have been exhibited at more than 250 galleries and museums, including a one-man film retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

He is once believed to have said about his cartoon characters that he doesn't think of the audience when he creates them. Rather they're a natural outcome of his sense of humour.

"These cartoons were not made for children or adults. They were made for me."

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