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Thank You Chuck Jones

Updated: Apr 20, 2020

For most people of my generation, cartoons are sacred. The relatable memory of being planted on the floor in front of a box t.v. cycling through animated frames. Everything outside the 20 inches of rounded glass would drift away leaving us mesmerized. Every character, every color, every one-off joke burned into our psyche. Some like to argue that too many cartoons can be dangerous especially in the formative years of life. I would argue the opposite.

Every predicament Ed, Edd, and Eddy found themselves in, or every monster Courage the Cowardly Dog went toe to paw with, may have seemed like mindless entertainment. I had been subliminally imprinted with concepts and visual language still with me today. A daily dose of cartoons in my opinion develops the brain rather than rot.

Chuck Jones in his animation studio

Now that I am an "adult" and have some interest in investigating the ideas in my head, it is telling to trace back influences of the cartoons I loved. As far as animation the lineage seems to land at one of two points. Either Walt Disney or Chuck Jones. Walt Disney was a small time animator best know for his niche character Mickey Mouse. Obviously kidding but fuck that guy. This is Chuck Jones country. Whether you know the name Chuck Jones or not, you for sure know the characters he brought to life; Bugs Bunny, the Looney Toons, Road Runner and Wile. E. Coyote. Any of these ring a bell?

Wile. E Coyote and the Road Runner

Jones elevated drawing to a new level. Starting out making hundreds of Looney Tunes short films, that would later develop into multiple full segments shows as well as feature films. These were filled with deep dives into the intricacies of human behavior, pioneered the formula for visual humor, and had art the were constantly evolving. Characters were always developing unique traits informing behavior going forward. Besides the painstaking time it took to make just one minute of old animations, Jones was rules for himself. During the drawing process, he would place what he called, "disciplines" on himself. For example a limit to the number of facial expressions used in a scene, certain characters not being able to speak, and so many more. Truly a pioneer.

Without Chuck Jones, there is no Ed, Edd, and Eddy, there is no me. ( not the same me, I would probably still exist in some capacity)


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