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Chuck Jones
General information
Born: Charles Martin Jones
September 21, 1912
Spokane, Washington
Died: February 22, 2002 (aged 89)
Corona Del Mar, California
Cause of death: Heart failure
Alternate names: Charles M. Jones, Charles Jones
Occupation(s): Animator, director, producer, screenwriter, cartoon artist
Years active: 1933 - 1996
Spouse: Marian J. Dern
Children: Linda-Jones Clough


Charles Martin "Chuck" Jones (b. September 21, 1912-d. February 22, 2002) is a director who worked at MGM during the mid-60s. He and one of his fellow directors, Friz Freleng, dominated the Warner Bros. animation studio after Leon Schlesinger left in 1944.

Early careerEdit

Jones was born on September 21, 1912, in Spokane, Washington, the son of Mabel McQuiddy (Martin) and Charles Adams Jones.[1] He later moved with his parents and three siblings to the Los Angeles, California area.[2]

In his autobiography, Chuck Amuck, Jones credits his artistic bent to circumstances surrounding his father, who was an unsuccessful businessman in California in the 1920s. His father, Jones recounts, would start every new business venture by purchasing new stationery and new pencils with the company name on them. When the business failed, his father would quietly turn the huge stacks of useless stationery and pencils over to his children, requiring them to use up all the material as fast as possible. Armed with an endless supply of high-quality paper and pencils, the children drew constantly. Later, in one art school class, the professor gravely informed the students that they each had 100,000 bad drawings in them that they must first get past before they could possibly draw anything worthwhile. Jones recounted years later that this pronouncement came as a great relief to him, as he was well past the 200,000 mark, having used up all that stationery. Jones and several of his siblings went on to artistic careers.[3][4]

During his artistic education, he worked part-time as a janitor. After graduating from Chouinard Art Institute, Jones got a phone call from a friend named Fred Kopietz, who had been hired by the Ub Iwerks studio and offered him a job. He worked his way up in the animation industry, starting as a cell washer; "then I moved up to become a painter in black and white, some color. Then I went on to take animator's drawings and traced them onto the celluloid. Then I became what they call an in-betweener, which is the guy that does the drawing between the drawings the animator makes". While at Iwerks, he met a cel painter named Dorothy Webster, who later became his first wife.[citation needed]

Metro-Goldwyn-MayerEdit

With business partner Les Goldman, Jones started an independent animation studio, Sib Tower 12 Productions, and brought on most of his unit from Warner Bros., including Maurice Noble and Michael Maltese. In 1963, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contracted with Sib Tower 12 to have Jones and his staff produce new Tom and Jerry cartoons as well as a television adaptation of all Tom and Jerry theatricals produced to that date. This included major editing, including writing out the African-American maid, Mammy Two-Shoes, and replacing her with one of Irish descent voiced by June Foray. In 1964, Sib Tower 12 was absorbed by MGM and was renamed MGM Animation/Visual Arts. His animated short film, The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics, won the 1965 Academy Award for Best Animated Short. Jones directed the classic animated short The Bear That Wasn't.[5]

As the Tom and Jerry series wound down (it was discontinued in 1967), Jones produced more for television. In 1966, he produced and directed the TV special How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, featuring the voice and facial models based on the readings by Boris Karloff.[6]

Jones continued to work on other TV specials such as Horton Hears a Who! (1970) for MGM.

MGM closed the animation division in 1970, and Jones once again started his own studio, Chuck Jones Enterprises.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Template:Cite book
  2. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named obit
  3. Jones, Chuck (1989). Chuck Amuck : The Life and Times of an Animated Cartoonist. New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux; ISBN 0-374-12348-9
  4. Jones, Chuck (1996). Chuck Reducks: Drawing from the Fun Side of Life. New York: Warner Books; ISBN 0-446-51893-X
  5. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named imdb
  6. Template:Bcdb

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