Happy 100th, Chuck Jones!
Chuck Jones, der in den 40ern und 50er Jahren die Cartoons der Warner Brothers zu dem machte, was sie heute sind (oder besser: wie man sie heute in Erinnerung hat), der Erfinder von Roadrunner und Wile E. Coyote, der gleich zwei der besten Cartoons aller Zeiten inszenierte (Duck Amuck und What’s Opera, Doc?), wäre heute 100 Jahre alt geworden.
Später hat er dann noch meine Lieblingsfolgen von Tom und Jerry gedreht und mit der Mathe-Animation „The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics“ 1965 einen Oscar gewonnen. Happy 100th, Chuck!
Nach dem Klick ein ganzer Haufen Chuck Jones’ Cartoons, inklusive dem ersten und zweiten Duck Dodgers, der Hunting-Trilogy, Duck Amuck und natürlich The Dot and The Line.
The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics
The story details a straight line who is hopelessly in love with a dot. The dot, finding the line to be stiff, dull, and conventional, turns her affections toward a wild and unkempt squiggle. The line, unable to fall out of love and willing to do whatever it takes to win the dot’s affection, manages to bend himself and form an angle. He works to refine this new ability, creating shapes so complex that he has to label his sides and angles to keep his place.
The dot realizes that she has made a mistake: what she had seen in the squiggle to be freedom and joy was nothing more than chaos and sloth. She leaves with the line, having realized that he has much more to offer, and the moral is presented: “To the vector belong the spoils.”
Duck Amuck is a surreal animated cartoon directed by Chuck Jones and produced by Warner Bros. Cartoons. The short was released in early 1953 by The Vitaphone Corporation, the short subject division of Warner Bros. Pictures, as part of the Merrie Melodies series. It stars Daffy Duck, who is tormented by a seemingly sadistic, initially unseen animator, who constantly changes Daffy’s locations, clothing, voice, physical appearance and even shape. Pandemonium reigns throughout the cartoon as Daffy attempts to steer the action back to some kind of normality, only for the animator to either ignore him or, more frequently, to over-literally interpret his increasingly frantic demands.
In 1994, it was voted #2 of The 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field, losing only to What’s Opera, Doc?. Historians and fans consider Duck Amuck to be Daffy Duck’s magnum opus, and What’s Opera, Doc? to be Bugs’, so the positions at #2 and #1 are appropriate.
Coyote and RoadRunner – Fast and Furry-ous
Fast and Furry-ous was the debut for Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner. It was also their only cartoon made in the 1940s. It set the template for the series, in which Wile E. Coyote (here given the Latin name Carnivorous Vulgaris) tries to catch Roadrunner (Accelleratii Incredibus) through many traps, plans and products, although in this first cartoon not all of the products are yet made by ACME.
Hair-Raising Hare is a 1946 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon, released in 1946. It was directed by Chuck Jones and written by Tedd Pierce. It stars Bugs Bunny and features the first appearance of Chuck Jones’ imposing red monster character, unnamed here, but in later cartoons named “Ruda” and then “Gossamer”.
This was the final appearance of Chuck Jones’ Bugs Bunny design as starting with his next Bugs Bunny cartoon A Feather in His Hare, he would use Robert McKimson’s design of Bugs Bunny
What’s Opera, Doc?
The Michael Maltese story features Elmer Fudd chasing Bugs Bunny through a parody of 19th-century classical composer Richard Wagner’s operas, particularly Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung) and Tannhäuser. It is sometimes characterized as a condensed version of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, and its music borrows heavily from the second opera Die Walküre, woven around the standard Bugs-Elmer conflict.
Originally released to theaters by Warner Bros. on July 6, 1957, What’s Opera, Doc? features the speaking and singing voices of Mel Blanc and Arthur Q. Bryan as Bugs and Elmer respectively. The short is also sometimes informally referred to as ”Kill the Wabbit” after the line sung by Fudd to the tune of Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries”, the opening passage from Act Three of Die Walküre (which is also the leitmotif of the Valkyries).
In 1994 What’s Opera, Doc? was voted #1 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by 1000 members of the animation field.
One Froggy Evening
The short marks the debut of Michigan J. Frog. This popular short contained a wide variety of musical entertainment, with songs ranging from “Hello! Ma Baby” and “I’m Just Wild About Harry”, two Tin Pan Alley classics, to “Largo al Factotum”, Figaro’s aria from the opera Il Barbiere di Siviglia. The short was released on December 31, 1955 as part of Warner Brothers’ Merrie Melodies series of cartoons.
Steven Spielberg, in the PBS Chuck Jones biography Extremes & Inbetweens: A Life In Animation, called One Froggy Evening “the Citizen Kane of animated film.”
Haredevil Hare is a 1948 Looney Tunes cartoon directed by Chuck Jones. It stars Bugs Bunny and it is the debut for Marvin the Martian — although he is unnamed in this film — along with his Martian dog, K-9. All the voices are done by Mel Blanc. Marvin’s nasal voice for this first film is different from the later one he is most known for, which was similar to one that Blanc used for the emcee in What’s Cookin’ Doc?, for just one line, where the emcee says, “Shall we give it to him, folks?”
Duck Dodgers In The 24½th Century
Duck Dodgers in the 24½th (twenty-fourth and a half) Century is a Merrie Melodies cartoon created in 1952 and released on July 25, 1953, starring Daffy Duck as space hero Duck Dodgers, Porky Pig as his assistant, and Marvin the Martian as his opponent. Marvin the Martian had been introduced as an unnamed villain in Haredevil Hare (1948) playing opposite Bugs Bunny (and was given the title ‘Commander, Flying Saucer X-2′ in 1951’s The Hasty Hare), but this cartoon was the first of many appearances of Duck Dodgers. The title is a pun on the comic book character Buck Rogers, and especially on one collective title of his adventures in particular, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.
Duck Dodgers & The Return Of The 24 1/2th Century
Duck Dodgers and the Return of the 24½th Century is a 1980 cartoon starring Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and Marvin Martian. It is the sequel of Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century. It was the first Daffy and Porky cartoon since 1965. This cartoon first aired on November 20, 1980, as part of an animated TV special called Daffy Duck’s Thanks-For-Giving with scenes that would later be cut when this cartoon was reformatted as a short.
Rabbit Fire is a 1951 Looney Tunes (reissued as a Blue Ribbon Merrie Melodie) cartoon starring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd. Directed by Chuck Jones and written by Michael Maltese. The short is notable for being the first film in Jones’ “hunting trilogy”—the other two films being Rabbit Seasoning and Duck! Rabbit, Duck!. It is also the first film to feature a feud between Bugs and Daffy. Produced by Edward Selzer for Warner Bros. Cartoons, Inc., the short was released to theaters on May 19, 1951 by Warner Bros. Pictures and is widely considered among Jones’ best and most important films. It is also the first film to star both Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.
The only major difference in format between Rabbit Fire and Rabbit Seasoning is that the former takes place during the spring, while the latter takes place in autumn. The third cartoon, Duck! Rabbit, Duck!, takes place in the winter.
Duck! Rabbit, Duck!
It is the sequel to Rabbit Seasoning, and the third (along with Rabbit Fire) and final entry in Jones’ “hunting trilogy” (the only major difference in format between this film and the others is that it takes place during the middle of winter). Produced by Eddie Selzer for Warner Bros. Cartoons, Inc., the short was released to theaters in 1953 by Warner Bros. Pictures and is widely considered among Jones’ best and most important films. This is the only film in the trilogy where Bugs does not crossdress.
That’s All Folks!