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What’s Up Doc: Paying Homage To The Man Who Brought Bugs Bunny To Life - The Late Chuck Jones
September 21, 2012
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If you've enjoyed a Looney Tunes cartoon sometime in the past 70 years (and there's a good chance you have), today is a perfect day to celebrate the life of the late Chuck Jones.

Jones animated and directed some of the most legendary cartoons of our time, starring such iconic characters as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, The Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, Elmer Fudd, Sylvester, Pepe Le Pew and more.

He would have turned 100 years old today.

Jones started at Warner Brothers in the early 1930s, becoming both an animator and director. He didn't actually create Bugs Bunny. Fellow animator Tex Avery did.

But Jones directed many of the cartoons that made Bugs a star, including this one 'What's Opera, Doc?'

He also directed 'Duck Amuck' and 'One Froggy Evening'. Those three cartoons are among the most critically acclaimed of all time, and were inducted into the U.S. National Film Registry.

And here's a video of Jones demonstrating how to draw Bugs Bunny. It's pretty cool to watch it come together.

In 1962, Jones left Warner Bros., and started his own company Sib Tower 12 Productions. He went on to produce a bunch of cartoons for MGM including 'Tom & Jerry.'

He also made the TV adaptation of the Dr. Seuss book 'How The Grinch Stole Christmas' in 1966, featuring the voice and facial expressions based on the readings of Boris Karloff.

Here's the trailer. Awesome.

In the 1992 book, 'The 50 Greatest Cartoons: As Chosen by 1000 Animators', four of the top five cartoons were directed by Jones.

During his career, he was nominated eight times for an Academy Award - winning three. In 1996, he also received an honourary Oscar, presented to him by one of his biggest fans Robin Williams. He referred to Jones as 'the Orson Welles of cartoons.'

Jones' life and legacy were celebrated earlier this year with the official opening of The Chuck Jones Experience at Circus Circus Las Vegas.

And here's an interview he did with Bob Costas, when we still recorded stuff on VHS.

Of course, another amazing talent who made many of those characters famous is Mel Blanc.

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He was known as the man of 1000 voices, including...

Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Sylvester the Cat, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Marvin the Martian, Pepe Le Pew, Speedy Gonzales, the Tasmanian Devil - not to mention Barney Rubble on The Flinstones and Mr. Spacely on The Jetsons.

By the way, in the link to the Mr. Spacely clip, he's way ahead of his time. 1985 and he's already mentioning Google.

All told, Blanc did the voices in more than 5000 cartoons. Here he is back in the day on Letterman, doing some of his classics.

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