This weekend thanks to my Aunt I was taken to the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, but to my surprise there was a special exhibit dedicated to the late Chuck Jones. Most of you know him as the man that gifted us with many looney adventures with Bugs Bunny and the gang. It was cool to see his work in action and taking a look into the past of the process of animation.
Now Chuck Jones brought more than just funny into this world with his Looney Toons. He took it a step further that I didn’t realize until I got older what I was really looking at here. The one famous toon that was shown when I walked through the halls was “Whats Opera, Doc?” where they took a simple cartoon and made it into an amazing opera tragedy. We have Elmer Fudd playing a Viking warrior trying to hunt down bugs and of course it takes a comedic turn when Elmer gets tricked by Bugs dressed in drag as a viking maiden. Cross dressing in the sixties was very comedic from what I was told, but for a childrens cartoon, that was interesting choice. Honestly didn’t think about it only that it was funny and was a tactic to trick the enemy, however things went from funny to dark when Bugs was discovered and Elmer violently strikes him down with lightening. This in turn would document the only time Elmer has actually caught bugs, but it took a sad turn when Elmer caught feelings on how he brutally killed the rabbit or in his tongue “wabbit”. Keep in mind the used the word kill in cartoons and we turned fine…most of us turned out fine.
How things were done animation wise was quite complex, but animation usually is. Looking at the timeline sheets, the panels and the sketches used to get the motions right was nostalgic. It felt as if I was standing over the artist which is a big no no and seeing how they brought their own imagination to life. Even watching them now still feels a bit fresh and the kids were younger then 10 were still enjoying them a lot. The slap stick humor is what the trick is.
“Keep always in your mind, your heart and your hand that timing is the essence, the spine, and the electrical magic of humor- and of animation.” – Chuck Jones
As I walked through the halls looking at the legacy of a great man, it was inspiring to see the hard work put in and the determination to leave the world with laughs. I would recommend everyone to head on over to Queens and hit up the Museum of the Moving Image and see the exhibit which is only there for a limited time. Share the experience with your family and friends to see how it started as well as what inspired it. Stay frosty!