Chuck Jones: Extremes and In-Betweens - A Life in Animation
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The most famous animated characters and the stars who love them unite to celebrate Chuck Jones, the living legend of animation. Showcases all of your favorite characters: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote and more. Celebrity appearances by WHOOPI GOLDBERG, MATT GROENIG, RON HOWARD, JOHN LASSETER, LEONARD MALTIN, STEVEN SPIELBERG, ROBIN WILLIAMS and more! Year: 2000
- "A Chuck Jones Tutorial: Tricks of the Cartoon Trade"
- Cartoons: "Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2 Century" & "Feed the Kitty"
- Pencil tests for "The Grinch" and "Mississippi Hare"
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Certain works receive special attention: "The Dover Boys," "Duck Amuck," "High Note," "The Dot and the Line," "The Rabbit of Seville" and "One Froggy Evening," which a certain unnamed "critic" with the initials "LM" thinks is the Citizen Kane of animation.
Pardon me, but I'd take just about any 1940s WB toon over "Froggy" (not that it's NG-- some of us prefer the older shorts, when Daffy used to hoot and hop around, Bugs had a harder edge and Elmer was voiced by the great Arthur Q. Bryan).
Here's a complete list of cartoons excerpted during this 90-minute documentary:
FROM A TO Z-Z-Z-Z (1953) - Ralph Phillips
LITTLE ORPHAN AIREDALE (1947) - Porky Pig/Charlie Dog/Rags McMutt
FLIP THE FROG - (unidentified early '30s b&w short)
SNIFFLES TAKES A TRIP (1940)
DRAFT HORSE (1942) - (Chuck's first comic animation)
THE DOVER BOYS AT PIMENTO UNIVERSITY OR THE RIVALS OF ROQUEFORT HALL (1942) - ("Limited animation" here angered WB)
THE UNBEARABLE BEAR (1943) - Sniffles/Mama Bear/Officer Bar/Burglar
THE ARISTO-CAT (1943) - Hubie & Bertie (one mouse has a Leo Gorcey-ish voice)/Madam/Meadows
PRESTO CHANGE-O (1939) - (Second appearance of silent rabbit that would become Bugs)
A WILD HARE (1940) - (Tex Avery toon with Elmer and a newly-created Bugs has first use of "What's up, Doc?")
HARE CONDITIONED (1945) - BB/Gildersleeve
CASE OF THE MISSING HARE (1942) - BB/Ala Bahma
LONG-HAIRED HARE (1949) - BB/Giovanni Jones
SUPER-RABBIT (1943) - BB/Cottontail Smith/Prof. Canafrazz/Texas Rabbit
BULLY FOR BUGS (1953)
MISSISSIPPI HARE (1949)
RABBIT FIRE (1951) - BB/Daffy/Elmer
DRIP-ALONG DAFFY (1951) - DD/ Porky/Nasty Canasta
RABBIT SEASONING (1952) - BB/DD/EF
ROBIN HOOD DAFFY (1958) - DD/PP
DUCK AMUCK (1953) - DD/BB
DUCK DODGERS IN THE 24th½ CENTURY (1953) - DD/PP/Marvin the Martian
ROCKET SQUAD (1956) - DD/PP/George 'Mother' Machree/Chief
THE SCARLET PUMPERNICKEL (1950) - DD/PP/EF/Sylvester/Highwayman/J.L.
CAT'S BAH (1954) - Pepé le Pew
SCENT-IMENTAL ROMEO (1951) - Pepé
LITTLE BEAU PEPE (1952)
MOUSE WRECKERS (1948) - Hubie & Bertie/Claude the Cat
BEAR FEAT (1949) - Pa (Billy Bletcher), Ma (Bea Benederet) and Junyer (19-year-old Stan Freberg) Bear
A BEAR FOR PUNISHMENT (1951) - Ma, Pa and Junyer
ZIPPING ALONG (1953) - Road Runner/Wile E. Coyote
SCRAMBLED ACHES (1957) - RR/WEC
GEE WHIZ-Z-Z-Z-Z-Z (1956) - RR/WEC
ZOOM AND BORED (1957) - RR/WEC
STOP! LOOK! AND HASTEN! (1954) - RR/WEC
HIP HIP-HURRY (1958) - RR/WEC
FASTEST WITH THE MOSTEST (1960) - RR/WEC
WHOA, BE-GONE! (1958) - RR/WEC
READY..SET.. ZOOM! (1955) - RR/WEC
HOPALONG CASUALTY (1960) - RR/WEC
BROOM-STICK BUNNY (1956) - BB/Witch Hazel/Genie
FEED THE KITTY (1952) - Marc Anthony (bulldog)/Kitten/Mistress (Bea Benederet)
THE DUCKSTERS (1950) - DD/PP
HIGH NOTE (1960)
RABBIT OF SEVILLE (1950) - BB/EF
WHAT'S OPERA, DOC? (1957) - BB/EF
THE DOT AND THE LINE: A ROMANCE IN LOWER MATHEMATICS (1965) - (Oscar-winning MGM animation)
HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS! (1966) - (Boris Karloff as narrator and Grinch)
ONE FROGGY EVENING (1955) - Michigan J. Frog
(Note: Jones reprised this character in 1995 when he was age 73 in "Another Froggy Evening.")
Originally broadcast on PBS' GREAT PERFORMANCES series in 2000, this is not so much a biography or history as it is a discussion of Jones' storytelling and animation techniques, from entertainers (Whoopi Goldberg, Robin Williams) to critics (Leonard Maltin) to contemporaries (the late Maurice Noble, who worked on backgrounds for many Warners toons) to fellow professionals (Eric Goldberg and Glen Keane, Disney animators who were influenced by Jones' sense of timing). Their interviews, along with clips from Jones' work at Warners and other studios (The Grinch, MGM's Tom & Jerry) help to showcase his storytelling genius and, in a cumulative way, help expose the secrets of his success in the animation medium.
While Extremes & In-Betweens was a great video, the DVD format makes it PERFECT for students of animation. They can now use single-frame scanning to study, frame-by-frame, the animation work of a genius; while this is a given for any Disney DVD, it's a first for a Warner Bros. classic product (the other Chuck Jones-featured DVD, The Complete Private Snafu, is a poorer-quality transfer). Furthermore, the extras are geared specifically to introduce the layman to animation terminology. In one feature, "A Chuck Jones Tutorial," interviews with Jones and other animation professionals showcase each of the animation techniques which are taught at animation schools today, with appropriate examples. Pencil tests of the Grinch and Mississipi Hare show Jones' mastery in mid- and late career. The two complete Warners shorts featured are there because they are primary examples of Jones' strength: DUCK DODGERS is a masterpiece of comic timing while FEED THE KITTY is a tour-de-force of emotional personality animation.
All in all, this is a valuable addition to any animation enthusiast's collection, especially for those who plan to go into the business.
-- Michael Igafo-Te'o
P.S., I'm an American Samoan-Caucasian Animator with Autism that lives in Jackson, Michigan but already turned 20 Years Old on My 20th Birthday on September 9th, 2014 that means I'll be 21 Years Old on my next birthday, this time, by revisiting Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida for one entire week instead of adding rival theme parks (Including "Universal Studios Florida" -- YUCK!!!) but only at Walt Disney World for One Entire Week IF It's up to my mother, Jackie Igafo-Te'o
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