Every great animation director, from Miyazaki to John Lasseter and Pete Docter, to Phil Lord and Chris Miller, owes a little something to Chuck Jones. If the name isn’t familiar — and it should be — Jones was an animator, writer, producer and director who won three Oscars (plus an honorary one) and picked up a further five nominations for his work, who made his name working on the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series for Warner Bros, creating characters like Marvin The Martian, Pepe LePew, Wile E. Coyote and The Road Runner, and making some of the finest hours of characters like Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.
Jones was fired from Warner Bros in the early 1960s, and continued to do some fine work, including on Tom & Jerry and the famous “Grinch Who Stole Christmas” TV special, before returning to Warner Bros and Looney Tunes near the end of his life – for example, he animated the characters’ appearance in “Gremlins 2,” for instance.
Thirteen years on from his passing, he’s still name-checked by animators the world over on a regular basis, and now he’s the subject of one of the excellent video essays by Every Frame A Painting’s Tony Zhou. “The Evolution Of An Artist” uses a strong collection of clips and a little of Jones’ own words, contributing the usual incisive analysis and making you come away a little smarter and a little more knowledgeable. You can watch the video below, and contribute to Zhou’s Patreon to keep the videos coming here.