179: “Looney Tunes” Animator Chuck Jones is Born

Bugs Bunny, left, and Marvin the Martian.

Bugs Bunny, left, and Marvin the Martian.

Today is the 103rd anniversary of the birth of animator Chuck Jones.

Here are some things you may not have known about him.

First, Charles Martin Jones was born in Spokane, Washington, and later moved with his family to Los Angeles. He would go on to attend the Chouinard Art Institute, which would eventually become the California Institute of Art. After graduating he went to work for Ub Iwerks, the co-creator of Mickey Mouse, where he met his first wife, Dorothy.

In 1933, he joined Leon Schlesinger Productions, which produced Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies for Warner Bros., working his way up from assistant animator to director. During World War II, he worked with Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, on a series of cartoons for the U.S. Army called Private Snafu. After the war, Jones would create the Looney Tunes characters Marvin the Martian, Pepe LePew, Wile E. Coyote and The Road Runner. He also directed significant Bugs Bunny shorts, including, “What’s Opera, Doc?” Warner Bros. shut down its animation operation in 1963.

After Warner Bros., Jones formed his own animation studio, which produced new Tom and Jerry cartoons for MGM and reworked old Tom and Jerrys to remove overtly racist content. In 1965, Jones won an Academy Award for his short film, “The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics.” A year later he directed the television adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” In 1970, he worked on another Dr. Seuss project “Horton Hears a Who!” Also in 1970, his feature film version of “The Phantom Tollbooth” was released.

Over the next three decades, Jones would work for Warner Bros. intermittently, making Looney Tunes cartoons. His last was “From Hare to Eternity” in 1996. Chuck Jones died of heart failure on February 22, 2002. He was 89 years old.

Our question, which Looney Tunes character was the star of Jones’ first Academy Award-winning animated short film?

Now for our weekly take-home test: When Pepe Le Pew cartoons were released in France, his French accent was replaced with what type of accent?

Go to triviapeople.com/test to submit an answer

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