MovieMonday: Chuck Jones and Warner Bros. Comedies

Just about everybody over the age of five has enjoyed the Warner Bros. cartoons.  The piece above notes some of the characters we remember and how a man named Chuck Jones, credited with those creations, thought seriously about how to make people laugh.

Warner’s Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies offerings date to 1930, one year after Disney had launched its own, long forgotten Silly Symphonies.  The idea, at Warner, was to leverage the studio’s music to illustrate animated shorts that would be shown in theaters as accompaniments to full-length movies.

But the quality of the humor, not the music, was what increased the Warner cartoon unit’s audience, exponentially, over time.  Jones’ contributions, starting in 1933 and continuing till he left in 1962, have been lauded ever since.  The cartoon team broke up the next year after the release of its final product, The Iceman Ducketh, which of course starred Daffy.

These classic cartoons are familiar to generations of Americans, but not in recent years, alas.  Now the latest HBO iteration, HBO Max, seems to be planning to fill that truly unfortunate void, as discussed in this article.

Even better, the article links to a few Warner Bros. classics, including Baseball BugsOne Froggy Evening and a personal favorite, Duck Amuck.

Check it out.

Notes

Jones played on that last cartoon title for his autobiography, Chuck Amuck, which was published in 1990 and is available on Kindle and, at higher prices, in print, probably because of its author’s illustrations.  Jones died at 89 in 2002.

One highlight, which has rocketed around Twitter since 2015, is Jones’ list of nine rules for the Wile E. Coyote/Roadrunner stories, which suggests that discipline can enhance humor in the pursuit of really fine comedy.

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