Saturday, December 1, 2012

"Duck Amuck" with Daffy Duck (1951)

This year was the 100th birthday of Charles M. Jones; famed animator, cartoon artist, screenwriter, producer, and director of literally hundreds of cartoons. Born on September 21, 1912, he began his career in animation sometime around 1933 when he went to work for Leon Schlesinger Productions. That was the independent studio which produced the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons for Warner Bros.  Cream rises to the top, and by 1935 Mr. Jones was working as a full-fledged animator.

The 1940’s saw him working closely with Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, in creating Army educational cartoons. The “Private Snafu” series was used to educate soldiers with humor about subjects as diverse as spies and venereal disease. As they say, this was the beginning of a lifelong friendship, and Mr. Jones collaborated with Dr. Seuss on many of his film adaptations, most notably on “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” in 1966.
In this 1951 cartoon, which was released in 1953, Daffy Duck finds himself at the mercy of a clueless animator, and so ends up directing the cartoon from the drawing board. Genius comes in many forms, leaving something magical in its wake. Along with the voiceovers; done by the incomparable Mel Blanc; Mr. Jones created a parallel world behind the scenes of creating a cartoon when he thought of this one.

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