Chuck Jones: Extremes and In-Betweens

Margaret Selby's 2000 PBS documentary on the great cartoon director includes an interview with Jones, testimony from movie directors and actors, and generous helpings of his best work. Richard Kent Jones recalls that he and his brother always had stationery from their father's failed businesses to use as drawing paper, and Chuck shows he realized with his early cartoon The Aristo-Cat that he could show a character losing his mind through the backgrounds. Whoopi Goldberg describes Jones's “relentless” would-be lothario, Pepe Le Pew, as “what you want your agent to be”; Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons, sees Jones's Three Bears as a “dysfunctional family”; and Steven Spielberg pronounces One Froggy Evening “the Citizen Kane of the animated short.” The clips and interviews also demonstrate how timing is the essence of comedy—Jones observes that laughter can depend on “as little as one frame.” 85 min.

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