With the imminent release of IDW’s Chuck Jones: The Dream That Never Was (review coming soon) I thought it was an appropriate time to look at an earlier book titled Chuck Amuck: The Life And Times of Animated Cartoonist. Originally released in 1989 and reprinted several times since, this entertaining memoir predominately covers Chuck Jones’ time at ‘Termite Terrace’ the Warner Bros. animation studio where world-renowned cartoons such as Duck Dogers in the 24 1/2 Century and What’s Opera, Doc? were created. Starting with a charming tale of the childhood cat Johnson, credited for planting the seed for many characters to come including Wile E. Coyote, Road Runner and Marvin Martin, what follows is a riotous series of anecdotes that build to tell the story of the Loony Tunes team. A team made up of the unique talents of fellow animators Tex Avery, Friz Freleng, writer Mike Maltese and layout artist Maurice Noble.
Along with a wealth of black and white working pencil drawings, colour stills and plenty of tips and advise, we’re also treated to full scripts from the classic toons with a personal favorite being the Academy Award Winning For Scent-Imental Reasons, a tale of Pepé Le Pew written by Mike Maltese. Steven Spielberg (who later developed The Animaniacs with Warner Bros.) introduces this highly entertaining and insightful book that’s well worth seeking out.
Chuck Amuck – The Life And Times Of An Animated Cartoonist – By Chuck Jones
Farrar Straus & Giroux
Hardback 254 pages
25.7 x 19.8 x 3.3 cm