Duck Amuck

Animator Chuck Jones was born on this day in 1912 and directed nearly 300 short and feature length cartoons for film and TV before his death in 2002. You've probably seen many of them even if you don't know who Jones is, unless you've been living in a cave with no access to Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. He was one of the top animators during the golden years at Warner Bros -- you'll find his name on What's Opera, Doc?, The Rabbit of Seville, The Scarlet Pumpernickel, and other classic WB cartoons. I didn't realize until I checked his filmography that Jones also directed several of the made-for-TV animated films I enjoyed as a child, such as Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and The White Seal. I did not, however, forget that he animated The Grinch Who Stole Christmas back in 1966, long before Ron Howard ever got his hands on the character.

The above image is from one of Jones' most memorable WB shorts, Duck Amuck, from 1953. It was a groundbreaking cartoon in terms of story structure: the animator is present in the film, getting involved in a duel of sorts with his creation, Daffy Duck. You can argue whether the film is postmodern, deconstructionist, ahead of its time ... but it's inarguably hilarious. I love watching cartoon shorts before a feature film (unless they're DVD ads in disguise) and wish that films like Duck Amuck, or any of Jones' shorts, would be shown before movies these days.