If Chuck Jones isn’t an American master, we’re hard-pressed to figure out who is. As an animator for Warner Bros., he created iconic characters like Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner, Pepé Le Pew, and Marvin the Martian while directing some of the best-known adventures of characters created by other animators, like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Porky Pig. His legacy will be spotlighted at Fort Worth Museum of Science and History when it welcomes in What’s Up, Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones, a traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution.
The show includes sketches, animation cels, photographs, background art, and other artifacts of Jones’ long career, but the best part of it figures to be the cartoon shorts that will be screening on a loop in the museum. These include One Froggy Evening, in which a construction worker is undermined by his own greed when he happens upon a singing frog; Duck Amuck, a postmodern short in which Daffy Duck finds himself tormented by an offscreen animator who messes with the scenery, the sound, and Daffy’s body; and What’s Opera, Doc?, Jones’ lushly over-the-top seven-minute parody of Wagner’s Ring cycle. All the comic riches on display would surely have even Wagner singing “Hojotoho!” along with Elmer Fudd.
What’s Up, Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones runs Feb 14-Apr 26 at Fort Worth Museum of Science and History,
1600 Gendy St, FW. Tickets are $15-19.