Chuck Jones, a member of Warner Bros.’ first and perhaps most cherished toon cottage industry, has returned to his alma mater with a new animation unit near the lot, the studio announced Wednesday.
Under the terms of Jones’ agreement with WB, the veteran animator will create new feature titles starring the classic cast of characters he turned into cel icons: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner, Elmer Fudd and Porky Pig — and possibly some new faces.
The new cel outfit, which will be spearheaded by Jones and his producer, Linda Jones Clough, will be headquartered in Burbank.
Jones was part of the early WB ani team known as Termite Terrace, which included Tex Avery and Friz Freleng.
Jones, creator of more than 250 short subjects, is responsible for the classic “What’s Opera, Doc?,” which included the tune “Kill the Wabbit,” a famous revision of Richard Wagner’s “Die Walkyrie.”
“Opera” was recently voted all-time best animated short by a distinguished group of Jones’ animation peers. Among other Jones works in his early studio years are “The Rabbit of Seville,””Rabbit Seasoning,””Duck Amuck,” and “The Scarlet Pumpernickel.”
Jones holds nine Academy Award noms, was the subject of a Museum of Modern Art retrospective and recently penned his autobiography, “Chuck Amuck.”
“Chuck Jones is a vital part of Warner Bros.’ history, as essential as Bogart , Cagney, Bette Davis and ‘Casablanca,’ ” studio chairman and CEO said Bob Daly in a statement. “To have him back at the studio creating new magic for the bigscreen is an extraordinary event for Warner Bros. and a reason to celebrate for animation and film lovers everywhere.”
“Animation is entering a new golden age,” added studio prexy/COO Terry Semel. “Warner Bros. is proud to be a part of it, and proud to welcome Chuck and his staff.”