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Quotes by Chuck Jones

“Anyone can negatively criticize — it is the cheapest of all comment because it requires not a modicum of the effort that suggestion requires.”

“Comedy is unusual people in real situations; farce is real people in unusual situations.”

“Censorship, I believe, is the most dangerous enemy to all human communication, and piety of intention is probably the most dangerous, the most virulent and the most self-satisfying.”

“Dogwood: Its bark is worse than its blight.”

“When critics sit in judgment it is hard to tell where justice leaves off and vengeance begins.”

“The only time a wife listens to her husband is when he’s asleep.”

“Fog and smog should not be confused and are easily separated by color. Fog is about the color of the insides of an old split wet summer cottage mattress; smog is the color and consistency of a wet potato chip soaked in a motorman’s glove.”

“The weatherman is not only blamed for his failure to foretell, he is blamed for the weather itself.”

“You do not ‘suffer’ if you decide ‘that’s the way it is’ rather than ‘why is it this way?’

“Human beings will line up for miles to buy a bucket of catastrophes, but don’t try selling sunshine and light — you’ll go broke.”

“There is absolutely no inevitability as long as there is the willingness to think.”

“We must not confuse distortion with innovation; distortion is useless change, art is beneficial change.”

“[A] lion’s work hours are only when he’s hungry; once he’s satisfied, the predator and prey live peacefully together.”

“The older I get, the more individuality I find in animals and the less I find in humans. Early experiences convinced me that animals can and do have quite distinct personalities.”

“The rules are simple. Take your work, but never yourself, seriously. Pour in the love and whatever skill you have, and it will come out.”

“The author O. Henry taught me about the value of the unexpected. He once wrote about the noise of flowers and the smell of birds—the birds were chickens and the flowers dried sunflowers rattling against a wall.”

“The name ‘Chuck Jones’, according to my uncle, limited my choice of profession to second baseman or cartoonist.”

“When a young artist asked me for advice on drawing the human foot, I told him, ‘The first thing you must learn is how to take your shoe off, and then how to take your sock off, then prop your leg up carefully on your other knee, take a piece of paper, and draw your foot.’”

“In timing a film, we used to assume that sneaks move slowly. This was great for animators—thirty-six to forty-eight drawings for a single step—but it was sheer hell for the pace of the picture. So the rapid tiptoe was invented.”

“Painting does what we cannot do—it brings a three-dimensional world into a two-dimensional plane.”

“The Coyote is limited, as Bugs is limited, by his anatomy. To give the Coyote a look of anticipatory delight, I draw everything up—the eyes are up, the ears are up, and even the nose is up. When he is defeated, on the other hand, everything turns down. You can’t do that as dramatically with human beings, although the emotions expressed are fully human.”

“The close-up, according to D.W. Griffith, allows subtle changes of facial expression—the raising of an eyebrow or the flicker of a smile—to become part of the action.”

“If you want a midget to look like a baby, don’t put a cigar in his mouth.”

“If you start with character, you probably will end up with good drawings.”

“Jackie Gleason said that comedy is the most exacting form of dramatic art, because it has an instant critic: laughter.”

“Once you have heard a strange audience burst into laughter at a film you directed, you realize what the word joy is all about.”

“As you become acquainted with a character you are creating, you add parts of yourself that are pertinent to that character.”

“Each character represented a trait that resides in me.”

“I have come to know Bugs so well that I no longer have to think about what he is doing in any situation. I let the part of me that is Bugs come to the surface, knowing, with regret, that I can never match his marvelous confidence.”

“‘Bugs talks, and Daffy talks too much,’ said film teacher Richard Thompson. Most of us know when we should stop, and so does Daffy, but his where to stop is way beyond ours, and he repeatedly lands himself in trouble by going too far.”

“The whole essence of good drawing—and of good thinking, perhaps—is to work a subject down to the simplest form possible and still have it believable for what it is meant to be.”