betty in blunderland

The early days of animation at Paramount, courtesy of the Fleischer brothers.

By 1927, Adolph Zukor, the Hollywood mogul behind the rapidly-expanding Paramount-Famous Lasky Corporation, had built a veritable entertainment empire. The studio had moved into a new, multimillion-dollar twenty-six acre lot off Melrose Avenue. They had amassed a chain of nearly two thousand theaters across the country, called Publix Theatres, in which to screen their many…

from a to zzzz

Celebrating 100 Years of Chuck Jones: From A to Z-Z-Z-Z (1953)

Ralph Phillips is bored, bored, bored. While his schoolmates mindlessly chant their math lesson (“Two and two is four. Four and four is eight …”), Ralph stares dreamily out the classroom window, imagining himself as a bird, flipping and flying freely through the sky–until his reverie is rudely interrupted by his teacher. She, for some…

rabbit of seville

Celebrating 100 Years of Chuck Jones: Rabbit of Seville (1950)

Seven years before Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd dueled their way through a hilarious take on the music of Wagner in What’s Opera, Doc?, the duo tackled Italian composer Rossini in 1950′s Rabbit of Seville.  Rabbit of Seville is the brainchild of director Chuck Jones, writer Michael Maltese, and frequent Warner Bros. composer Carl Stalling. Stalling was,…

feed the kitty

Celebrating 100 Years of Chuck Jones: Feed the Kitty (1952)

The 1950s were arguably the most prolific decade, artistically speaking, of animator/director Chuck Jones’ career. It was the decade that saw Jones take the stock Warner Bros. characters to new heights: he took Daffy Duck and made him an open antagonist to Bugs Bunny (and vice versa, at least in the uproarious Duck Amuck); he…

one froggy evening

Hello! ma baby, hello! my honey …

The ongoing Comedy Countdown at Wonders in the Dark is in full swing, and my second contribution to the event is now up on the site! By sheer coincidence, number 69 on the countdown is the 1955 animated short One Froggy Evening, directed by none other than the subject of our week-long animation celebration, Chuck Jones!…