chuckandlinda chuckandlinda

Letters from Chuck

Chuck and Linda Jones

Is anybody following the official Chuck Jones blog? Because fans of Chuck should be! Chuck’s daughter, Linda, has been posting a fascinating series of letters that he wrote to her when she went off to boarding school in 1952. Even though a lot of the details are mundane, the value of sharing these letters is immense. They offer a totally new personal perspective on how Jones handled being a father at a time when he was also at the top of his game. There are also some great animation-related bits sprinkled throughout the letters, like his thoughts about working on the Roadrunner/Coyote shorts:

Been slamming through another Coyote and Roadrunner, as I may have mentioned. These are sort of money-in-the-bank type pictures. We don’t have to worry about establishing a premise or continuity or character development much or trick backgrounds. Everything’s pretty open. Just sit down and start drawing and when all the gags are roughed out, arrange them according to pace, so’s the picture will build in tempo, find myself a strong gag to end on and I’m in business. Timing is a snap because no dialogue and there’s no worry about making it too long, because I can time the gags as I go along and use just as many as I need. All in all, life could be very simple and maybe a little bit dull if all I had to do was direct coyote and r.r.s.

Read Linda’s intro to the series and then check out all of the letters. Start at the back with the first post if you want to keep proper chronology.

  • I’ve been reading these wonderful letters for the past several months.

  • Y. Frank

    Astounding how this simple, straightforward description, written when Chuck was still doing these cartoons, evolved through decades of hindsight as “The Road Runner/Coyote Discipline”, replete with the famous George Santayana quote describing how a fanatic (Wile E.) redoubles his efforts after failure. Chuck knew he was making good cartoons in mid-century America but may not have foreseen that they’d be virtual classics of animated cinema with time.

  • Thanks for this link. He’s my biggest hero.

  • Danny R. Santos

    Thanks Amid for the post, big fan of Chuck. The letter is very insightful.

  • Autumn

    Been reading them since they first started. I check everyday to see if there’s a new one. A few of the letters made me cry, because he sounded like such a GREAT father. And I totally geek out reading about the cartoon bits.

  • a reader

    That’s a beautiful picture-it looks like a professional, Life magazine-style shoot. And there’s Linda impeccably dressed in her english riding jods–and her dad equally well turned out-but in Spin & Marty garb.

    It’s great of her to share these glimpses from her life and archives with the world. Much appreciated.

  • I’ve been following. Wonderfully fun, playful and insightful stuff. His references to his days in the studio are priceless.

  • Oooo, fascinating! I’ve subscribed now, thanks!!