Chuck Jones - Later Years

Later Years

Through the 1980s and 1990s, Jones was painting cartoon and parody art, sold through animation galleries by his daughter's company, Linda Jones Enterprises. Jones was the creative consultant and character designer for two Raggedy Ann animated specials and the first Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas special "A Chipmunk Christmas". He was also creating new cartoons for the Internet based on his new character, Thomas Timberwolf. He made a cameo appearance in the 1984 film Gremlins and directed the Bugs Bunny/Daffy Duck animated sequences that bookend Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990). Jones also directed animated sequences various features such as a lengthy sequence in the 1992 film Stay Tuned and a shorter one seen at the start of the 1993 film Mrs. Doubtfire. Jones was not a fan of much contemporary animation, terming most of it, especially television cartoons such as those of Hanna-Barbera, "illustrated radio".

In 1988, Jones contributed to the creation of London's Museum of the Moving Image by spending several days working high on scaffolding creating a chase sequence directly onto the high walls of the museum.

Jones was a historical authority as well as a major contributor to the development of animation throughout the 20th century. He received an honorary degree from Oglethorpe University in 1993.

In his later years, Jones became the most vocal alumnus of the Termite Terrace studio, frequently giving lectures, seminars, and working to educate newcomers in the animation field. Many of his principles, therefore, found their way back into the mainstream animation consciousness, and can be seen in films such as The Emperor's New Groove and Lilo & Stitch.

For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Jones has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7011 Hollywood Blvd.

Jones, whose work had been nominated eight times over his career for an Oscar (winning thrice: For Scent-imental Reasons, So Much for So Little, and The Dot and the Line), received an Honorary Academy Award in 1996 by the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, for "the creation of classic cartoons and cartoon characters whose animated lives have brought joy to our real ones for more than half a century." At that year's awards show, Robin Williams, a self-confessed "Jones-aholic," presented the Honorary award to Jones, calling him "The Orson Welles of cartoons."

Jones' final Looney Tunes cartoon was From Hare to Eternity in 1996, which starred Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam, with Greg Burson voicing Bugs. The cartoon was dedicated to Friz Freleng, who had passed on in 1995. Jones did produce a few more Looney Tunes-based and non-related cartoons, a noticeable one being Chariots of Fur, his final Road Runner cartoon, in 1994.

Jones, the second to last surviving animation director from the "Termite Terrace" days of the WB cartoons, died of heart failure in 2002. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered at sea. Cartoon Network aired a 20-second segment with black dots tracing Jones' portrait with the words "We'll miss you - Cartoon Network" fading in on the right-hand side, which aired during a four-hour installment of The Looney Tunes Show that featured nothing but Chuck Jones' most memorable cartoon shorts. Unlike the tribute the network aired after William Hanna's passing, Jones' tribute didn't show his birth or death years.

After his death, the Looney Tunes cartoon Daffy Duck for President, based on the book that Jones had written and using Jones' style for the characters, originally scheduled to be released in 2000, was released in 2004 as part of disc 3 of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 2 DVD set.

Jones' life and legacy were celebrated January 12, 2012 with the official grand opening of The Chuck Jones Experience at Circus Circus Las Vegas. Many of Jones' family welcomed celebrities, animation aficionados and visitors to the new attraction when they opened the attraction in an appropriate and unconventional way. Among those in attendance were Jones' widow, Marian Jones; daughter Linda Clough; and grandchildren Craig, Todd and Valerie Kausen.

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