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Storytelling 101 from the Work of Looney Tunes Director Chuck Jones

Tony Zhou explains how Chuck Jones went from being a good storyteller to a legendary storyteller in his latest film essay.

by Beckett Mufson
19 July 2015, 2:00am

Screencaps via

Looney Tunes defined comedy and animation for a generation who grew up glued to their television sets, learning about the world by mainlining the boob tube. In his latest Every Frame a Painting film essay, Tony Zhou highlights the evolution of Chuck Jones—one of the best-known Looney Tunes directors—from a good storyteller to a legendary storyteller.

Zhou's ever-insightful voiceover walks us through Jones' sidesplitting knack for gags, character development, and discipline in never picking low-hanging fruit. He asserts that the genius of Looney Tunes comes from Jones' attunement with human culture. "Normally I would talk about his ingenious framing and timing, but not today," he writes in the video description. "Instead, I’d like to explore the evolution of his sensibilities as an artist. His ability to sample classic opera, surrealist painting, and iconography from every point in human history, Zhou claims.

Jones' his work has been remixed and memed into the reservoir of cultural knowledge rocketing him into the upper echelon of modern storytellers. Watch Tony Zhou's Chuck Jones - The Evolution of an Artist below:

See more of Tony Zhou's film essays on his website and in our previous coverage below:

Composing Kurosawa: an Exploration of Movement in the Movies of a Master

Explore The Subtleties Of David Fincher's Direction In This Cinematic Breakdown

How to Tell a Story with a Chair