Legendary Warner Bros. cartoonist Chuck Jones is approaching his 80th birthday, but that’s not all, folks! The man behind Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Wile E. Coyote is nowhere near ready to hang up his pen and ink. ”Retirement is probably the most outrageous suggestion you can make to anybody who’s ever done anything considered creative,” says the erudite animator, working in the book-lined study of his Corona Del Mar, Calif., home.
Jones’ latest project is drawing more than 300 character sketches for a 61 2 -minute animated segment in Stay Tuned, an otherwise live-action comedy, which opened on Aug 14. The script calls for stars John Ritter and Pam Dawber to take a ride through Hellvision, at one point being turned into cartoon mice chased by a mechanical cat. ”It was described as a kind of classic Warner Bros. cartoon,” says director Peter Hyams, ”so I immediately sent this to Chuck.”
For Jones, it was a chance to take on a brand-new challenge. ”Here are people who have been humans and now have become mice,” he says. ”That’s a lot different from being Bugs Bunny, who has no past history of being a human being, or Daffy, or anybody else.”