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See the Work of Legendary Looney Tunes Director in Queens Exhibit

 'What's Up, Doc? The Animation of Chuck Jones' opens Saturday at Museum of the Moving Image in Queens.
Chuck Jones Exhibit at Museum of the Moving Image
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ASTORIA — A new exhibit in Queens is giving museum-goers a chance to revisit their childhoods.

"'What's Up, Doc? The Animation of Chuck Jones," which opens Saturday at the Museum of the Moving Image, pays tribute to the work of the renowned animation director, credited with bringing classic Looney Tunes cartoon characters like Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck to life on screen.

The exhibit will explore Jones's nearly seven-decade career, which included more than 20 years at Warner Bros., where he directed some of the studio's most iconic cartoons and also created characters like Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Marvin Martian and Pepe Le Pew.

"We are exploring the work, the tremendous impact of one of our greatest creators — someone who has changed movies and entertainment for the better, and also has created some of the best and funniest cartoons ever made," Carl Goodman, the museum's director, said at a preview of the exhibit Tuesday.

The exhibition is a partnership between the museum and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity.

It features 136 original sketches and drawings, storyboards, production backgrounds, animation cells and photos from Jones and his collaborators, as well as screenings of 23 of the director's animated films.

These include the famed "What's Opera, Doc?" which features a singing Bugs Bunny and Viking-capped Elmer Fudd set to Wagner, as well as "One Froggy Evening," a short which marked the debut of Michigan J. Frog, the singing and dancing amphibian in a top hat.

Another section includes headphones that museum-goers can wear to listen to excerpts of interviews with Jones and audio recordings of him directing Mel Blanc and Arthur Q. Bryan, the voice actors behind Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd.

"This particular exhibition is such a delight," said Linda Jones Clough, the director's daughter said at Tuesday's preview. "We want people to be inspired to find their own creativity."

After its debut in Queens, the exhibit will tour 13 other cities through 2019, according to organizers.

The show will remain at the Museum of the Moving Image through Jan. 19, 2015, and the museum will offer a number of programs in conjunction with the exhibit, including weekend screening of Jones's films as well as animation workshops for kids.

"For six months we're becoming a Chuck Jones museum within the Museum of the Moving Image," Goodman said.

Jones, who died in 2002 at the age of 89, made more than 250 films over the course of his career and won four Academy Awards, including a lifetime achievement award in 1996.