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Academy Museum of Motion Pictures may have Bugs ... Bunny, that is

MoviesMuseumsChuck JonesSmithsonian InstitutionLos Angeles County Museum of ArtRobert Patrick
Coming attractions at as-yet unbuilt L.A. film museum may include touring exhibition on animator Chuck Jones

Most new arts and culture venues are keen on getting bugs out when they open, but the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is considering getting Bugs in.

Construction hasn’t started yet, but the Los Angeles film museum that plans to open in 2017 is a strong candidate to receive “What’s Up Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones,” a touring exhibition that will launch a five-year, 13-city trek July 19 at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City. 

It features Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner and other characters from the Warner Bros. cartoon menagerie created or perfected by Jones, the celebrated Southern California animator and director who died in 2002.

Morgan Kroll, spokeswoman for the Academy Museum, said Thursday that an appearance by Bugs and the rest of the Jones gang at the museum-to-be on Wilshire Boulevard “isn’t yet confirmed or finalized.”

But Robert Patrick, marketing director of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity in Costa Mesa, said a June 16-Sept. 23, 2018, run is tentatively scheduled at the Academy Musuem.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is one of four groups organizing the tour, along with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, founded by the animator in 1999, and the Museum of the Moving Image.

As of Friday morning the tour stops listed on the Smithsonian's exhibition website didn’t extend beyond January 2016, with the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History and the EMP Museum in Seattle listed as venues following the debut run in New York, scheduled to end in January 2015.

The academy, which has a vast archive of documents and artifacts from movie history, has frequently lent materials to exhibitions at other museums. Now it’s establishing its own, raising $300 million for construction and operations. Plans call for renovating a 300,000-square-foot building on the campus of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and building an adjacent 1,000-seat cinema under a huge dome.

The Smithsonian’s announcement of the Chuck Jones exhibition this week promised it would include 23 of Jones’ animated films in “wall-size projections,” along with more than 125 drawings, storyboards, photographs and other materials documenting the creative process of Jones and his collaborators. The show will fill a relatively modest 3,500 square feet of exhibition space.

The motion picture academy presented Jones with an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement in 1996.

Nine short films he directed were Oscar nominees, and three won the statue. Two came in 1950: “For Scent-imental Reasons,” in which the amorous French skunk Pepe Le Pew mistakenly wooed a black cat after spilled dye gave her a white stripe, and “So Much So Little,” an animated documentary advocating for better healthcare. “The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics” won for best animated short in 1966.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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MoviesMuseumsChuck JonesSmithsonian InstitutionLos Angeles County Museum of ArtRobert Patrick
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