Commercial animation directors from the Golden Age of the 1930s and 1940s tended to be male and to have drifted into this new form of expression by accident. Some were trained in art and may even have worked as commercial artists or newspaper cartoonists before becoming animators, and even those who had worked in some kind of art before learned on the job because this was a new art form and had it sown methods and its own rules. Charles M. "Chuck" Jones became one of the best-known of the directors fro Warner Bros. in the thirties and forties and was identified with a number of the major characters from that animation company. His background suggests a source for much of his humor and for his attitude toward the material he would produce in the form of a favored uncle who told stories and helped nurture a love for the bizarre image in the boy.
Jones was born on September 21, 1912. He grew up in Ocean Park, California. Jones himself lists his Uncle Lynn as a major influence in his life and remembers many instances in which that man taught him lessons about how to view life. He cites the uncle when he is asked why cartoon characters are so often animals and why this or that gag works, and he remembers that uncle as a major force in his young life. The uncle had the ability that would stand Jones himself in good stead in his career--he could out himself in other people's shoes, and even in the skins of animals:
Dogs and boys loved and trusted him. He thought like a boy, or a dog, and he was of adult size, which we were not., and could implement such thought with action. His fancies were those of a dog, or a boy, and he never questioned those impulses (Jones 25-26).
The uncle thus developed in the boy a sense that he could talk with anyone and learn from them. In addition, what the uncle developed in the boy was a love for and understanding of stories and their power just a stories:
I remember all of us listenin...