Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Thomas (Timber!) Wolf

Of all the obscure cartoon characters created by Chuck Jones, there is one that will probably go down in history as the most obscure of all...and it's a crying shame. Chuck Jones' final animation project before his death was a stab at Flash internet cartoons. In 2001, along with Stephen Fossatti and a team of Flash animators, Jones came up with "Timber Wolf", a series of shorts made exclusively for Warner Bros. Online. The idea originated many years earlier at MGM, in the mid 1960's when Jones was producing and directing Tom and Jerry cartoons. He created an original character that never got off the ground...MGM was more interested in Tom and Jerry than one-shot originals or even new Droopy cartoons (although it is rumored that Jones storyboarded one.)

Thomas Timber Wolf is a proper-speaking Southern gentleman of a wolf with one problem...every time he says his middle name, a tree falls on him. Someone working for Jones back in 2000 came accross the sketches, and they became the basis for the online shorts. Jones designed the characters and did rough sketches, and Maurice Noble worked on the layout design. Stephen Fossatti handled direction. Joe Alaskey voiced Thomas, Nancy Cartwright voiced his co-star, Earl Squirrel.

Only 13 shorts were made before Jones' death in 2002, when the series came to abrupt end. One savvy fan was smart enough to save the cartoons before Warner Bros. took them offline for good. Check them out here:
Warning: You can't watch just one.


Anonymous said...

As far as I'm able to gather, WB didn't care for the Thomas Timberwolf series, but more or less had to accept it due to Jones' endorsement. Pity that they should have disliked it, as I think it turned into something much better than I was expecting.
Just weeks after Jones' death, the series disappeared from the Web... so fast that the last few episodes never came out. (That's right: there are or were Timberwolf shorts in limbo someplace. One was a two-part story titled MONEY TREE, about which I know nothing beyond the title.)

Anonymous said...

Aw, DRAT!, It's A Shame they didn't make more than a mere 13 batch, because those are the best and most funniest shorts i have ever seen, So Cool. You Know, After Chuck Jones and Maurice noble died, Spike Brandt and Tony Cerove's team Should have picked up where Jones Left Off, and Maybe Get Darrel Van Citters/John MacCleahan to Do A Considerable Amount, That Would Be Great.

Your Pal

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...