January 24th, 1992. Writing to a class of students in an effort to promote the art of reading, legendary animator Chuck Jones urges them to open a book and recalls the literature that helped inspire the creation of Wile E. Coyote and Pepé Le Pew, just two of the many cartoon characters he had a hand in bringing to the screen.
Transcript follows. Image kindly supplied by Davey.
January 24, 1992
Knowing how to read and not reading books is like owning skiis and not skiing, owning a board and never riding a wave, or, well, having your favorite sandwich in your hand and not eating it. If you owned a telescope that would open up the entire universe for you would you try to find reason for not looking through it? Because that is exactly what reading is all about; it opens up the universe of humour, of adventure, of romance, of climbing the highest mountain, of diving in the deepest sea.
I found my first experience with Wile E. Coyote in a whole hilarious chapter about coyotes in a book called Roughing It by Mark Twain. I found the entire romantic personality of Pepe Le Pew in a book written by Kenneth Roberts, Captain Hook. I found bits and pieces of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and all the others in wonderful, exciting books.
I dare you all, test your strength: Open a book.