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Stuff about early Hanna-Barbera cartoons

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  • 12/20/12--11:02: Christmas Flintstone
  • Hanna-Barbera’s first attempt at a Christmas cartoon was “Christmas Flintstone” which aired in a brand-new Friday Flintstones time slot at 7:30 p.m. on December 25, 1964. It was a comparatively ambitious endeavour, with John McCarthy called on to write a couple of original songs and Hoyt Curtin adding Christmassy background music (with trombones and a nice little beat in one part) to his regular mix of cues.

    Some of the backgrounds are pretty nice, too. We mentioned a couple of years ago on the blog about the rather unsubtle plug for Flintstones Building Blocks in the final shot of the cartoon. Well, that isn’t the only far-too-obvious product placement. Check out the toy department in the store that hires Fred to be its Santa Claus.

    Shockingly, you could buy Pebbles, Bamm Bamm, Dino and Baby Puss dolls just like the ones on the cartoon! As you probably know, the whole reason Pebbles came into being was because Ideal Toys wanted a Flintstones doll character to hawk.

    Here are a few of the snowscapes in the cartoon.

    There’s a background continuity error (yes, we’re humbugish enough to point this out). Fred goes from inside his house to outside. Here are the backgrounds.

    You can see the door is open on the inside but closed on the outside. How did the door get closed? Fred didn’t do it. And where’d the lamp go? And the build up of snow outside the door? And how did the doorknob change sides? And the wreath? And the door colour? Maybe… maybe it was the work of the Spirit of Christmas.

    The funniest background is the one where Dino runs from his basket. Look at the women dinosaur pin-ups! Rowrr!

    The old guard of Bob Gentle, Monty and Art Lozzi didn’t have a hand in this cartoon. The old guard was giving way to new artists. The backgrounds are credited to Phil Lewis, Rene Garcia and Don Watson. Lewis started as an in-betweener during the last gasps of the Warners Bros. studio. He died a couple of years ago. Rene worked on a bunch of shows in the mid to late ‘60s. Someone on Tumblr posted this great colour picture of him with some Flintstones backgrounds.Watson worked on a pile of H-B shows in the ‘60s as well and was still drawing until at least a few years ago. All three of them ended up at Filmation at one time or another.

    The Flintstones began its nose-dive for me when Pebbles showed up and then really started tiring before it lurched into its sixth and final season (Gerry Johnson, Hoppy, Gazoo, Gruesomes, Bewitched characters in the Stone Age and sunshine-singing kids all took a toll). But the show was still capable of good episodes after Bea Benaderet was summarily dismissed and this was one of them. You can credit the fine performance of Alan Reed, Warren Foster’s story and even some of the wintery landscapes.

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    Produced and Directed by Joe Barbera and Bill Hanna.
    Credits: Animation – Ed Love; Layout – Tony Rivera; Backgrounds – Dick Thomas; Story – Warren Foster; Story Director – Alex Lovy; Titles – Art Goble; Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
    Voices: Huckleberry Hound, Cop – Daws Butler; Narrator, Snickering Dog – Don Messick.
    Music: Jack Shaindlin, Bill Loose-John Seely, Geordie Hormel, Raoul Kraushaar?, unknown.
    First Aired: week of December 13, 1960.
    Production: Huckleberry Hound Show K-044
    Plot: Huck tries to help a snickering dog.

    A dog snickering at someone else’s misfortune certainly was a durable concept at Hanna-Barbera. Most cartoon fans think of Muttley when they hear about the idea, but that kind of character was around long before him or Precious Pupp, who debuted a couple of years earlier. A white, reversible-eared, snickering dog appeared as Huckleberry Hound’s adversary in five cartoons, starting with “Fireman Huck” and “Postman Panic” in the first season, “A Bully Dog” in the second, “Nuts Over Mutts” in the third and “Two For Tee Vee” in the fourth, though the last-named features a big-headed bulldog. The concept actually pre-dates Hanna-Barbera; you can find it in Tex Avery’s wonderful “Bad Luck Blackie” (1949), for example.

    Writer Warren Foster follows the same format in this cartoon as in “A Bully Dog.” A narrator sets up the situation, and there is a series of almost-blackout gags as the dog thwarts Huck’s attempt to meet his goal, leaving our hero worse for wear, with the dog snickering to cap the scene.

    Probably the most notable thing about this cartoon isn’t the snickering dog. It’s Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera’s product placement. At one point, Huck attempts to lure the snickering dog with Gro-Pup T-Bone Dog Biscuits. They’re a real product. And they’re made by Kellogg’s, which happened to sponsor the Huckleberry Hound Show. It’d be really shameless except for the fact the Huck show was sold/bartered to stations as a complete half-hour package including Kellogg’s ads between the cartoons. So it isn’t much different to have the sponsor’s product in one of the cartoons itself. And that’s the package the dog biscuits came in at the time (they also appear as Snuffles’ favourite snack in several Quick Draw McGraw cartoons).

    Ed Love is the animator. As usual, characters have two upper teeth during dialogue. And I like the look he gave the snickering dog during the tippy-toe sequence. But I wonder if Ed was in a hurry to get this cartoon animated. The characters don’t jerk their heads as many angles as they did in early Love cartoons. And some of the drawing isn’t all that pretty. Then, again, it may be because of Tony Rivera’s designs. I’m not crazy about the cop, for example.

    The backgrounds are by Dick Thomas. In the opening of this cartoon, he draws buildings as outlines but has buildings as blocks of colour within them, like in the opening of “A Bully Dog.” And there’s one background drawing that simply different shaped rectangles of colours to abstractly indicate buildings. But his skies are a basic light blue and his grass is green; no wild colours like Art Lozzi might try. He has some nice brown shades on the snickering dog’s house.

    Let’s run through Foster’s familiar-sounding storyline.

    Don Messick’s narration informs us of the job of a city dog catcher, who performs a noble service. The dog catcher in this story is Huck, who gets a chorus of ‘My Darling Clementine,’ re-written especially for his occupation. The idea that a dog (Huck) is capturing other dogs is never satisfactorily explained in any of these Huck/Snickering Dog cartoons. “Yes, a lost dog’s best friend is the dog catcher,” says the narrator before the shot dissolves to a snoozing dog in his doghouse. “But there are some dogs who don’t think so.” Hey, wait a minute. How can he be a “lost” dog if he’s in his yard sleeping next to his dish? “The approaching dog catcher represents fun, fun, fun!” First snicker. Fade out.

    The dog pretends to be crippled by hobbling on a crutch. Huck decides to rescue the “aminal.” The dog runs into his yard, slams the door shut and the following Huck smashes into it. “Must be a mighty powerful draft whistlin’ through that yard. Slams the gate shut real hard” Second snicker. Fade out.

    “Operation Fish Pole” is next. Huck tosses a bone on a fishing line at the dog. Third snicker. Dog ties fishing line to a car that drives off (it’s 1960 so the car is without tailfins). The car pulls Huck off camera. No violence. Fourth snicker. Fade out.

    It’s Gro-Pup T-Bone Dog Biscuit time. A trail of biscuits leads to Huck who plans to corral the dog by dropping a metal garbage can over him. The dog gulps all but the last biscuit. Fifth snicker. Instead, he rushes to a bystanding cop and bites him in the butt. Sixth snicker. The chase is on. Huck corrals the officer instead of the dog. The annoyed cop drags Huck away. Seventh snicker. “A little lost dog, eh? Wait till the sergeant hears this one.” Fade out.

    Huck’s been released with a suspended sentence, a warning and a $200 fine. Cut to the dog rolling down the street on top of a tire, croaking “beep.” Huck’s pleased to see the dog’s leg has “healed” (though he’s seen the dog in two other scenes since the crutch gag) but discovers the wheel’s been stolen from his van. The dog ends up bouncing the wheel off Huck’s head (burying Huck into the sidewalk) then kicking it at the running Huck, who lands flat on his back. He’s not drawn crumpled or anything; he looks perfectly normal. Foster’s line is the tired: “Well, he let me have it, alright.”

    Huck reaches into the dog’s house and pulls out the dog chomped down on his arm (like in “A Bully Dog”). “I got a firm grip on you I have.” Eighth snicker. Fade out. Meanwhile, the cop’s on the phone. “Stolen dog, eh? Right out of a dog house.” Huck strolls by with the dog on his arm singing his modified version of “Clementine.” Cut to a scene of Huck in jail. The camera pulls back to reveal the dog on his arm. “He won’t be roamin’ the streets—for 30 days, at least.” Ninth snicker. Fade out. All done.

    Let’s face it. Foster doesn’t give Huck a lot of witty cracks to the camera and Love could have just as easily drawn a mashed-up-looking Huck after being bashed around because only the mouth moves anyway. But these guys were under an incredible workload. Foster was writing the entire Huck series, plus a bunch of The Flintstones and Loopy De Loop theatrical shorts.

    The cop isn’t Irish in this one. Daws gives him a W.C. Fields voice. Maybe it was because of Fields’ reputation with dogs.

    There’s lots of running in this cartoon so Jack Shaindlin’s “On the Run” gets a lot of use. The unidentified sad trombone/violin music during the crutch sequence works well. Having Huck sing “Clementine” (at length) while stock music is in the background at the end is really dissonant and I have no idea why it was done.

    0:00 - Huckleberry Hound Sub Main Title Theme (Curtin).
    0:14 - LAF-21-3 RECESS (Shaindlin) – Narrator speaks.
    0:32 - Clementine (trad.) – Huck sings, “But there are some dogs…”
    0:55 - creepy muted reverb trumpet music (Kraushaar?) – “…who don’t think so”, dog tippy-toes, snicker, Huck in truck.
    1:29 - sad trombone music (?) – Dog on crutch, Huck tells dog he’ll rescue it.
    1:53 - LAF-2-12 ON THE RUN (Shaindlin) – Dog runs, closes gate, Huck crashes.
    2:02 - TC-301 ZANY WALTZ (Loose-Seely) – Huck flops to ground, snicker.
    2:16 - LAF-21-3 RECESS (Shaindlin) – Huck with fishing rod, snicker, dog ties fishing line to car, car drives away.
    2:53 - LAF-5-20 TOBOGGAN RUN (Shaindlin) – Fishing line unreeling, Huck pulled away, snickering.
    3:16 - LAF-27-6 UNTITLED TUNE (Shaindlin) – Huck with dog biscuits, snicker, dog bites cop, “Come back here, you mutt.”
    4:04 - ZR-47 LIGHT MOVEMENT (Hormel) – Dog runs, Huck catches cop in garbage can, Huck dragged away, snicker.
    4:39 - C-14 DOMESTIC LIGHT (Loose) – Huck on sidewalk, dog on tire, truck missing tire, Huck dashes out of scene.
    5:12 - LAF-2-12 ON THE RUN (Shaindlin) – Huck runs down street, wheel on Huck’s head.
    5:33 - creepy muted reverb trumpet music (Kraushaar?) – Huck in hole in pavement, dog on wheel.
    5:44 - LAF-2-12 ON THE RUN (Shaindlin) – Huck runs down street, tire crashes into Huck, dog on Huck’s arm, snicker.
    6:14 - LAF-7-12 FUN ON ICE (Shaindlin) – Cop on phone, Huck walks with dog on arm, Huck and dog in jail, snicker.
    6:58 - Huckleberry Hound Sub End Title theme (Curtin).

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  • 12/25/12--07:00: A Huckleberry Christmas
  • Huckleberry Hound never celebrated Christmas on his cartoon show. Seasonal shows were never found in syndication back then. But Christmas could certainly be a plot line in comic books, designed to be bought and not recycled at inappropriate times of the year. So Huck was featured in a holiday season comic that seems to have come out in 1962.

    I have no idea who the artist is, and can’t explain the incongruous cover, but I love the Christmas tree drawing. Billie Towzer, our roaming correspondent, sent this last Boxing Day and I’ve been waiting since then for the right time to post it.

    Whitman had a series of eight hardback comics. Donald Duck and Bugs Bunny were featured in two of them, the rest had Hanna-Barbera characters (Yogi; Pixie, Dixie and Jinks; Snooper and Blabber and Quick Draw; the Flintstones and Augie Doggie with Loopy De Loop). You can see the covers on the last page. Whether the stories were originally published in Gold Key comics, I don’t know. People well-versed in the comic book world, I’m sure, can add insights.

    So I hope you enjoy these 50-year-old Huck stories and are having an enjoyable holiday season. Click to enlarge each picture. My thanks again to Billie for this Christmas gift to you.

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    Produced and Directed by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.
    Credits: Animation – Lew Marshall, Layout – Paul Sommer, Backgrounds – Dick Thomas, Story – Mike Maltese, Story Director – Alex Lovy, Titles – Art Goble, Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
    Voice Cast: Snooper, Blabber – Daws Butler; Editor, Snowman – Doug Young, Hazel – Jean Vander Pyl.
    Music: Jack Shaindlin, Phil Green, Harry Bluestone-Emil Cadkin, Clarence Wheeler?, unknown.
    First aired: week of January 10, 1961.
    Episode: Quick Draw McGraw Show M-033, Production J-104.
    Plot: The editor of the Daily Beagle hires Snooper and Blabber to find the Abominable Snowman.

    In “Scoop Snoop,” Snooper and Blabber are on their way in their helicopter to the Himalayas to find the Abominable Snowman. Blab asks: “Gosh, Snoop, do you think this copter can make to the Hima, Hima, uh, those mountains?” And Snooper replies: “It better, or we won’t have no cartoon.”

    Hanna-Barbera cartoons commented on the action to the audience all the time but this is one of the few cases where a character actually referred to the fact he was in a cartoon while a cartoon was in progress. It’s not quite the same as the characters appearing in bumpers during the syndicated half-hours saying there were going to put on a cartoon show or watch the next (eg. Yogi Bear) cartoon.

    Mike Maltese writes some neat little dialogue bits, but there really aren’t terribly many gags in this one and the ending is all too familiar. How many cartoon characters are sceptical about something but then look out the window and realise it’s true? Still, Maltese and Daws Butler’s word-bending is about all the cartoon has going for it. There’s nothing distinctive in the animation, character design or the settings (though the murky, digitally-pixilated dubs from TV prints may be to blame for the latter). In fact, Paul Sommer couldn’t be bothered to design Snooper’s helicopter with the eyeball that was on office doors, windows and, yes, even helicopters, in previous cartoons. About the most interesting thing is the “flash-bulb” effect when Blab takes a couple of pictures. The colours change to simulate a large amount of light being thrown on the subject. Here’s the effect when Blab, inside the Abominable Snowman, takes a flash picture.

    The opening has Snooper and Blabber in the chopper with Snoop getting the lowdown on their next caper. “Stop speakin’ in griddles, Hazel,” “Give us the glory details” and “Leave us descend on the impatient editor, Blab, and find out what’s news” are among Snoop’s punny lines. And there’s the usual time-filling dialogue about Hazel’s parakeet.

    There’s a brief scene in the office of the editor of the Daily Beagle. The editor’s on the phone with his boss, J.R. It should be noted that the man who oversaw the writers at Hanna-Barbera was one J.R. Barbera. “Stop the pressin’!” shouts Snoop. The gig: J.R. believes there’s an Abominable Snowman. The editor believes there’s not. Cut to Blab looking at a phone book. “He’s not in the Yellow Pages, Snoop.” “He probably has an unlisted number,” figures Snoop.

    So at the 2:29 mark (including about 25 seconds of opening titles), the plot’s underway. Snooper is offered $5,000 for a picture of the Abominable Snowman (throughout the cartoon, Snoop pronounces the word “abdominable”). Landing in the Himalayas, Snooper points out Blab is standing in a huge footprint. “We’ll folly his footprints and viola! He’s on page one,” Snoop says. Blab muses “I hope he’s photogenic.”

    Well, the Snowman is “lurchin’” around. He comes out from behind a mountain. The snowman’s only word through the cartoon is “gloogle,” so Blab decides to call him Mr. Gloogle. The Snowman uses his huge hand to squash Snoop through the snow and through the underside of a cliff, then winds up Blab’s tail and the assistant falls through the hole Snoop made.

    Blab swings from a rope (being a Hanna-Barbera rope, we don’t learn what it’s tied to) and gets swallowed by the Snowman. Blab takes a picture inside. “How’d you make out?” Snoop asks (no, we don’t know how Blab got out of the Snowman’s mouth). “Great, Snoop,” Blab says. “I got a swell picture of his tonsils. “Great Josephine! What good is a picture of his tonsils?” “Well,” figures Blab, “it might help some deserving medical student pass his exams.”

    In the helicopter, Snooper tries snagging the Snowman with a lasso. The Snowman just pulls the chopper to the snow, wrecks it and runs in a cave. “Stop in the long arm of the law and me five-thousand-bucks fee,” shouts Snoop as the detectives run after him. Now the plot turns a bit, kind of like how Porky Pig came to the rescue when hero Daffy Duck kept failing in those 1950s Chuck Jones cartoons written by Maltese. “I just want to take your picture, Mr. Gloogle,” says Blab. Now the Snowman is interested, especially since the shot “will be in all the newspapers.” Blab goes in the cave where he takes a photo of the whole smiling Gloogle family. Now how do Snooper and Blabber get back to civilisation since their helicopter is wrecked? Easy. They get in a large paper airplane which is thrown aloft by the Snowman. Where did the paper airplane come from? Who knows.

    The final scene is back in the office of the editor, who is looking over the photo. Even though it hasn’t been invented yet, the editor thinks it’s Photoshopped. “If this picture isn’t a fake, I’ll eat your hat. I still say there is abdominable snowman.” That’s when Mr. Gloogle appears in the office window (Blab had invited him to look him up whenever in town). Cut to the editor chewing. “I hope Mr. Editor has a 6 7/8ths stomach,” Blab tells us as he laughs and the iris closes on another cartoon.

    The sound cutter must have had plenty of time to work on this cartoon. Most of the music cues are very short. Some last around ten seconds and flow into each other pretty well, though using two short cues seems like overkill. Phil Green and Jack Shaindlin dominate as usual but there’s one little (contra bassoon?) tune toward the end that may be Clarence Wheeler’s “Woodwind Capers,” which found its way into some cartoons, according to ASCAP.

    0:00 - Snooper and Blabber Main Title theme (Curtin, Hanna, Barbera).
    0:25 - GR-248 STREETS OF THE CITY (Green) – Helicopter dialogue scene.
    1:34 - jaunty bassoon and skippy strings (Shaindlin) – Editor on phone.
    1:42 - GR-93 DRESSED TO KILL (Green) – Snooper at door, editor dialogue scene.
    2:28 - GR-334 LIGHT AGITATED BRIDGE (Green) – Helicopter in flight.
    2:40 - GR-457 DR QUACK SHORT BRIDGE No 1 (Green) – Snooper and Blabber in snow, “Standing in his footprint!”
    2:51 - COMEDY SUSPENSE (Shaindlin) – “Gee, he’s a big one,” Snoop and Blab talk.
    3:05 - CAPERS (Shaindlin) – Snowman appears, Snoop pushed through snow.
    3:42 - GR-455 THE ARTFUL DODGER BRIDGE No 2 (Green) – Blab with camera, falls through hole.
    3:51 - GR-454 THE ARTFUL DODGER BRIDGE No 1 (Green) – Blab with camera, scene fades out.
    4:03 - GR-74 POPCORN (Green) – Blab on rope.
    4:18 - GR-77 CUSTARD PIE CAPERS (Green) – Blab swings down, Snowman swallows Blab, Blab swings up to cliff.
    4:33 - CB-85A STEALTHY MOUSE (Cadkin-Bluestone) – Snoop and Blab on cliff.
    4:51 - light symphonic strings (?) – Helicopter in sky, pulled to ground.
    5:11 - GR-455 THE ARTFUL DODGER BRIDGE No 2 (Green) – Snooper and Blabber in crashed copter.
    5:16 - fast circus chase music (Shaindlin) – Snowman runs into cave, Snooper and Blabber skid to stop.
    5:27 - C-C-F# short light underscore (Wheeler?) – Blab makes offer to Snowman, takes picture of Snowman family.
    6:17 - comedy flute cue (Green) – Snooper and Blabber in paper airplane, Snowman throws airplane.
    6:26 - GR-78 CUSTARD PIE CAPERS BRIDGE No 1 (Green) – Snoop and Blab flying in paper airplane.
    6:33 - GR-456 DR QUACK (Green) – Editor talks with Snoop, Snowman peers through window.
    6:48 - rising scale music (Shaindlin) – Snowman gloogles, editor eats Snoop’s hat.
    7:10 - Snooper and Blabber End Title theme (Curtin).

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    Perhaps it was a foregone conclusion that the Flintstones would have a child designed by Gene Hazelton in early 1963. The Hanna-Barbera newspaper comics started getting littered with children about the same time. Gene was the head writer for the comics so he would have been the one putting kids in the stories, though it appears the comics themselves (at least some of them) for January 1963 were drawn by Harvey Eisenberg.

    We get a boy in one of the Sunday colour comics this month and, rather unexplainably, native Indians in two of them. There are more kids and natives in February, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

    Ranger Smith doesn’t make an appearance in any of these comics. Perhaps Hazelton is signalling he wants to go off in a different direction than the TV series and create his own little world around Jellystone Park.

    As I’ve mentioned, the photographic quality of these is not very good. I’ve married the top row from one paper with the bottom two from another to give you the best possible version I can find on-line. With luck, Mark Kausler will post his excellent colour copies on his blog later in the month. I hope you appreciate them because you get a better idea of the artwork than you do from these.

    Why does Yogi Bear get his own day at Funville Park? And where is Funville Park anyway? Well, I suppose if a TV station can give Yogi a sponsored special like the plot of one of his animated half-hours (which happened later in 1963), an amusement park can give something to honour Yogi, too. That’s what happened in the January 6th comic. It seems the horses on the merry-go-round are alive. Interesting drawing with the merry-go-round in the background in silhouette.

    I really like the clever patterned logo in the opening panel of the January 13th comic. Good composition, too. Lots of people but not cluttered, with silhouettes again giving a little depth. Nice puzzled look on Yogi when he’s in the canoe in the middle row. Boo Boo gets the comic off.

    Did Hazelton have a son named Christopher? There was a blond-haired kid named Christopher in one of the December comics, and on January 20th, we’ve got a blond-haired kid named Kit. It’s hard to say if it’s the same kid. They all kind of look the same. The hair-style’s different, the mother’s different and this one’s wearing a one-stripe vest and collared shirt instead of a t-shirt. Anyway, Yogi comes up with a trite rhyme in the opening panel, but I like the gag set-up, though it’s a little cringing in this age to see the word “squaw” amongst the perfect English. Oh, well. At least they don’t talk like the Go-Go Gophers.

    If we can have talking merry-go-round horses, why not taking worms? That’s the capper to the January 27th as we learn that ocarina is really made by worms burrowing holes in sweet potatoes underground. Boo Boo returns after a two-week absence. I suppose he was away earning money to buy a musical instrument. I wonder what instrument Sam makes from corn in the final panel.

    Next month, besides kids (one is suspiciously named “Eugene”) and Indians, there’s a cameo by an oh-so-merry, chuckleberry dog.

    P.S.: Being New Year’s Day, here’s a non-Yogi comic bonus. This is from January 1, 1965. Wilma’s hung over. Imagine that! Next, she’ll be smoking cigarettes or something.

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  • 01/05/13--07:25: Yogi Bear — A Bear Pair
  • Produced and Directed by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.
    Credits: Animation – Ken Muse, Layout – Tony Rivera, Backgrounds – Bob Gentle, Story – Warren Foster, Story Direction – Alex Lovy, Titles – Art Goble, Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
    Voice Cast: Yogi Bear, Game Show Host, E.G., Airport Announcer, Stewardess, French Airport Radio Man, 2nd French Government Man, 1st Man in Crowd, Chef, Return Airplane Pilot – Daws Butler; Ranger Smith, Boo Boo, Pilot, 1st French Government Man, 2nd Man in Crowd, French TV Announcer, Maître D. – Don Messick.
    Music: Bill Loose/John Seely, Geordie Hormel, Spencer Moore, Jack Shaindlin, Phil Green, unknown.
    Episode: Huckleberry Hound Show K-043.
    First aired: 1960.
    Plot: Yogi and Boo Boo are mistaken for ambassadors after Boo Boo wins a trip to Paris.

    Through history, nations have been friends of other nations for purely convenience’s sake. Yesterday’s enemy is today’s political ally. Or, as Warren Foster puts it in this cartoon:

    Official 1: Allez, allez! Roll out the red carpet! The ambassadors from Jellystone are arriving!
    Official 2: Jellystone? Where’s that?
    Official 1: Who knows? The way things are going, we have to be friendly with everybody.

    In fact, diplomatic relations in this cartoon are based on something other than mutual political interest. They started because of ignorance by a stewardess and farcically built on that. For good measure, Foster comments about how diplomacy falls apart at the most inane perceived slight (someone doesn’t eat his meal as prepared, again due to ignorance). And the cartoon ends with the stand-in for the head of the slighted diplomatic power (ie. Ranger Smith of Jellystone) reacting the only way he knows how—with violence. War solves everything when diplomacy fails, you know.

    The cartoon also points out how people do things from force of habit. People will go to a restaurant where meals are specially prepared with just the right amount of spices to give it the proper flavour, and then dump loads of salt or something else on it because that’s the way they eat everything. Special preparation be damned. It’s meat, so tons of salt must go on it, which destroys the whole reason for selecting the meal in the first place. So, to this day, when I go to (non-fast food) restaurants, I eat food only as prepared, all because of this cartoon. Warren Foster, the chefs of the world salute you.

    This cartoon tested Daws Butler and Don Messick. They play 17 roles between them, including two that are shouts from the crowd noise (that they help make).

    Layouts are by Tony Rivera, so certain things are recognisable. Thin-headed characters with the H-B 5 o’clock shadow. Isosceles triangle trees (Bob Gentle has given them a bit of foliage on the side so they’re not just a geometric shape).

    The cars in the early Hanna-Barbera cartoons are fascinating and it’s something I haven’t had time to post about. They contain design elements of real models of cars around the time the cartoons were made but aren’t exact copies. The proportions on the car in the scene above are wrong—the back is way too large—but there was a car that had the same kind of light blue body indentation along the side extending to the tail light. I keep thinking of a Pontiac for some reason.

    The cartoon starts with Yogi and Boo Boo rooting through garbage pins in the picnic area. Boo Boo finds a puzzle contest on a box (did Kellogg’s have something like that on a cereal box?) and all he has to do is send in a box top (presumably, he has to fill out the puzzle, too, but that’s never mentioned). “Boo Boo is always dreamin’ when he should be schemin’,” says Yogi, but it turns out Boo Boo’s box top is selected and the bear wins the grand prize—a trip to Paris, since there’s nothing that says a bear is prevented from entering. The contest company rep, E.G., calls the head office. The guy running things is, not uncoincidentally, “H.B.”

    Boo Boo is allowed to take a friend on the trip, so he takes his best friend Yogi, who pokes his head through the door and gives us a variation on Jimmy Durante’s line “That’s my little bear-type buddy who said that.” Cut to a Bob Gentle background drawing of an airport tarmack. Now Ranger Smith plants the diplomatic disaster by telling the bears they’re “good will ambassadors from Jellystone Park.” That doesn’t really make sense because Boo Boo won the contest on his own, not as some kind of representative. But we’d have a lot different cartoon otherwise. Yogi shows his ignorance early on the flight.

    Boo Boo: Yogi, where is Paris?
    Yogi: Uh, some place in,uh, Rhode Island, Boo Boo.

    Yogi tells the stewardess they’re “the ambassadors from Jellystone Park.” That sets off the stewardess who garbles a bunch of Gallic sounds to simulate French which sets of a chain reaction which results in the bears receiving a cheering welcome at the Paris airport (“They sure treat a puzzle contest right,” grins Yogi), a limo ride past a shouting throng lining the street (“These Paris-type people are friendlier than the av-er-age”) and a key to the city, which we never see presented because it’s cheaper just having characters stand there, while Yogi moves only his head and Boo Boo blinks his eyes.

    Cut to a TV set showing the 10 o’clock (in black and white). It shows Yogi (in still pictures) on his head on the cracked sidewalk after falling from the top of the Eiffel Tower. No matter. Yogi and Boo Boo drop into a five-star Parisian restaurant where Yogi mispronounces “filet mignon” and tries to put ketchup on it. The enraged chef crashes the glass ketchup bottle (no plastic bottles back then, folks) and the TV shows Yogi being kicked out of the country “due to an international crisis” as he and Boo Boo “threaten war on France” (mild little Boo Boo? Really? Sounds like the media got it wrong). Cut to a plane where Yogi, with the only parachute, holds Boo Boo as he is literally kicked off the flight over Jellystone. You’ll notice the studio saving money again. The footage of the plane in the air is simply the earlier cel of the plane turned around and the background drawing of clouds moving in the opposite direction.

    The bears land on the forest ground safely. Ranger Smith pops out of the bushes, then starts chasing Yogi and bashing him with a baseball bat. Tsk. Is such violence necessary? And so yet another Hanna-Barbera cartoon ends with a character chasing another one past the same scenery, stage left this time. They pass the same non-triangular tree 23 times to the strains of Jack Shaindlin’s “On the Run.”

    The cutter found a copy of “La Marseillaise,” possibly in the Capitol Hi-Q ‘X’ series, and it makes a couple of appearances on the soundtrack. Phil Green’s “Period Fanfare” from the ‘S’ series shows up as well. The rest of the music is typical for a Yogi cartoon, though using a nautical theme for the scene of the contest announcement is a little odd.

    0:00 - Yogi Bear Sub Main Title Theme (Curtin-Shows-Hanna-Barbera).
    0:28 - C-3 DOMESTIC CHILDREN (Loose) – Boo Boo and Yogi scene at garbage can.
    0:56 - TC-202 ECCENTRIC COMEDY (Loose-Seely) – Ranger Smith scene.
    1:10 - L-1121 ANIMATION NAUTICAL (Moore) – Game show scene.
    1:26 - L-1158 ANIMATION COMEDY (Moore) – Car pulls up to ranger station, “Excuse me.”
    1:28 - TC-301 ZANY WALTZ (Loose-Seely) – E.G. in Ranger Smith’s office.
    2:17 - ZR-48 FAST MOVEMENT (Hormel) – Airport scene, Stewardess babbles, pilot on radio.
    3:09 - LAF-5-20 TOBOGGAN RUN (Shaindlin) – French Airport Radio room, scene in French government office.
    3:37 - LA MARSEILLAISE (Trad.) – Dignitaries at airpory, “Welcome to Gay Parree.”
    3:47 - PG-171 PERIOD FANFARE (Green) – Cheers, Yogi and Boo Boo at plane entrance.
    3:58 - LA MARSEILLAISE (Trad.) – Yogi and Boo Boo in limo, keys to city.
    4:20 - TC-202 ECCENTRIC COMEDY (Loose-Seely) – TV broadcast.
    4:42 - L-1139 ANIMATION COMEDY (Moore) – Yogi and Boo Boo lope down street.
    4:58 - C-14 DOMESTIC LIGHT (Loose) – Restaurant scene, Yogi wants ketchup.
    5:19 - LAF-72-2 RODEO DAY (Shaindlin) – “Yipe!”, ketchup bottle on Yogi’s head.
    5:56 - L-78 COMEDY UNDERSCORE (Moore) – TV broadcast.
    6:13 - TC-437 SHOPPING DAY (Loose-Seely) – Airplane and parachute scenes.
    6:36 - TC-303 ZANY COMEDY (Loose-Seely) – Yogi and Boo Boo on ground, ranger enters, Yogi zips out of scene.
    6:49 - LAF-2-12 ON THE RUN (Shaindlin) – Ranger Smith clubs Yogi during chase.
    7:10 - Yogi Bear Sub End Title theme (Curtin).

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    Friendly and thoughtful readers are again sharing items from the old-time Hanna-Barbera world, so let’s pass them on.

    Dr. Mark Hill, the Doctor of Pop Culture, sent a note after we posted pictures of H-B rugs with pictures of another rug. I guess it’s both sides as one is the reverse image of the other. The main cast of The Huckleberry Hound Show is featured.

    Now some things from roving correspondent Billie Towzer. The Impossibles are from a date past the focus of this blog and I never got into them anyway. But here’s one of those maddening slide puzzles. Did anyone else ever try to take the pieces out to reinsert them and solve the puzzle?

    What? Kellogg’s giving away a ’63 Ford Falcon? Not exactly a kid’s prize, is it? This, of course, comes from the back of a Corn Flakes cereal package. The example of the jingle is kind of screwy. The rhyme should be with “folk”, not “fair,” shouldn’t it? How about “articholk?” Oh, well. I’m not a Ford person anyway.

    Good thing this isn’t one of those unauthorised editions. This comic book was one of a number copyrighted in March 1963 by Watkins-Strathmore Co., Racine, Wisconsin. Huck seems to have been replaced by Augie Doggie. I wonder if you got to colour Bill and Joe, too.

    Ah, poor Yogi. Left alone to rust on an unmowed lawn.

    At least he’s in better shape than this Yogi that a youngster rode.

    Finally, Tim Hollis sent this note:
    In one of the early Jellystone franchise booklets was this stunning shot of the merchandise they offered in their souvenir shops. As you can see, some was produced especially for them (like the green plastic ranger hats), while others were items that had first been available a decade earlier (the Kellogg's mugs, the Yogi/Magilla coloring books, etc). If I'm not mistaken, that Day-Glo pink Yogi poster is the same one that was a major plot element in the Brady Bunch episode that was filmed at King's Island.

    Thanks again to everyone who sent notes. We have a few more banked for a later post.

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  • 01/10/13--07:00: See Fred Strike Out
  • Old storyboard panels are always great fun, but rarely does anyone get to see a full board for any of the old Hanna-Barbera cartoons.

    But Charles Brubaker has alerted me to one for “Fred Strikes Out” posted on Mike Milo’s web site. Yes, the full storyboard, direct from the Hanna-Barbera archives. You can simply go HERE, click on the first panel and then click on the right arrow to look at all 124 pages, including layout drawings. I’ve posted one of them above because I love the drawings of Fred and Barney on it.

    The cartoon is from the Flintstones’ second season, meaning all the original end titles were removed ages ago for syndication. But we do know Joanna Lee wrote the episode and while Joanna may have been perfect in Plan 9 From Outer Space, she was no storyboard artist. So someone had to draw the board for her. Who? I’m almost the last person to ask. There are readers who may know if it’s by Alex Lovy or maybe even Warren Foster (I don’t think it’s Dan Gordon). I can’t tell you who the Story Director was on this cartoon as the original credits were removed for syndication in the ‘60s. But you can tell George Nicholas did some of the animation because Fred gets beady eyes and a floppy tongue in some scenes. Here’s how the last drawing in the story panels above turned out on the screen. Moo Team!!

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    Produced and Directed by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.
    Credits: Animation – Don Patterson, Layout – Paul Sommer, Backgrounds – Art Lozzi, Story – Mike Maltese, Story Director – Alex Lovy, Titles – Art Goble, Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
    Voice Cast: Doggie Daddy – Doug Young; Augie Doggie, Plant – Daws Butler.
    Music: Phil Green, Jack Shaindlin.
    Episode: Quick Draw McGraw Show M-029, Production J-87.
    First aired: week of November 22, 1960.
    Plot: Augie keeps a hungry man-eating plant as a pet.

    The cult movie favourite of 1960 was a feature that Roger Corman put together for something like $30,000 about an insatiable man-eating plant called Little Shop of Horrors. Whether that movie influenced Mike Maltese may never be known at this late date, but Maltese took the concept of a carnivorous plant that same year and plopped it in an Augie Doggie cartoon. And Maltese, known for his off-beat sense of humour, gives the cartoon a bit of a warped ending.

    By the way, you can be sure Bill Hanna didn’t spend anywhere near $30,000 on this. To be honest, I don’t know how much the budget was for each short in 1960.

    Don Patterson’s the animator on this one, and he doesn’t appear to have done a lot of work in the 1960-61 season. He did one Yogi, and this cartoon and, later, a few Flintstones. No Hucks, Quick Draws, Pixie and Dixie and Snooper and Blabber cartoons that I can tell. Patterson draws teeth in a closed mouth somewhat like Ed Love and he also draws closed eyes like a dissected triangle. I’ve moaned about how the animation started getting lacklustre as 1960 rolled into 1961. Patterson’s work here is an example. There are no outrageous expressions, other than a couple on the plant. Augie and Daddy’s mouth movements are basic. Even his walk cycle for the plant is simple, three drawings on twos.

    Art Lozzi is the background artist and batted out ten drawings for this cartoon. I like how Lozzi has a pennant on the wall in Augie’s room from “H.B.U.” Again, nothing adventuresome. Same with Paul Sommer’s layouts. The scenes are set up like you’re watching a stage play with all the action moving from one side to the other.

    The Augie we get in this cartoon is the combination of the Boy-Genius version and the Can-We-Keep-Him-Dad? version. Well, for at least part of it. “Dad of the sensitive nose” smells Augie making a noiseless explosive (no, it’s not called “Hushaboom”). Patterson gives us some perspective animation as Doggie Daddy swirls the bowl around toward the camera before the explosive in it poofs in dad’s face. Augie’s invention works and he dreams of a million dollars to give to “unscientific dad” but dad’s so annoyed with the burn marks on his face (which disappear after a brief medium shot of Augie) he demands Augie get a new hobby.

    So Augie’s new hobby is growing an Africa Flora Carnivorous. “Unhobby-like dad,” à la Durante, butchers the name through the whole cartoon. It has a tremendous appetite. We learn that when it bites Daddy’s finger. Now comes a long set-up that goes for sentiment more than comedy. Over the course of a year, Augie feeds the plant. Carny, as the plant is called for short, claps its leaves together like hands (and uses one to point to its mouth) and even grows lips to kiss Augie in gratitude.

    Yes, the cartoon’s half over. No, not a lot has happened.

    Now Daddy decides to enjoy a late-night snack. We all know what’s going to happen. The plant eats Daddy’s cake, then drinks his milk while gets another piece of cake, then eats the second piece of cake while Daddy looks for Augie. But there are no accents even in the limited animation, not even a pair of wide eyes. The scene just rolls along at an even pace, with strings benignly skating along in the background and Daddy chatting a superfluous monologue, that any comedy potential is sucked out of it, just like the plant sucked the cake off the plate. Here are two consecutives frames.

    While Daddy sees Augie sleeping in room, the plant plucks itself out of its pot and using roots as feet, toddles to the kitchen and the raids the “refridger-atator” of a roast chicken, running under Daddy (who has returned to the living room) in the process. Dear old Dad demands the plant drop the chicken, but Carny turns snarly and starts chasing after daddy, finally putting some life into the cartoon. The plant’s body is on a two-drawing cycle on ones, while the snarling head has four different positions on twos (not in a cycle).

    Augie stops the action by shaming the plant. Then there’s the usual “can he stay?” routine that we’ve heard in a bunch of Augie cartoons. Not only can he stay, the final scene cuts to Augie going to school with the plant going with him as a classmate. Why did a school enroll a plant? And why is it wearing glasses; has it become near-sighted through domestication? And why is the plant following behind Augie, but Augie is on the front sidewalk of the house while the plant is clearly walking along a street? Oh, well. “After all,” says Daddy to end the cartoon, “It ain’t every dad who’s got a boy and a franica awful carnivious in the second grade.”

    There are surprisingly few background tunes in this cartoon and all but one by Phil Green. We get the two main themes from Green’s Small Town Story Suite (EMI Photoplay Q5-009)—“Picnic or Country Scene” and “Parks and Gardens” (the other, “GR-157 Rural Romance,” was never used in cartoons but was also pressed on the Capitol Hi-Q ‘L’ Series).

    0:00 - Augie Doggie Main Title theme (Hanna-Barbera-Curtin).
    0:25 - GR-65 BUSH BABY (Green) – Explosive concoction scene, Augie brings in plant, “No, unhobby-like dad.”
    2:01 - GR-155 PARKS AND GARDENS (Green) – “It’s a little flower plant,” Daddy bitten, Augie feeds plant, plant eats cake.
    3:57 - GR-154 PICNIC OR COUNTRY SCENE (Green) – Daddy realises cake is gone, plant eats more stuff, gets out of pot, carries chicken, knocks over Dad, Dad rushes out of scene.
    5:46 - fast circus chase music (Shaindlin) – Daddy runs after plant, plant runs after Daddy, skids to a stop.
    6:13 - GR-255 PUPPETRY COMEDY (Green) – Augie shames plant, Daddy agrees to let plant stay, “It ain’t every dad…”
    7:02 - GR-79 CUSTARD PIE CAPERS SHORT BRIDGE No 2 (Green) – “…who’s got a boy…”, end of cartoon.
    7:10 - Augie Doggie End Title theme (Curtin).

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  • 01/16/13--07:15: See Fred Split
  • One of Carlo Vinci’s most well-known pieces of animation at Hanna-Barbera is his tippy-toe bowling steps for Fred Flintstone in “The Flintstone Flyer” (1960). Carlo animated the entire cartoon; his style is all over it. Some of the drawing looks downright crude (I’m sure that’s one reasons critics panned the show) but it’s sure a lot more interesting than what the series looked like toward the end of its run six years later.

    Anyway, here’s part of the famous walk. It’s as animated as any Disney cartoon—seven drawings, one for each frame of animation. We watch Fred release the ball (which then splits in half and knocks down the 7 and 10 pins). It takes up a little over a quarter of a second so you can’t appreciate watching the cartoon how Carlo gives Fred all kinds of angular shapes while he tosses the ball. The movement looks perfectly natural with Fred maintaining his balance.

    By the time the show ended its run, it’s really tough to tell Carlo’s footage from anyone else’s, other than he had some tics in the way he animated dialogue. I suppose because more than one person animated on a cartoon, Hanna and Barbera wanted the characters to look consistent, so individuality went out the window. It’s too bad because Carlo could come up with some funny drawings, even within the budgetary confines of television animation. He did on the early Huckleberry Hound shows and he did when “The Flintstones” began.

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    Produced and Directed by Joe Barbera and Bill Hanna.
    Credits: Animation – Bob Bentley, Dick Lundy (uncredited), Layout – Paul Sommer, Backgrounds – Art Lozzi, Written by Mike Maltese, Story Director – Alex Lovy, Titles – Art Goble, Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
    Voice Cast: Quick Draw McGraw, Baba Looey, Scooter Rabbit, Snuffles – Daws Butler; Mayor – Hal Smith.
    Music: Phil Green, Jack Shaindlin, Clarence Wheeler?, Lou De Francesco?.
    Episode: Quick Draw McGraw Show M-036, Production J-106.
    First aired: week of February 14, 1961.
    Plot: A Texas mayor up for re-election hires Quick Draw to bring in Scooter Rabbit.

    A smart-ass rabbit quickly outwits a western character and, before anyone knows it, leads him in a boisterous college football-type cheer for no particular reason. That describes a scene in the war-time Bugs Bunny cartoon Super Rabbit. And it describes a scene in the Quick Draw McGraw cartoon Scooter Rabbit made some 17 years later.

    Scooter Rabbit is no Bugs Bunny, but he is tricky and dispenses non sequiturs along the way. Making him a fast-talker quickens the pace of the cartoon; it doesn’t seem like the characters are standing around and talking. Add to that Daws Butler doing his Groucho Marx-inspired voice (heard in Bugs in the 1956 Warner Bros. cartoon Wideo Wabbit), Quick Draw’s usual cluelessness and an appearance by Snuffles doing his dog biscuit routine, and you have a pretty good cartoon.

    The similarity to elements of a Warners cartoon is not purely coincidental. This one was written by Mike Maltese, and readers here well know his lineage (his writing partner, Tedd Pierce, came up with the story for Super Rabbit). Even the animator spent some time at Warners. Bob Bentley was a journeyman, bouncing from Warners to Fleischer to Lantz to MGM to Lantz to Hanna-Barbera. Robert Jarvis Bentley was born in Philadelphia to John Harrison Bentley, Jr. and Hannah Helen Jarvis Bentley on March 11, 1907, eleven months and one day after his parents got married. He was the oldest of three children. You can read Bentley’s biography at Joe Campana’s website. Perhaps the most interesting thing was Bentley’s father died in 1918 (in the flu epidemic?) and three years later his mother married animator Les Elton. Mrs. Bentley and the kids had been living with Elton’s family in 1910; at the time, Elton was 13 and Bob Bentley was 3. The Elton marriage didn’t last.

    I’ve never really examined Bentley’s drawing style but, in this cartoon anyway, he likes heads that are proportionately bigger than bodies. And big eyes. Also, when eyes are closed, he has a duplicate curved line above the eye.

    The plot starts with a Texas mayor who, following a storyline of at least two earlier Warners cartoons, has managed to get rid of all the rabbits in his area. All but one that is. Scooter Rabbit. And he won’t be re-elected unless he does, so he hires Quick Draw to do it. The mayor is played by Hal Smith, his only part in this cartoon, and he pulls out a quieter version of the voice he later used for Cousin Tex on The Flintstones. Maltese gently spoofs political oratory that was old-timey even when the cartoon was made. “In behalf of our fair city, I welcome you, and I say, without fear of successful contradiction…” And on and on he goes. He even fits in “From the rock-bound coast of Maine to the sun-kissed shores of California…” I presume someone actually said that in a speech at one time but I can’t find who it was. “What a windsbags!” remarks Baba Looey. “Hooolld on thar, mayor,” Quick Draw butts in. “Give it to me, quick-like. I could be double-parked, ya know.”

    The whole contretemps is interrupted by Scooter Rabbit, who has a little leaping-run cycle, and a catchphrase of “yahoo!” (which, as you may know, was supposed to be Fred Flintstone’s until Alan Reed changed it in a recording session to something involving “yabba”). Scooter’s stream of patter is borrowed from Groucho on “You Bet Your Life.” “Welcome to ‘You Bet Your Life You Won’t Catch Me.’ Hiya, mayor. Been stuffing any ballot boxes lately?” With that, Scooter jumps up and zips out of the scene. I like Bentley’s drawing of the rabbit when he’s held in mid-air for six frames.

    It’s time to bring in Snuffles to hunt down Scooter. I like how Snuffles just happens to be sitting there in the desert doing nothing until Quick Draw shows up. Snuffles wants a dog biscuit. You know the routine. Snuffles hugs himself and floats into the air and down again in post-hunger ecstacy. The animation is re-used from Ali-Baba Looey from earlier in the season. That cartoon was animated by Dick Lundy. The Snuffles-ecstasy drawings look more like George Nicholas’ than Lundy’s (beady eyes, wavy mouth) but I’ll bow to the earlier credits.

    Scooter plays with Snuffles’ head. Literally. He knocks on Snuffles’ nose like it’s a door. More Groucho-like patter: “Is anybody home? Not it’s any of my business, but how do you do? I hope you’re hale and hardy. I used to know a hale and hardy once. They used to go to different schools together.” The rabbit zips out of the scene and zips back in wearing a doctor’s head mirror. He has Snuffles say “Aw” and crawls halfway into the dog’s mouth. The rabbit diagnoses lots of rest. Cut to the next scene where Quick Draw and Baba see Snuffles wearing a leg cast in a hospital bed.

    Scooter looks at Quick Draw and Baba and blurts out a running gag: “Well, if it isn’t hale and hardy. Why aren’t you at different schools together? Then we get a radio reference, just like in a Warners cartoon. Snuffles bares his teeth at the rabbit. Scooter: “You have 32 teeth. Would you like to try for 16?” A honk on the nose follows and Scooter zooms away. Snuffles is supposedly chasing after him but then the rabbit zips up behind Quick Draw. “Come on, let’s have a little school spirit.” That’s when Scooter leads Quick Draw in a cheer that we document for posterity:

    Strawberry shortcake, huckleberry pie,
    Will we win?
    Well, I guess.
    Snuffles, Snuffles, yes, yes, yes.
    Hooray, Snuffles!

    “Uh, Quickstraw…” Baba starts to assess the situation. Quick Draw tells us he’ll do the thinnin’ around here. “Well, I thin’ Scooter is doin’ all the thininn’,” Baba rightly points out. Now comes a scene where Scooter goads Snuffles into grabbing him. Scooter’s on a bluff in the distance. Snuffles is in the foreground. The two keep exchanging places in some nice perspective animation, with their bodies leaving behind a trail of speed lines. By the way, you’ll notice the lumpy clouds and lumpy hills. That shows you Art Lozzi’s drawing the backgrounds.

    Well, this is getting Quick Draw nowhere. He orders Snuffles to get the rabbit. The dog wants another dog biscuit. He gets one. You know what happens next. But now, Scooter Rabbit wants a biscuit. So Quick Draw tosses one in his mouth. The expected reaction follows. Little feet lines get left behind as the rabbit leaps into the air. “Well, what do you know. It’s spring again,” he says upon landing.

    Quick Draw and Baba conclude the dog biscuit has calmed down the rabbit and the mayor can get re-elected. Scooter launches into the “rock-bound coast of Maine” cliché political speech. Baba’s tag line is a little lame: “You know sometheen, Quickstraw? He’s pretty good. I theen I vote for him.” And the iris closes.

    This was the only cartoon featuring Scooter Rabbit. Hanna-Barbera came up with a quick rabbit a few years later called Ricochet Rabbit whose cartoons weren’t nearly as funny as this one.

    The sound cutter wisely decided to avoid any music during the cheerleading sequence. The rest of the music is pretty typical for a Quick Draw cartoon; Phil Green’s “Custard Pie Capers” ends it, as it ended many Snooper and Blabber cartoons. The cue that I think is “Woodwind Capers” by Clarence Wheeler is used when Scooter eats the dog biscuit. The cutter also digs up the familiar harp music when Snuffles floats down in post-biscuit delight.

    0:00 – Quick Draw McGraw Sub Main Title theme (Curtin).
    0:15 - GR-472 HICKSVILLE (Green) – Quick Draw and Baba walk on desert.
    0:27 - Oh Susannah (Trad.) – Knock on door, mayor prattles, “What a windsbags!”
    1:01 - GR-472 HICKSVILLE (Green) – “You mean Billy the kid…”, Quick Draw and mayor talk.
    2:06 - jaunty bassoon and skippy strings (Shaindlin) - Scooter rabbit “Yahoo!”s, zips out of scene, Snuffles points to mouth, floats.
    3:02 - GR-99 THE DIDDLECOMB HUNT (Green) – Baba dog biscuit comment, Snuffles on trail, Scooter looks down Snuffles’ throat, Snuffles in bed, “After him Snuffles!”
    4:37 - fast circus chase music (Shaindlin) – “Don’t let him out…”, Scooter zips behind Quick Draw.
    4:50 - no music – cheerleading scene.
    5:06 - GR-96 BY JIMINY! IT’S JUMBO (Green) – Baba talks to Quick Draw, Scooter zips away.
    5:23 - LFU-117-1 MAD RUSH No 1 (Shaindlin) – “Grab him, Snuffles,” cliff scene, Quick Draw tosses dog biscuit.
    5:55 - tick tock/flute music (Shaindlin) – Snuffles eats biscuit, floats up.
    6:07 - C-C-F# short light underscore (Wheeler?) – Snuffles lands, Scooter wants biscuit, floats down.
    6:32 - SF-11 LIGHT MOVEMENT (De Francesco?) – Baba talks to Quick Draw, Scooter gives political speech.
    6:52 - GR-79 CUSTARD PIE CAPERS BRIDGE No 2 (Green) – Baba Looey tagline.
    7:00 - Quick Draw McGraw Sub End Title theme (Curtin).

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  • 01/21/13--05:04: New Home of a Friendly Blog
  • Over the years, other bloggers have been nice enough to link to this blog. One of them is Kevin Langley, who has been on Blogger for seven years. His blog has been the place to go to view old Tex Avery model sheets and comments about various animators of the Golden Age; he even did a series on David Hand’s studio in England.

    Kevin’s blog “Cartoons, Comics and Model Sheets” has been suddenly, and without explanation to him, taken off line. So he has moved his blog, which you can now find HERE. Kevin doesn’t post much these days, but you can still poke through his archives. Here is a post with some of Monty’s background drawings in the first season from The Huckleberry Hound Show.

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    Yogi Bear almost didn’t get his own TV show. But he did because of Hank Saperstein.

    The revelation is buried in the pages of Top Cel, the newsletter of the New York local of the Screen Cartoonists. Michael Sporn recently posted a few issues from 1960 and 1961 on his blog. The period was a great time of expansion in television animation. The networks looked at the success of “The Flintstones” and started adding cartoons to their prime time schedule. H-B looked to expand in syndication. And a big change was happening at 4440 Lakeside Drive in Burbank. That was the home of UPA, the erstwhile darling of film critics all too eager to dismiss the “Illusion of Life” at Disney, the raucousness at Warners and all other cartoons in between. UPA’s foray into feature films flopped, and an important chunk of the staff quit in October 1959.

    Top Cel picks up the story in its August 1960 issue, revealing Saperstein and Chicago film distributor Peter DeMet bought UPA. And it also reveals:

    A “Mr. Magoo” series will be sponsored by Kellogg Cereals this fall. The half-hour animated show with Magoo as m.c. is being produced by UPA especially for tv.
    Kellogg? The people who sponsored the Hanna-Barbera half hours?

    Yes, the same Kellogg. And the September 1960 Top Cel revealed the cereal company’s plan in a story about Terrytoons’ Deputy Dawg.

    In the South, the series will run on the 5th day of a daily spot which Kellogg Cereal clears for its four national cartoon strips, “Huckleberry Hound”, “Quick Draw McGraw”, “Mr. Magoo” and “Woody Woodpecker”. They run the same time every day, four days weekly, with “Deputy Dawg” getting the fifth spot, under different sponsorship.
    What about the “The Yogi Bear Show” you ask? Simple. It isn’t on the schedule because it didn’t exist. Kellogg’s went with Magoo; a series distinct from the Magoo shorts that were being prepared for syndication along with Dick Tracy. Yogi, at this point, was still a character on “The Huckleberry Hound Show” and that was that, it appears. But then Hank Saperstein got annoyed and the breach was filled by Bill Hanna, Joe Barbera and a bear with a hat and tie. Here’s Top Cel from October 1960.

    UPA has withdrawn its new tv animation series, “Mr. Magoo”, from a scheduled sponsorship by Kellogg Cereals.
    The cancellation of the deal reportedly was initiated by UPA because of too much interference from the Leo Burnett ad agency in the creative aspects of the show.
    “Mr. Magoo” is being put directly into syndication by UPA itself. The program will debut on tv this fall. A special premiere in behalf of Navy Relief was given recently at Pacific Missile Range, Point Magu, California.
    Meanwhile, Kellogg and its agency have been negotiating a possible deal with Hanna-Barbera for a new cartoon half-hour series with a January start date. H-B’s “Huckleberry Hound” and “Quick Draw McGraw” is sponsored by Kellogg’s in over 160 markets. The cereal company is expected to renew Walter Lantz’ “Woody Woodpecker” as its third national show pending selection of a third show for January.

    It’s possible Hanna-Barbera planned a show with Yogi Bear before this. But it seems doubtful as it had no sponsor and no time slot. In fact, Yogi isn’t even mentioned in the above squib.

    Despite being based on the East Coast, Top Cel reported on major happenings on the West Coast (the animators belonged to a different local of the same union); likely some of it came from Variety or the popular press. H-B came in for notice. Michael’s site reprints the following news:

    November 1960
    Hanna-Barbera Productions is launching an expansion programme for 1961 with a resultant increase of 100% in its annual production budget. Added to its present activities will be two new tv series and plans for a third tv show, plus production of a feature length theatrical.
    H-B is scheduled to spend more than $6,000,000 in 1961. If “the Flintstones” hold up and a second batch of 26 segments is ordered, the budget will increase to nearly $7,700,000. Three and a half million dollars was spent this year.
    The company is already committed to production of at least 35 hours of tv product for the 1960-61 season. Its current crew numbers 140, with the addition of 17 new inkers and painters in the past month. Half the staff is reported working at home, due to a shortage of studio space. A fourth camera has been added to the round-the-clock camera operations. Hanna and Barbera are looking for two acres of real estate to build new facilities, including a sound stage.
    A new Hanna-Barbera program, “The Yogi Bear Show,” has been purchased by Kellogg Cereals, effective January, 1961. At that time, Yogi will be promoted from “Huckleberry Hound” and given his own show. He will be replaced by “Wacko”, a wise-cracking wolf.
    H-B concluded another deal with Screen Gems for production of 104 five-minute segments for national syndication. They will be comprised of two separate series, one starring “Lippy the Lion” and “Hardy Har Har” and the other with “Hairbrain Hare” and “Dum Dum”.
    A new feature length film is being written by Joe Barbera and Warren Foster. The film, which is to star Yogi Bear, is aimed for a Columbia release next summer.
    Hanna and Barbera are reported working on another family-type tv series, a la “The Flintstones”, for a fall 1961 showing.
    H-B productions are seen also on CBS’ Saturday show, “The Magic Land of Alla Kazam”, not to mention “Huckleberry Hound”, “Quick Draw McGraw” and “Ruff ‘N’ Reddy” on ABC-TV.
    Its commercials operation budgets $300,000 to $500,000 per year – and, oh yes, H-B has an exclusive five-year contract for production of “Loopy De Loop” theatrical cartoons. The studio recently completed animated sequences for “Pepe”.

    January 1961
    Hanna-Barbera and Screen Gems will share about one million dollars in royalties from merchandise tie-ins, it is estimated by “Variety.”
    This figure is based on a 40 million dollar retail gross for products endorsed by Huckleberry Hound and his friends. This ought to be 20 million dollars at the wholesale level, of which five per cent royalty is the usual licensing arrangement. A new promotional project calls for “live” tv dates by the H-B characters.
    Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, Cindy Bear, Quick Draw McGraw and Baba Looie [sic] will make appearances via costumed actors.
    During 1960, Huckleberry et al made over 150 promotional appearances at department stores, football games, parades, fairs and amusement parks.

    March 1961
    Hanna-Barbera is planning an additional “adult” cartoon tv series for next season. “Top Cap” [sic] is expected to be shown on ABC-TV. “Huckleberry Hound”, “Quick Draw McGraw,” and “Yogi Bear” all have been signed up again for the 1961-’62 season by Kellogg’s Cereals. A renewal of “The Flintstones”, current H-B series on ABC-TV, is expected. The debut segment of “Yogi Bear”, H-B’s newest show, credited writers Warren Foster and Mike Maltese and animators Lew Marshall, Laverne Harding and Brad Case.

    Arnold Gillespie is the new president of Quartet Films, succeeding Art Babbitt, who resigned in order to be able to devote more time “to special aspects of the animation craft”, it is announced by Quartet. Babbitt will continue with Quartet as animation director and creative consultant.
    Joining Quartet are Michael Lah as vice-president and animation director; Dan Gordon as head of story department, and Ken O’Brien as supervising animator. Lah was most recently owner of Cinema Ad, while Gordon was at Hanna and Barbera.

    Just a few notes about some of the articles above:
    ● We’ve mentioned Wacko Wolf on the blog before. His name was changed to Hokey.
    ● The braintrust at H-B reworked the concept for its first non-Kellogg’s syndication package. As you know, Dum Dum was paired with Touché Turtle and a Wally Gator series was added into the mix. Hairbrain Hare never aired; it’d be interesting to know if it ever made it to the pilot stage or if any concept drawings or storyboards are around.
    ● Yogi’s stardom rose quickly. One month, his own show was announced out of the blue (seemingly as a replacement for Mr. Magoo) and the next month, he’s been announced as the star of his own movie. One wonders if a news story we posted here earlier was correct and the feature film was originally to star Huck. “Hey There, It’s Yogi Bear” wasn’t released until 1964.
    ● I’ve still never been able to determine when “Ruff and Reddy” ended production. I don’t think all four seasons were drawn in 1957. Another item in Top Cel mentions the show was being replaced by King Leonardo in fall 1961.
    ● They sure pushed Cindy Bear early. I don’t believe she had appeared on screen in any cartoons at this point; “Acrobatty Yogi” aired during the week of April 17, 1961. Only two shorts were made with her in the 1960-61 season.
    ● Judging by the Yogi Bear Show DVD that came out several years ago, “Oinks and Boinks” was the first Yogi cartoon to air on his own series. But that couldn’t have been the case, according to Top Cel. “Oinks and Boinks” was animated by Don Patterson, not one of the three animators listed above. I haven’t found any newspapers which give a line-up for the first Yogi show. If you look at the DVD that shows the “Yogi Bear Show” end titles, all you’ll see is gang credits and no mention of Brad Case at all, though he most definitely animated on the show.
    ● It’s a surprise to read Dan Gordon left Hanna-Barbera. He had been at the studio since it opened in 1957. He returned in time for the creation of the Magilla Gorilla in 1964. Gordon’s name doesn’t appear on titles for either “Top Cat” or “The Jetsons.” O’Brien, by the way, had freelanced at H-B before moving on to UPA to work on the abysmal Dick Tracys and TV Magoos. And Mike Lah’s background should be known to readers here.

    There are lots of interesting historical items in the Top Cels on Michael’s blog, including the creation of Bob Clampett’s Snowball Studio that made Beany and Cecil cartoons (and attempted to sell a series based on Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy), proposed series by the Jay Ward studio, a deal to make Tom and Jerry cartoons in Europe, and everyone’s favourite TV cartoon “Keemar, the Invisible Boy” (which the story doesn’t say was in development by Format Inc. in January 1959, featuring a tights-clad hero, the beak-nosed Dr. Z, and Skip Harrigan, Boy Scout). Take a look HERE. We look forward to Michael having the time to scan and post more of these newsletters.

    But maybe the most surprising relevation is that Yogi was a second-choice for a series by the folks from Battle Creek. In the process, UPA helped boost the careers of Yogi, Snagglepuss and a little yellow duck. Ain’t that cute?

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    It was kind of a blah month in the Sunday pages for the Bedrock gang 50 years ago this month. There are echoes of the TV cartoons in spots.

    Dino’s on a leash in the January 6th comic. Notice the Dino surprise take in the final panel. The first panel has two incidental women in the foreground. The work of Harvey Eisenberg? The people at Hanna-Barbera hadn’t gotten lazy yet by putting “rock” or “stone” at the end of every name, as if that was funny in and of itself. So the store is called “Rumbles,” which I guess is a play on “Gimbles,” but it’s really a stretch. The store’s on “Rocky Road.” Sigh. Nice silhouette in the middle row. Note the smoking volcanoes in the background of the last panel on the middle row.

    We get another bullet-nosed car on January 13th except the nose is brown instead of (off) white like the previous week. Grouchy Fred turns out to be Hero Fred. The middle row has the most interesting panel with the bird and turtle in the foreground and Fred, Wilma, Barney and Betty in silhouette in the background, along with another smoking volcano.

    The fire truck/dinosaur’s reactions are the most interesting thing in the January 20th comic. He goes from content to confused to one of those reaction lines that you’d find in the animated show. The sabre-tooth cat siren is a nice touch. And Barney does his little Barney laugh like on TV. One of the neat things is the bit of action in the top row that has nothing to do with the plot. The story could simply had Fred and Barney walking. Instead, there’s a bit of business with Barney walking into Fred and Fred bowling over Barney. It adds something. Today, some artists seem obsessed with having the same drawing in every panel.

    My decidedly untrained eye thinks the January 27th comic was drawn by someone different than the others. The setting is a company event but Mr. Slate hasn’t been invented yet.

    Unfortunatly, Baby Puss gets the month off.

    As usual, click on each of the drawing for a blown up version, courtesy of the Google archive of the Palm Beach Post.

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    Produced and Directed by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.
    Credits: Animation – Hicks Lokey; Layout – Paul Sommer; Background – Vera Hanson; Written by Warren Foster; Story Direction – Alex Lovy; Titles –Art Goble; Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
    Voice Cast: Dixie, Mr Jinks – Daws Butler; Pixie, Spike – Don Messick.
    Music: Jack Shaindlin, Bill Loose-John Seely, Geordie Hormel, Spencer Moore.
    First Aired: week of January 16, 1961 (rerun, week of June 5, 1961).
    Episode: Huckleberry Hound Show K-047.
    Plot: Jinks must be kind to Pixie and Dixie, or face a clobbering by a dog.

    I wonder if there were days Warren Foster sat in his office swearing because he had to write for Pixie and Dixie.

    The cartoons were originally designed, as best as I can tell, to be watered down versions of Tom and Jerry. Pixie and Dixie were to use their wits to defeat the menacing cat. But when Warren Foster took over writing the series in the second season, he seems to have realised something. Pixie and Dixie aren’t funny characters. Instead of making them lippy, sarcastic characters like a certain wabbit he wrote for at Warner Bros., he left the comedy up to Mr. Jinks. And it got to the point where the meeces didn’t even defeat the menacing cat any more; they brought in an outside character to do it. That’s the situation in “Kind to Meeces Week.”

    Unfortunately, something else was working against Foster besides weak title characters. Hanna-Barbera’s animation was not only limited, it started becoming downright dull. In the first season even Lew Marshall, the weakest of the studio’s four animators that year, could come up with some funny poses for Jinks after getting bashed around. By season three, when this cartoon was made, the drawings are pretty perfunctory. Witness this one, which is after some camera-shaking violence (which we don’t see because it saves money drawing all that action):

    Not a ruffled bit of fur, let alone a crumpled body. Whether that’s because of the layout artist—and it’s Paul Sommer in this cartoon—or the animator, I couldn’t tell you. But something happened at the studio that made its cartoons blander, and it happened after Hanna-Barbera took on more staff as it expanded its operation with The Yogi Bear Show and The Flintstones on the horizon, in addition to the two half-hour syndicated shows and Loopy De Loop (and possibly the final season of Ruff and Reddy) still in production. It hasn’t been completely knocked out of the cartoons. Here’s my favourite (and about the only) take in the cartoon, one of three drawings on a cycle on twos. Jinks has literally had his bell rung.

    Anyway, if the animation doesn’t enhance the comedy, which is hamstrung by two not-altogether-funny characters to begin with, you’re sunk.

    The animator in this cartoon is Hicks Lokey. Not being someone who can draw, let alone know the principles of cartooning, I’m not exactly one to try to point out how you can recognise an animator’s work. But I have noticed on a couple of the H-B cartoons that Lokey worked on at this time that he draws a pointed end at the bottom of the mouth in certain positions, kind of like a shovel digging into the ground. You can see a good example below in Mr. Jinks.

    And he seems to like sketchy, wavy upper lips on characters that have elongated snouts, like Jinks and the dog.

    The cartoon starts out with Pixie and Dixie playing handball, batting the ball over the sleeping Jinks’ basket. Then the ball hits Jinks in the face and rings a cowbell around his neck. “The bell we put around him works swell,” says Dixie. But wouldn’t they know if the bell could clang before that? And the purpose of belling a cat is so you know when he’s coming; but the meeces can already see Jinks. Ah, well. Jinks gets his revenge by letting a broom sop up with water and chases them out the door with it (after calling them out of their mouse hole with a Bilko-like army yell). To save you counting, the meeces run past the same electrical socket in the wall eight times (not shown below).

    “I’m like in a doozy of a mean mood today,” Jinks says. “But, uh, that is the image I am projecting. A mean pussy cat.” The dialogue in the cartoon so far is more explanatory than funny, just like when the meeces keep saying what they’re going to do in the next scene. First, Dixie spies a newspaper with the headline “President Proclaims Be Kind to Animals Week” (which he reads aloud even though we can see it) and the meeces decide to wave a flag of truce and present it to Jinks so he won’t hassle them. “Okay, I will ac-cede, like to a parlez,” says Jinks to the meeces, then moves a pupil to the audience and informs us “That is a French word for, like, yuckin’ it up.” Jinks then mispronounces “animals” as he reads the headline. “President of Meeces Incorporates, I presume” is the best Foster can come up with for Jinks. “No, Jinks. The real one,” Dixie corrects. “You know. The president,” Pixie adds. Jinks scoffs. “You meeces can not kid me. George Washington has not been president for a long time,” then turns his pupils toward the audience again and confides “I read a lot.”

    With the cartoon half finished, Pixie and Dixie present a bone to the dog next door, who (being a Hanna-Barbera character) has a bit of a resemblance to Chopper from the Yakky Doodle cartoons, though he’s not as blocky. He’s got Don Messick’s growly voice. The dialogue merely furthers the plot, there are no gag lines. And the plot moves on in the next scene where the dog intimidates Jinks into agreeing to be kind to the meeces. “Kind of rough,” the cat tells us in the following scene as he soaks his broom (in re-used animation) and then chases the meeces out the door (in re-used animation). Jinks again clobbers the dog with the wet broom, and the dog grabs him by the throat.

    Jinks invokes the name of “Kindness to Aminals Week. It’s all week, you know.” “Dat’s the only thing that saves ya,” says the dog. “Otherwise…” The camera remains on Pixie and Dixie as they engage in some shrugs and cycle animation of their eye pupils moving around before the scene shakes. It’s the old Hanna-Barbera You-Don’t-Really-See-the-Violence Trick. Jinks agrees to be nice to the meeces. “OK, cat, see dat ya are. And remember,” scowls the dog. He breaks into a smile. “If it wasn’t for Kindness ta Animals Week,” and the dog scowls again, “I woulda woiked ya over.” Cut to Jinks laying on the grass. “Shee. I’m sure the lucky one. Like wow.” In this, and other scenes, Hicks draws heavy eye-lids.

    So we’re back to the handball game again (in re-used animation). A ball hits Jinks in the eye. “I hates meeces to pieces,” Jinks grumbles to himself before looking at the camera to end the cartoon and adding, “And you may quote me.” Hicks then gives Jinks an odd little mouth-to-the-side hold as the iris closes.

    Incidentally, the dog’s name is Spike. Not an unfamiliar name for a dog. Of course, there was Tex Avery’s Spike, Hanna-Barbera’s Spike (a behavioural forerunner to Doggie Daddy) and Friz Freleng’s Spike, as in Spike and Chester, in Tree For Two, written by one Warren Foster.

    Foster’s written a bunch of little scenes, so the sound cutter has (more or less) used a cue for each scene. You’ll recognise most of the music. There’s a very short comedy cue featuring flutes and a muted trumpet stab that was in a few Pixie and Dixies and one Yogi Bear that’s obviously Jack Shaindlin’s work but I haven’t been able to find its title.

    0:00 - Pixie and Dixie Main Title theme (Hanna-Barbera-Curtin-Shows).
    0:13 - ZR-52 LIGHT QUIET (Hormel) – Handball game, Jinks in basket.
    0:31 - TC-303 ZANY COMEDY (Loose-Seely) – Jinks’ first line.
    0:37 - bassoon and zig zag strings (Shaindlin) – Ball over Jinks’ head, Jinks hit by ball.
    0:53 - ZR-48 FAST MOVEMENT (Hormel) – Pixie and Dixie talk then scram.
    0:59 - bassoon and zig zag strings (Shaindlin) – Jinks holds bell.
    1:12 - LAF-7-12 FUN ON ICE (Shaindlin) – Broom in sink, broom goes splat.
    1:49 - LFU-117-5 TOBOGGAN RUN (Shaindlin) – Meeces run, out of house.
    1:58 - TC-204A WISTFUL COMEDY (Loose-Seely) – Close-up of Jinks.
    2:08 - TC-201 PIXIE COMEDY (Loose-Seely) – Pixie and Dixie on lawn, newspaper.
    2:45 - bassoon and zig-zag strings (Shaindlin) – Jinks in basket, meeces talk to Jinks.
    3:49 - L-1139 ANIMATION COMEDY (Moore) – Meeces with Spike.
    4:30 - TC-300 ECCENTRIC COMEDY (Loose-Seely) – Jinks and Spike at door.
    5:16 - L-1154 ANIMATION COMEDY (Moore) – Jinks walks.
    5:26 - comedy flute and quack cue (Shaindlin) – Broom in sink scene.
    5:35 - LAF-72-2 RODEO DAY (Shaindlin) – Meeces run, Jinks beaten up off-screen.
    6:11 - L-78 COMEDY UNDERSCORE (Moore) – Jinks giving up scene.
    6:30 - LAF-7-12 FUN ON ICE (Shaindlin) – Handball scene, ball in Jinks’ eye.
    6:45 - LAF-2-12 ON THE RUN (Shaindlin) – Jinks talks to audience.
    6:57 - Pixie and Dixie End Title theme (Curtin).

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  • 01/31/13--07:49: The Art of Art
  • One of the mysteries of the credits on the early Hanna-Barbera cartoons appears to have been solved.

    About a year ago, we cobbled together some information about Art Goble, the former M-G-M ink and paint supervisor who is credited with “titles” at Hanna-Barbera under his real name, Lawrence. A few ex-Hanna-Barbera employees have said that Bick Bickenbach drew the title card art, leaving us to guess that maybe Art handled the calligraphy. But reader Wayne Bryan has found an indication of at least one job Art had at the studio. He sent this layout Flintstones layout drawing with a notation for Art on it.

    Here’s another one.

    It would appear Art Goble was assigned the task of putting the stone-engraved style lettering on background objects in The Flintstones cartoons, at least in the early seasons.

    The second layout drawing is from the second-season cartoon “Fred Strikes Out.” I can’t tell you much about the cartoon, other than you can spot some of George Nicholas’ animation at the beginning. The first layout drawing is from “The Girls’ Night Out” from the first season. Some of, if not all, the layouts are by Walt Clinton. Here are some other scenes from that cartoon with Art’s lettering. I won’t venture a guess about who did the backgrounds. Simple but with a little style.

    Wayne also sent a link to a copy of Hanna-Barbera’s Exposure Sheet newsletter from (I think) March 1968.

    Something about “The Girls’ Night Out” and other cartoons like it bothered me as a kid. It was all too obvious, even as a child, that Alan Reed wasn’t the singing voice of Fred Flintstone in it (as far as I know, it’s Duke Mitchell). I could handle Fred being able to sing, but it was a bit of a stretch to accept that the singing Fred didn’t sound anything like the talking Fred. You wouldn’t suddenly have Fred talking like, say, Hal Smith, for part of the cartoon, so why would he be singing like someone else?

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    Produced and Directed by Joe Barbera and Bill Hanna.
    Credits: Animation – Ken Muse; Layout – Dick Bickenbach; Backgrounds – Dick Thomas; Story – Warren Foster; Story Director – Alex Lovy; Titles – Art Goble; Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
    Voices: Narrator, Singer on Record, Bottle Throwing Legionnaire, Legionnaire noise, Fort Commander – Don Messick; Huckleberry Hound, Powerful Pierre, Captain on Phone, Legionnaire noise – Daws Butler.
    Music: Bill Loose/John Seely, Phil Green, Geordie Hormel, Spencer Moore, Jack Shaindlin, unknown.
    First aired: week of October 31, 1960 (rerun, week of April 17, 1960).
    Episode: Huckleberry Hound Show K-041.
    Plot: Foreign Legionnaire Huck sets out to capture Powerful Pierre, the scourge of the desert.

    Friz Freleng made a really funny cartoon at Warner Bros. called “Sahara Hare” (1955) that featured a desert, a camel and a bad guy trying—and failing every time—to get at the hero of the cartoon inside an abandoned stone fort. It was written by Warren Foster.

    Well, guess what?

    Okay, this cartoon isn’t quite the same. But you can’t miss the similarities. And the thought crossed my mind that you could probably have built a pretty good theatrical series featuring a low-key Huck (much like his wolfy predecessor in the Avery cartoons at MGM) fluidly assisting a hot-headed Powerful Pierre to beat himself up. In full animation and fully scored, of course. A shame the Hanna-Barbera studio’s lone theatrical shorts were of the limited animation variety with a B-list star.

    “Legion Bound Hound” is one of those Foster efforts where the plot suddenly veers off in a different direction halfway through. In the first half, Huck is ridiculed. In the second half, Pierre shows up and he becomes laughed at, while Huck becomes the hero by default. Huck doesn’t get inside the fort until the middle of the cartoon, the same as Bugs Bunny in “Sahara Hare.”

    No one would mistake the first half for a Bugs cartoon. Huck casually talks to the audience, and gets abused by his underlings (unseen to save animation) but there are enough funny situations that make the cartoon enjoyable. The cartoon pans over one of Dick Thomas’ background drawings of “trackless wastes of the Sahara” to a fort belonging to the Foreign Legion. “Some join to seek excitement. And others seek to forget or be forgotten,” intones Don Messick as the camera pans across a drawing of snoozing soldiers. So far, we’ve had 21 seconds of cartoon with no animation.

    Then we’re told it takes a “tough, tough, TOUGH leader” to keep the “tough, tough men” of Company B in line. That’s Huck’s cue to saunter out and have his friendly request for “drillin’ and marchin’ this morning” laughed at (a bottle is thrown through the door at Huck). Of course, Huck’s oblivious to their ridicule. He explains to us the men “come here to forget. Just like me. I come here to forget my fian-cee.” Cut to shot of Huck’s girl-friend who, like most girl-friends in cartoons, is drawn like a male character in drag. “Uh, what’s her name. Hey! I finally forgot her. I cain’t even remember her name. This calls for a celebration!” Huck turns on a portable record player and we hear Messick singing “My Darling Clementine,” accompanies by the usual electric organ in the cartoon. Turns out that’s Huck’s girl-friend’s name. So now, he hasn’t forgotten any more.

    The phone rings. Company B has been asked to bring in Powerful Pierre. “Go jump in the lake” is the first response. Soldiers will always respond to a bugle call, Huck tells us. They do. They shove the bugle in his mouth. So Huck heads across the desert on his camel in search of Powerful Pierre. He’s crushed between the camel’s humps, accompanied by horn honk sound effects. The camel collapses merely for the purpose of a dialogue gag (“They call the critter like this the ‘Ship of the Desert.’ Must be because every once in a while, they sink.”) Huck unfolds a rather long road map and walks on top of it to find Pierre at the end of it. Pierre’s had a design change since we last saw him in “Ten Pin Alley” the previous season. He’s lost some weight, his chin is pointier and he’s brown (must be the desert heat). Pierre bashes Huck around a little, includes sending him skidding across sand dunes, the top of each one burning Huck’s butt (I can’t remember which cartoon used the same gag), to the wall of an abandoned fort.

    So now comes Huckleberry Hound’s version of “Sahara Hare” as Yosemite Sam Pierre tries to get Huck out of the fort.

    ● Pierre presses a button in the wall that’s supposed to reveal a secret entrance. It reveals a cannon instead. We all know what’s going to happen. We saw it in “Sahara Hare.” It takes 11 seconds for it to happen because the cartoon has to pad for time.
    ● Pierre tries to catapult himself into the fort on a palm tree he’s tied down. End result is like the pole vault gag in “Sahara Hare.” Pierre flies into a stone battlement. “Missed,” notes Huck to end the scene.
    ● Pierre runs at the fort’s door with a palm tree as a battering ram. “Sahara Hare” didn’t use the gag but lots of other cartoons have. Huck opens the door. Pierre keeps running right through and bashes into the wall on the other side of the fort (which we don’t see. Saves money animating it). Pierre’s passed out in a pile of rubble.

    Huck is granted a reward for capturing Pierre. He’s decided he wants to go to town to see his fianc-ee. “Permission granted to see what’s her name” says the Commander. “That’s the one! How’d you know?” answers Huck. Cut to a boat. Huck didn’t tell the Commander his fianc-ee lives in Cucamonga, so ends the cartoon sailing to the U.S.A. singing “Oh, my darlin’, Clem-what’s-her-name.”

    This was Foster’s last tangle with Pierre, but it wasn’t the final Pierre cartoon. That came the following season when Tony Benedict wrote “Huck’ dé Paree” and the character was redesigned again by Tony Rivera.

    With a few exceptions in the first season, Hanna-Barbara cartoons didn’t end with the sound engineer fading out the stock music. No matter what library was used, just about all the cues all had definite loud ends, either with a stab or a cymbal crash. Sometimes, the cutter would back-time a cue so it would be joined in progress during the cartoon and end exactly when the cartoon ended. In a couple of cartoons, the cutter simply uses only the stab at the end of the music. That’s what happens in this cartoon. To give the soundtrack a flourishing finish, the last three notes of Jack Shaindlin’s “Rodeo Day” are heard. The cutter also picked out a bugle call, the same one that was used (sped up) in the Augie Doggie cartoon “In the Picnic of Time” the previous season. It may be from the Capitol Hi-Q “X” series. And there’s a fanfarish trumpet and brass counterpoint cue that’s heard when Huck is first seen riding his camel. The only other cartoon where I recall hearing it is “Missile Bound Cat” as the entrance music for Space Cat. I don’t know where it comes from; it’s not among the “X” series music of Geordie Hormel’s that I have (another “X” series cue is in this cartoon). There’s one brief spot where the cutter decides against any music and it’s really effective. It’s when Pierre smashes into the castle. Huck looks at him and says “Missed.” Having silence makes the word stand out and the gag a little funnier.

    0:00 - Huckleberry Hound Sub Main Title Theme (Curtin).
    0:14 - EM-147 DOCUMENTARY MAIN TITLE (Green) – Opening narration.
    0:37 - ZR-127 PERIOD CHASE (Hormel) – Violence at Company B, narration, Huck walks to door.
    0:54 - TC-204A WISTFUL COMEDY (Loose-Seely) – Huck asks about marching, talks to audience, puts on record.
    1:34 - Clementine (Trad.) – Record plays, Huck turns off record player.
    1:42 - TC-204A WISTFUL COMEDY (Loose-Seely) – “Her name is Clementine,” phone rings, “Mon Cappy-tann.”
    1:57 - LAF-27-6 UNTITLED TUNE (Shaindlin) – “That’s French,” Captain yells on phone, Huck at door.
    2:37 - bugle call – Huck plays bugle, bugle shoved in mouth.
    2:43 - L-78 COMEDY UNDERSCORE (Moore) – Huck blinks, pulls out bugle, talks to audience.
    2:48 - triumphant trumpet cue (?) – Huck rides camel, camel falls to ground.
    3:14 - TC-432 HOLLY DAY (Loose-Seely) – Huck on camel on ground, road map, Pierre with rifle scene.
    4:12 - LAF-72-2 RODEO DAY (Shaindlin) – Huck lifted by by rifle barrel, crashes into wall, cannon fires, Pierre smoulders.
    5:12 - L-1154 ANIMATION COMEDY (Moore) – “There is someone home…”, Pierre flung from palm tree.
    5:20 - LAF-2-12 ON THE RUN (Shaindlin) – Pierre flies through air into wall.
    5:28 - no music – “Missed.”
    5:30 - ZR-48 FAST MOVEMENT (Hormel) – Battering ram scene.
    6:08 - La Marseillaise (Trad.) – Huck/Commander scene.
    6:32 - seagoing medley (unknown) – Huck on boat, “in the good old,”
    6:40 - Clementine (Trad.) – “U.S. of A.”, Huck sings.
    6:56 - LAF-7-12 FUN ON ICE (Shaindlin) – Two notes and cymbal at end of cartoon.
    6:58 - Huckleberry Hound Sub End Title theme (Curtin).

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  • 02/04/13--05:26: At Home With Janet Waldo
  • If you want an indication of how celebrity gossip has changed over the years, I present as Exhibit ‘A’ this slice of life with Janet Waldo from the Radio-TV Mirror of June 1952.

    This, of course, was before her role as the typical teenager of the future on The Jetsons. She was still known for her role on radio as the typical teenager of the present on Corliss Archer.

    Today, show biz gossip consists of “news” items about celebrity train wrecks and pictures of stars wearing next to nothing. The 1950s were a gentler era. In between ads for shampoo, lipstick and home permanents, fans could read happy, fluffy stories about radio stars (Garry Moore, Jan Miner, Marie Wilson and so on) and, oddly, fiction “written” by characters on radio soap operas as if they were real people. You got to know what the Second Mrs. Burton really thought, not just what you heard on the air. It was all so innocent. Confidential and its ilk changed all that.

    In honour of Janet’s birthday today, I’m posting the full article. Click on each page to enlarge it. Don’t expect dirt, viciousness or earth-shattering revelations. Unlike some fan magazine stories, there’s no reason to question the veracity of anything in this one. Janet and Bob Lee had a happy relationship that ended with his death in 1994. She comes across—on and off the air—as a kind, friendly and outgoing person. And she sounds the same as when Del Sharbutt was introducing her on radio more than 65 years ago. May she enjoy good health and be with us for many more years.

    Corliss Archer—Wonderful Whack
    By Elizabeth Downs

    The telephone rang with its long, impatient-sounding buzz and Janet Waldo, with her usual bounding energy, rushed to answer it before it could ring again.
    A man's voice sounded over the telephone. He identified himself as the representative of a Hollywood motion picture film company. "May I speak to your mother, please," he said, soothingly. "My mother!" exclaimed Janet. "Why, my mother doesn't live with me."
    "What," came the surprised voice, the horrified voice. "You're only sixteen years old and you live alone?"
    Janet mumbled something that sounded like "I'm really old enough to take care of myself," and hung up the telephone.
    The pretty, pert star of ABC's "Corliss Archer" tilted her head to one side and said softly, "It was ever thus. For eight years I've been playing a sixteen-year-old girl and people just won't believe I'll ever grow up—that I am grown up—that, as a matter of fact, I'm grown up enough to be married and about to be a mother. But most people are like the film executive. They just won't believe me and I haven't the heart to tell them, very often.
    "I had a terrible time on the radio show because I didn't want to disappoint the many fans of my Corliss Archer counterpart. Corliss is a part of me, somebody I love and understand, and I want people to still think of me as Corliss despite the fact that in real life I wanted to be my husband's wife and now a mother! I couldn't let the fans know until the last minute that I was going to have a baby. I just couldn't."
    Odds are that Janet will still be acceptable as Corliss long after she becomes a mother because she still looks like Corliss, talks like Corliss, is Corliss in real-life. Her petite figure is just perfect for skirts and sweaters. Her long bob looks adorable in a teenager's dream of sophistication—the horse's tail coiffure. She has a peaches and cream complexion, twinkling brown eyes and a pert face that looks as naive as a high school sophomore's. If her looks are deceiving, the bubbling Waldo personality clinches the illusion. Janet is as effervescent, fresh and unspoiled as the teenagers she portrays so well. And it was this very freshness and charm which attracted Robert E. Lee, brilliant young writer of the Railroad Hour, four years ago when he asked Janet to be his wife.
    "Oh, and he is," sighs Janet, "so wonderful! He's so beautifully patiently impatient with me."
    Translated, that means Bob takes cute Janet and her many "household incidents" in his stride. Reserved, quiet, easy-going, Bob is a good balance for his bouncy, carefree wife.
    Bob, as most husbands would, likes their attractive Sherman Oaks, California, house to appear shiny and spotless. He encourages Janet to see that it is in good order at all times. But Janet, who is as personally immaculate as they come, admits she'd rather visit her many friends than stay home and straighten out a room.
    Janet's attempts at cooking are always good for a laugh to her friends. "I have people I've been trying to coax to dinner for years and they won't come. The cowards! They've been frightened by the propaganda they've heard." It's propaganda, however, which has been jointly spread by Mr. and Mrs. Lee over the four years of trial and error Janet has had in the kitchen.
    Cooking, it seems, is not an art Janet has mastered, although she claims she's improved since that first terrible evening when Bob had invited some very important persons to dinner. Janet had insisted, as any good conscientious bride should, on cooking it herself. "It will flatter them," she explained to her dubious husband.
    Came the eventful day, and for once Janet was detained until 5:30 P.M. at the studio rehearsing. The guests were expected at 6:30.
    Undaunted, Janet popped her roast into the oven, along with the potatoes. "I learned later that the roast wasn't too good a cut of meat." Then, hurriedly, Janet began to put a tomato aspic together.
    "You know," Janet says with just a trace of the mystified expression she wore that evening, "the aspic didn't freeze and in desperation I tried to serve it covered with hard-boiled eggs and chopped walnuts. It looked all right in the mold but when people started dishing it up, it looked like tomato soup. But that wasn't all. I had only purchased six rolls since there were just four of us and they caught on fire in the oven. Periodically, as I worked desperately over the hot stove, Bob would stomp into the kitchen. 'Isn't it done yet,' he'd whisper. 'I smell something that smells done!'
    "At last, at 9:30, I served dinner. The guests were terribly polite—and so hungry that I guess they couldn't speak. The roast was positively rare—and tough. And the potatoes—well, you'd put your fork into them and they'd just scoot off the plate. It was a miserable dinner and, to this day, Bob doesn't speak of it but turns slightly pale whenever I bring up the subject."
    So Janet and Bob don't take chances on important people any more. "We have my mother help or Bob has the dinner catered. We had important guests right after Bob hit upon this catering even though I told Bob I'd do much better. But he wouldn't listen to me. He just had the dinner brought in, before the guests arrived, and everything seemed perfect.
    "Excepting," giggled Janet, "it was composed of the most wonderfully delicious little sauces over equally exotic solid food. We hadn't the vaguest idea what any of it was. Our guests were completely amazed at my having cooked this gourmet's delight. Bob had promised to kill me if I told them our dinner was catered so I graciously accepted their compliments. When the women began asking for the recipes, I was more embarrassed than I'd been when dinner didn't turn out at all. Then I had an idea.
    " 'Oh, you must ask Bob,' I said in my most casual manner, not looking at him. 'They're his favorite recipes!' Poor Bob. He knows less about cooking than I do. He hemmed and hawed over each dish. Any resemblance to the ingredients he finally concocted and the beautiful dishes on the table was more than accidental—it was amazing!"
    Janet and Bob used to eat many meals out. But this was before Bob gave Janet a deep freeze for a birthday present, thinking that perhaps this would help her learn to cook. The freezer came stocked with food—steaks, hamburger, ice cream. Janet learned how to defrost and broil steaks in no time and they lived like royalty on steaks and ice cream. But now Janet is worried—"The only thing that's left is hamburger, and how do you fix forty pounds of hamburger so that's it's edible for forty meals?"
    'T'heir favorite meal is Sunday dinner—which Janet's mother always cooks. "We never miss that. Although Bob loves to fly his own plane on Sunday, his only free time, he always makes it back to Mom's house for dinner. Once we'd had a quarrel and the only way I could think to punish Bob was by depriving him of my mother's dinner for a month. He was really heartbroken and made up immediately."
    Bob and Janet have such fun together that there's little' time left for quarreling. "Just like any newlyweds, we used to squabble, but we've mellowed. Bob has such a wonderful sense of humor he has me laughing—at myself—in no time. But, then, we never got really mad. For example, I never thought of going home to Mother. Now, I wouldn't dare because Bob would be there, waiting for dinner."
    Life today has never seemed fuller or richer to the Lees, who are eagerly awaiting their baby's arrival, due early in June, Janet thinks. They don't really care what their first-born is, boy or girl—"just so it's a little baby," sighs Janet. Janet is busy turning her spare bedroom into a nursery with a dream of a baby bed and oodles of baby clothes which she loves to show off.
    The Lees' friends used to kid them about the baby by insisting "it" would play second fiddle to their dog, Lady Ophelia. As a lady, "Ophie," a pedigreed Welsh terrier, gets the run of the house.
    "We love Ophie as much as people," defended Janet, "and when she had two little puppies we named the first one People. The second we call Perkimore, after its vitamins. You bet Ophie, Pepe and Perky have a very special place in our hearts. But really nothing will compare to the love we'll have for our baby. We think we'll try for a family of two or three, just like Ophie."
    Having been in the entertainment business for many years, Janet is wisely aware of the pitfalls it offers a woman combining career with marriage. "And I don't intend it's happening to me," she said.
    "I've turned down many opportunities, and even the chance of playing Corliss on TV, just to keep my life uncluttered and my time free for my husband. He's tried to keep free time for me by beginning his writing hours at 5 A.M. This doesn't affect me, as I usually don't arise until 9. He doesn't even take time from his work to come in and wake me, instead he calls on his phone from the next room."
    That isn't as confusing as it sounds. The Lees have their own telephones, and for good reason, too. Janet has telephonitis.
    "Bob used to die because I tied up the line for hours just chattering—a habit I love and wouldn't break. As he worked at home he couldn't get important calls, so he made a bargain with me. If I'd answer the phone, 'Lawrence and Lee Productions' —which is his and business partner Jerry Lawrence's title—like a secretary in his office, then he said I could have a line of my own. We tried it and it works just beautifully. Now he doesn't dare use my phone without asking."
    While this solved one problem, it didn't solve another. Even though Janet can't tie up his line, Bob finds she is still oblivious to everything while chattering on her own phone. Therefore, he has to write her notes concerning pertinent business, such as the eggs she's left cooking on the stove, or the fact they've guests coming in twenty minutes.
    "And he can be so stuffy," she wailed, "when he says in his most authorish tone, 'We'll be finished in five minutes, won't we?' We, meaning me. That's the way he talks to me when he's annoyed about something. 'My, we're burning a lot of things, aren't we?' But I love him, he's so wonderful!"
    Janet's idea of sheer heaven would be to work with her husband on a radio or TV show. "Then we'd be together every minute!"
    As it is, the Lees share more hours together than the average couple. They bought their attractive redwood bungalow, on a charming street in Sherman Oaks, fifteen minutes after they'd first seen it! They noticed the compact valley house and fell in love with it. The real estate agent was right there and in no time at all they were home owners. Janet claims the house still isn't furnished properly.
    But the only real complaint she has, if she has any, is her lack of offers to portray dramatic roles. Roles as adult and sophisticated as she'd actually like to be—and sometimes imagines that she is.
    "Oh, well," smiled Janet with her most grown-up look, "I'll have you know a talent scout asked me recently if I thought I could play a young lady. Isn't that peachy? I've really never been so flattered!"

    0 0

    Produced and Directed by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.
    Credits: Animation – Virgil Ross, Layout – Paul Sommer, Backgrounds – Dick Thomas, Written by Mike Maltese, Story Director – Alex Lovy, Titles – Art Goble, Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
    Voice Cast: Augie Doggie – Daws Butler; Doggie Daddy – Doug Young; Duck – Red Coffey.
    Music: Phil Green, Jack Shaindlin, Harry Bluestone/Emil Cadkin.
    Episode: Quick Draw McGraw Show M-035, Production J-112.
    First Aired: 1961.
    Plot: An orphan duck horns in on Augie and Doggie Daddy’s skating party.

    The Warner Bros. cartoon studio provided a lot of permanent and casual staff for Hanna-Barbera in and around 1960. Before the Quick Draw McGraw Show got into the story stage in 1959, Bill and Joe grabbed Warners’ storymen Mike Maltese and Warren Foster, layout artist Bob Givens and background painter Dick Thomas (the latter two from the Bob McKimson unit). But Jerry Eisenberg, an assistant animator at Warners, recalled how he and animator Ken Harris came over to H-B and did piecework when the studio was in down-time. I suspect Virgil Ross did the same thing, as his name is on the credits of Let’s Duck Out even though he was still employed at Warners at the time, unless there was a brief resignation or layoff I don’t know about.

    Ross was another veteran of 1930s animation. He applied at Disney in 1930 and couldn’t get a job. So he went to work for Charles Mintz’s Krazy Kat studio which had just moved to Los Angeles from New York. His next stop was at Ub Iwerks’ studio as an in-betweener, and then he moved to Walter Lantz. After Tex Avery left Lantz and was handed a unit by Leon Schlesinger on the Warners lot in 1935, Ross joined him. He stayed with the unit when Bob Clampett took it over in 1941 but shortly was transferred to another part of the building where he coped with the demands and shouts of Friz Freleng for the rest of his time at the studio, almost 20 years.

    By all accounts (though maybe not some of Friz’s) Ross was a fine draughtsman. And in what seems to have been his sole entry in the Augie series, he draws the not-quite-Yakky Doodle very attractively. Certainly he was up to the rigours of TV animation as he drew 25 to 30 feet a week of full animation at Warners.

    Paul Sommer came up with the layouts here. I like the red sports convertible he designed for Doggie Daddy. But I wonder if he’s the one responsible for changing the proto-Yakky’s colour to green in this cartoon. Dick Thomas is the background artist and provides some pleasant snow-dusted trees.

    This cartoon isn’t one of Mike Maltese’s finest hours. It was put into production late in the 1960-61 season (Maltese’s credit is “Written by” instead of “Story” like at the start of the season) and Maltese either was worn out or uninspired by the cutsey-wutsey duck that Bill and Joe loved and were about to put into a series. He gets in the standard catchphrases. Augie has to have some kind of moniker for his dad. In this one it’s “Olympic-calibre father of mine.” Daddy has to fit in his “If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s…” line. It’s “a hitch-hikin’ duck.” And Daddy has to end the cartoon with his “After all, how many…” question. We get “families have a genuine quack-quack clock in the house?” I wish I could say Maltese came up with some really clever stuff in between but there’s not an awful lot. In fact, he re-uses the “endless drinking” gag he put in “Gone With the Ducks” the previous season (which was borrowed from a Yogi/Duck cartoon the season before that). The only difference is it’s milk in this cartoon, not water.

    The cartoon starts with Daddy and Augie picking up the hitchhiking duck while on their way to an ice pond, where Dear Old Dad intends to teach his son winter sports. The proto-Yakky may be too “small and puny” to fly south for the winter but he makes up for it intelligence, and demonstrates it with a math lesson. “Five and five is sixty-seven,” he announces. He spouts another equation, but Red Coffey’s duck voice cracks and it’s tough to decipher what he’s saying (by contrast, Jimmy Weldon as the later Yakky had excellent diction and a more expressive delivery).

    The trio arrives at a frozen lake. That’s as far as Daddy is driving. But like in the other cartoons, the obsessively needy duck won’t go away and invents a reason to hang around. In this cartoon, he pretends to have a cold. Then after glugging down Daddy’s thermos of hot milk, he forlornly reveals he has no mommy or daddy (at least in this cartoon, he doesn’t tearfully wail about it) and suggests Doggie Daddy adopt him. Maltese comes up with a pun. “That’s a peachy idea,” Augie feels. “One peach is enough,” responds the furrow-browed Daddy. “A pair I couldn’t stand.” A pair of what, Daddy? There’s only one duck in this cartoon. The self-pitying duck walks away, vowing he’ll never speak to Daddy again. Of course, he’s full of it. The duck squawks away in English through the whole cartoon.

    We’re at the cartoon’s half-way point. Daddy shows off his skating prowess. “A Figure Eight the hard way. A five and a four.” He crashes on the ice on his stomach instead. Then he fails to duplicate the duck’s barrel-jumping by crashing into the barrels. But he can still walk, he tells his son, before passing out face-first into the ice. The helpful duck goes to pour water on him, but the water’s turned into a block of ice. The best line of the cartoon’s ahead. It’s time to play ‘Snowball.’ Dad puts the duck in a snowball and rolls it down the hill. The ball collects more snow and becomes bigger. Just like a rock in a Wile E. Coyote cartoon Maltese wrote, the huge snowball rolls up the the side of a mountain and flies through the air. “All of a sudden, I have a feelin’ it’s gonna snow.” Crash!

    The next “game”—an attempt to have the duck slide 100 miles away—suddenly fails when the pre-Yakky falls through a hole in the ice and he’s too puny to swim. Cut to a shot of Augie running, holding the duck in a cube of ice. The cube is put in a frying pan over a campfire on the snow which melts the cube (but not the snow) and the duck can be seen in the ice water-filled pan scrubbing his back. Quick, Daddy! Now’s your chance for a fried duck dinner that’ll end the Yakky series before it can ever start. But no! Instead we cut to the final scene where Daddy has found a use for the “useless” duck—as a substitute for a cuckoo in a clock. Thus ends the last of the three Doggie Daddy-meets-Duck cartoons. As for Virgil Ross, the worst was yet to come. He went to work at Filmation and on the early ‘70s Lantz theatricals. I’d rather watch Yakky, who at least had Fibber Fox (and Mike Maltese) going for him.

    The sound cutter seems content to bang out a score in this one by letting cues run in their entirety through full scenes, though he’s edited a few bars into Jack Shaindlin’s “Mad Rush No. 3” to make it time out to the end of a scene. There are very few short cues used here. One of Shaindlin’s circus galops is back-timed to end with the cartoon but, for whatever reason, it begins toward the end of the cue and in the middle of a scene.

    0:00 - Augie Doggie Main Title theme (Hanna-Barbera-Curtin).
    0:24 - GR-155 PARKS AND GARDENS (Green) – Hitchhiking scene.
    1:55 - GR-248 STREETS OF THE CITY (Green) – Milk drinking scene.
    3:24 - jaunty bassoon and skippy strings (Shaindlin) – Figure 8/Barrel scene, Daddy faints.
    4:33 - light symphonic strings (?) – “Do som’n’…”, ice bucket scene.
    5:13 - GR-85 THE BRAVEST WOODEN SOLDIER BRIDGE No 1 (Green) – Duck in snowball, Daddy drops snowball down hill.
    5:25 - LFU-117-3 MAD RUSH No 3 (Shaindlin) – Snowball rolls down hill, lands on Daddy.
    5:47 - GR-457 DR QUACK SHORT BRIDGE No 1 (Green) – Daddy talks to duck, zooms him out of scene.
    5:58 - fast circus chase music (Shaindlin) – Duck on ice, falls through hole, Augie carries duck in ice cube.
    6:27 - CB-90 HAPPY HOME (Cadkin-Bluestone) – Duck in frying pan scene, two cuckoos.
    6:57 - fast circus chase music (Shaindlin) – Third cuckoo, Daddy laughs.
    7:08 - Augie Doggie End Title theme (Curtin).

    0 0

    Gene Hazelton must have had kids on the brain 50 years ago this month. He was busy working on Pebbles Flintstone, who was about to born (both as a designer on TV and a story editor in the newspaper comics). And he has kids in a couple of his Yogi Bear comics, too. Oh, and he tosses in another appearance of those American Indians who seem to live on, or near, Jellystone Park.

    Yogi this month is somewhat reminiscent of the Yogi you’d find in some of the cartoons before shackled to the Ranger Smith format. He became a fatherly type who tried to help little boys stay out of trouble. He’s a kiddie helpmate here. As for Ranger Smith, he gets the month off from the weekend comics in February but returns (with the park superintendent and pic-a-nic baskets) in March.

    Great shock expression on Yogi in the bottom middle row of the February 3rd cartoon. Harvey Eisenberg at work here? Cute kid, cute teacher. I wonder if Monte is named for Fernando Montealegre, who was still doing background work at the studio at the time. The top row wasn’t printed by many papers and it’s a shame because the first panel is sometimes the nicest. Note how Boo Boo and Yogi are walking but have their feet in different positions; they’re not walking the same. And there’s a line curved around Yogi’s rear, emphasizing his walk is different than Boo Boo’s.

    The last row of the February 10th comic is the best of the month. Look at the detail in that last panel. Just terrific. Papers that skipped the first row would leave their readers wondering where Boo Boo got all the feathers. I guess that’s a bed behind Yogi in the opening panel.

    Huckleberry Hound makes a cameo appearance on February 17th. There’s no snow on the mountains for a change. Yogi has a low mouth in some of the panels. And, again, the opening panel has Yogi and Boo Boo engaged in some kind of action as opposed to a static pose.

    It would seem storyman Hazelton named the bad guy character in the February 24th comic for himself. Who “Kevin” was named after is your guess. I don’t know the names of Gene’s children, and the only Kevin at Hanna-Barbera was Dan Gordon’s son, who died in an accident in 1964. Unlike three weeks ago, the kids have eye-whites in this one. I like the composition of the lower left panel. Kids in the background, with Yogi in the foreground pointing to them but still making eye contact with the smug Eugene. I can hear Dick Beals voice the bully.

    As usual, I can’t find good versions of these on-line, despite going through about ten newspapers. You can click on each to blow them up.

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