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Stuff about early Hanna-Barbera cartoons

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  • 03/24/18--07:22: Jabbing Jinks
  • Ed Love takes a crack at Mr. Jinks in one of the little cartoons between the cartoons on the Huckleberry Hound Show. I suspect this is from 1959. Here are a few expressions. The one with Jinks backed against the ropes reminds me of a Buzz Buzzard expression from Drooler’s Delight, a Woody Woodpecker cartoon that Love animated pretty much on his own.



    I love Dixie’s look when he clobbers Jinksie.

    You can’t tell in these still frames, but Love animates this like he did other cartoons when he arrived at Hanna-Barbera. There’s limited movement in each frame. Love will move Jinks’ head in one frame, then hold it and move Dixie’s in the next.



    The bell rings. The round is cut short, Huck tells us, because it’s time for a Pixie and Dixie cartoon (of course, we all know the star of those cartoons was Jinks). Here’s a typical pose Love used at Hanna-Barbera with two teeth on Huck. You’ll see this in other cartoons he animated for the first few years at H-B, including The Flintstones.



    If you want to learn a bit more about Love, Jerry Beck’s Cartoon Research page features an all-too-short video interview of Love with Harvey Deneroff.

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  • 03/28/18--06:53: Some Faces of Hanna-Barbera
  • It’s great to see the people responsible for those fun early Hanna-Barbera cartoons back in the studio’s heyday.

    These pictures, I believe, are from Jerry Eisenberg’s collection, and courtesy of Tony Benedict. Jerry, if you don’t know, was a layout artist at the studio, whose name can be found on The Huckleberry Hound Show and other great series. They have been sitting in a folder that was supposed to have been posted several months ago but got set aside somehow.



    Here’s a snapshot of Art Lozzi. Art was working at the MGM cartoon studio at the time of its closing in 1957 and some months later was hired at Hanna-Barbera. He’s responsible for some really fun-looking backgrounds. Scooter Looter and Loco Locomotive, both with Yogi Bear, are his cartoons. Art is still alive and living in Greece, where he was working with one of the hotel chains. Lozzi told readersvoice.com that it would take days to two weeks to paint the backgrounds for a short cartoon.



    This colour shot is of one of the other early background artists at the studio, Fernando Montealegre. Credit watchers will know he only went by his last name on screen. You may have seen his work on some of the final cartoons made at the MGM cartoon studio; his backgrounds were flat and stylised. They were less so when he arrived at H-B. He was originally from Costa Rica and died in 1991 in California.



    Here are Art and Monty along with Jerry Eisenberg in the background department at, judging by the cinderblock wall on the right, the windowless studio at 3501 Cahuenga, where the staff moved by August 1960 while the Flintstones was beginning production. Oh, to be able to see those long backgrounds on the boards to the left.



    Jerry along with fellow layout artist Willie Ito checking out a gorilla for sale. Both of them had worked at Warner Bros. in the 1950s. Willie ended up at Snowball, which was the studio Bob Clampett set up to make Beany and Cecil cartoons (and several other animated projects that never got sold) before going to H-B.



    If you don’t know who this is, you really are on the wrong blog.

    I don’t know if that’s the Emmy that Hanna-Barbera won for The Huckleberry Hound Show in 1960. I imagine this picture was taken some years after that.



    Here’s the Arthur Froelich-designed building (with a bomb shelter), the third studio, at 3400 Cahuenga. It’s under construction here and opened in 1963. That’s Cahuenga Boulevard on the far right where that car is parked next to the phone pole (a 1959 Chevy is near the centre of the picture). Next to Joe and Bill and some TV cartoon characters, it’s probably the most famous face of Hanna-Barbera, even though my favourite cartoons were made at the Kling Studios on La Brea.

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  • 03/31/18--07:08: Bowling For Hucks
  • Huck Hound was a lot better bowler in the cartoon Ten Pin Alley (1959) than in one of the little cartoons between the cartoons on his show.

    Here’s our hero (with a very small bow tie) telling us he’s the best bowler in town before rolling a ball down the lane. Note Huck has a shadow, and the background artist has reflections on the lane.



    With the shorter ears and the compressed eyes, he looks more like Astro, doesn’t he?



    Huck gets his thumb stuck in the ball. Here’s a real interesting scene. As the camera pans to the right, the angle of the bowling alley in the background drawing changes and Huck disappears in perspective. I would have loved to have seen the painting (by Monty?) to get a better idea of what it looked like.



    He comes back via the ball return.



    Fortunately, he’s back in time for the next Huckleberry Hound cartoon.

    You can’t tell from the few screen grabs posted here, but this is another one of the bumpers where Huck is animated very fluidly, stretching at times and almost swinging his body and head around in about as full as the animation got on the show. Parts of it are even animated on ones. Mike Kazaleh tells me it’s the work of Phil Duncan, who would have been freelancing for the studio. It would have been great to see a full seven-minute cartoon animated this way.

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    Fans of the Yogi Sunday comics will be a little disappointed in the poor quality of three of our entries this month. Richard Holliss, who has generously shared his colour comics from his archive, only has one Yogi this month and none for May. Our black-and-white source decided to stop scanning the weekend comic section. So what we’ve found is hit-and-miss. Fewer and fewer papers were carrying Yogi and the Flintstones in their weekend sections as more and more ads were purchased (one was for some Campbell Soup noodle product aimed at kids), bumping space from comics.

    The colour tabloid is from April 28, 1968. It would seem more appropriate to have published it around St. Patrick’s Day given that a leprechaun is a co-star, but maybe that was too obvious.

    Quick Draw and Huck make an appearance in the top row of the April 7, 1968 comic. They’re not part of the plot but it’s nice to see them there.

    Boo Boo doesn’t make an appearance at all this month, but we’ve got rangers on April 14th and 21st (including an angry obese one that Doug Young probably would have voiced if it had been a TV cartoon) and Bill Hanna’s beloved Boy Scouts on the 7th. I must admit the house painting story is a little too surreal for Yogi; the bear always had motivation for what he did instead of just doing something silly. Perhaps I’m missing something. I like how Yogi makes an appearance in the window of the final panel on the 21st.


    April 7, 1968


    April 14, 1968


    April 21, 1968


    April 28, 1968

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  • 04/07/18--07:15: We'll Save a Ringside Seat
  • Something was missing from the Huckleberry Hound Show and it was a real disappointment. It was Cornelius the rooster.

    Cornelius was the spokes-cockadoodler for Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. He appeared in the opening and closing of the Huck show, and fluttered down from the air and knocked on Huck’s dressing room door before the first cartoon. That was in 1958. When the show was syndicated in the mid-‘60s, Kellogg’s wasn’t the sponsor any more. It seems to me Cornelius still knocked on the door but he was cut out of the opening and closing animation. (My fuzzy memory tells me the Canadian version of Huck didn’t have Cornelius, either, but it’s so long ago, I’m not sure).

    When the Huck show came out on DVD, I was sure happy to see that roostered animation again. And I sang along with the closing theme, just like I did 55 or so years ago.

    Kellogg’s or the Leo Burnett agency employed two of my favourite announcers on Hanna-Barbera series. Dick Tufeld announced the “brought to you by....” on The Jetsons. (Come to think of it, Bill Baldwin did the same thing on The Flintstones and I like him, too). And the great Art Gilmore gave the closing billboard over top of the animation—in the first season only—at the closing of the Huck show, as Cornelius and his jalopy rip a circle after Huck puts his head through it.



    The box of Corn Flakes somehow vanished from the car soon after the start.



    What?!! Hitchhiking? Doesn’t that teach kids to jump in with perfect strangers?! Boy, you’d never see this on TV any more.

    Below, Cornelius turns around the old Tin Lizzie. I love his expressions.



    Tony! You’re teaching your kid to hitchhike. What kind of parent are you??

    There’s Smacksy the seal. He sold Sugar Smacks. And Sugar Pops Pete. Tony pushed Sugar Frosted Flakes. Someone once observed that you can’t say “sugar” any more because that promotes obesity, yet since the word was taken off the cereal boxes, kids are fatter than they were way-back-when.



    Here are the first season (1958-59) titles. Only three animators. Oddly, Bob Gentle’s name is missing from the background list and there’s only one layout artist. Perhaps Mike Lah was working for Hanna-Barbera on a freelance basis. Ed Benedict’s name is missing, too. So is Walt Clinton’s. I couldn’t tell you if there were gang credits for the full season.



    Tony Junior bops his head and Huck comes back to rescue him. Because someone will mention it if I don’t, when the series was syndicated in the mid-‘60s, Yakky Doodle was the one whose head got clobbered.



    The original animated ending closed with a cut to a Screen Gems title card. The DVD versions don’t. They just stop the tape on this title card.

    The animation would have been in colour but Earl Kress told me he couldn’t find it in the Hanna-Barbera archive. I suspect this is from someone’s VHS dub of a 16 millimetre black-and-white print that was sent to one of the TV stations in 1958.

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  • 04/12/18--07:18: The Future of the Past
  • What does a successful producer do after a failure? Go back to what it was that was a success and put a twist on it.

    In 1960, Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera took TV sitcom suburbia, put it in the Stone Age and reaped the rewards of prime-time success with The Flintstones. After failing in 1961 with Top Cat, Hanna and Barbera went back to the idea of TV sitcom suburbia and put it in the future. Thus The Jetsons were born in 1962.

    I’m not going to get into one of those “which show was better” things that fans like to endlessly debate. But there were several things I liked about The Jetsons, though some of the ideas were expropriated from that Modern Stone Age family. In no particular order:

    Astro. He may actually be the most rounded character on the show. He’s devoted, a klutz, a coward, enthusiastic and talks like a dog in an old vaudeville routine. (Comic: “Fido, where are the shingles on my house?” Talking dog: “Rrroof!” Comic: “Roof?” Dog: “Rrrrright!”).
    Gadgets. The ones on The Flintstones were living beings so they talked. The ones on The Jetsons were sterile and antiseptic, like you would expect in the future. And they’re logical. They seem like something we would have 100 years from now.
    Space Age designs. Buildings of the future? Well, if the future was at the Seattle World’s Fair a few months before The Jetsons debuted in 1962. But who cares. The designs were extremely clever and attractive. And they still look futuristic.
    Music. The title theme is better than The Flintstones’ “Rise and Shine,” even though anyone with a good ear can hear the edits in the closing. Still, you can’t beat Pete Candoli’s trumpet. The electronic instruments used in the cue library were fresh for their time. And how many cartoon scores employed a theremin?
    Uniblab. The ultimate office suck-up of the future. A terrific satire on workplace politics.
    “Jane, Stop This Crazy Thing!” So it’s not original. Fred Flintstone yelled outside his house after problems with a cat during the closing credits, too. But it’s still amusing. I like how Astro and the cat turn their heads, following George’s path on the Treadmill of Forever.

    I should probably add the voice work as a factor as well, but it was great in all the Hanna-Barbera series into the ‘60s.

    Surprisingly, The Jetsons could have been very much different. We’ve posted some early Ed Benedict designs for the series and, as you may know, Morey Amsterdam and Pat Carroll were signed as leads only to have their voice tracks scrapped. This story from Variety’s Dave Kaufman called “Jetsons Projects TV Into Next Century” fills us in, and lets readers of the soon-to-debut series know what was in store. It was published August 14, 1962.
    BILL HANNA and Joe Barbera, who brought the stone age to tv via "The Flintstones," are reversing their field and going in the other direction with their new animation series, "The Jetsons," which takes place 100 years from now. Debuting this fall on ABC-TV, "Jetsons" should provide something new in a medium not noted for new frontiers (no political connotation there).
    Actually, a couple of years ago, after "Flintstones" scored, the idea of a series based in the future was suggested to H-B, and Barbera admits sheepishly it was rejected becauae they thought it too corny an idea. However, with the revolutionary developments in the space age in the past two years, H-B quickly changed their views and came up with the future, so to speak. "If ever anyone is responsive to much thinking, it's now," the partners say.
    After working on the project six months, they junked their material and started all over again, because too much of it seemed contemporary, in view of what they learned science researchers in industry already have come up with in planning for the future.
    In the super-electronic age of tomorrow, as depicted in the series, there will be such devices as a seeing eye vacuum cleaner which goes beyond the push-button stage; on its own, the probing eye cleaner picks up dirt, even lifts rugs and cleans under them. There is a "Spaceburger," a space station restaurant in which the trays come out on a light beam when the space travelers order.
    There is a rock "n" roll idol of the times, Jet Screamer, and he leads his pack in a dance taking place on a degravitized floor, so that tomorrow's teenagers terp not only feet to feet, but head to head.
    There is a three-hour work day, and a three-day work week. And if you want to play in all this spare time, you can go to Las Venus, which has among its attractions the Supersonic Sands, the Flamoongo and the Riviera Satellite. The Sands is shaped like huge silver dollars, and each one is a room which comes to you and slides back into the hotel when you check in. Each room has a built-in robot dealer for those too lazy to go to the casino; each also has electronically designed slot machines which urge you to play them.
    There is a mother-in-law space car in which she's separated by design from the couple involved, and If she yaks too much anyway, she can be dropped by an ejector seat. They don t wash dishes—they're disintegrated after one use. There's a "Slidewalk," local and express; a "You-Rent-A-Maid" service; a 10-sec hairdo; robot dancers for femmes married to guys who don't like to dance. You go to buy a space car, and sit down as they show you on a huge screen on the ceiling an actual video view of the robots assembling the cars, just how they're made, etc. This last bit was shown an auto exec from Detroit, who was more than somewhat startled, as he revealed his company has developed just such a system (minus robots) and plans to spring it for use in about two years, "We have taken families and their problems and moved them 100 years ahead. All the problems are basic ones. We try to answer everybody's thinking — 'I wonder what it's going to be like 100 years from now'?" remarks Barbera. He adds that "if we get scientific, we're dead. We have to do it with fun."
    H-B term a lot of nonsense the feeling that cartoon series put actors out of work, pointing out they use over 230 actors a year. And they use full orchestras and top writers on their shows. They pay top prices on scripts—up to $3,500 for a half-hour show. H-B, who began their operation in 1957 with five on their payroll, now have 230 employes. In terms of footage on the air, "we turn out more animation than any other company," asserts Hanna.
    The series even aired in colour, the first to do so on the ABC network, no doubt to compete against Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color on NBC. It couldn’t. Uncle Walt won the ratings war and The Jetsons moved after one season into Saturday morning reruns. Despite the single prime-time season, the cartoon show was hardly a failure, considering the number of times it has been rebooted since 1962. And it’s almost mandatory for the commercial media to refer to the series every time there’s a story about the development of a flying car.

    Though The Jetsons was about the future, it is still very much a product of the past. Gadgets didn’t work, bosses were loud jerks and freeways were still ridiculously clogged, but the series reflected a sense of progress and optimism about the future. Today, humanity seems completely cynical and pessimistic about the future, reflected in popular culture today as dystopian not utopian. No wonder people happily look back to the future of the past, something you can see when you watch The Jetsons.

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  • 04/14/18--07:13: Raindance Bear
  • Some of the little cartoons between the cartoons on the Yogi Bear Show where a little mild. Here’s a solo effort by Yogi Bear.

    He tells the viewing audience he’s going to do a rain dance. Why? Well, for the sake of a gag which you can probably predict.



    “When I’m in good form, I dance up a storm,” he tells us before the camera fades out after about 20 seconds.

    I won’t venture a guess about the identity of the animator.

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    Dancing and motoring were the scenarios upon which were hung the stories for the Flintstones’ Sunday newspaper comics 50 years ago this month.


    There lots of neat little things in some of the comics. The opening panel of the April 7, 1968 comic has a blue background with characters and settings that are simply lines, kind of like a UPA cartoon. There’s a little dog yapping at Fred in his car and what I guess is a bird stop light. Fred is enjoying a beer (yes, this is the year he was plugging Busch in an industrial film) and a guest appearance at the end by Yogi Bear. Niece Annie, an exclusive character to the comics, who spends most of her time dancing, shows up as well. Note some panels have a solid colour as background.


    April 14th has more panels with just a solid buff colour as the background. Hanna-Barbera loved those motorcycle traffic cops, didn’t they?


    Pops, Fred’s dad, shows up on April 21st. He’s a real wolf-asaurus, ain’t he? I’ve always liked volcanoes that go “poof;” they showed up through the ‘60s in the newspaper comics.


    The taxi in the opening panel on the April 28th comic has a great expression. So does the dopey bus at the end. Fred shows athletic abilities he’s never been noted for. I like the set up for the gag at the end. The final panel is well laid-out by Gene Hazelton or whoever.

    Once again, Richard Holliss can be thanked for opening his archive and providing these colour versions.

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  • 04/21/18--05:56: Gerard Baldwin
  • The animation of your favourite cartoon dog Yowp was entrusted to only four people at Hanna-Barbera. One was the last remaining animator who worked for the studio in the 1950s.

    Gerard Baldwin passed away last Wednesday, the 18th, according to the Houston Chronicle. He was 89.

    Baldwin started his animation career in 1950 at UPA, as an-betweener I would guess. After a stint in the Korean War, he returned to UPA and then animated commercials at Playhouse Pictures. He arrived at Hanna-Barbera in 1959 and employed his distinctive style on the following cartoons:

    Adventure is My Hobby (Snooper and Blabber)
    Bare Faced Bear (Yogi Bear)
    Bear For Punishment (Yogi Bear)
    Big Top Pop (Augie Doggie)
    Doggone Prairie Dog (Quick Draw McGraw)
    Monkey Wrenched (Snooper and Blabber)
    Six-Gun Spook (Quick Draw McGraw)

    The backgrounds for five of them were painted by Joe Montell. Both left later in the year for Mexico to work for Jay Ward, with Baldwin directing various cartoons seen on Rocky and His Friends. He returned to Hanna-Barbera from 1979 to 1985 where he directed The Smurfs. Baldwin moved to Houston in 1989.

    He had a unique and quirky way of drawing the characters in those ‘50s H-B cartoons. Compare his Yowp to Carlo Vinci’s Yowp (on the left). One of them looks like he’s been chowing down on a lot of duck dinners.



    Here’s his Yogi Bear. He drew Yogi with a long neck and with the mouth way up in the snout.



    Here’s a take from Doggone Prairie Dog. I understand he did the same swirling-eye thing with Bullwinkle.



    He’s partly responsible for a couple of the most un-Hanna-Barbera-looking characters in a Hanna-Barbera cartoon. Here are the husband and wife in Monkey Wrenched, designed by Bob Givens. I couldn’t tell you how close Baldwin stuck to Givens’ layouts. Wifey badly needs a shave.



    Baldwin’s older brother Howard was also in animation, dating back to the 1930s as a writer at Warner Bros.

    You can read more about Gerard Baldwin in the Chronicle story and on his web site. We express our sympathies to the Baldwin family on their loss.

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  • 04/25/18--06:54: Birthday Bash Bear
  • That fine animator Will Finn was lamenting the other day that Yogi Bear is less popular these days than some of the other classic Hanna-Barbera characters, since Yogi’s his favourite.

    How does he think poor Huckleberry Hound feels?

    Huck was the star of the show in 1958 that really put Hanna-Barbera in the public view. Huck became a fad on college campuses and elsewhere, culminating with an Emmy win in 1960. But the squeaky wheel gets the grease, to coin a cliché. Featured player Yogi Bear was more brash, more larger-than-life than Huck and, when Warren Foster arrived in 1959 to write for him, was given a codified, definitive format (Boo Boo was made a regular, Ranger Smith replaced generic rangers, Jellystone Park was made a permanent setting). Yogi pretty much eclipsed the gentle, easy-going blue dog who had a different occupation and antagonist every week. When 1961 rolled around, Huck wasn’t the Hanna-Barbera character with his own half-hour-long birthday episode. Yogi Bear was.

    That birthday episode took up all three segments of the Yogi half-hour, with Snagglepuss and Yakky Doodle giving up their own seven-minute cartoons on the show to appear in an all-star finale that included all the “Kelloggs” Hanna-Barbera characters. That wasn’t the only thing different. The birthday bash was the product of a huge publicity campaign that involved television stations, newspapers, the sponsoring cereal company, and comic books, no doubt coordinated by Screen Gems publicity guru Ed Justin (the man who came up with the Huckleberry Hound presidential run a year earlier). We’re written about it before, but here’s a piece from the Oakland Tribune of October 1, 1961 to give you an idea of the incredible amount of coordination that had to take place to pull it off.
    ‘Smartest Bear’ Has Birthday Tomorrow
    Back in 1958, when the Huckleberry Hound Show came onto the television scene, one of the characters was a mischievous bear with a penchant for picnic baskets. Now three years later, the bear is a TV star and will be feted by all his television friends and 100 live fans at a party tomorrow night at the studios of station KTVU, Channel 2.
    The prankish bruin with the rhyming diction who was born in 1958 was Yogi Bear. He proved to be so popular with youngsters and adults alike that he soon became the star of his own show, called, appropriately enough, the Yogi Bear Show.
    "HEY, HEY!"
    Besides acquainting youngsters with a mythical, Jellystone Park and the techniques of filching picnic baskets, Yogi has also added to their vocabulary such expressions as "Hey, hey!" and "I'm smarter than the average bear!"
    In the year since Yogi became a star in his own right, he has dominated the "children's hour" on station KTVU, Channel 2, every Monday at 6.30 p.m. At times he has even surpassed the popularity of Huckleberry Hound and Quick Draw McGraw, also seen on Channel 2. Coincidentally, or perhaps not too coincidentally, all three shows are produced by the creative team of Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.
    Not content with success as a television star, Yogi also invaded the newspaper field. In February of this year, he became a member of the Tribune Sunday Comics family, so the admirers of this "smarter- than-the-average'' bear get twice as much of his mirthful antics.
    Naturally, a success story like Yogi’s deserves a reward. Tomorrow, all his friends get together to wish Yogi a "Happy Birthday." And where Yogi’s concerned, that could develop into some pretty humorous events, Tribune readers will remember that, two weeks ago, Yogi had a party in the Sunday comics. The television shenanigans should be just as mirthful.
    WINNERS’ NAMES
    To help Yogi’s television party become a big success, The Tribune and station KTVU sponsored a Yogi Bear Coloring Contest for Yogi fans 10 years of age and younger. The 100 best artists will be guests at the studio party tomorrow. There win be cake and soft drinks, and each young artist will get a book of children's stories, a box of candy and a statutte [sic] of Yogi or one of his friends. Names of the winners appear today in the main news section." All entrants received a gaily-colored certificate with pictures of Yogi and his friends.
    Yogi, Huck and Quick Draw proved so successful for their creators, that Hanna and Barbera have produced another cartoon show. Other producers have gotten onto the bandwagon, too, with the result that kids—and adults —win have about 10 televised cartoon shows to pick from this season.
    Other television stations were convinced by Justin (and likely with an assist from Leo Burnett, Kellogg’s ad agency) to throw similar in-studio bashes. This was during an era we will likely never see again, an era where there were such things as live hosts for kids’ after-school, in-house programming, likely the most creative and funniest local shows that appeared on TV sets in the ‘50s, ‘60s and early ‘70s.

    Within a few years, Hanna-Barbera got out of the co-op late-afternoon TV business (shows like The Flintstones were syndicated by Screen Gems without commercial attachments) but plunged into Saturday mornings, turning it into a gold mine for the company. Yogi was revived for several different series and specials, inferior to anything put together in the ‘50s by the likes of George Nicholas and Ed Love, Dan Gordon and Charlie Shows, Bob Gentle and Monty. Of course, these were for network airing, at a time when everyone cow-towed to do-gooder groups, so the studio had to deal with limitations that didn’t exist in the Kellogg’s days.

    Maybe Yogi, and by extension, Huck, aren’t in the rarefied realm of popularity as, say, a clumsy Great Dane or a caveman with a Water Buffalo hat. But the pic-a-nic stealing park bear is still well-liked and known by several generations today, and that’s a quite an accomplishment for a character that’s almost 60 years old.

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  • 04/28/18--07:12: The Great Maltese
  • Mike Maltese is my favourite cartoon writer. It’d take forever to list all the incredibly funny cartoons he was responsible for at Warner Bros. I still laugh at them. It’s impossible not to.

    In November 1958, Maltese left for Hanna-Barbera. Despite the restrictions on visual gags imposed by limited animation, and the fact he was now churning out more than a story a week instead of a story a month, his cartoons were still (for the most part) funny.

    Maltese departed for a year and a half to re-unite with Jones at MGM in the mid-‘60s only to return to Hanna-Barbera before leaving in frustration several years later.

    There are few reminiscences by Maltese about his long career in animation. That fine columnist John Crosby talked to him in 1960; it was posted here. Historian Joe Adamson spoke to him in an interview transcribed in the book Tex Avery, King of Cartoons. And snippets of another interview appear in Mike Barrier’s tome Hollywood Cartoons. But there was a round-table with Maltese conducted on March 14, 1977 involving several top people in animation. It is full of great stories about his time at Warners (grazing over MGM and with only one mention of Lantz). He also talks a bit about his time at Hanna-Barbera. Unfortunately, he doesn’t discuss arriving there. Instead, he focuses sourly on what network television did to the cartoon business. The things Maltese tossed into a Quick Draw McGraw cartoon (such as Quick Draw accidentally shooting himself in the face) in 1959 would never, ever have been allowed a decade later. Maltese certainly wasn’t nostalgic for late ‘60s and ‘70s TV animation.

    I’ve transcribed the portions involving Hanna-Barbera; the discussion goes in various directions and simply comes to a stop.


    Mike Maltese: In 1958, I went to work for Hanna-Barbera. I quit in 1971 because the network boys were telling me how to write cartoons, and this I didn’t want....
    The cartoon is a good business to be in, but rough today. They’ve got to pull out of those Saturday-morning kiddie-cartoon show things—if they can do it. Get the hell away from that. And you have to fight the network boys who tell you how to write cartoons, and, of course the animators have to fight this cutthroat animation in Australia and other foreign countries, where they’ll work for peanuts....
    At times a story man worked in tandem with another story man. At other times he could be working in a group. As for myself, I preferred working alone as much as possible, and with directors who gave me that freedom. In that way, a future audience could say, hopefully, “That was a Mike Maltese story; those were Mike Maltese gags.” In that respect, I was fortunate to spend many happy years working with good directors, chief among whom were Chuck Jones at the Merrie Melodies/Looney Tunes fun factory, and, later, Joe Barbera at the Hanna-Barbera nut farm.
    They gave me as much freedom as my ego—or whatever prompted me—required. Their guidance and particular talents helped me tremendously. I’m happy to say I enjoyed the good years of animation. Unfortunately, the days of the big studios and theatrical cartoons are all but dead. The big market today is television. Let’s not be satisfied with just Saturday Morning kiddie cartoons; perhaps we should go after prime-time audiences—with the audience values of a Mary Tyler Moore show, or an All in the Family show.
    Now I’d like to read a list of some cartoon characters for which I’ve written stories...at Hanna-Barbera: The Flintstones, Super Snooper and Blabb, Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy, Quick Draw McGraw and Baba Looey, The Jetsons, Squiddly Diddley, Snagglepuss, Top Cat, The Wacky Racers, Harlem Globetrotters, Josie and the Pussycats, The Impossibles, Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, Secret Squirrel, Atom Ant, Magilla Gorilla, Hardy-Har-Har and Morocco Mole, Chopper Dog and Canary [Yakky Doodle], Perils of Penelope Pitstop, Funky Phantom, the Hair Bears, and others I can’t remember. Over 2500 cartoons.
    Darrell Van Citters: Did you find that any particular characters were more difficult to write than others?
    Mike Maltese: Yeah, the Hanna-Barbera characters like the Harlem Globetrotters and the Wacky Racers, because we were working under the conditions set up by the network bosses. They thought the more characters in a story, the better it was. Trying to make of that stuff funny was impossible. For instance, I went in one day (this was later on, when the network boys had taken over the Hanna-Barbera studio.) Well, before I tell my story to Joe Barbera, he says, “Great—Do another one.”
    At Warners’ I did one a month, 12 a year, sometimes one every two weeks. At Hanna-Barbera I did two a week, then three a week. 150 stories a year, and we went like that. (snaps fingers several times). One right after another. We moved from three rooms in the old Chaplin studios on La Brea to where they are now, in Cahuenga. And then the network boys took over, and when I went in one day to tell Joe my story he said, “I like it, but you’ll have to tell the story crew.” They told me, “Drop it on the desk, and we’ll call you and let you know.” Boy, those were rough times.
    For instance, there was a series I refused to do completely. I went in one day, and Joe Barbera says, “The head man (I won’t mention his name) at CBS got a helluva idea, he thinks, for an animated series he wants you to work on.” I go, “What is it?” and he says, “It’s a Secret Fighter for Justice Whaaaale.” (Laughter) “And he’s got a name for it—Moby Dick!!!” (Laughter).
    “And he’s got all this here sparkling electric stuff—‘beep-beep-beep-“Trouble in Morocco!!”—‘beep-beep-beep-’—The whale is off!—Who cares? I told him, I says, “Forget it!” He says “Please,” I say, “NO!”...
    So I refused, but there was other stuff I had to work on. Finally I said, No more. I quit. If we had had to do the cartoons at the old Warner Brothers studio with the pressure put on us by the network boys, we wouldn’t get a Bugs Bunny done. We wouldn’t get anything finished....
    We discovered at Warner Brothers many years ago, that if we write a cartoon for the kids, the grownups aren’t going to like it. But it we write our cartoons for the grownups, the kids are going to like it. They’re gonna like it anyway. Now, many of the Merrie Melodies I wrote some 25 years ago that you see on television still hold up in time. Because I learned long ago to try to write cartoon stories that would hold up in time like Laurel and Hardy, or Chaplin. Abbott and Costello today look real corny. They’re all right, but they don’t hold up as well as Laurel and Hardy. So I tried to learn that much about a cartoon, to write stories that aren’t hurt by time, if possible.
    But the kiddie cartoons done later by Hanna-Barbera, they’re (snaps fingers) quick, quick, get ‘em out. Which is all right, but then you have these bosses from the networks telling you how to write them, locate ‘em, and all that, but not only that—You are not allowed to have a cartoon character crash into a wall. “Ummm. Just missed that wall.”
    They told us, “No machine guns. No machine-gun bullets.” We had a bunch of these tough little guys with the black shorts and white ties [the Ant Hill mob on Penelope Pitstop], and all—They all jump like the Keystone Cops. And of course, there’s a foul-up and BANG-BANG-BANG-BANG-BANG with the machine guns, but they don’t want to use then, even though the machine guns miss. So, I go, “What are we supposed to do?” and Joe Barbera says, “I don’t know.....We’ll...use...cream pies.” So what I did was have ‘em shoot chocolate syrup, and they say, “Here come the fudge!” Those were the rough cartoons to make....
    Brad Bird: I was wondering if it was easier to think up gags for full-animation rather than limited animation.
    Mike Maltese: There is a difference, but the amount of work is almost the same. You can do a storyboard for full animation, and what they do with it is up to team; you can get a director who’ll say, “Well, I can cut this down to limited animation.” Now the way we used to do that was we’d have Quick Draw McGraw go off-screen; we’d set up the thing that was going to happen to him off-screen. That would require good sound effects. “Hold on thar!!!” He’d walk off-screen, and we’d hear this BOOM-CRASH-BANG—and they you’d cut over and you’d see the result....
    No, there isn’t a helluva lot of difference. The amount of work in writing a story—it’s there. You think of the idea. The only thing you show is maybe a few little drawings of the thing happening to the guy. But you had to think about what was happening to him, and then cut it down to fit the limited-animation method. That kind of explains it....
    All I can say is that it’s a great business and I hope that someday you’ll be able to take it out of the kiddie-matinee thing, and bring it up to something better, because it’s going to die otherwise. There’s just so much time on Saturday Morning, and you know what they do to make way for the new stuff on Saturday morning is to move this kiddie crap to Sunday.
    Now, Hanna-Barbera tried unsuccessfully for prime time with Just Wait Till Your Father Gets Home. Prime time. I know the writers, and we were hamstrung. They were stopped. Experienced writers who know the cartoon business, were stopped by the network boys. They’d say, “We want this, that the other thing—we—I say, “Wait a minute. We know what we’re talking about.”
    Joe Barbera was a great salesman. He could sell anything to the networks. I heard that CBS was going to build a cartoon studio in California and compete, and hire, if necessary, the talent from the other studios, and put their boys in charge.
    What they did was they went down to the other studios, and would pit one producer against another—“You do it our way, the way we want, or we’ll give it to De Patie-Freleng or Filmation or whoever!” The result was the producers, who never said anything before, shoulda got together and said “The hell with you guys, you do it our way or we don’t wanna play with you guys at all, cause we’ve got the sponsors, the advertisers. Without them, you can’t live!”
    But they got chicken. They got chicken and did it their way. The result was great talents like Joe Barbera and the rest of them backed off and made room for these boys put in by the network boys.
    Now, Bill told me he was going to retire, he’d had an operation. Joe Barbera will never retire; he’s married to his work; this is his life. I haven’t seen him in six years. I just saw him again this week, and the first thing he says, doesn’t even say “Hello”—he says, “You know what we’re doing, we’re doing Heidi!” “Now, listen to this record, this is a scene where Heidi’s father is forced to leave her...” Like, who the hell cares? I’m passing his room and.. “Mike, listen to this! Guess who’s singing?” I say, “I don’t know.” He says, “Give it a guess, give it a guess!” (Sings hammily) “Heidiiiiii, you arre my lit-tul girllll.” I say, “Herschel Bernardi.” He says “NO NO NO.” His daughter was there. She says (whispers) “He was in Westerns. Used to play the father.”
    I say, “Lorne Greene.” Joe says. “How did you know?” I say, “Wellll.” (Laughter.) So I say, “Sorry, Joe, I gotta leave.” I shook hands with him, and I left.
    This is the wrong way! Bill wants out. And he should go out. He’s going to be 67 in July, and I was 69 in February. I could still work, but not under those conditions....
    John Musker: Has Chuck Jones ever approached you on doing stories on his TV specials? It seems like there’s a pretty noticeable decline in the story content once you left his unit at Warner’s.
    Mike Maltese: Yes, he wanted me to come back, but I wouldn’t leave Hanna-Barbera, because I didn’t go want to go back to work for Warners’s. I knew Warners was on the way out. Because Warner Brothers, unlike MGM, who publicized Tom and Jerry, never publicized Bugs Bunny or any of the cartoons. Any publicity on the Warner cartoons was done by word of mouth. The only time I went back to work for Chuck was when I had a hiatus at Hanna-Barbera and Joe Barbera says, “Well, I’ll call you.” It was the end of ’63. I waited about two or three weeks. Chuck called, and says, “I got a chance to get the MGM release, but I have to do a couple of Tom and Jerries. Will you write them for me?” I say, “Sure. I’m not working.”...
    I did about 14 Tom and Jerries for him. And Joe Barbera called me up and he says, “How much is Chuck paying you?” I say, “$250 a week.” He says, “I’ll give you $500.” I say, “I’ll be in in the morning.” (Laughter.)...
    So I went back in 1965 and I worked on a whole bunch of different things—different type cartoons, that was the whole secret of it—writing various types of cartoons.
    Fred Silverman, who was the head of children’s programming at CBS, had three or four crazy characters—Aquaman, Wireman, and all those (who remembers? This was 12 years ago.) And he says, “Could you get a couple of ideas?” I said, “Sure.”
    I went home and wrote 15 story ideas. And I knew the villains in each one had to be strong enough to challenge the talents of these four ‘super-guys.’
    I had Paper-Man, who could fold himself up and fly like a paper airplane. This one guy, Electro-Man, could appear on a TV screen at some home, and step out and rob the place, just back into the TV screen, jump in a car, and zoom off. Now, it was up to these guys to get him. They trapped him in a phone booth, he disappeared through the wire. They trapped him in the wire, they tied the wire in a square knot! (Laughter.) I had 15 ideas like this, and I called them, “The Impossibles.” Joe Barbera says, “The Impossibles?” I say, “Yeah, call them The Impossibles.” So he told the ideas to Fred Silverman, and he says, “Unless Mike Maltese writes these things, you’re not gonna get the show.” Joe says, “I’ll give you another $100, Mike.”
    Like, stupid. I coulda asked for another two or three hundred. I was always eager to work. I say, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.”
    The thing is, you go along, and you try to make your buck. I never made the big money, because I never had the opportunity to go into live-action. I’ll tell you one thing, Joe Barbera got fooled by a lot of live-action writers who tried to write cartoons.
    He found out that a cartoon writer could write live-action stories—they write Phyllis and a few other TV shows—the transition from cartoon writing to live-action writing is easier than the other way around. Because live-action guys come in and say, “A guy comes in here—and he has a damn funny walk. And the way he walks funny—you know how you guys draw it---he meets this other funny character here—could be an aardvark or a lion, and—oh well, YOU know how you guys do it. I don’t care, if it’s funny, ha ha.” (Laughter.)...
    I also had a lot of fun doing the McGraw show, and I also used Snagglepuss, I don’t know if any of you remember him—the guy who talked like Bert Lahr.
    Bert Lahr threatened to sue us. I made sure not to use any of the real Bert Lahr material [evidently Maltese forgot the origin of “Heavens to Murgatroyd”], I added my own Bert Lahr-isms, as it were.
    “Exit—Stage left!”
    “I’ll be with you in a forthwith—in a fifth-with, eee-ven.”
    All that stuff. But we had to stop because he threatened to sue....
    Well, that’s all, fellows.

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    For years, radio and film stars went on personal appearance tours. Even local TV show kid show hosts would show up at a shopping centre and shake hands or pat youngsters on the noggin.

    It would seem difficult for cartoon characters to do the same thing. After all, they’re not physical beings, they’re drawn. But they did.

    Hanna-Barbera’s distributor, Columbia Pictures’ Screen Gems, worked out a simple solution—have people dress up in a costume. After all, didn’t Uncle Walt have Mickey Mouse and Pluto traipsing around the same way in Disneyland? The idea was put in the hands of Screen Gems’ promotional wizard Ed Justin and his staff. They came up with something that satisfied kids and made money, too.

    Whenever the travelling H-B road show was booked, Justin’s people would send out a press kit to whomever was hosting the event with some basic puffery that could be used in a newspaper “story” to promote it. Here’s a good example in the Chautauqua News of Thursday, July 13, 1961.

    Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear Top Children's Day at Fair
    A terrific Children's Day show will inaugurate the 1961 Chautauqua County Fair on Monday, July 24, with thousands of youngsters flocking to the fairgrounds to see their television favorites. Huckleberry Hound and Yogi Bear.
    The well-known pair, who will give performances at the Fair at 2 and 8 p.m. on July 24 have managed to accept 73 invitations since last August and still show up weekly on the "Huckleberry Hound" and "Yogi Bear" television series.
    "In the past eight months, we've booked Huck and Yogi into department stores, shopping centers, football and baseball games, concerts, parades, factories, and exhibitions," reports their agent.
    In West Seneca, an organization known as Machemer's Chestnut Lodge, Yogi Bear Appreciation Society was founded.
    Seven scientists at the White Sands Proving Grounds in New Mexico requested an El Paso, Tex. television station to show "Huckleberry Hound" at a later hour since they were too busy working on missile projects during its air time.
    The scholarly Yale Alumni bulletin made a survey of undergraduate viewing tastes and revealed that "Huckleberry Hound" was among the four top programs with Yale men.
    Joe Barbera and Bill Hanna, creators of the cartoon characters, have a bustling studio an Hollywood which makes not only "Huckleberry Hound", "Yogi Bear", "Quick Draw McGraw", and "Ruff and Reddy" but also the adult animated comedy which has become so popular this season, "The Flintstones".
    As Barbera frequently reminds Hanna, "We've just got to give Huck and Yogi a raise."
    Their show here is guaranteed to be the funniest of Fair Week in Dunkirk.
    All Fair directors have tickets for the Ted Mack Amateur Show on Tuesday, July 25. The tickets reportedly are going fast for this show, too.
    It wasn’t all about entertaining kids. It was also about, as Fred Flintstone would say, “do-re-mi-money.” We mentioned in this post that the appearances were part of a 40-million-dollar merchandising campaign in 1960 alone. Let’s learn more from this story in Variety of August 24, 1960.
    TV Kiddie Shows Making Headliners And Hay in Theatre & Outdoor Field
    Television's kiddie shows have become an important source of headliners particularly in the theatre and outdoor field. The manufacture of topliners is now an important byproduct of exploitation of the kidvid layouts and is rapidly becoming a main cog for publicity. The only difference in this respect is that the personal appearance field has become extremely profitable.
    Latest to realize that there's a lot of coin in making headliners is the "Huckleberry Hound" show. Screen Gems, which distributes the program, used to get a lot of requests for personal, appearances of actors to depict the characters in the show.
    When the Brockton (Mass.) Fair wanted something on that order for the kids, SG got together a more complete act and charged them $1,000 daily. Since then, the characters created by Hanna-Barbera Productions, have been getting that sum from a variety of other dates. The field is becoming so wide open that a new show from the same team depicting a family in caveman suburbia is having an act built for presentation around the circuits, which will also sell for $1,000 daily.
    Cite Other Acts
    Another example of attractions built through the kid viewers is The Three Stooges. They became so popular that they rebuilt their act a little more than a year ago, and have since been doing well in theatres, outdoor shows and fairs. The world of juves also brought a measure of prosperity to the Martin Stone office which produced "Howdy Doody." At one time there were several acts with that name and that of the clown Clarabelle around.
    This newest exploitation stunt is extremely profitable. There is no such thing as having the personality of the individual actor portraying the characters built up. They are given lines and situations, and a stipulated salary. The personnel is easily replacable so that there is no battling with artistic temperament. An actor couldn't take over the property and go into business for himself.
    Budgetary Factors
    Ed Justin, the merchandising manager of Screen Gems, stitched the "Huckleberry Hound" act together. The most expensive items are the costuming, and of course, the salaries for the actors.
    For a while the kid shows produced most headliners. There was also William "Hopalong Cassidy" Boyd who suddenly found himself a hot property after many years of virtual retirement. His individual glory, however, was shortlived inasmuch as he had no durable act.
    Slightly ahead of the strictly kid shows are the western players on video, who command terrific coin on the outdoor circuits. Among them are James Arness, Hugh O'Brian, Gene Barry and others. O'Brian and Barry, among others, are trying their hand in other fields such as legit while they are hot. But when they want heavy coin, they play the outdoor events.
    In 1961, a Quick Draw McGraw tour was added. Variety reported on April 26, 1961 that 35 dates had already been set that year for Huck and Yogi to show up at stores, fairs and the like.

    Personally, I don’t get the appeal of people dressed up as Yogi or Mr. Jinks. Maybe I was a little jaded as a kid, but I wouldn’t accept someone in a costume as being Huck Hound. I suppose if it were in a theme park, it would be different because you’re kind of in a cartoon world. But it just seems like a guy in a fuzzy Yogi Bear outfit doesn’t belong in the local Safeway store. Except maybe in the cereal section.

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  • 05/07/18--07:00: Spokes-lepuss
  • The animated commercials in the Hanna-Barbera cartoon shows for Kellogg’s could be as amusing as the cartoons themselves. My favourite is the one where Jinksie and the meeces do a Beatles spoof song for Raisin Bran.

    Here’s a nice one, too, starring Snagglepuss, who was the spokes-puss for Cocoa Krispies for a time. The writer at Leo Burnett, Kellogg’s agency, came up with a clever premise, where Snagglepuss explains how he got the job on the cereal package balancing a bowl on his finger.



    His act started in the circus. He dropped the bowl, then himself.



    Then he tried films, kind of a combination of the MGM lion in the Warners shield with the 20th Century Fox fanfare. Did Ed Benedict lay out this commercial? The security guard reminds me of a Benedict drawing.



    Finally, Kelloggs hires him and powder-puffs him for his commercial. He keeps dropping the bowl. Not very, cocoa-lossal, Snagglepuss.



    You’ll notice the voice credit to Daws Butler. This apparently was the result of Bert Lahr’s prickliness (need I explain that Snagglepuss’ voice is a take-off on Lahr’s?). Lahr got upset that commercials for Lestoil, a cleaning product, starred a cartoon duck that sounded like him. He sued Adell Chemical, the makers of the cleaner, and Robert Lawrence Associates, the New York company that made the commercials. The New York Times of May 29, 1962, tagged its story on the lawsuit with “Mr. Lahr...may also sue the Kellogg Company, manufacturer of cereals. The company is the sponsor of the ‘Yogi Bear’ program, a children’s entertainment. Mr. Lahr contends that a character in the cartoon program, Snagglepuss, also is using an impersonation of his voice without permission.”

    Whether Lahr went ahead with a suit against Kellogg and/or Hanna-Barbera is unknown but, as you can see above, he did threaten one. If the credit to Daws was, in fact, because of Lahr’s threat in 1962, then this commercial wouldn’t have been seen on the Yogi show when it debuted the previous year.

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    This post is merely an excuse to display these great poses of Mr. Jinks on a sheet put together by Dick Bickenbach in 1960.

    But let’s give you a bonus as well. Here’s a four-pager from a May 1962 Dell comic. I always enjoy silhouette panels and there are a few of them here.

    Ol’ Jinksie is one of my favourite characters in the Hanna-Barbera stable. He was saddled with fairly indistinct co-stars and some cartoons where the dialogue could have been sharper (Warren Foster toward the end of the run). But I love the way he fancies himself to be a hip, clever cat. At times he is. At times he outsmarts himself. This story line in this comic is a good example.



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    So what was the first cartoon made for the Huckleberry Hound Show? The correct answer is “Pie-Pirates,” the Yogi Bear cartoon that actually appeared on the third Huck show.

    We know this thanks to the late Earl Kress and all the work he did putting together the Huck Show DVD. Earl was sent a copy of a mimeographed document from the files of the Leo Burnett ad agency dated Aug 3, 1961, with an addendum dated January 22, 1962, listing what it calls “Composition of Units.” It’s something for a real H-B geek, listing production codes for opening/closing titles, sponsor IDs, opening/closing billboards, bridges, the episodes themselves and the individual cartoons.

    The latter lists the cartoons made for the show in chronological order. Unfortunately, because this is an agency document and not a studio one, it doesn’t show when production was begun (let alone finished) on each cartoon, which is information I’d be interested in seeing.

    I don’t know if the production order has been published anywhere so I’m going to put it up here. The animator credits below are my own.

    As always, these kinds of documents lead to questions which, at this late date, can’t be answered. You’ll notice the first 29 cartoons put into production starred Yogi Bear and Pixie and Dixie. The first Huck began with production number 30. Why so late? I’ll avoid speculation. And were more episodes ordered by Kellogg’s after production began? The cartoons that made up shows 22 through 26 were all made pretty much in the order they appeared.

    26 episodes allowed two airplays to make up 52 weeks. Eight of the cartoons were reused in episodes, and not near the end of the series.

    And you’ll notice Mike Lah appears on most of the earliest cartoons in production. The impression I’m left with, and I don’t know if this is true, is Lah worked on a freelance basis for the studio. Animator Mike Kazaleh pointed out some time ago that Lah would be handed a specific chunk of footage in the cartoons, usually somewhere in the middle. I can’t help but wonder if the first cartoons were originally planned to be shorter, then extra gag footage was needed to bring them to about seven minutes (all the cartoons are exactly the same length). I don’t know whether I’ve spotted all the Lah footage; I’m almost certain he did work on a few of the cartoons below where I don’t have him listed (I’ve just finished looking at one that if it isn’t Lah,he imitates Lah’s eye and mouth movements instead of his own elsewhere in the cartoon).

    E-1 Pie-Pirates (K-003/017) Yogi/Lah
    E-2 High Fly Guy (K-008) Yogi/Marshall-Lah
    E-3 Tally Ho-Ho-Ho (K-007) Yogi/Vinci-Lah
    E-4 Pistol Packin’ Pirate (K-005) PD/Muse-Lah
    E-5 Judo Jack (K-002/15) PD/Muse-Lah
    E-6 Little Bird Mouse (K-007) PD/Marshall-Lah
    E-7 Yogi Bear’s Big Break (K-001/011) Yogi/Muse-Lah
    E-8 Big Bad Bully (K-020) Yogi/Vinci-Lah
    E-9 Slumber Party Smarty (K-002/014) Yogi/Marshall-Lah
    E-10 Kit Kat Kit (K-003/018) PD/Muse
    E-11 Big Brave Bear (K-006) Yogi/Vinci
    E-12 Scaredy Cat Dog (K-006) PD/Marshall
    E-13 Baffled Bear (K-009) Yogi/Muse-Lah
    E-14 Cousin Tex (K-001/012) PD/Vinci-Lah
    E-15 Foxy Hound Dog (K-005) Yogi/Marshall-Lah
    E-16 Jinks’ Mice Device (K-004/021) PD/Muse-Lah
    E-17 The Ghost With the Most (K-009) PD/Muse-Lah
    E-18 The Buzzin’ Bear (K-013) Yogi-Vinci
    E-19 Jiggers..It’s Jinks! (K-008) PD/Marshall
    E-20 Brave Little Brave (K-010) Yogi/Muse-Lah
    E-21 The Stout Trout (K-021) Yogi/Vinci-Lah
    E-22 The Ace of Space (K-010) PD/Muse-Lah
    E-23 Jinks Junior (K-011) PD/Marshall-Lah
    E-24 Be My Guest, Pest (K-016) Yogi/Vinci
    E-25 Duck in Luck (K-018) Yogi/Vinci
    E-26 Puppet Pals (K-016) PD/Marshall
    E-27 Jinks the Butler (K-013) PD/Muse
    E-28 Bear on a Picnic (K-019) Yogi/Vinci
    E-29 Runaway Bear (K-015) Yogi/Muse
    E-30 Mark of the Mouse (K-017) PD/Vinci
    E-31 Sheriff Huckleberry (K-005) Huck/Muse
    E-32 Sir Huckleberry Hound (K-004/019) Huck/Marshall
    E-33 Lion-Hearted Huck (K-002/013) Huck/Muse
    E-34 Rustler Hustler Huck (K-006) Huck/Marshall
    E-35 Huckleberry Hound Meets Wee Willie (K-001/010) Huck/Muse
    E-36 Hookey Days (K-014) Huck/Vinci
    E-37 Tricky Trapper (K-003/K016) Huck/Muse
    E-38 Cock-a-Doodle Huck (K-008) Huck/Vinci
    E-39 Two Corny Crows (K-009) Huck/Muse
    E-40 Freeway Patrol (K-007) Huck/Muse
    E-41 Dragon Slayer Huck (K-012) Huck/Muse
    E-42 Fireman Huck (K-009) Huck/Muse
    E-43 Sheep-Shape Sheepherder (K-017) Huck/Vinci
    E-44 Skeeter Trouble (K-015) Huck/Vinci
    E-45 Hokum Smokum (K-020) Huck/Vinci
    E-46 Hypnotize Surprise (K-020) PD/Marshall
    E-47 Bird House Blues (K-021) Huck/Vinci
    E-48 Jinks’ Flying Carpet (K-014) PD/Muse
    E-49 Prize Fight Fright (K-021) Yogi/Muse
    E-50 Dinky Jinks (K-019) PD/Vinci
    E-51 Barbecue Hound (K-018) Huck/Muse
    E-52 Brainy Bear (K-022) Yogi/Muse
    E-53 Nice Mice (K-022) PD/Muse
    E-54 Postman Panic (K-022) Huck/Vinci
    E-55 Robin Hood Yogi (K-023) Yogi/Muse
    E-56 King Size Surprise (K-023) PD/Marshall
    E-57 Lion Tamer Huck (K-024) Huck/Lah
    E-58 Daffy Daddy (K-024) Yogi/Vinci
    E-59 Cat-Nap Cat (K-024) PD/Muse
    E-60 Ski Champ Chump (K-023) Huck/Marshall
    E-61 Scooter Looter (K-025) Yogi/Vinci
    E-62 Mouse Nappers (K-025) PD/Muse
    E-63 Little Red Riding Huck (K-025) Huck/Marshall
    E-64 Hide and Go Peek (K-026) Yogi/Muse
    E-65 Boxing Buddy (K-026) PD/Muse
    E-66 Tough Little Termite (K-026) Huck/Muse


    There was only one main title and one end title for the Huck show in the 1958-59 season. That means only the regular artists and voice actors were listed (sorry Frank Tipper and June Foray). There were all kinds of mini-cartoons. There were 11 opening and closing billboards, two sponsor IDs, 11 Huck bridges, 11 Pixie and Dixie bridges, 11 Yogi Bear bridges and 11 “opening units” (along with four “closing units”).

    Leo Burnett also, at one time, had two 35mm prints of the shows, with another 54 16mm prints in storage (in 1961). It’s a shame the either didn’t exist or weren’t available when the Huck DVD was made so there would have been better quality than some VHS dubs of the programming elements.

    The Burnett files have production numbers for all the cartoons in the Huck series (including the Hokey Wolfs). Earl also had a similar document for the Yogi Bear show. If he had one for Quick Draw McGraw, it’s still in his filing cabinet.

    My thanks to Denise Kress for going to the time and expense of mailing these to me.

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  • 05/16/18--12:25: Jinks Short-Cuts
  • Time for a Mr Jinks quiz.

    Here are two frames from Jinks’ Mice Device (1958). Can you guess the animator?



    This is kind of a trick question, as two different animators are at work. This first drawing is by Ken Muse. The little half-row of teeth, the small tongue and half a lip overlapping the other half gives it away. The second one, the disheveled Jinks who thinks he’s cracking up, is the work another veteran—Mike Lah.

    Lah animated two cartoons on his own in the 1958-59 and laid out others, including this one. But he was also given footage, generally 90 seconds worth of gags, inserted into the middle of the cartoon.

    Muse was the studio’s footage king, but Lah should have been able to churn it out film, too, thanks to a bunch of shortcuts. Lah would hold a character in place and draw the mouth in odd geometric shapes, face-forward, during dialogue. In this cartoon, he also saves work by simply having drawings turned around and then inked and painted on the other side, with the tiniest adjustments.

    Here are a couple of examples, first of Jinks on the floor after being run over by a lawnmower, and then an in-between drawing as he gets up. The pushed-together eyes should remind you of Lah’s later work at MGM.



    And here are some frames of Jinks exiting, stage right. Oh, that was another character, wasn’t it? These are animated on twos.



    Lah carried on with his work in advertising animation while freelancing for H-B; he later took over the operation of Quartet Films. A bunch of new animators came in for the 1959-60; Lah’s distinctive style was missed as the studio’s animation became more refined and tamer.

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    Bigger is better. Bigger means more profits. That’s the free enterprise system. H-B Enterprises was a business. Therefore, it got bigger.

    The Huckleberry Hound Show started life in 1958 as a huge success. Sponsor Kellogg’s wanted more. Hanna-Barbera was willing to oblige. In 1959, it created a whole new cartoon series called the Quick Draw McGraw Show. Huck carried on with a second season, but H-B cut the number of cartoons produced for it from 66 to 39. Evidently, Kellogg’s was content with re-airing cartoons from the first 66; after all, didn’t kids keep tuning in the same Bugs Bunny cartoons over and over and over again? Either that, or the studio didn’t have the staff or equipment in 1959 to make more than that. Ruff and Reddy was still in production, Columbia Pictures had ordered a theatrical series (the cut-rate Loopy De Loop cartoons) and Screen Gems’ John Mitchell was pushing Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera to take the next logical television step—into prime time. All of this meant H-B Enterprises (the company changed its name to Hanna-Barbera Productions in August 1959) had to add staff beyond its three animators (with a fourth, Mike Lah, pitching in on occasion). It brought in some solid people. La Verne Harding and Don Patterson came from Walter Lantz (along with story director Alex Lovy, an old colleague of Barbera’s from the Van Beuren studio in New York). Ed Love and Dick Lundy had been at the commercial houses; both had worked at MGM and Disney before that.

    Perhaps my favourite out of the group was George Nicholas, who had been animating at Disney and, at age 48, was laid off after completion of Sleeping Beauty. Nicholas was handed the first cartoon put into production for the second season of the Huck Show, the Yogi Bear adventure “Lullabye-Bye Bear.” He gave Yogi wild and insane expressions. He toned it down after that. Whether it was at the behest of management, I don’t know, but I would have loved to have seen more cartoons animated that way.

    Love’s name was on the closing credits, but he told interviewer Harvey Deneroff he was never on staff, he worked freelance at H-B. The studio evidently hired others on a freelance basis. Manny Perez and Don Williams both animated a solitary cartoon on the Huck show (Williams did a bit of other work at the studio). Gerard Baldwin animated for Hanna-Barbera as well before jumping at the chance to work in Mexico under a Jay Ward contract later in the year.

    Documents from the Leo Burnett files obtained by the late Earl Kress reveal the studio also animated five new opening billboards for the show that year, along with seven closing ones, and something called “opening units” (five) and “closing units” (four). This was not the main or closing title animation and because I’m not in the industry, I have no idea what’s being referred to.

    Oddly, the document refers to only one piece of closing animation, with the same production number as the one in the 1958-59 season. But we know part of the animation was re-done. Instead of Huck driving through a hoop, Yogi Bear is now treated somewhat on an equal footing with the blue dog, as the two carry a banner with the Kellogg’s slogan of the day.

    Besides animators, additional background and directorial staff were brought in. The biggest impact may have been the decision to hire Mike Maltese from Warner Bros. in November 1958 to write for the studio. He was joined not long afterward by Warren Foster, who had left Warners in 1957 for John Sutherland Productions. Maltese was assigned to handle Quick Draw, Foster (with one exception) wrote the Huck show in 1959. Under Foster, the cartoons seemed to get a lot chattier. Foster also got rid of the idea of solo Yogi Bear adventures and spot-gag cartoons, making Boo Boo a permanent sidekick and creating a permanent adversary out of a bunch of generic rangers used by Joe Barbera and Charlie Shows the previous season. (Interestingly, there is a Ranger-less/Boo Boo-less cartoon this season. It is the last one to feature Yowp, who was then put in the cartoon retirement kennel).

    The cartoons continued to feature the Capitol Hi-Q and Langlois Filmusic libraries for mood music. Some different cues were added this season to freshen the sound a bit. As well, Joe Barbera went hunting for additional voice actors. Hal Smith and Jean Vander Pyl were among those hired who join Don Messick and Daws Butler on the Huck series.

    Was this bigger Hanna-Barbera better? In 1959, perhaps it was. There were a lot of entertaining cartoons produced that year. But I still think expansion hurt the studio in the long-run; at least I smiled a lot less at Peter Potamus than I did at Yogi getting mixed up with seven dwarfs. I even turned off the TV set while Magilla Gorilla was on.

    Here are the cartoons for the second season in order of production. The “K” designation is for the first show the cartoon appeared in. My thanks again to Denise Kress for sending me this documentation.


    E-67 Lullabye-Bye Bear (K-028) Yogi/Nicholas
    E-68 Grim Pilgrim (K-028) Huck/Muse
    E-69 Sour Puss (K-029) PD/Love
    E-70 Papa Yogi (K-030) Yogi/Nicholas
    E-71 Tin Pin Alley (K-027) Huck/Love
    E-72 Rapid Robot (K-028) PD/Vinci
    E-73 Bare Face Bear (K-029) Yogi/Baldwin
    E-74 Show Biz Bear (K-027) Yogi/Patterson
    E-75 Jolly Roger and Out (K-029) Huck/Muse
    E-76 King Size Poodle (K-30) PD/Vinci
    E-77 Nottingham and Eggs (K-032) Huck/Love
    E-78 Rah Rah Bear (K-032) Yogi/Vinci
    E-79 Hi-Fido (K-027) PD/Perez
    E-80 Stranger Ranger (K-031) Yogi/Muse
    E-81 Somebody’s Lion (K-030) Huck/Lundy
    E-82 Batty Bat (K-033) PD/Williams
    E-83 Cop and Saucer (K-034) Huck/Love
    E-84 Mighty Mite (K-031) PD/Marshall
    E-85 Bear For Punishment (K-033) Yogi/Baldwin
    E-86 Pony Boy Huck (K-035) Huck/Harding
    E-87 A Bully Dog (K-031) Huck/Muse
    E-88 Nowhere Bear (K-034) Yogi/Love
    E-89 Bird Brained Cat (K-032) PD/Patterson
    E-90 Huck the Giant Killer (K-033) Huck/Lundy
    E-91 Wound-Up Bear (K-035) Yogi/Patterson
    E-92 Lend Lease Meece (K-034) PD/Nicholas
    E-93 A Good Good Fairy (K-035) PD/Marshall
    E-94 Bewitched Bear (K-036) Yogi/Patterson
    E-95 Pet Vet (K-036) Huck/Vinci
    E-96 Heavens to Jinksy (K-036) PD/Muse
    E-97 Hoodwinked Bear (K-037) Yogi/Nicholas
    E-98 Picadilly Dilly (K-037) Huck/Patterson
    E-99 Goldfish Fever (K-037) PD/Lundy
    E-100 Snow White Bear (K-038) Yogi/Nicholas
    E-101 Wiki Waki Huck (K-038) Huck/Marshall
    E-102 Pushy Cat (K-038) PD/Vinci
    E-103 Space Bear (K-039) Yogi/Patterson
    E-104 Puss in Boats (K-039) PD/Lundy
    E-105 Huck’s Hack (K-039) Huck/Patterson

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    Despite what some people and web sites would have you believe, cartoons weren’t just for Saturday mornings way-back-when. In fact, it took until the mid-1960s for animation to bump puppets and most filmed live-action reruns off the Saturday morning schedule.

    For those of us of a certain vintage, after-school time was cartoon time. Local TV stations bought all kinds of cartoons from syndicators and ran them to death for years, sometimes with a human host in a costume doing funny routines between them. Late afternoons/early evenings were kids time on TV just as it had been on radio. Hanna-Barbera’s first huge successes were in that time period; the Huckleberry Hound, Quick Draw McGraw and Yogi Bear shows generally ran somewhere between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. (the rise of half-hour network and local newscasts pretty much pushed cartoons out of that slot).

    Since kids could watch cartoons at around dinner time, it’s only appropriate that Hanna-Barbera would help you eat your food while showing you Snooper solving a case at the same time. They licensed TV trays.

    Television stations have been around since the late 1920s, but it was 1948 that all the networks had their prime-time schedules filled on weeknights for the first time. And, according to this patent, 1948 was when the TV tray, as we know it today, was invented. Happy 70th birthday, TV tray!

    The ad to right is from 1961. All three of Hanna-Barbera’s “Kellogg’s” syndicated half-hours were on by that time. The artwork on the trays is really good and the scenes depicted on them should result in at least a smile. They remind me of scenes in those short cartoons between the main cartoons. Here are some of the trays. I wish I could tell you who the artist was.



    There were plenty of opportunities to pull out a TV tray and tune in a Hanna-Barbera cartoon in 1961. The studio had five half-hour series on the air, with the Flintstones and the three pre-prime-time shows joined by Top Cat. Things looked good for Hanna-Barbera; the networks wanted animated shows at night because of the success of the Flintstones. Top Cat beat out Keemar, the Invisible Boy from Format Films, Sir Loin and His Dragon and Shaggy Dog Tales from Creston/TV Spots and Sweetie from Pabian Productions (Jim and Tony) for a prime-time spot. In fact, it was the first foreign show bought by Canada’s new CTV network.

    But Top Cat placed second behind Joey Bishop in its debut week with a 32.7 audience share (Bishop had 45.5). The studio had was feverishly working to get more shows ready; by the following February 5th, Variety reported only 24 of 30 episodes were done. Five weeks later, ABC announced the series had been renewed for the following season, but would be moved to Saturday mornings, at the time still pretty much a dumping ground for old cartoons amongst shows like Fury.

    Top Cat fans folded up the TV trays and got out the cereal bowls instead.

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  • 05/28/18--07:00: An Assortment of Yogi
  • Guys in Yogi Bear costumes were still putting on shows around the U.S.A. in 1973. You see to the right an ad from the Naples Daily News of June 17th that year. In addition to the bike, the management at the Wickes Ft. Myers Center signed a deal Scollon Productions to hire its Yogi Bear Show. People dressed as Yogi, Boo Boo and Ranger Smith did three “fun-filled” shows in each of a four-day span.

    This post is a hodge-podge of Yogi stuff sitting in a file for four to eight years. Since we’re winding things down here, I’m going to post it. Some of it may be in older posts; I really don’t have time to check.

    As you know, Yogi was grabbed by the folks at Kellogg’s to push its version of Cherrios. The fact I’m not saying that Cherrios was General Mills’ version of OKs tells you which cereal was the more popular. Simultaneously, he was on the box of Kellogg’s biggest seller to push his birthday party episode on TV in 1961 (and the Dell Comic version of it) Yogi also found himself in an ad for Kellogg’s All-Stars cereal, featuring the voice of Cyril Ritchard as the Wizard of Oatz. Unlike the Oz version, this wizard wasn’t a wonderful wiz if ever a wiz there was. The cereal wasn’t around all that long. Perhaps he should have teamed with Snagglepuss as a cowardly lion. The ad is from the comic section of a number of newspapers of July 24, 1960.

    Incidentally, Sponsor magazine of December 17, 1962 reported on rumours that Kellogg’s was about to create a Yogi cereal (along with a Jethro cereal). Either the rumours were false, or the idea was quashed (would the Jethro cereal be in the shape of double-nought spies?).






    Yogi Bear had experience with selling honey (“Bears and Bees”) and eating fried chicken (“Spy Guy”), so why not combine them into a chain of restaurants? The ad to the right is from the Waterloo Courier of July 18, 1971. (The same page has a story about the death of the voice of Touché Turtle, Bill Thompson). There’s an interesting article about the demise of the chain in this web post. How do you fry something in honey anyway?

    We’ve had pictures over the years of all kinds of Hanna-Barbera toys, dolls, games, comics, and more from the studio’s best period, namely the first few years when it was at the Kling/Chaplin studio on La Brea and the little cinder-block windowless bunker on Cahuenga (before they moved to the building most fans know about). The pictures we’re put up have been almost always of American productions, but here’s one from England. You can make and paint little sculptures of the main characters in the Huckleberry Hound Show, even though Yogi gets top billing. I realise I’m biased but I think toys were more fun back then. Today, it seems like all kids do is bang their thumbs playing games on their hand-held.



    I won’t transcribe the newspaper story on the right; you can click on it and make it bigger. There was a reference to it in a post a few weeks ago. It’s from 1964 and is about a group of guys who got together in 1959 to form a “Yogi Bear Club” and help needy kids at Christmas time. You’ll notice the officers of the club are all named after characters on the Huckleberry Hound Show. Ranger Smith was brand-new in fall of 1959, so the club had a generic “Ranger.” The only down-side to this fine charitable effort is that they didn’t pick Yowp as the name of one of the officers; they chose “Indian” instead (whose name is Li’l Tom Tom, though I don’t think it was mentioned in the cartoon itself). I imagine like many clubs, this businessman’s association is long gone. Carl W. Green mentioned in the story was born about 1914 so I suspect he has passed away, too.

    Finally, here’s an endless run cycle from the end of “Droop-a-long Yogi,” a pretty good 1961 cartoon from the Yogi Bear show animated by Ralph Somerville with story direction by Artie Davis. The cycle has six drawings on twos. The animation doesn’t match up with the repeat in the background but it won’t be too noticeable here. This is a little slower than in the actual cartoon.


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  • 05/31/18--23:17: Despises Them Mices
  • Pixie and Dixie get even with Mr. Jinks for continually destroying their sandcastles, in a little cartoon between the cartoons on the Huckleberry Hound Show. No “illustrated radio” here. There’s a sight gag. I always like the ghost drawings.



    You can guess at the animator.

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