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Articles on this Page
- 10/03/13--06:32: _Yogi Bear Weekend C...
- 10/05/13--07:43: _Pixie and Dixie — L...
- 10/09/13--15:02: _Tally Lah Lah Lah
- 10/12/13--08:01: _Huckleberry Hound —...
- 10/16/13--06:45: _Flintstones Weekend...
- 10/18/13--10:19: _Tony Benedict’s Han...
- 10/19/13--16:00: _Snooper and Blabber...
- 10/23/13--07:22: _How to Make a Hanna...
- 10/26/13--07:46: _Yogi Bear — Slap Ha...
- 10/30/13--12:53: _Huckstralia
- 11/02/13--07:26: _Augie Doggie — It’s...
- 11/04/13--07:09: _Yogi Bear Weekend C...
- 11/06/13--11:21: _Storyboard Fun and ...
- 11/09/13--08:37: _Quick Draw McGraw —...
- 11/13/13--06:55: _The Hound Loved By ...
- 11/16/13--06:42: _Pixie and Dixie — C...
- 11/20/13--06:22: _Where the Jetsons L...
- 11/22/13--06:38: _Flintstones Weekend...
- 11/23/13--07:12: _Huckleberry Hound —...
- 11/27/13--09:00: _Huck-san
- 10/03/13--06:32: Yogi Bear Weekend Comics, October 1963
- 10/05/13--07:43: Pixie and Dixie — Light-Headed Cat
- 10/09/13--15:02: Tally Lah Lah Lah
- 10/12/13--08:01: Huckleberry Hound — Astro-Nut Huck
- 10/16/13--06:45: Flintstones Weekend Comics, October 1963
- 10/18/13--10:19: Tony Benedict’s Hanna-Barbera Documentary
- 10/19/13--16:00: Snooper and Blabber — Flea For All
- 10/23/13--07:22: How to Make a Hanna-Barbera Cartoon
- 10/26/13--07:46: Yogi Bear — Slap Happy Birthday
- 10/30/13--12:53: Huckstralia
- 11/02/13--07:26: Augie Doggie — It’s a Worm Day
- 11/04/13--07:09: Yogi Bear Weekend Comics, November 1963
- 11/06/13--11:21: Storyboard Fun and Pushing Pebbles
- 11/09/13--08:37: Quick Draw McGraw — Twin Troubles
- 11/13/13--06:55: The Hound Loved By Adults and Island-Namers
- 11/16/13--06:42: Pixie and Dixie — Crew Cat
- 11/20/13--06:22: Where the Jetsons Live and Work
- 11/22/13--06:38: Flintstones Weekend Comics, November 1963
- 11/23/13--07:12: Huckleberry Hound — Lawman Huck
- 11/27/13--09:00: Huck-san
This month, I’m not going to provide commentary on these Yogi Bear Sunday pages from 50 years ago this month. Read what Mark Kausler has to say. He has the bottom two rows of each comic in colour on his web site HERE. I can’t tell you how much of a generous, selfless person Mark is. He voluntarily shares information and expertise about cartoons because he loves them. I appreciate his surprise little notes he sends because I learn things from them.
Some quick comments…
I still don’t understand why a national park has a “general” and a “captain.” A park is not the military. Yet the comics of October 20th and 27th have military characters with some kind of authority in the park. The cartoon series, of course, had a superintendent appear on occasion, which makes sense.
Ranger Smith gets the first two weeks off.
The stereotyped native Indians make another appearance. But you’ll see in the last panel of October 13th, the chief talks like a real guy. I can only conclude the Indians are really actors playing Indians in some kind of park attraction and they only rarely come out of character, as we see in the final panel.
The last panel of October 27th reminds me of Drag-A-Long Droopy where Droopy’s counting sheep and the sheep are counting Droopys.
October 6, 1963
October 13, 1963
October 20, 1963
October 27, 1963
Click on any comic to enlarge it.
Produced and Directed by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.
Credits: Animation – Lew Marshall, Layout – Paul Sommer, Backgrounds – Dick Thomas, Written by Warren Foster, Story Director – Alex Lovy, Titles – Art Goble, Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voice Cast: Pixie, Professor, Monkey – Don Messick; Mr. Jinks, Dixie, Guy in Suit – Daws Butler.
Music: Jack Shaindlin, Geordie Hormel, Spencer Moore.
Episode: Huckleberry Hound Show K-051.
First Aired: week of February 27, 1961.
Plot: Jinks is at the mercy of an anti-gravity machine that keeps him in the air.
This cartoon is a dud.
Well, it’s not a dud if you like to see Mr. Jinks get bashed around without deserving it. Or if you like characters to spend screen time explaining what they’re going to do before doing it. Or if you like a comedy that has dialogue without punch lines. Or if you like a cartoon that relies on a catchphrase to bring it to a sudden end.
It’s too bad. Warren Foster came up with a pretty funny premise that he could have filled up with try-and-fail type gags like he did with Sylvester in the Tweety cartoons at Warners. But the premise alone can’t carry the cartoon. And the dialogue is so uninspired, even Daws Butler can’t find many places for Jinksie to perform his customary word-mangling. It may simply have been a case that Foster had to quickly churn out another story that could be inexpensively animated. The cartoon was one of the last new Pixie and Dixies to be aired in the 1960-61 season.
Dixie: There it is. “Cats Wanted For Fur Factory.”
Pixie: He wouldn’t want a job there.
It’s just not funny. It could have been, even though Pixie is merely stating the obvious, but Don Messick gives the line a straight-forward read without any tinge of facetiousness or irony.
We learn Jinks is being employed by a space scientist for a weightlessness experiment using a de-gravitising machine. The next scene features plenty of yapping between the scientist and a guy in a three-piece suit who is never identified. The scientist spends gobs of time explaining stuff then doing it.
Professor: I’ll show you how it works. I have put a wire in the cat’s tie for an antenna. And when I turn on the “juice,” as we call it...
Guy: Ha ha ha ha ha.
Professor: Heh heh. Heh heh heh. Heh heh heh. Heh-um.
I’m missing something here. What’s so funny about “juice”? I could understand if it was a pun, or even a bad pun.
Cut to the next scene. Jinks arrives at the door of his home holding a heavy metal garbage can (do they still make those?) and makes a dash for his bed. He doesn’t get there, rising to the ceiling instead. “Help, fellas!” cries the cat. “Get me down. I’ll have to walk around grasping an ashcan all my life. But if I stay up here, I’ll starve to death.” Dixie tries to toss Jinks a small rope to pull him down, but it hooks around the cat’s tail instead. Jinks looks at us and disgustedly says “Meeces!” That may be the best dialogue in the cartoon.
Jinks: You guys are, like, my pals, but...
Dixie: We know, we know.
Meeces: You hate meeces to pieces.
And Pixie and Dixie laugh to end another Hanna-Barbera cartoon.
The cartoon features a bunch of Jack Shaindlin neutral cues I can’t identify, though you can tell it’s his material because of the arrangements. The cutter favours lots of little cues for some reason; he uses snippets of longer pieces of music in addition to what appear to be short work-parts.
0:00 - Pixie and Dixie Main Title theme (Curtin, Hanna, Barbera, Shows).
0:12 - meandering flute, oboe and horns (Shaindlin) – Pixie looks in basket, “Search me.”
0:29 - no music – “He read the want ads,” “what interested him.”
0:35 - clarinet and falling strings (Shaindlin) – meece look at ads, “space project.”
1:00 - no music – “That would appeal to Jinksie,” meece giggle.
1:07 - playful flute and trumpet (Shaindlin) – Man talks to professor, “real well.”
1:14 - no music – professor talks about cream and sherbet.
1:19 - relaxed strings (Shaindlin) – shot of Jinks sleeping, “it’s of no use unless we.”
1:30 - L-80 COMEDY UNDERSCORE (Moore) – “degravitise him,” explanation of machine, “Watch.”
2:13 - short clarinet cue (Shaindlin) – Professor turns on machine, Jinks floats up, “That’s wonderful, professor.”
2:21 - no music – “He floated straight up,” “Can you…”
2:29 - meandering flute, oboe and horns (Shaindlin) – “…bring him down?” Jinks lands.
2:39 - no music – “Remarkable,” man points to monkey.
2:47 - flute and trumpet quack cue (Shaindlin) – Shot of monkey, invitation to lunch.
3:06 - comedy march (Shaindlin) – Professor and man walk, monkey turns on machine, Jinks on ceiling, “Like I am convinced.”
3:42 - no music – “This is no dream,” Jinks zips out of frame.
3:51 - LAF-5-20 TOBOGGAN RUN (Shaindlin) – Jinks runs outside.
4:01 - fluttering open music (Shaindlin) – Monkey plays with machine, Jinks up and down, grabs garbage can.
4:32 - ZR-47 LIGHT MOVEMENT (Hormel) – Jinks runs with garbage can.
4:46 - L-81 COMEDY UNDERSCORE (Moore) – Jinks at window, rises to ceiling, rope around tail, “Get me down.”
5:55 - ZR-47 LIGHT MOVEMENT (Hormel) – Professor and man run, kaboom.
6:10 - clarinet and falling strings (Shaindlin) – Jinks on ceiling, crashes to floor.
6:15 - L-78 COMEDY UNDERSCORE (Moore) – “You did not have to pull,” Jinks with broom.
6:33 - LAF-2-12 ON THE RUN (Shaindlin) – Meeces run, laugh.
6:56 - Pixie and Dixie End Title theme (Curtin).
Mike Lah animated the first Yogi Bear cartoon put into production (“Pie Pirates”) and picked up scenes in a number of others without any screen credit. His style was pretty distinctive, as he tended to draw Yogi’s mouth movements in profile the same way. His poses could be simple but you knew what Yogi was thinking.
Lah hooked up with Carlo Vinci in “Tally Ho Ho Ho,” which I presume was very early in the production as Yogi’s name isn’t on the title card and it opens with the Donna Reed Show theme, which was never used again by Hanna-Barbera. He takes over the animation about a third of the way into the cartoon where the Professor Gizmo-like hunter is outsmarted in a game of hide-and-seek by our wily hero.
Mike generally held a character in position during dialogue and moved the mouth around on the side of the face (with no tongue visible). He liked two or three upper teeth (and no lowers), long mouth lines and curves.
Here are some of Yogi’s poses.
I’ve posted the drawings from Yogi’s little dance and run before. The fourth drawing sure reminds me of a pose from an MGM cartoon.
The early Yogis are enjoyable. No locked-in Yogi-vs-Ranger format. In fact, there was no Ranger Smith at all and Boo Boo appeared only on occasion. Yogi could be a funny character on his own—with the help of a fun story and poses by top ex-MGM animators like Mike Lah.
Credits: Animation – Lew Marshall, Layout – Paul Sommer, Backgrounds – Dick Thomas, Written by Warren Foster, Story Director – Alex Lovy, Titles – Art Goble, Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voice Cast: Huckleberry Hound – Daws Butler; Narrator, General, Reporter – Don Messick.
Music: Bill Loose/John Seely, Jack Shaindlin, Spencer Moore, Raoul Kraushaar?
Episode: Huckleberry Hound Show K-051.
First Aired: week of February 20, 1961.
Plot: Scientist Huck Hound is ordered to performs tests to go into space.
Like many Americans around 1960, Warren Foster seems to have been fascinated with outer space. He wrote several Pixie and Dixie cartoons where space travel played some kind of role, he came up with “Space Bear” and its alien Yogi Bear the year before, and in this cartoon, Huckleberry Hound is a space scientist. It’s a shame he didn’t put Loopy de Loop into space and leave him up there. Oh, wait. Foster wrote a similar cartoon for Loopy called “Count-Down Clown.” But I digress.
Foster gives us a little spot-gag effort here where Huck endures a setback, then comments on what happened before moving on to the next routine. It’s a pleasant, uncomplicated little cartoon and a fairly atypical adventure for Huck.
The short opens with 18 seconds of camera movement over a couple of Dick Thomas’ background drawings as Don Messick intones about space travel. Cut to Huck telling other top scientists it’s possible to put a man into space and asking for a volunteer “for glory and a possible post-humorous medal.” Cut to a disheveled room of empty chairs. The Pentagon calls.
Huck: But, sir, it doesn’t work that way. The fella that thinks it up never volunteers. It’s an unwritten law. (pause) That unwritten law has been repealed? Well, suppose I don’t volunteer? (pause) Okay, okay, I’ll volunteer. (to himself) I thought they only used firing squads in war time.
So now Huck goes through a battery of tests. They attach him to a rocket sled. The sled takes off without him (“I forgot to tighten my seat belt). Next, he’s put in a pressure chamber to test eating in zero gravity. Unfortunately, he unscrews the thermos with concentrated food too early. The reddish goop and Huck pour out of the craft (“You got a toothpick, general?). Next, the general explains a heat cabinet. Huck looks at us and says “I’m the one who thought of this stuff first, and he’s tellin’ me.” Once inside, the temperature’s 1200 degrees. Huck isn’t fazed. “I could use a little bastin’,” he tells the general. The punch is simply the old shrink-inside-a-heat cabinet gag you find in cartoons.
Next, another a zero gravity routine with the expected crashes into the ceiling and floor (General: “Our valve needs adjustment.” Huck: “So does my sacroiliac.” Huck walks with magnetic shoes but falls while walking on the ceiling (“Someone forgot to put laces in my shoes”).
Finally, it’s launch date. A reporter is on the tarmack (Reporter: “Have you anything to tell our vast TV audience, professor?” Huck: “Yes, I do. HELLLLLP!” The rocket doesn’t launch. After a pile of smoke, it falls onto its side. But Huck thinks he’s landed on Mars, and the asbestos-suit-wearing rescue crew are Martians. They place him in front of the general. “I don’t know how he got here first,” Huck tells us, “but that’s science for you.”
This was apparently the final Huckleberry Hound cartoon put into production which used the Capitol Hi-Q and Langlois Filmusic libraries. The last cartoon of the 1960-61 season features the Hoyt Curtin underscores used on “Wally Gator” and “The Flintstones.” However, the Italian TV version of this cartoon has been remixed with Curtin’s music.
0:00 - Huckleberry Hound Sub Main Title Theme (Curtin).
0:13 - TC-22 SUBLIME GHOST (Loose-Seely) – Opening narration.
0:33 - LAF-4-6 PIXIE PRANKS (Shaindlin) – Close-up of Huck at blackboard, phone call, general and Huck talk about rocket sled.
2:22 - LAF-7-12 FUN ON ICE (Shaindlin) – Huck/sled scene, Huck in capsule, “Now he informs me.”
3:08 - LAF-1-1 FISHY STORY (Shaindlin) – General outside capsule, goop covers him, pressure cooker scene, Huck in magnetic shoes.
5:16 - L-1154 ANIMATION COMEDY (Moore) – Huck walks in shoes, falls out of shoes.
5:30 - creepy muted trumpet cue (Kraushaar?) – Huck upside down, reporter on tarmack, fire crew runs, “…will rescue the professor.”
6:25 - TC-437 SHOPPING DAY (Loose-Seely) – “And they’ve got him,” Huck carried by fire crew.
6:48 - tick tock/flute cue (Shaindlin) – General talks to Huck, iris out.
6:55 - Huckleberry Hound Sub End Title theme (Curtin)
Hanna-Barbera didn’t waste any time promoting its latest product for the Ideal Toy company in its Flintstones Sunday comics, did it? The first TV show featuring the Rubbles’ adopted Bamm-Bamm aired on October 3, 1963. And he’s in the comics on October 27th.
(As a side note, the opening scene in the Bamm-Bamm TV debut looks like Jerry Hathcock to me. The opening teaser is the work of Ken Muse. I’ll accept corrections).
Unlike the cartoon series, Bamm-Bamm here thinks to himself, and like an adult, while Pebbles acts like an infant. Well, in this comic anyway. She has adult thoughts in other comics. But who needs consistency?
Fred has rounder eyes in these comics from 50 years ago this month. And, unless I’m just noticing it now, his eyes are half-closed a lot of the time. I suspect Harvey Eisenberg, at this point, was only drawing the Yogi Sunday newspaper pages and not the Flintstones, but I’d like to hear from people who can talk with some expert ability on this sort of thing.
October 6th has a dotted line that divides a panel. I don’t know if I’ve seen that before. Notice the final panel’s at an angle.
Wait till Wilma gets those hooks in her ear. She won’t be so happy. Barney looks straight at us in the final panel of the October 13th comic. That’s an awfully large mailbox in the opening panel.
Awww. Domestic bliss. “The Flintstones” comic of October 20th sure isn’t what the TV series started out to be, is it? I like the grinning Fred, though, and the wavy boxes are a nice flashback touch.
And here’s the Bamm-Bamm comic debut on October 27th. Sorry, folks. While I’m not crazy about Pebbles, there were some decent cartoons made with her. Bamm-Bamm is just derivative and one-note. And the series got worse from there. When it comes to kids, I’d rather see Fred battle Arnold the paperboy (if they’d turned Arnold into a kind of Julius Abruzzio from the Phil Harris-Alice Faye radio show, that would have been pretty funny. They could have hired Walter Tetley to bring back his old voice. And didn’t Hanna-Barbera borrow stuff from radio and TV anyway?).
As usual, click on each shabbily-scanned comic to enlarge it. Stay tuned next month to see if the words “Gomf” and “Kwork” show up again.
Tony Benedict arrived at Hanna-Barbera during the studio’s best period. Huckleberry Hound and Quick Draw McGraw cartoons were still being made (the originals, not watered-down team-ups that were foisted on kids). The studio was taking a risk going prime-time as “The Flintstones” was about to launch. And most of the original employees of the studio who’d worked on theatrical cartoons at MGM were still there, joined by great people like Warren Foster, Mike Maltese and Art Davis from Warners. What a great atmosphere for a young guy to come into.
Tony had the great foresight to document his time at Hanna-Barbera on film. And, like many artists, he sketched little vignettes and gags about life at the studio. He saved it all, too. And now, he’s putting it together for a documentary about the studio’s Golden Era.
He’s been working on this for some time but, now, he’s going the Kickstarter route to get it made. As you probably know, Kickstarter is where fans can help get projects made. Please click on THIS ADDRESS to learn more about Tony’s project. Or you can read about it HERE on Facebook. There’s a video you can see about it, too.
I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy seeing pictures of the guys who made all those great old theatrical cartoons. Here’s a nice shot of Joe Barbera talking to Warren Foster inside the H-B studio, with Bill Hanna and his sucker behind them. This one will, I suspect, be part of the documentary.
And this is a frame grab of a home movie shot of Bick Bickenbach who was, more or less, the head layout guy when the studio started in 1957. He was a fine animator at Warners (Freleng and Tashlin units) before moving to layout at MGM in the mid-‘40s. He was a pretty good baritone, too. Bick took Ed Benedict’s character models, modified them a bit and put them on sheets for the animators. I gather Mr. Benedict (Ed, not Tony) wasn’t altogether happy with the end result. I wish I could tell you about “The Phone Story” on the wall in the background.
And this is the great Carlo Vinci.
Credits: Animation – La Verne Harding, Layout – Don Sheppard, Backgrounds – Art Lozzi, Written by Mike Maltese, Story Director – Alex Lovy, Titles – Art Goble, Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voice Cast: Snooper, Blabber, Scratchit, Mailman, Bow-tie Flea – Daws Butler; J.B. Spiffany, Toot Sweet – Don Messick.
Music: Phil Green, Jack Shaindlin.
Episode: Quick Draw McGraw Show M-038, Production J-107.
First Aired: week of February 27, 1961.
Plot: Toot Sweet the flea is brought in when J.B. Spiffany calls on Snooper to solve the case of the disappearing diamonds.
“Mesopotamia” is a funny word, at least according to Mike Maltese, so he’s tossed it in this cartoon as a silly running gag. He’s also got a couple of fun scenes and a great little ending in his story for this cartoon.
This cartoon marks the third and final appearance of Toot Suite, the little French flea. And this is the second of three Snooper and Blabbers animated by former Lantz studio stalwart La Verne Harding.
Maltese sets things up with an opening shot of a Spiffany’s Jewellers (it’s by Art Lozzi but has the same kind of fussy stylisation as some of the designs by Bob Gentle) and then a scene where diamonds bounce down the street in the street and into the large bag by the evil Scratchit, who we later discover is the owner of a flea circus.
Fade to Snooper’s door with the private eyeball on the window; layout man Don Sheppard has the drawing at an angle. This week’s motto when Snooper answers the phone: “Snooper Detective Agency. We’re laughin’ on the outside and pryin’ on the inside.” Snoop thinks it “a impractical joke” so he asks Blab to retrace the call. Blab simply zooms to Spiffany’s (with appropriate zooming sound effect), asks J.B. Spiffany if his diamonds really took off by themselves. Getting an affirmative answer, he zooms back to Snooper to tell him. The music behind this little supersonic sequence is Jack Shaindlin’s “Mad Rush No. 1.”
The next scene has Snooper working out a deal with Spiffany—no charge if he doesn’t find the diamonds, except expenses of $10,000. Spiffany has one diamond left—the Star of Saskatoon—which promptly leaps up into Snooper’s nose and then hops down the street. “Follow that rolling stone!” yells Blab (What? He doesn’t say “folley” this time?) as they chase it to Scratchit’s Flea Circus; Snooper and Blabber are rendered in silhouette, which is a nice change. They get shot at for their troubles after seeing that fleas are responsible for the thefts, and Snooper decides to “fight fleas with fleas” as they run past the same green-doored building seven times in a medium shot, five times in close-up, then eight more times before the scene fades out.
Now Blabber starts blabbering in the next scene when the mail arrives.
Blab: Then I can safely say it’s not from Mesopotamia.
Blab: Ah, but why isn’t it from Mesopotamia, you may well ask.
Snoop: All right, Blab, knock it off.
Harding has Blab gesticulating in solo animation on twos. A nice little touch.
Toot Sweet pops out of the envelope. He’s flown “all the way from France,” Snooper observes. “From Mesopotamia, I am not,” Toot Sweet replies. Fade to the next scene where Toot Sweet wins an audition for Scratchit’s flea circus by dancing and singing “Alouette”, which has more to do with Quebec than France these days. He joins other fleas in a box. “Say, uh,” says a flea, “didn’t we play on the same bill once in Cincinnati?” “Mesopotamia” would have been funnier, but we’re not through with it yet.
Snooper and Blabber are now weakly disguised as out-of-town high school teachers (Blab’s floppy hat covers his head) as the buy tickets to watch the flea circus. “Ladies and gentlemen,” cries Scratchit, “Direct from Paris, France—not Mesopotamia—Monsieur Toot Sweet, and his version of ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’.” Ah, but Scratchit has a surprise in store. Toot Sweet has convinced the crooked fleas to go straight. They charge out of their little tent with all the diamonds, hop on a getaway sheepdog and presumably head for Spiffany’s. The dog pedals its legs in mid-air before barrelling away, a cycle of six drawings on ones.
Snooper orders Scratchit to “slip on these tentacles” (handcuffs). Scratchit fires at Snooper from the stage and Snoop cries for help from Toot Sweet. What’s Blab doing? Sitting in the seats. He looks at us and does the worst Ed Sullivan impression of all time. “This is reeeally a grrreat showww,” he tells us. It comes out of nowhere and is the funniest thing in the cartoon. You’ve got to be amazed by Daws Butler as he’s able to have one of his characters badly impersonate someone else. Butler actually did a Sullivan-type in a couple of cartoons (Augie Doggie’s “Hum Sweet Hum” being one and the Flintstones’ episode “Itty Bitty Freddie” being another). Anyway, Toot Sweet gets the drop on Scratchit and the case is closed.
The final scene is really clever. We see a close-up of Toot Sweet waving goodbye at the foot of a staircase like the one you climb getting onto a plane from the tarmack. “Have a nice flight to Gay Paree, Tout Sweet,” Blab says. The camera then shows Toot Sweet isn’t boarding a plane at all. The staircase is next to an Air Mail envelope. He hops in, Snooper seals the envelope shut and drops it in the mailbox. The iris closes on a teary-eyed Blab to end the cartoon. Perhaps he knows Toot Sweet will not appear in another cartoon again.
Perhaps appropriately, the cue heard when Blab is pretending he’s Ed Sullivan is called “Asinine.” The rest of the music is typical for a Snooper and Blabber cartoon, though it doesn’t end with “Custard Pie Capers” for a change. There’s no music when Toot Sweet sings “Alouette.”
0:00 - Snooper and Blabber Main Title theme (Curtin, Hanna, Barbera).
0:23 - LFU-117-1 MAD RUSH No 1 (Shaindlin) – Diamonds hop out of store into bag, Scratchit drives away.
0:54 - no music – shot of Snooper’s office door, Snooper answers phone.
0:59 - GR-93 DRESSED TO KILL (Green) – “…an’ cryin’ on the inside,” “Right Chief!”
1:26 - LFU-117-1 MAD RUSH No 1 (Shaindlin) – Blab zooms to store and back.
1:42 - GR-453 THE ARTFUL DODGER (Green) – Snoop talks with Spiffany, diamond hops out of Spiffany’s hand.
2:25 - LFU-117-3 MAD RUSH No 3 (Shaindlin) – Diamond hops out door, Snoop and Blab run to flea circus, Scratchit laughs.
2:46 - GR-96 BY JIMINY! IT’S JUMBO (Green) – Snoop and Blab look through window, Scratchit shoots at them.
3:20 - GR-77 CUSTARD PIE CAPERS (Green) – Snooper and Blabber run down street.
3:40 - GR-74 POPCORN (Green) – Mailman arrives, Toot Sweet jumps out of envelope.
4:33 - GR-90 THE CHEEKY CHAPPIE (Green) – Toot Sweet auditions.
4:49 - No music – Toot Sweet sings “Alouette,” “Steal?”
4:57 - GR-90 THE CHEEKY CHAPPIE (Green) – “I do not understand,” Toot Sweet talks to fleas, Snoop and Blab in disguise, “Ladies and gentlemen!”
5:33 - PG-171 PERIOD FANFARE (Green) – “Presenting!...”, introduces Toot Sweet.
5:43 - no music – “Remember what I have told you…” diamonds hop down street and into sheepdog, dog runs away.
6:06 - ASININE (Shaindlin) – Scratchit cancels show, Blab as Ed Sullivan, Scratchit surrenders.
6:41 - tick tock/flute music (Shaindlin) – Toot Sweet waves goodbye, jumps into envelope, Blab blows nose.
7:10 - Snooper and Blabber End Title theme (Curtin)
No, the response to today’s topic is not “Hold a cel of Ranger Smith’s body underneath two drawings for blinking eyes,” though I admit there were some scenes where that did happen. You will find the answer below and, appropriately, it is a cartoon.
This was posted on Facebook by Scott Shaw! He started work at the studio in 1978, long after the period this blog deals with. But when he got there, some of the Hanna-Barbera old-timers were still toiling away, hamstrung by network restrictions and eyeballed by do-gooder groups that insisted cartoons can be tolerated only if they’re “educational.” Personally, I’d rather watch Chief Crazy Coyote bashing Quick Draw McGraw with a tomahawk instead of being badgered not to pollute. That’s the kind of thing parents should be teaching.
Scott says this was drawn by Pete Alvarado, whose name I recognise from Warner Bros. cartoons (C.M. Jones unit) but is known by others for his work in comic books. He landed at Hanna-Barbera in 1970 and also spent time at Filmation working on some shows that were, frankly, beneath his talents. His family has a memorial site at this link.
You can click on the photostat to make it larger. Interestingly, Lippy the Lion is here but the Jetsons aren’t. It appears the ink and paint department was just the paint department by the time Alvarado drew this; inkers were replaced with special photocopiers. Something interesting is the notation that voices, effects and music were on one track. There had to be separate tracks for each somewhere in the system. That would be able to accommodate foreign language dubbing (over the same music and effects as the English-language soundtrack) and, as we’ve pointed out on this blog, the few cartoons were a different music score is heard.
Credits: Animation – George Nicholas, Layout – Dick Bickenbach; Backgrounds – Dick Thomas; Written by Warren Foster, Story Director – Alex Lovy, Titles – Art Goble, Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voice Cast: Yogi Bear, Boo Boo, Chef, Stan, Red-Headed Woman – Daws Butler; Narrator, Ranger Smith, Wife, Tourist in White Cap – Don Messick.
Music: Hoyt Curtin.
Plot: Yogi plans a birthday party for Ranger Smith behind his back.
This cartoon may have been the first put into production to use cues written by Hoyt Curtin. When it first aired may be recorded somewhere but I haven’t been able to find it.
13 Yogi cartoons using the old Capitol Hi-Q and Langlois Filmusic libraries were produced for the 1960-61 season of The Huckleberry Hound Show starting in September. But by mid-October, Kellogg’s had dropped the idea of sponsoring a Mr. Magoo half-hour, started talking with Hanna-Barbera, and then announced it would back a 30-minute Yogi Bear show to begin airing in January 1961. That left little time to get the show together. Some of those Yogis that ran on Huck’s show were re-run, but as the Yogi show eventually featured new Snagglepuss and Yakky Doodle cartoons with Curtin scores, it’s quite possible that “Slap Happy Birthday” and its Curtin cues aired with them during the remainder of the 1960-61 season.
By the time this cartoon was written, a strict template was in place: the plot was a battle of wits between Yogi and Ranger Smith (generally involving picnic baskets), and it was up to Warren Foster to find new variations on the theme. In this one, the twist is Yogi doesn’t want food for himself. He wants it for the Ranger for a birthday party. And the Ranger, knowing Yogi, distrusts the bear’s motives.
George Nicholas animated this cartoon with some assistance from—George Nicholas. He reused his work from Yogi cartoons from the previous season. Yogi had a mechanical leap-walk in “Lullabye-Bye Bear.” Nicholas simply drew new arm and mouth movements.
Slap Happy Birthday
And how about these from “Papa Yogi”?
Slap Happy Birthday
Slap Happy Birthday
These two drawings aren’t the same but you can see Nicholas used a variation on the same effect.
Slap Happy Birthday
The cartoon opens with a pan over an autumnal painting of Jellystone Park by Dick Thomas over Curtin’s sad clarinet cue he used for running-away-from-home scenes (eg. Dino in “Dino Goes Hollyrock”).
Cut to Yogi and Boo Boo in their cave. Boo Boo proclaims him “smarter than the av-er-age bear,” to which Yogi responds: “I do have more than a smattering of ignorance,” disproving Boo Boo’s claim. Yogi further shows his ignorance by not knowing what a Scorpio is. Anyway, the dialogue involves the ranger’s birthday. Boo Boo got him a present. Yogi didn’t.
Despite being rebuffed by the “I’ll ship you to the St. Louis Zoo” Ranger after trying to shake his hand and wish him a happy birthday, Yogi decides to organise a birthday party for him. He cons the chef at the inn to make a birthday cake.
Yogi: [H]e thinks you’re the greatest chef since Escoffier.
Chef: Did he say that?
Yogi: I get tired of hearing it.
Chef: I do have a certain flare with a toasted cheeseburger.
As far as I know, this is the only reference to Auguste Scoffier in a cartoon.
Yogi tosses in his “you’re one of the good ones” line before the scene switches to Yogi mooching chicken sandwiches from a tourist family, and then briefly convincing the ranger the bag they’re in contains leaves he’s picking up to tidy the park. The ranger’s puzzled after a tourist couple tells Yogi (who was inviting them to the party) that the bear wasn’t mooching food, and even more so after Yogi ignores a picnic basket left in the open as a trap. Curtin’s cue during the latter sequence is what I’ll informally call “The March of the Ten Little Flintstones,” as it was used in that cartoon when the alien space ship hovered over the Flintstones’ place and zapped out duplicates of Fred.
Yogi grabs the cake out of the kitchen of the inn, and the ranger chases him with little steps past the same cluster of trees eight times before running into another building where the birthday party revellers are waiting. After Ranger Smith reads the ‘happy birthday’ inscription on the cake, the little group breaks into “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow.” Ranger: “Thanks, everybody. But I’m really not a jolly good fellow. I’m an old sourpuss.” Yogi: “A jolly good one, though, sir. And they’re the best kind. Nyea-hey-hey-hey-eee!” And, with that, the cartoon ends.
Here are a few more of Thomas’ backgrounds. The lighter half of the cave on the first one is on an overlay.
Regular readers are well aware that the music cues are always listed on each cartoon review. In fact, the reason the blog was created in the first place was to list the cues on each of the cartoons in the first season of The Huckleberry Hound Show because there was an interest in learning about the stock music used in the first cartoons. I can’t do that with Curtin’s cues. The late Earl Kress explained to me once—and Earl researched this in helping to select cues for a Rhino record release of Hanna-Barbera music some years ago—that Curtin simply listed his cues with alpha-numerics and none of them had real names. I don’t have a list of them—and Curtin wrote several hundred cues in the first couple of years—so they’ll have to remain unidentified.
Hanna-Barbera cartoons have fans around the world; a check of the location of the people who visit this blog can attest to that.
We’ve reprinted a number of newspaper articles about the studio from the time before it became a Saturday morning powerhouse. Just about all are from the United States. But the cartoons were popular elsewhere and written about elsewhere.
Here’s a feature story from The Australian Women’s Weekly of March 25, 1964. It’s, more or less, the “authorised” version of the studio’s history to date so most of it will probably be pretty familiar. It glosses over a few things—like the contributions of anyone not named “Bill” or “Joe.” And you have to laugh a bit at the opinion (parroted from either Bill, Joe or PR flack Arnie Carr) that the only “important consideration” about a cartoon is doing the best job. It seems to me the footage quota was deemed fairly important by at least one of the two producers.
The pictures in this post accompanied the unbylined article.
The men behind the Flintstones
You wouldn't know it to look at them, but the two men – sitting in the middle of the floor in their plush, carpeted modern office on Hollywood's Cahuenga Boulevarde - are fast becoming millionaires.
THEY wave their arms madly, grab for their pad and pencils with delighted outcries, and do everything but stand on their heads when they come up with a new idea. That's right! in the middle of the floor. And they couldn't care less if it is four o'clock in the morning.
The two men are William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, creators and producers of the popular cartoon series "The Flintstones," now in its third year on the Nine Network.
And they are busy creating new situations and dialogue for a bunch of "wacky" but lovable characters who are providing them with all of their riches.
The hours kept by Hanna and Barbera and staff, and their methods for getting the job done, are considered unorthodox, to say the least, by Hollywood standards.
There are no time clocks or memos. If an animator or an artist feels he does his best work by coming in at night and working till dawn, that's fine with Hanna and Barbera. The only important consideration is that the "best" job is done.
While Disney has concentrated on feature-length motion pictures and diversification in various off-shoot enterprises, "H-B" has now stepped in to capture the cartoon film field.
Their particular accent and the door that opened their way to riches was television. Today the modern studio of Hanna-Barbera, world leader in the field of animated cartooning, occupies a two-acre site in the entertainment capital, housing the ultimate in animation and production facilities. It is now staffed by more than 250 artists, animators, writers, and directors. In short, it is big business, without a doubt.
In addition to turning out “The Flintstones” and such television shows as the Emmy Award winning "Huckleberry Hound,""Yogi Bear, “Quick Draw McGraw,” and “Touche Turtle” as well “The Jetsons” and “Top Cat”—the studio produces industrial films and commercials combining animated and live action.
Their popular black-and-white and color cartoon favorites are now syndicated and shown in more than 42 foreign countries, in addition to the prestige position they have attained in the United States.
"H-B" is at present working on its first full-length feature starring Yogi Bear.
Although neither Hanna nor Barbera originally planned such a career, the partners have worked together harmoniously for 26 years. They now participate in every phase of their creative enterprises, from drawing and scripting to musical scoring.
Joe Barbera, an inveterate doodler and dreamer, gave up a career as an accountant in a New York bank when his first cartoon was sold to "Collier's" magazine.
Hanna was hired by M.G.M. as a director and story man in 1937, after he had earlier been schooled in engineering and journalism. Here he met Barbera, then an animator and writer at the same studio. Creative sparks flew from their very first meeting.
In the spring of 1957 Hanna and Barbera had just racked up their 20th year making "Tom and Jerry" cartoons for M.G.M. It was their first original creation. Their animated efforts had earned millions of dollars for the company, in addition to seven Academy Awards.
Then the phone rang.
"We were told to discontinue production and lay off the entire staff," recalls Hanna. "Twenty years of work suddenly ended with a single phone call.
"But it was the greatest break of our lives."
Out of necessity, the enterprising artists began thinking in terms of cartoon shows for television. The greatest part of animated entertainment then on TV consisted of old theatrical cartoons.
About 2000 of them were currently being distributed, almost half produced in the silent film era.
From their experience, Hanna and Barbera worked out some amazing new techniques called "planned animation," which forgoes some of the steps used in conventional cartooning without sacrificing quality. It cut down the usual preparation time almost by half.
"Then," says Hanna, "we were really in business."
The result? In July, 1957, "H-B" Productions was born, with the first venture "Ruff and Reddy," a show featuring the antics of a quick-thinking cat and his pal, a dim-witted, lovable dog.
It proved a three-year success. Then followed the now famous "Huckleberry Hound" and "Quick Draw McGraw," the slowest horse in the West.
In 1960, after one year of "casting" voices and drawings, "H-B" unveiled its greatest money-maker, "The Flintstones," which after its debut became one of their hottest "properties" or rated shows of the season.
"Yogi Bear" a character of the "Hound" series came into the picture early in 1961 as an independent film personality.
Above the desks of Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera there hangs a picture of "Huckleberry Hound" shaking hands with his two creators. The inscription of the picture reads, "Thank you, Huck," and it is signed by the two successful producers.
"It may sound nuts to be grateful to a mythical blue dog," smiled one of the rich executives sitting on the carpet, "but, believe me, we are."
The newspaper had a few Hanna-Barbera articles scattered over the years. One that’s amusingly inaccurate is this part of a column in the issue of March 4, 1959. Still, it’s nice to know the writer (Nan Musgrove) was a fan of the Huck show and liked ‘Tom Terrific,’ which was one of the best things to come out of Terrytoons, certainly when it comes to kids.
THE early days of TV, when many cartoons dating back to the bad old jerky days of animation were shown, cured me of an addiction to cartoons, but Channel 9 has reintroduced me to their joys with two new ones, "Tom Terrific" and "Huckleberry Hound."
They are both specially made for TV and, although they come on the end of the Mickey Mouse Club, they're not kid stuff.
"Tom Terrific" (every night Monday to Friday at 6.25) is made by the Terry Toon Company and "Huckleberry Hound" by M.G.M., the originators of the Tom and Jerry cartoons.
You'll recognise some old friends in "Huckleberry Hound" (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 6.30).
Most fascinating is Yogi Bear, whose voice is actually that of Art Carney, of The Honeymooners" (Channel 9, Thursdays, 7.30 p.m.) I don't know who is the voice of the cat Mr. Jenks, but it's a splendid imitation of that great lover Marlon Brando.
Credits: Animation – Ed Love, Layout – Walt Clinton, Backgrounds – Bob Gentle, Story – Mike Maltese, Story Director – Alex Lovy, Titles – Art Goble, Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voice Cast: Augie Doggie, Sgt. O’Toole – Daws Butler; Doggie Daddy – Doug Young, Irving, Miss Bookend, Mr. Rowser – Don Messick.
Music: Phil Green, Jack Shaindlin.
First Aired: week of December 12, 1960.
Episode: Quick Draw McGraw Show M-031, Production J-93.
Plot: Doggie Daddy tries to convince Augie he’s more intelligent than a book worm.
Can it be true? Calm, lovable Dear Old Dad so overcome with jealous rage that he tries to kill Augie’s friend? Yeah, that’s the comic situation Mike Maltese has come up with for this cartoon.
Maltese also borrowed a routine that Tex Avery perfected in “Rock-a-bye Bear” and “Deputy Droopy” at MGM—someone running away in a panic to let out a yell in extreme pain where no one can hear it. In fact, Maltese used the same device in a cartoon he wrote for Avery at Lantz, “The Legend of Rockabye Point.” So it’s perhaps appropriate that this cartoon was animated by Ed Love, who spent five years in the Avery unit at MGM (though he didn’t work on the cartoons mentioned above).
This was Love’s only Augie Doggie cartoon. His poses aren’t terribly extreme but they work well enough to let you know what’s going on in Daddie’s head.
The cartoon starts with Augie telling “brainy” dad (who is, as usual, in an armchair reading the paper) he’s going to use his friend Irving to help him with his homework.
Daddy: Wait, Augie. I’m as smart as your friend Irving. Ask me something.
Augie: Okay, dad. Um, what is grass made of?
Daddy: Grass? Uh, grass, uh, grass is, uh, made of green stuff. Yeah, yeah, green stuff.
Augie: Irving is waiting.
Head down, Daddy follows Augie into the “republic” library to “put this Irving in his place.” We now learn Irving is a book worm who lives in the library. Daddy is remonstrated by the librarian for loudly calling for Augie. She points to a sign and asks “Can’t you read?” Yes, it’s the old “smoking” gag.
Daddy: Uhn? (looks at sign). Q-U-I-E-T. So, who’s smokin’?
Daddy tip-toes away but his feet made a scrunching sound. “I forgot to oil my feet this morning,” he tells us.
The librarian calls up to head librarian Rowser, who has Don Messick’s Frank Nelson voice. Doggie Daddy’s attempts to squish Irving get waylaid during much of the rest of the cartoon by the worm dropping books on him, and Daddy rushing somewhere to scream so it doesn’t disturb the library, with the head librarian getting in the middle of it. One of the books, Daddy tells us, is a “bicyclopedia.” First, Rowser is clobbered and runs outside. Daddy is clobbered and runs to a window. Finally, the best gag as Daddy blows his “Yeowwww!” into a paper bag, Rowser demands he hand over the bag, then he opens it with the shout blowing back his head.
Finally, climbs on the mobile ladder that runs along the bookshelves to catch the “squirmy squirt.” He rolls out the door (Augie: “Wait, dad! That’s public property) and past the usual Irish cop.
The cartoon ends with “dear old incarcerated dad” in jail. Augie tells him police wouldn’t believe his explanation of what happened, so he brought a lawyer. Yes, it’s Irving. Who is Doggie Daddy to argue “wit’ a woim?”
There’s a little piece of music when Irving appears for the first time from the books that I can’t identify. We get full versions of Phil Green’s “Light Movement” and the cue that sounds like a circus introduction with music ascending up the scale twice. The sound cutter liked the latter so much, he started it over again after its 61 seconds were finished. Unfortunately, I don’t have its name.
0:00 - Augie Doggie Main Title theme (Hanna-Barbera-Curtin).
0:25 - GR-248 STREETS OF THE CITY (Green) – Augie and Daddy talk about Irving, Augie removes book from library shelf.
2:06 - doodle music effect (?) – Irving walks out, “Good morning, Augie.”
2:10 - EM-107D LIGHT MOVEMENT (Green) – “It is indeed a pleasure,” Daddy shushed by Miss Bookend, noisy feet, Miss Bookend on phone to Rowser, “Irving is my friend.”
4:04 - rising scale music (Shaindlin) – Daddy runs with book, no squished Irving, book lands on Daddy, book lands on Rowser, yells outside, Daddy yells out window, yells come out of paper bag, Daddy climbs ladder.
6:04 - GR-334 LIGHT AGITATED BRIDGE (Green) – “So, dere you are,” Irving runs away.
6:08 - fast circus chase music (Shaindlin) – Irving runs on top of shelf, Daddy rolls down street on ladder, officer on phone and runs out of scene.
6:42 - ‘FIREMAN’ (Shaindlin) – Daddy in jail scene.
7:09 - Augie Doggie End Title theme (Curtin).
It’s a little hard to believe at one time NASA didn’t want news people anywhere near its space launches. Maybe it was paranoia over the Russians or concern reporters might actually report something NASA didn’t want them to report. Anyway, newsmen who covered the space beat in the early ‘60s have remarked that they never really got notice about spacecraft launches and had to camp out in Florida in anticipation something would happen.
So it was that Yogi Bear couldn’t get a look at a space launch 50 years ago this month in the Sunday comic pages (Saturday in Canada).
Cynics might ask how Yogi got to Cape Canaveral from Jellystone. Oh, you cynics. It’s because he’s Yogi Bear. He travels anywhere. Even with a huge ball of string. How did he get it? You’re being cynical again.
So here’s the comic from November 3rd. You’ve got to admire the artist. It’s one thing to draw a cartoon bear. It’s another to draw a solid, realistic spacecraft and its apparatus. I like the chain-link fence in the opening panel. Was the guard drawn first then the fence over top of him?
Back we are at Jellystone in the November 10th comic, with Boo Boo and Ranger Smith returning. I’m too lazy to check, but it seems to me a weekend Flintstones comic used the same kind of gag. Oh, and those rhymes. “Boo” and “through”?! Yikes.
A nice rounded little gag highlights the November 17th comic. The final panel has a lovely layout and perspective. I’d sure like to know if the names used in the story are names of people at Hanna-Barbera or someone known by whoever did the story (Gene Hazelton?). “Peterzell” is too real a name to be used just for a gag.
Boo Boo and the ranger return on November 24th. Clever gag again. The mountain lion looks like a distant relative of the Flintstones’ Baby Puss. Do people really run with their arms out? (See middle panel, bottom row). Regardless, look at the angles of the various running characters. They vary from panel to panel. And you can sense the balance of the woman on the horse.
You can click on any of the cartoons to enlarge them. And Mark Kausler has again taken the time to go into his collection and dig up the colour versions of these. You can find them HERE. Mark also features reprints of the newspaper adventures of the greatest silent film cartoon character, Felix the Cat, which I hope you enjoy.
Storyboards, model sheets and other things involved in the production of cartoons weren’t designed for fans to see, but they’re always fun to look at. And it’s fortunate these kinds of things were saved and make it into the public view.
If you’ve been on Jerry Beck’s Cartoon Research site (see the blog-roll to the right), you’ll know an auction site in Beverly Hills will be dispensing art from a number of cartoon studios toward the end of the month. Yes, there’s a representation of Hanna-Barbera material that collectors can snap up.
Flintstones fans will recognise these drawings. “The Swimming Pool” was the third episode aired, but part of it was based on an earlier animated demo reel that Joe Barbera shopped around to prospective advertisers. Barbera signed some of these panels—evidently long after they were made, much like he and Bill Hanna did with a pile of studio art—but I’ve always been under the impression Dan Gordon did the original storyboard. I don’t have a copy of Barbera’s book handy to see if he mentions it. Mark Kausler has helpfully pointed out a Barbera story sketch before and the letter “A” is written differently than it is here.
Here’s Salt Water Daffy with the aquarium seal from “Ruff and Reddy.” The storyline on this adventure features Charlie Shows going whacko with rhyming titles like “No Hope For a Dope on a Periscope” (which is where these drawings were used). What’s more interesting than the drawings is the note accompanying the notation accompanying them on the auction house’s website.
Fifteen pages of original storyboards ( four panels per page) by John Freeman for the "Rescue in the Deep Blue" Episode which ran on April 5, 1958. Also included in the lot, on HB Enterprises paper, are 19 pages of hand written dialogue for the same episode.
The reference to John Freeman is a real surprise to me. Freeman was a story director on some Hanna-Barbera cartoons in the early ‘60s but I had no idea he was at the studio this early. Freeman had been at Disney for many years and left Walt in the mid-‘50s to work at TV Spots’ commercial operation in San Francisco (according to his obit in a union newsletter). I always thought Dan Gordon was the studio’s storyboard man from the start but, unfortunately, there are no credits on any of the “Ruff and Reddy” episodes.
This item may be the most interesting of the lot, and comes from the collection of animator and teacher David Pruiksma who, incidentally, owns cats named ‘Ruff’ and ‘Reddy.’ I’ll let the auction web site describe this great item which someone had the foresight to save.
"Flintstone Baby Contest" Marketing Kits Lot of 2 (Hanna-Barbera, 1962-63). When Wilma gave birth to Pebbles, it was a television historic moment. Prior to the day, Hanna-Barbera conducted a massive countrywide blitz to hype the sacred day. They sent out to all major television affiliates two comprehensive marketing campaign packages. One was to be used prior to January 25th and was labeled in red, the second box was labeled in blue, and read "To be used after January 25th network episode "The Surprise.""Guess the weight,""guess the sex," and "guess the name" all played into the marketing efforts. These two complete marketing kits contain scripts, film, ad slicks, glass slides, and marketing notes.
You can click on the pictures to enlarge them. And click HERE for Jerry’s link to the auction.
Credits: none. Animation – Ken Muse, Layout – Walt Clinton, Story – Mike Maltese, Story Director – Alex Lovy, Titles – Art Goble, Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voice Cast: Narrator, Good N. Meany, Mr. Briefcase, Judge – Doug Young; Quick Draw, Baba Looey, Durn Meany, Bailiff – Daws Butler. Music: Phil Green, Jack Shaindlin, Emil Cadkin-Harry Bluestone, unknown.
First Aired: week of November 21, 1960 (rerun, week of August 28, 1961).
Episode: Quick Draw McGraw Show M-030, Production J-91.
Plot: Baba Looey has to testify in a bank robbery case against Durn Meany.
Timing is everything in comedy, and “Twin Troubles” features a little gag that couldn’t be timed better.
Sure, it’s a corny old bit of business. But the timing is perfect. Exactly two frames elapse from the time Quick Draw finishes ordering to when he’s bashed. Add catchphrase. Scene done. It all takes less than nine seconds. You’re not left time to analyse it. The ridiculousness sets in and then it’s back to the chase. “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In” used to do the same kind of thing with quick, unrelated, blackout gags inserted between routines. And it was always funny if the gag wasn’t allowed to linger.
This cartoon uses the basic idea of a western courtroom drama without really parodying it. Instead, it’s a hook to hang the usual things you find in a Quick Draw cartoon. In fact, the courtroom aspect turns out to be completely irrelevant; Baba Looey quells the bad guys at the end of the cartoon by improbably launching a cast-iron stove at them.
The original premise of the cartoon is Quick Draw has ten minutes to produce his star witness (Baba) in court, or Good N. Meany gets off on a bank robbery charge. Meany’s brother Durn is holding off Quick Draw in a gun battle. But the promise of a cartoon with “High Noon”-style deadline suspense is cut off pretty quickly. Quick Draw uses a rubber tire tube attached to the window to shoot him and Baba over the bad guy and through the wall of the courthouse “in the St. Nicholas of time.” So now there’s four more minutes of cartoon to fill. All the catchphrases get a workout during the first part of the cartoon—“Hold on, thar!” “I’ll do the thinnin’ around here, Baba-boy. And dooon’t you forget it.” And the Baba dialogue switch routine: “You’re a bully, Quickstraw.” “What’s that?” “I said ‘Bully for you, Quickstraw’.”
There’s a camera error, too. Durn Meany’s mouth animation is, as normal in an H-B cartoon, on separate cels than the rest of the drawing. Durn’s mouth slides off part of his face for a couple of seconds.
Now that the cartoon’s in the courthouse, Maltese tosses in some puns. “Good N. Meany, take the stand, please,” says the bailiff. So he walks away with the stand. The best one is helped by Daws Butler’s goofy voice he gives Quick Draw. “I object!” shouts the oily defence lawyer. “The question is entirely irrelevant, immaterial and, furthermore, calls for a conclusion on the part of this witness.” But when the Meanys pull guns on star witness Baba, prosecutor Quick Draw shouts: “I object! The question is an elephant, a cereal and calls for a concussion on the part of the witness.” And then Quick Draw’s completely taken in by Durn Meany in disguise as the old Meany mother, who socks, kicks and jumps on Quick Draw as she outlines what the sheriff did to her “golden-haired boy” (who is bald). Judge: “Any more questions, Quick Draw?” Quick Draw (looking woozy): “No, your highness. She’s suffered enough.”
No surprises in the music department. I don’t know the source of the version of “Red River Valley” used in the Quick Draw cartoons.
0:00 - Quick Draw McGraw Sub Main Title theme (Curtin).
0:15 - Red River Valley (?) – Pan of street over opening narration.
0:32 - GR-96 BY JIMINY! IT’S JUMBO (Green) – Shot of judge, courtroom scene.
1:07 - related to Excitement Under Dialogue (Shaindlin) – shooting, “Oh, Quick Draw.”
1:18 - GR-472 HICKSVILLE (Green) – Quick Draw/Durn dialogue, Quick Draw/Baba dialogue.
1:57 - GR-87 SKELETON IN THE CUPBOARD (Green) – “You only got a minute,” Quick Draw launches.
2:22 - ‘FIREMAN’ (Shaindlin) – Quick Draw flies through air.
2:31 - GR-98 BY JIMINY! IT’S JUMBO BRIDGE No. 2 (Green) – “Time’s up,” Quick Draw and Baba crash through wall.
2:39 - GR-99 THE DIDDLECOMB HUNT (Green) – “The star witness,” take the stand, Good N. Meany on stand, “That’s my cue.”
3:25 - sad trombone music (?) – “Mom” shouts, judge tells “her” to proceed.
3:43 - PG-160G LIGHT MOVEMENT (Green) – “Mom” on stand, socks Quick Draw.
4:00 - fast circus chase music (?) – “And then with two lefts,” Quick Draw beaten up, “Any more questions?”
4:23 - GR-454 THE ARTFUL DODGER BRIDGE No. 1 (Green) – Quick Draw wearing chair.
4:28 - CRAZY GOOF (Shaindlin) – Baba on stand.
5:09 - CB-86A HIDE AND SEEK (Bluestone-Cadkin) – Meanys with guns, Baba runs out.
5:24 - GR-437 GATHERING THE PRODUCE (Green) – Meanys run.
5:30 - GR-455 THE ARTFUL DODGER BRIDGE No. 1 (Green) – Order in the court scene.
5:39 - rising scale music (Shaindlin) – Meanys run, flying stove, crash.
6:16 - CRAZY GOOF (Shaindlin) – Courtroom wrap-up scene.
6:43 - Quick Draw McGraw Sub End Title theme (Curtin).
The Huckleberry Hound Show was a huge hit when it debuted in 1958, not only with kids but with college students and even adults. Reviews expressed surprise at the age of the audience, as if columnists bought into the idea that cartoons were only for kids (certainly the early evening time slot that Huck got had been aimed at adolescents in the network radio days not long before).
Here are some interesting numbers about the show’s viewers in Indianapolis during the Huck show’s second season. This is from Gene Swindell’s column in the Anderson Daily Bulletin, March 12, 1960.
ADULT CARTOONS?— The Monday night television viewing begins a bit early at our house when “Huckleberry Hound” bows in on Ch. 13. Although the cartoon show is primarily tuned in for my son’s enjoyment, I have become attracted to it myself. And judging from some statistics received this week, I’m not the only adult sneaking a peek at these cartoon characters.
WLW-I’s recent rating survey indicates that out of every 100 people watching “Huck,” 40 are children, 12 are teenagers, 24 are women and 24 are men. The show holds 42 per cent of all the TV sets tuned in from 6:30 to 7, a good record for even the best network programs.
The voices behind most of the cartoon characters belong to Daws Butler, a native of Chicago. Butler has spent the past two years being the voice of “Huck,” “Yogi Bear,” “Mr. Jinks” and the little mouse, “Dixie.” You may remember Butler’s work on Stan Freberg’s million-dollar record, “St. George and the Dragonet,” in 1948. [sic]
“Huckleberry Hound” has avoided the occupational peril of being typed. He may turn up one week as a cop, looking like nothing else on earth and sounding like Jack Webb; then the next week he may appear as Sir Huck, taking like a British Andy Griffith.
Ch. 13 considers “Huck” and “Quick Draw” its favorite television personalities. They are even watched by personnel of the station—a critical group of viewers hardened by constant exposure to westerns, musicals, variety and detective shows.
How popular was Huck? Newspapers mentioned that an island had been named after him. Newsweek magazine reported in 1960:
Tucked away in the Antarctic’s Bellingshausen Sea sits a fleabite-size island that bears the euphonious, if somewhat curious, appellation, “Huckleberry Hound.” It was so named by the crew of the Coast Guard icebreaker U.S. Glacier, in a gesture of fealty that may mystify future naval historians, but will puzzle not at all the salaaming devotees of one of TV’s most popular characters— a cartoon dog.
Someone has asked whether the island was officially named for Huck and whether it’s still named for him. A search all over the internet has come up with nothing. The Bellingshausen Sea covers about 500 miles between Alexander and Thurston Islands. There some teeny islands in the area (where it’s supposed to be (70° 40' West latitude) but I’ve been unable to find a truly detailed map. If someone has a definitive answer, please pass on a note.
Produced and Directed by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.
Credits: Animation – Brad Case; Layout – Paul Sommer; Backgrounds – Dick Thomas; Written by Warren Foster; Story Direction – Alex Lovy; Titles – Lawrence Goble; Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voice Cast: Pixie, Poop Deck Paddy, Captain – Don Messick; Dixie, Mr. Jinks – Daws Butler.
Music: Jack Shaindlin, Bill Loose-John Seely, Spencer Moore, unknown.
First aired: week of February 6, 1961.
Episode: Huckleberry Hound Show K-049.
Plot: Jinks tricks Pixie and Dixie to board a ship so he can get a free trip as the ship’s cat.
If you were watching this cartoon and concerned you wouldn’t get a chance to see Pixie and Dixie running along a wall with Jack Shaindlin’s “Toboggan Run” playing in the background, don’t be. It just takes a while to get there.
The first half of the cartoon is nothing but yack-yack-yack, and the first half of that isn’t even funny; it just sets up the situation. And, realistically, not a lot happens in the second half, either.
The most interesting thing in the cartoon may be a few drawings by Brad Case. Instead of swirls of lines when characters rush off-camera (like Ken Muse would do), Brad leaves behind an outline and some coloured brushwork. Here’s Mr. Jinks running up the gangway.
Here are the seasick meeces being pulled away from the side of the ship by Jinksie.
And Pixie and Dixie running away from Jinks and his trusty mop (no broom in this cartoon).
Warren Foster’s story-line’s pretty basic. Jinks’ cat buddy Poopdeck Paddy quits his job as a cruise ship’s cat because he caught all the mice. Jinks thinks he can get the job—and take advantage of the relaxed cruise-ship lifestyle—by conning the meeces into coming along with him. After two weeks on board, Pixie and Dixie realise they’ve been taken, and get Jinks (and themselves) tossed off the ship by making the Captain think Jinks swacked him in the face with a mop. A convenient pin punctures their life raft and the gang fly into the background, and presumably on their way home, to end the cartoon.
Jinks then tricks the “miserable meeces” into wanting to go with him by outlining his itinerary: “I shall like, uh, visit Parree, and see Awful Tower. Roam around Rome. Lean on the leaning Tower of Pizza. Stop off at Monte Carload.” Pixie and Dixie have a wooden awning over the entrance to their mouse hole. I didn’t realise they had to worry about the weather inside. Jinks ends the scene with a wide, evil grin.
The Pixie and Dixie series seems to have inspired Foster the least. His Yogi Bear cartoons are helped by a solid, though confining, template, and he always found enough different spoof-worthy situations that fit the laid-back attitude of Huckleberry Hound. But the meeces really don’t have defining character traits (Pixie, especially), leaving it to Jinks to carry the load, and generally only with quasi-hipster dialogue and mangled words. Still, you can’t dislike a cartoon with the line “Oh, hi, Cap. Uh, I’m pretty handy with the ol’ mop-eroo, huh?” with Daws Butler adding an appropriately over-confident delivery.
The sound cutter confines the different music cues to a particular scene. A version of “Sailor’s Hornpipe” heard in a sea medley used in several cartoons is heard here as is Spencer Moore’s “Animation Nautical.” There’s also that flute and muted trumpet stab cue by Jack Shaindlin that I haven’t been able to find anywhere.
0:00 - Pixie and Dixie Main Title theme (Curtin, Hanna, Barbera, Shows).
0:14 - L-1121 ANIMATION NAUTICAL (Moore) – Paddy walks to Jinks’ door.
0:22 - LAF-7-12 FUN ON ICE (Shaindlin) – Paddy and Jinks talk, Paddy leaves.
1:09 - TC-202 ECCENTRIC COMEDY (Loose-Seely) – Jinks solo scene, decides to become ship’s cat.
1:36 - L-1154 ANIMATION COMEDY (Moore) – Jinks walks in house.
1:48 - TC-201 PIXIE COMEDY (Loose-Seely) – Jinks cons meeces.
3:23 - L-1158 ANIMATION COMEDY (Moore) – Jinks chuckles.
3:25 - comic flute and quack cue (Shaindlin) – Shot of ship.
3:29 - TC-437 SHOPPING DAY (Loose-Seely) – Jinks and meece outside ship, meece board ship.
3:55 - LAF-25-3 bassoon and zig-zag strings (Shaindlin) – shot of captain’s door, captain and meeces, captain and Jinks.
4:44 - seagoing medley (?) – Pixie and Dixie seasick.
5:00 - L-78 COMEDY UNDERSCORE (Moore) – Jinks grabs Pixie and Dixie, meeces run in mid-air.
5:14 - LFU-117-5 TOBOGGAN RUN (Shaindlin) – Broom comes down, Jinks chases meece, Captain pleased.
5:28 - LAF-10-7 GROTESQUE No 2 (Shaindlin) – Pixie and Dixie in lifeboat, captain hit with mop.
6:06 - rising scale chase music (Shaindlin) – Meeces run out, give Jinks mop, mutiny.
6:32 - L-78 COMEDY UNDERSCORE (Moore) – Life-raft, Pixie shoves in pin.
6:46 - LAF-72-2 RODEO DAY (Shaindlin) – Air comes out of life-raft, cartoon ends.
6:57 - Pixie and Dixie End Title theme (Curtin).
It wasn’t unusual for Hanna-Barbera cartoons to open with an establishing shot of a background drawing before getting to the first bit of action. There are some nice pan shots of Jellystone Park that start off a number of Yogi Bear episodes. And “The Jetsons” was no exception. Let’s give you a few examples. Captions are below the screen grabs.
A shot of the camera moving in on Skypad Apartments greets viewers at the outset of “Rosie the Robot.”
The second scene of “The Coming of Astro” features a shot of the apartments again. I can only presume that in the Jetsons’ era, construction crews ripped down and put up apartments almost instantly. The other apartments around the Skypad always change. Or maybe it’s just a different camera angle on the building.
“A Date With Jet Screamer” starts off with a slow pan over two paintings of some buildings, with space cars animated over top.
Here’s the opening of “The Space Car.”
Rain is animated over the darkened colours of the Skypad in “Jetson’s Night Out.”
You must remember the scene where Henry throws a switch and the apartment building rises above the rain clouds into the blue sky. This bothered me as a kid. What if someone else wanted the building lowered because they liked the rain? Wouldn’t the building be constantly going up and down at the whim of people living in it? Yes, I asked myself this kind of stuff 50 years ago.
And here’s the familiar sight of the Spacely Sprockets building. I’m not geeky enough to count how many times this drawing was used, but it opens “The Flying Suit.”
You’ve probably noticed stylised clouds in several of the drawings. Similar ones can be found (albeit not in various pastel shades) in Quick Draw McGraw and other cartoons. Here’s a good look at them from “A Date With Jet Screamer.”
Unfortunately, the people who put together the Jetsons DVD thought it’d be a great idea to take credits from one show and paste them on all the others, so I have no idea exactly who was responsible for each background drawing you see here. Art Lozzi worked on the show. So did Fernando Montealegre and Bob Gentle. There were others, like Fernando Arce, Rene Garcia, Lee Branscombe and Bob Abrams. The Space Needle-y homes and other “futuristic” backgrounds are one of the reasons this is such a fun series to watch.
“Yabba Dabba Doo!” is the exclamation of you-know-who. But in the weekend comics for quite some time, Fred Flintstones uttered the phrase “Abba Dabba Doo!” Why there was a difference, I don’t know, but from what I can tell, he finally got it right in the Sunday comics 50 years ago this month.
The November 3rd comic features two gags. One is in the upper row that some newspapers didn’t print, the other in the lower. I like how, in the opening panel, Pebbles is sniffing Dino’s bone. The turtle-scale in the middle row is a unique concept.
“Berry’s Lumber Company”?! Couldn’t anyone come up with “stone” or “rock” pun, like the ones that became increasingly contrived as the TV series wore on? For a minute, I thought the company was employing Dino in the November 10th comic. The bee with the triangular nose reminds me of a Dick Bickenbach character from an old Huckleberry Hound cartoon.
Hanna-Barbera cartoons rarely had the luxury of angular perspective animation like in the old theatricals. But in the comics, all you need to do is make one drawing. So the November 17th comic opens with an attractive angle of Fred bowling. The end gag’s a variation of the old “noise-while-the-other-guy’s-golfing” routine in old cartoons. I like the dullard guy with the cigar in the second row. Note how the bowlers in that panel are all leaning a little differently. I suppose I shouldn’t ask where Fred got all the instruments.
So if Uncle Buster and Aunt Marion can get their car out of a hilly driveway, why can’t Fred? Well, let’s set that question aside. The mangy cat in the November 24th comic is no Baby Puss, who seems to have completely vanished from the weekend comics. Even Dino doesn’t make an appearance in this one, though the gag set-up doesn’t need him. Dino only makes a brief appearance once this month. The opening panel is, again, nicely laid out, with some depth in the background to the right.
Click on any comic to enlarge it.
Credits: Animation – Bob Carr; Layout – Tony Rivera; Backgrounds – Bob Gentle; Written By – Warren Foster; Story Director – Alex Lovy; Titles – Art Goble; Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voice Cast: Huckleberry Hound, Dinky Dalton - Daws Butler; Narrator, Sheriff – Don Messick.
Music: Bill Loose-John Seely, Spencer Moore, Geordie Hormel, Phil Green.
Production: Huckleberry Hound Show No. K-049.
Fired Aired: week of January 30, 1961.
Plot: Huck must guard Dinky Dalton as he’s being transported to Kansas City.
Huck was placed in the Old West in three cartoons in his third season (the other two were “Huck Hound’s Tale” and “Fast Gun Huck”). This one brings back Dinky Dalton, who had appeared in “Sheriff Huckleberry” in the show’s first season. Dinky had the honour of being part of several Hanna-Barbera efforts a couple of decades later when the studio was past its best-before date. But let’s not get into that.
As usual, Huck’s observations to the audience and his dialogue are the best part of the cartoon. Warren Foster plants something at the outset that he brings back at the end. And Huck comes out a winner, despite being a little dense.
It seems the studio worked background artist Dick Thomas like the proverbial rented pony, as he painted the backgrounds in an awful lot of the 1960-61 cartoons. He wasn’t responsible for this one, though. Long-time MGM veteran Bob Gentle got the assignment and here’s a reconstruction of his western village that is panned at the start of the cartoon.
In this cartoon, Huck’s a “devoted deputy” who does whatever the sheriff tells him to do. “I make his coffee for him. Sheriffs drink lots of coffee, you know.” As he enumerates his responsibilities he suddenly realises the sheriff does nothing and he does everything.
One of the duties is feeding the prisoner, who happens to be Dinky Dalton. Dinky’s using a file on the bars of his cell. “Stay away from me, ya lily-livered varmint. Can’t you see I’m busy?” Huck writes off the comment (and subsequent punch in the snout) as moodiness. “They sometimes say things they don’t mean after being cooped up for a long time. And Dinky’s been with us for nigh on six, no, it’s closer to seven minutes.” But the Dalton Brothers are on their way to spring their kin. Neither Dinky or Huck can remember all their names. “The Daltons are sure a close-knit family,” observes Huck. “Yeah, they close-knitted ten banks last year,” adds the sheriff. They’re so close-knit, they’re bunched together as one character, with only their legs and an arm or two moving. The sheriff reacts by grabbing his bags and running away, telling Huck to take Dinky to Kansas City for trial.
The scene switches to the back of a train. The Dalton gang is following behind on the tracks. Both Huck and Dinky wave goodbye to them, with Huck being held over the back of the train by Dinky’s handcuff. And the Dalton Brothers leave the cartoon for good.
Inside the rail car, as Huck guards Dinky, the best routine is Huck’s fake death scene. Dinky’s bullet punctures a canister of water, which sprays all over Huck. He lays down on the floor.
Dinky: Garsh. I’m sorry deputy.
Huck: Don’t be. I couldn’t have lasted long anyways. See? My veins is full of water.
(The scene turn black)
Huck: It’s gettin’ dark in here, Dinky. Does that mean …. I’m a goin’?
Dinky: It means the train is goin’ through a tunnel.
Dinky escapes to the roof of the rail car, but won’t fall for Huck’s suggestion to duck so he won’t get clobbered by the tunnel ahead. Too bad, because there was a tunnel. Dinky bashes against it and falls to the tracks as the train carries on. Huck: “Our tickets didn’t allow for any stop overs.” So the cartoon winds up with Huck and Dinky on a hand-cart. Huck has appointed Dinky his deputy “so he’s got to do everything I tell him to do.” Huck enjoys a cup of coffee and sings “Clementine” as the cartoon fades out.
Daws gives Dinky his Jackie Gleason voice, though the inflections aren’t quite the same.
The sound cutter puts the clatter of a train on the tracks behind much of the cartoon, even the final scene when Huck and Dinky are on the handcar. The sound effects would drown out any music so there are parts of the cartoon where there’s no music in the background.
0:00 - Huckleberry Hound Sub Main Title Theme (Curtin).
0:12 - ZR-39A WESTERN SONG (Hormel) – Opening narration, Huck talks to audience.
0:35 - no music – sheriff sleeps, “He saves himself….”
0:56 - C-19 LIGHT ACTIVITY (Loose) – “Um, hmmm.” Huck takes lunch to Dinky, Huck punched, Dalton in cell, gunshots, Sheriff runs off camera.
2:43 - L-80 COMEDY UNDERSCORE (Moore) – Sheriff with bags, “Don’t worry none.”
3:12 - no music – Huck and Dalton on back step of caboose.
3:37 - TC-437 SHOPPING DAY (Loose-Seely) – Chained to seat, Huck with glass of water.
4:00 - no music – seat gone, Huck has one gun.
4:17 - no music – Huck and Dinky fire guns at each other.
4:48 - L-75 COMEDY UNDERSCORE (Moore) – Water pours, Huck death scene.
5:50 - no music – top of rail car scene, Dinky crashes to ground.
6:14 - TC-303 ZANY COMEDY (Loose-Seely) – Huck and Dinky on tracks, handcar.
6:39 - no music – “Faster, Deputy Dink…”
6:45 - Clementine (Trad.) – Huck sings “Clementine.”
6:55 - GR-79 CUSTARD PIE CAPERS BRIDGE No 2 (Green) - cartoon fades out.
6:57 - Huckleberry Hound Sub End Title theme (Curtin)
Hanna-Barbara cartoons have been enjoyed the world over. I wouldn’t want to estimate the languages they’ve been translated into, but Japanese was one of them.
Charles Brubaker sent along these pictures of Huck picture books and a postcard.
Here’s the note he sent in explanation:
Until TV anime became the norm, Japanese TV stations had to rely on American cartoons to fulfill their animation fix, so shows like Huck, "Quick Draw McGraw", "Spunky and Tadpole", "Clutch Cargo", etc. were being dubbed and broadcast in the Land of the Rising Sun.
You probably don't care about how those cartoons were shown in other countries, but here's the broadcast info:
Japanese Title: Chinken Huck (which translates to "Huckleberry the Unusual Dog")
Broadcast Network: NET (Nihon Educational Television)
February 15 to August 30, 1959 (Sunday, 6:00 pm)
December 6, 1959 to March 27, 1960 (Sunday, 6:00 pm)
August 13 to December 24, 1961 (Sunday, 7:00 pm)
Despite the name, NET was hardly educational. It started as a for-profit educational network in Japan, but it soon became a general TV network in the country, constantly airing shows that had very little educational content, including cartoons (both American and Japanese). In the late 1970s the name was changed to TV Asahi, and it's still known as that today.
We can only guess what the Japanese thought of this Pixie and Dixie cartoon:
True, Judo Jack is the hero of the cartoon (Mr. Jinks proves to be a jerk by making fun of his accent and politeness). Maybe stereotypes didn’t make people wince as much back then.