Saturday, 7 November 2009

Pixie and Dixie — A Good Good Fairy

Produced and Directed by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.
Credits: Animation – Lew Marshall; Layout – Dick Bickenbach; Backgrounds – Dick Thomas; Story – Warren Fosrer; Story Director – Alex Lovy; Titles – Art Goble; Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Cast: Pixie – Don Messick; Dixie, Jinks – Daws Butler; Fairy Godmother – Jean Vander Pyl.
Released: November 7, 1959 (BCDB date); December 26, 1959 (Chicago).
Plot: Pixie and Dixie’s fairy godmother mouse takes care of Jinks.

You can’t get more quintessentially Pixie and Dixie than the start of this cartoon. You can’t get more odd than what happens at the end. And in between, you get a bit of a new take on a cartoon staple—the fairy tale. Oh, and you also get what may have been Jean Vander Pyl’s first appearance in a Hanna-Barbera cartoon.

In the first season of the Huck Hound show, there were a grand total of two female voices, one of which sound like they could belong to Ginny Tyler. The next season, H-B added the Quick Draw McGraw Show to its production schedule, and Julie Bennett came on board as Sagebrush Sal (in Masking For Trouble, released April 11, 1960). But I can’t find a cartoon earlier than this that Vander Pyl appeared on.

The start consists of Pixie and Dixie being chased by Jinks past the same chair and cabinet countless times (if you count, it’s 20 and a bit, including the shot of Jinks alone) while Jack Shaindlin’s Toboggan Run whizzes along in the background. Jinks bashes the meece with a broom but, this being limited animation, the victims don’t squash and stretch when they’re hit; the broom just comes down on them and they disappear for a few frames.


The mice lament that they’ll be stuck in their mouse hole for a long time when there’s a yellow flash and a female rodent (with transparent wings) descends. “I’m the mouse fairy godmother,” she pleasantly explains. “I grant wishes, help mice in trouble and all that jazz.” Pixie and Dixie are too “sos-phisticated” to believe in “kids’ story book stuff.” This gives Warren Foster (though the BCDB says it’s Mike Maltese) a chance to roll out a tale of woe for the Vander Pyl mouse to lament, sticking out her front teeth while whistling her s’s.

“Oh, that’s the trouble. Nobody believes any more. Everybody’s a wise guy. To them, I’m just an old lady with a star on a stick.” She waxes on about the “good old days” and relates the tale of Cinderella and how she lived happily ever after. The mice are sold. They believe in the fairy godmother who remarks “You are two of the good ones,” a line which got mileage in a bunch of Yogi Bear cartoons.

“Shall we warm up with a little wish first?” asks the fairy godmother. Dixie asks for a piece of cheese. The mice aren’t impressed. It’s everyone’s favourite cartoon gag cheese. “You didn’t say what kind, you know. Besides, I’m kind of pushing limburger this week,” she remarks.

Now we get into the real plot. Dixie asks the fairy godmother to take care of Jinks, whose minding his own business sleeping by the mouse hole. Suddenly, he’s lifted into the air and crashes to the floor as the invisible fairy godmother laughs.


The mice emerge from their hole. “How’s tricks, fur-face?” asks Pixie. (Wait. Don’t mice have fur, too?). Before the cat can do anything, two cymbals of unknown type appear to smash Jinks’ face between them. Then a vase magically turns into a boomerang to clobber the cat in the face.


The mice decide to investigate what’s in the cookie jar. The cat pops up from inside to use a fly-swatter on them. They run into a closet. The fairy godmother turns them into large dogs just before Jinks arrives.


Here’s Jinks’ exit from the closet, on twos. He leads with his head, then his lower body runs out from under him and stretches as he zips off frame. I don’t think this series of drawings was ever tried again.














The mice-as-dogs chase Jinks but turn into mice as they run (with a flash of light in between, eliminating the need for transformation animation). We get some cute poses of Jinks here. “Spare me! I’m a good pussycat!” he prays to whomever cartoon cats pray to. Then he notices he’s being barked at by mice, who engage in a gag ripped off from Tex Avery (see the end of Ventriloquist Cat) by slowing down their “bow wows” when they see Jinks has caught onto them.


“I do not know what made me think them meeces were dogs. But I’m throoooo fighting fair,” exclaims the rifle-toting Jinks, as Daws Butler has fun stretching a few vowels. Jinks fires the gun at point blank range but a balloon emerges, rises, then explodes on the cat’s face after another yellow flash.


Back into the closet run the mice, and when Jinks opens the door, two alligators are standing there, with Pixie and Dixie’s voices. “Somebody musta, you know, like turned my record over to the flip side, like.” Jinks lopes away ill.


The fairy godmother bids farewell, urging them to call if they need her. And they do. You see, the fairy godmother left her magic wand and they wonder if it will work for them. And it does. As the bedraggled cat watches, the mice have somehow turned themselves in an apple and a banana. Jinks moans that “In broad daylight, yet. I’m having like night-time mares.” So in this cartoon no one wins, including the viewer who is left to think “WTF” as the iris closes.

(One person has written in to explain the ending thusly: “The cartoon is another example of the latent homosexuality of Hanna-Barbera characters. Pixie and Dixie not only share the same bed but in this cartoon they are shown to be “fruits,” which was slang for “gay” in the 1950’s.” Dear Anonymous: get a life.)

The sound cutter decided to switch back and forth between a couple of beds here. As well, there’s a creepy melody used in a bunch of H-B cartoons I can’t place that has a wah-wah trumpet that sounds like it was recorded in a bathroom. Faithful reader Errol has heard it on a bunch of 1950s live-action shows, and pointed out an episode of The Adventures of Hiram Holliday (1956) where it makes an unmistakeable appearance (the music guy on that show was Raoul Kraushaar). So maybe came from Omar Music Service (which had a Capitol connection) as that’s who Kraushaar was connected with.


0:13 - LAF-5-20 TOBOGGAN RUN (Shaindlin) – Jinks chases meece with broom into hole.
0:26 - TC-303 ZANY COMEDY (Bill Loose-John Seely) – Mice fear they’ll be stuck in their hole.
0:58 - TC-25 HEAVENLY HARP (Loose-Seely) – Fairy godmother appears.
1:03 - UNTITLED TUNE (Shaindlin) – Godmother sighs how no one believes in her anymore, cheese appears, godmother agrees to deal with Jinks.
2:56 - TC-25 HEAVENLY HARP (Loose-Seely) – Fairy godmother disappears, Jinks snoozes.
3:09 - LAF-1-1 FISHY STORY (Shaindlin) – Jinks lifted off floor and crashes, cymbals appear.
3:55 - L-75 COMEDY UNDERSCORE (Spencer Moore) – Jinks grabs vase, turns into boomerang.
4:12 - LAF-2-12 ON THE RUN (Shaindlin) – Boomerang flies into Jinks.
4:18 - LAF-7-12 FUN ON ICE (Shaindlin) – Mice go to cookie jar, Jinks pops out.
4:30 - ZR-47 LIGHT MOVEMENT (Geordie Hormel) – Mice run into closet.
4:36 - LAF-7-12 FUN ON ICE (Shaindlin) – Mice turn into dogs, Jinks skids into them.
4:45 - ZR-47 LIGHT MOVEMENT (Hormel) – Jinks runs from dogs/mice.
4:55 - LAF-7-12 FUN ON ICE (Shaindlin) – Mice bark at Jinks against wall; Jinks trots after them with rifle; balloon explodes on Jinks’ nose.
5:45 - LAF-2-12 ON THE RUN (Shaindlin) – Mice run into closet.
5:53 - reverbed muted trumpet mysterioso (?) – Jinks opens door; mice are alligators, fairy godmother leaves, mice yell for help.
6:39 - fast circus-type newsreel music (Shaindlin) – Mice, as fruit, run past Jinks.

31 comments:

  1. Congratulaitons Yowp, for starting on the second Huck season! I think that I know the supposedly Jack Shaindlin piece you mention of, it's used before the [pHIL gREEN?] pathetic "limping dog" music in Huck's opus "Nuts over Mutts" and is used in a Yogi short, "Bears and bees" when Yogi grabs the rangers kakhi pants and comments on them, or the piece used in Do or Diet when Yogi pretends, once again, to be a hungry animal. It's concludes or with is used with a "Beany and Cecil"-used clarinet and violin piece [if I'm correct on the one refered to] that goes at the end, "Da-da, DA-da, DAAAA"..that sounds like a Clarence Wheeler piece..

    anyway, glad to see season two covered!

    And no, Pixie and DIxie are just friends, and gay did not mean homnsexual back then, geez!

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  2. Hi, Steve. This cartoon was done by request. I don't intend to do a lot of season two stuff.
    Yes, you have the right music. It was used near the start of Nutts over Mutts and goes through the scene where Huck spots the dog limping. There is so much reverb on it, it doesn't sound anything like the processing on Shaindlin or the usual Hi-Q composers. It found its way onto one TV soundtrack thanks to Raoul Kraushaar (I wonder if he used it in Invaders From Mars?) so that's why I guessed it could be an Omar Music Service cue (he was connected with Omar). Through the odd cross-pollination of music libraries, Capitol distributed Omar material, but I don't believe Omar cues ended up in Hi-Q itself.

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  3. Hi, I saw the Hiram Holiday one on ComedyCFM, Hawaiian Humza, [coincidence-the cue was used yet again near the end of a Huck Hawaii episode, "Wiki Waki Huck", and I came back from Hawaii on Oct.25], a Pearl Harbor themed episode, and that cue is at 14:30 or so.And guess who is the music editor? Oh, one Raoul Kraushaar.:) That starred Wally Cox post-Peepers, pre-Underdog.

    -Steve C.

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  4. Thanks Yowp. I have this cartoon on an old " Super Chunk " VHS from the 90's during " Cartoon Network's " salad days. Maybe one day someone will identify the creepy little mystery cue also used by MCA/Revue in season one of " Leave It To Beaver " and in some the the 30 minute comedy episodes of " Alfred Hitchcock Presents ". As we have discussed, that cue is usually heard in cartoons and sitcoms pre-1959. But,the cue was also played in an ep of " Davy & Goliath "titled " Down On The Farm " That would have been around 1963. I've heard the cue in a pre-Timmy episode of " Jeff's Collie " And who was the music editor?...Yep Raoul Kraushaar. I agree with Steve, Pixie & Dixie were friends. There are people who always try to find some ideology or political statement behind everything. Don Messick himself had commented once after watching some of his cartoons on USA's "Cartoon express", that he was struck by the innocence of the friendships that all the characters in the older H-B shorts had.

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  5. I wonder if Jinx's voice was inspired by Ernie Kovacs?

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  6. Jinx's voice was inspired by young Marlon Brando from a movie called " The Wild One"

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  7. Errol, I've already heard, as I should say, "Davey" using that odd cue in an episode where he joins a cruicus as he';s climing the aldder and, yes, Beaver DID use it, when the ol' beav is approchaing a house.

    And Raoul Kraushaar was with Lassie from the beginning--I've read that his music service EXISTEWD originally JUST for that show--and I've head another common cue, L-80 Spencer Moore mysterosio [like when the Ranger and Yogi trade critques of each other just before the ranger takes off for a mansion, in "Home Sweet Jellystone"] on L:assie as well. So I'm guessing myself that Mooe, if he was a real guy, also wrote for Krasuhaar.

    Also, getting back to that creepy cue used here that's discussed, it's not used before 1959 at HB.

    But most IMPORTANTLY, a compooser who WROTE the theme for one of the shows cited, "Beaver", was another head composer--Dave Kahn. And BOTH IIRC are listed on ASDCAP and BMI for writing for beaver, and most importantly..Kraushaar's listed for every beloved show that all of us remember that stockmusic from, including if I reclal correctly on IMBD.com as well, some of those six WB cartoons!

    -Steve C.

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  8. Anon, the Jinks voice is Daws Butler's take on a voice Stan Freberg did on his radio show a couple of times. Freberg was making fun of the mumbling in the Method school of acting. You can hear Freberg do it here starting at about the 24:00 mark.

    Jinks didn't mumble, but you can hear the similarity in the voices and the inflections.

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  9. lOL--I'd swear it WAS Freberg doing Jinks or Butler doing that character! Freberg did the voice in his 1957 hit Belafonte take, "Banana Boat" [which on my "Greatest Hitsa' LP credits ONLY Freberg, and NOT Mr.Belafonte.]

    Phil Hendrie here in the states on that character-guest talk show, which is getting back on ground after a long 1993-2006 popularity, in his Bud Dickman character uses a Freberg-Butler voice like Jinks.

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  10. Hey Guys, when Huck hunts the lion, or should I say " Li-Ron " in " Lion-hearted Huck ", was Freberg doing the Lion, or was that Daws tribute to his friend? Kind of a send off on Pete Puma? That's right Steve, Dave Kahn is listed as the composer of " The Toy Parade ". Also in season one of everyone's favorite talking horse, Kraushaar is listed as music editor, and there are some very familiar non H-B cues heard in that season. The library seemed to be all over the place from around 1963-back.

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  11. It's Daws doing Frank Fontaine as John L.C. Sivoney/Crazy Guggenheim.

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  12. Returning to the topc of that odd mysterioso cue, among many other HB places post-1958 that it's used at is "Nowhere Bear", at 2:18 after a Philip Green piece, [see elsewhere on this blog] "And they all lived Happy ever after", part of the "Kiddie COmedy Suite', closing with the opening which was entitled,:"Overture: Toyland parade". [The episode's about hypnosis.]

    SC

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  13. Crazy Guggenheim. My family spent MANY a saturday night watching " Joe The Bartender " on Gleason's show. " Ok Crazy, Now sing us a song " I should have made the Frank Fontaine connection with Daws slur and laugh as the lion. On the rare mystery cue. I listened to MCA's version, and it's a slightly different arrangement. More brassy and clear. The cue used by H-B, Clokey, and "Hiram Holiday" is somewhat blurred or muffled, doesn't have the loud muted trombone's at the end. Back to this blog. I have always loved Jinx. Daws always seemed to have an affection for him also. One of the reasons was according to Daws...Joe Barbera didn't know quite how to direct that voice and Daws pretty much had free reign with it.

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  14. You're not going to do anything else from season 2? Thats a shame...thats when Ed Love and George Nicholas came and made things interesting! I can't entirley disagree though. Without Charlie Show's suckish writing, it isn't as easy to lampoon the subject matter.

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  15. Zartok, my problem is two-fold. I either don't have the cartoons or have contrasty/crappy versions with TV bugs (thanks, WHV!) and (more importantly for me) I don't know a pile of the music cues.

    Shows is hit and miss. I watched two Hucks the other night he wrote which were pretty good. But Maltese and Foster were tremendous. I love Maltese's absurdities. Foster's story construction is always solid. I would have loved to have seen what he could have done if someone had let his cynicism reign free. You can hear it bubbling beneath the surface. But in the '50s, even guys like Stan Freberg were forced to pull punches in pop culture when it came to that sort of thing.

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  16. Hi, Yowp. Your blog is really cool for early Hanna-Barbera cartoons. I leave Boomerang on every day at my house. But here is the problem with Boomerang.

    After "Help! It's The Hair Bear Bunch" (which will be taken out of rotation next month by the way.), a Pixie & Dixie cartoon would be shown as a time filler. However, this has been going on since October 31st. If they don't give Pixie & Dixie a break before Help! It's The Hair Bear Bunch is taken out of rotation, then they will likely give them a break on Dynomutt, Dog Wonder.

    I hope you understand this message.

    And please read before you reply to me.

    Thank you!

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  17. Hi, Yowp. Thank you for making this blog possible, because I am big in Hanna-Barbera cartoons. Pixie & Dixie & Mr. Jinks are OK as well.

    Here's what I want you to do on your blog (which I HIGHLY doubt):

    Starting in January, you need to collect more of the early Hanna-Barbera cartoons and start doing it on Monday through Friday until you're out. Then, I can look at the good things that have been happening at Hanna-Barbera.

    I hope you like this message.

    Thank you!

    P.S. Again, doing this job daily is HIGHLY doubtful.

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  18. You're points are perfectly valid, Yowp. But if you should understand the stock music on a season 2 episode, don't hold out on us!

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  19. You need to reply to me soon, Yowp.

    You probably didn't understand the second message I posted. I am actually saying you should start posting the early Hanna-Barbera cartoons Monday through Friday until you have found all of the early cartoons.

    "Cop and Saucer" or "Huck's Hack" for next week!

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  20. Of course the troll that commented on "gayness" by noting the buddy status in the same room of Pixie and Dixie and their final "Fruit" selves forgot the golden [not] oppurtunity to note the title of the cartoon itself, "Fairy". Thank god that he didn'rt.

    Back to the cue in question, most likely it is a Dave Kahn/Raoul Kraushaar cue. At 5:55 of a Huckleberry Hound cartoon titled "Wiki Waka Huck", with Huck in the aame Hawaiian setting as Hiram Holiday in that one epsiode where the cue's heard at 14:36, before it there is either as I'd mentioned in my first reply that which is either a seocnd part or whole different stock cue, used on Beany and Cecil a lot, another cue that gets often played with it, which may be a cue by Clarence Wheeler [Mutel, Walter Lantz], consisting of a breathy string section and hiccuping reeds. If you go to YouTube, there may be a few Beany cartoons that have it. Anyway, it's used severeal times in the Huck short, and "Huck the Giant Killer' & "Astro Nut Huck" both use these two cues [the one in "Good Good Fairy"] and the other used by itself in another Jinks short, "Bird Brained Cat", where the meece's and cat put their hostiitlies aside when Jinks is getting "Canary Fever" and his starts rfeacting [the breaking violion funny cue, heard in "Beany" in the solo "Wm.Wolf" short "Rintin Can" when the wolf's on stilts and in Yogi's "Birds and Bees" when he's grabbing the ranger], so i don't know ikf these are a whole gear changing cue or two that Hoyt Curtin and the film editors decided to use one after another [see my first post, again, and sorry if this post kind of rambles.]

    And it is a toss up at end with no one winning except the fairy mouse, who has done her business.

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  21. You still need to reply, Yowp.

    I hope season 2 of The Huckleberry Hound Show will come out on DVD soon so that you can do more on season 2.

    "Huck's Hack" for next week! (or AT LEAST "Laughing Guess")

    P.S. You are NOT the dog in the cartoons.

    Ryan

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  22. Hi, Ryan. I don't need to do anything, actually. Well, other than eat and breathe.

    Unfortunately, the 2nd season Hucks and the 1st season Quick Draws have met the same fate. They won't be released because WHV won't pay the price of using the old stock music in the cartoons. We were lucky to get the 1st season Hucks so that's all we're going to get. It's too bad some funny cartoons have been locked away.

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  23. Yeah, they have been locked away, but I could still see them on Boomerang.

    I ment to say "I would appreciate it" and not "need to". Sorry, Yowp.

    Check out a few other posts as well. I posted them, but without my signature.

    BTW, at the end of "Huck's Hack", is the "On The Run" music used?

    Thanks for replying to me!

    Ryan

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  24. Yes, Ryan, the last scene features 'On the Run'. The music just before Huck klanks the robber is called 'Rodeo Day.' Jack Shaindlin seems to have written a whole pile of similar-style beds for use in newsreels in the 1940s.
    We don't get Boomerang up here and I no longer own a TV set anyway.
    All comments are moderated to make sure spam doesn't get through and to keep things on topic. The blog doesn't exist to talk about itself.
    I have a full-time job and a pile of others things happening. So what you see is what you're going to get. I'm lucky enough to find time to do one a week.
    I'll get around to the Huck cartoons when I get a chance. I have a couple of other Hucks which I'm doing and will post over the next little while.

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  25. Just finished wathching "Wiki Waki Huck" and it's ironic that the creepoid cue is at almost the same mark as Good Good Fairy. As I've said the piece played before that in the Huck short and earlier when that wacky pig jumps out of Huck's hands for the luau that's either played often in HB shorts of the 2nd season as a companion piece [like in "Batty Bat"] or is a continuation of the cue, with the same reverb [see my other posts.]

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  26. BTW More on Mr.Kraushaar:
    I downloaded on SoulSeek - the ONLY such service I know of that has about ANY name - some B movie cues of his, Blue Gardenia and Dracula meets Billy the Kid, and found some somewhat recognizable cues there, but NOT the mysterioso in question.

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  27. Funny that Huck's hack was brought up here: Huck's Hack used the seocnd part of that cue discussed [the odd wah wah cue discussed here] .

    Errol, which take on the cue was used in Lassie? I've heard it in a circus themed Davey and Goliath.

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  28. BTW I saw thiws caroton on YouTube. That creepy piece is played twice in a row back to bakc, at last the first half. The last few notes before the meece talk then the whole thing plays over ["on the flip side", as Mr.Jinksy would say.]

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  29. Hey Yowp,

    Just wanted to post to say I'm sorry about the pressure that I put on you a long time ago. You must know that I am an autistic person who can sometimes get ill-tempered (although that is rarely the case). In any case, if I do get cranky, beware!

    Ryan

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  30. Hi, Ryan. No problem. I didn't know your background (other than your age). Feel free to pop by and comment any time.

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  31. The exit with the lower body leading the upper body... I guess that's where Kennedy got that from. Then again, he did work for Hanna Barbera at one point.

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