Wednesday, January 6, 2010

You Can Be Mr. Jinks

Who wouldn’t want to make their own Huckleberry Hound cartoon? Or pretend they’re Daws Butler? Kids got the chance in 1960.

“YOGI BEAR COLORING CONTEST!!” screamed display ads in a bunch of newspapers on April 10 that year. And what a great prize! To quote further:

(Each prize winner wins 3 Huckleberry Hound Cartoon Films and a Complete Bell & Howell Home Movie Outfit)

Unfortunately, I can’t reproduce the ad—what you see to the right is another ad featuring the same home movie outfit (as best as I can tell; I’m not an expert on photography). But here is some of the sales-job text:

Think of the fun you can have showing your own movies of Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, Mr. Jinks, Pixie, Dixie and all the Huckleberry Hound TV Show gang. These are special home-version cartoon films with titles and a copy of the actual script used to make the TV sound version. You can play-act the parts as you watch each cartoon! The Super Monterey Bell & Howell Projector you win will bring them to life right in your home . . . and with the Bell & Howell Sun-O-Meter Movie Camera you ll be able to direct and film your own movies, too! It's easy to win ... so, enter as often as you like.

Pick up a Kellogg’s OKs contest package, today! GET YOGI BEAR’S COLORING CONTEST PICTURE AND COMPLETE RULES ON SPECIALLY MARKED KELLOGG’S OKs PACKAGES AT YOUR GROCER’S.

The agency people at Leo Burnett—I’m presuming they handled this—outdid themselves putting together this promotion. Bell and Howell, as you can see by the unrelated ad, had some experience in distributing cartoons with its product (Castle Films reproduced Lantz and TerryToons cartoons in 8mm).

It sounds like a fun time for a kid, watching cartoons projected on the wall, then getting in front of the camera with Charlie Shows’ or Warren Foster’s dialogue in hand, shouting “I hate you meeces to pieces!” in a seven-year-old’s approximation of Jinks’ voice. Better than sealing themselves off from the world playing video games like they would today, we suggest. Then again, adults probably looked at all this in 1960 and lamented “Why can’t they stand around the piano and sing like we did as kids?”

I’d sure be interested in seeing what the “scripts” the winners got looked like.

2 comments:

  1. Too bad no one could license the Capitol and Langlois stoc k libaries and Hanna-Barbera sound effects libraries to home use. Well, okay, the Music-Que library mentioned earlier in the Augie post would suffice, but it's better to try that with an "Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy" home movie.:/

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  2. I didn't enter that particular contest, but I did have the Bell & Howell projector. My older brother and I collected many of the 9 minute " Castle Films " digests (Horror, comedy and cartoon)which was actually owned by Universal Pictures. Universal owned the rights to all Paramount Pictures prior to 1948 because Paramount sold the television rights to MCA, so " Castle Films " also had many Paramount cartoon shorts,and of course their own library. I really miss alot of that stuff. Man, where have all the fun contests gone?

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