Credits: Animation – Dick Lundy; Layout – Ed Benedict; Backgrounds – Fernando Montealegre; Story – Mike Maltese; Story Sketches – Dan Gordon; Titles – Art Goble; Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voice Cast: Augie, Bank Guard, Teller – Daws Butler; Doggie Daddy, Newscaster, Blinks Guards, Bank Robber – Doug Young.
First Aired: December 1, 1959 (BCDB, unconfirmed).
Plot: Doggie Daddy thinks Augie has stolen $1,000,000 from a bank and tries to return it.
There’s something about this cartoon that bothers me and it really shouldn’t.
After all, we’re not talking about Citizen Kane or Sunset Boulevard or Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. We’re talking about an Augie Doggie cartoon for TV. But Mike Maltese has a hole in his plot and I’m still wondering why he wrote it that way.
Other than that, the cartoon’s fine. Ed Benedict has laid out some interesting exteriors and simple character designs, Dick Lundy provides some distinctive poses and Doug Young gets a chance to stretch his voice a bit, especially playing the dumb robber. First, let’s look at some of Ed’s layouts put together by Monty (yes, you can click on them to enlarge them a bit).
So here’s the set up. Doggie Daddy’s woeful bill counting is interrupted by the child-like version of Augie playing with a toy machine gun. Daddy explains if he can’t pay his bills “it’s over the hill to the dog house for me.” Lundy tries to avoid the two-position nose-bob like you’d see in a Lew Marshall cartoon. In between phrases, he has Daddy move his head to the side and back in four drawings. He varies the timing, so one drawing is on twos, another on threes and another on fours. Here are the positions, slowed down.
“My father in the dog house. Oh, the shame of it!” exclaims
Daddy hears gunshots and reacts. Lundy simply goes from pose to pose. Here are a couple.
Next thing, Augie has a hyper grin as he runs back home with a bag of cash, saying to himself “No dad of mine is going to no dog house if I can help it.”
This is what bothers me. We learn later in the cartoon Augie didn’t take the money. OK. But his intention is to give the stolen loot to Daddy as a gift. I have a problem believing that the young and naïve Augie would be so dishonest. Wouldn’t the first thing he’d so is tell Dear Old Dad about his discovery and get him to call the cops?
No. Instead, he hands Daddy the “bag of goodies.” Daddy thinks it’s jellybeans. Until he bites into one and Augie asks him why he’s eating money. Before Dear Old Dad can answer, there’s a flash announcement on the previously-silent radio. Someone has just robbed the Last National Bank of $1,000,000. Augie reacts with a hyper wide grin. What?! Daddy’s reactions make more sense. I love the ‘60s wallpaper.
It’s only now that Augie tries to explain, but Daddy keeps covering his mouth. Augie’s head construction makes that difficult, so Lundy has Daddy squash in Augie’s snout, complete with appropriate squish sound effect.
So why did Augie wait until now to reveal he found stolen money in his yard? Why didn’t Maltese write it so Augie excitedly raced in with his wagon, anxious to reveal what had happened, then Daddy misconstruing the situation instantly and never giving his son a chance to explain before deciding to right the wrong? That would have made more sense to me. Maltese would have had time leftover to fit in another gag later in the cartoon, too.
Anyway, the rest of the cartoon works out well. Doggie Daddy gets an idea. He decides to sneak the money back into the bank “so it won’t be stolen no more.” Maltese comes up with a series of spot-type gags. First, Daddy pretends to be Doggie Mommy and dresses up the bag as a baby. The stroller ingeniously has a trap door, which Daddy opens and the money slides into a waste basket. But Daddy is stopped by a sharp nosed bank guard with an Irish accent, who gives the “baby” back.
Next, Daddy sneaks into an underground construction site and uses a jackhammer (and his “cal-cu-culations”) to try to break into the bank. And he does. He breaks through to the vault and bags of money shower down upon him.
Maltese comes up with a silly gag now. Daddy joins a line of identical, eye-less, mouth-less Blinks armoured car guards bringing million-dollar bags to a teller. But as Daddy walks away, the teller throws it back at him. “Hey, bud! One million too many,” cries the teller (Daws uses a voice that reminds me a bit of Mr. Billingsley on the Jack Benny radio show).
Finally, Daddy ties some balloons to the bag and shoots it down over the bank. But in a Wile E. Coyote-like turnaround, the bag drops onto a flag pole which spoings the loot onto Daddy. He gives up.
Back home, depressed Daddy tells Augie to “get your toothbrush and your clean undies, because we’re spending the next 20 years together.” Just then, the bank robber screeches up to the house in one of those late 50s tail-finned jobs. The crook’s design can’t get much simpler.
Doggy: And always remember, my son, my son, crime does not pay.
Robber (grabbing loot): You dad is right, son. Especially when dishonest people keep stealing your stolen money.
The robber dashes away, still looking at Augie and Daddy behind him. The shot cuts to a close-up of Augie’s wagon then pulls back just before the robber steps in it and flies off scene. The shot cuts to a camera-shaking crash reaction shot of the two dogs, then to the crook on the ground against a tree.
Robber: It must have been a lady driver.
The final scene has the robber tied up in the wagon. Daddy’s pulling it with one hand and holding the money in the other. Augie’s on top of the crook pointing a gun at him.
Daddy: Son, can you ever forgive your dear old dad for doubtin’ ya?
Augie: Oh, that’s OK, dear one-track mind dad. After all, you’re one in a million.
Daddy: Heh, heh, heh. And I had a hard time trying to give it back. Heh, heh, heh.
The ending’s a little different. There’s no iris out this time. The scene fades after group runs into the bank. Maybe it’s my imagination, but it seems the cartoons usually end with characters staying in the middle of the shot with the background being the only thing moving. In this one, the shot is static, the characters enter left to right and it’s over.
There’s an odd choice for the music for the climax. The sound cutter uses Phil Green’s ‘Skeleton in the Cupboard,’ which doesn’t help build the scene. It’s really too low key. But Jack Shaindlin’s ‘Excitement Under Dialogue’ is a perfect crime bed and works well when radio announcer Young is describing the robbery. The cutter is content to use the cues in full, so you get all of one Harry Bluestone-Emil Cadkin piece to start the cartoon. It isn’t one I would have picked but since it’s a scene with differing emotions, choosing a good stock bed would have been tough.
0:00 - Augie Doggie main title theme (Hoyt Curtin).
0:24 - CB-87A COME AND GET ME (Cadkin-Bluestone) – Daddy counts bills; talks to Augie, bites into money.
2:15 - EXCITEMENT UNDER DIALOGUE (Shaindlin) – News flash on radio, Daddy at window.
3:04 - GR-75 POPCORN SHORT BRIDGE No 1 (Green) – “I got it!”, close-up of front of bank.
3:18 - GR-255 PUPPETRY COMEDY (Green) – “Baby” scene in bank, drilling scene.
4:28 - GR-258 THE TIN DRAGOONS (Green) – marching bank guard scene, flag pole tosses money at Daddy.
5:44 - GR-346 FIRST BUDS (Green) – Daddy and Augie inside house.
6:02 - GR-87 SKELETON IN THE CUPBOARD (Green) – Car stops at fence.
6:45 - rising scale vaudeville music (Shaindlin) – Augie and Daddy wheel robber to bank.
7:09 - Augie Doggie end title theme (Curtin).