Wednesday, October 5, 2011

More Faces of Jellystone Park

Over the course of Yogi Bear’s life, he became a permanent resident of Jellystone Park, and Hanna-Barbera’s artists took advantage of that to draw the park entrance to serve as an establishing shot for many cartoons.

For a studio that liked saving money, it’s surprising that one background drawing of the entrance wasn’t made and then put away to be used whenever necessary. Instead, layout and background artists were free to come up with a new one for each cartoon. Only one was reused, and that was in the first season of Yogi’s cartoons on the Huckleberry Hound Show.

In THIS post, you got to see a number of the drawings. I’ve gone through the remaining Yogi cartoons to let you look at the rest. All of them were broadcast on Yogi’s own half-hour show. I’m not going to comment too much on the art technique because I’m woefully ignorant about it. Anyone who can comment about it, please do.

On a few occasions, there was a pan across the background drawing but only in Do or Diet (see right) is there a vertical pan. That’s why the stone walls seem so high. Tony Rivera was the layout man on this cartoon and Dick Thomas did the backgrounds. Rivera liked isosceles triangles of green with crosses in them representing trees and had them in several cartoons. Thomas wasn’t particularly adventuresome when it came to colour but he’s added some yellow in the foreground for variation.



Rivera and Thomas join together again in Cub Scout Boo Boo. There’s a stone wall overlay on the left here to enable animation of buses to pass from right to left on the background and ‘enter’ the park.



Home Sweet Jellystone featured layouts by Don Sheppard, who spent a good chunk of time at Hanna-Barbera after a pile of stops in the ‘50s. He’s also known for something probably best left undiscussed—he worked on the Rudy Larriva Roadrunner cartoons for Format Films in the ‘60s. Whether he was freelancing at H-B for this cartoon isn’t clear; he had been working at UPA. We have squiggly-line trees here. Bob Gentle drew the background.



There’s also a Jellystone entrance on the title card to the cartoon. I understand Dick Bickenbach drew the titles. Nice silhouette. Note the blending on the blue sky.



Different shades of green and yellow try to spruce up (no pun intended) the opening shot of Love Bugged Bear. Tony Rivera and Vera Ohman Hanson are responsible for this one.



This is the only night shot of the Jellystone entrance and is from Bareface Disguise. The stick-lines-within-trees gives away that Rivera handled the layouts. Thomas did the backgrounds.



You can click to enlarge this background that was panned at the opening of Slap Happy Birthday. Lovely fall colours here from Dick Thomas. The layout is by Bick, the last he did on a Yogi short, I believe.



The entrance in Disguise and Gals looks makeshift enough to be on The Flintstones. Note the choice of colours on the background hills. Walt Clinton did the layouts here and Bob Gentle the backgrounds. This isn’t an establishing shot; it shows up about a minute into the cartoon. The right side of the entrance is an overlay.



The Jellystone entrance in Acrobatty Yogi is near the end of the cartoon. The left part is an overlay. Layouts by Dan Noonan and backgrounds by Dick Thomas.



Now a couple by Art Lozzi. He was doing some distinctive things about this time, especially with colours. See the different shades he incorporates into the trees? And he liked downward-hanging fronds, kind of like fingers.This is from Loco Locomotive. Tony Rivera handled layouts.



Here’s an establishing background panned in Yogi in the City. Art liked wrapping clouds around background hills. Can you spot the thin, black lines Art uses in the trees to give them a more vertical appearance? Tony Rivera is, again, the layout man.



Rivera laid out this background by Neenah Maxwell. Sure looks different than the Lozzi stuff, doesn’t it? It’s from Droop-a-long Yogi. The right side of the entrance and the tree in the foreground are overlays as a TV truck rolls along the road in this scene.

It isn’t only the Jellystone entrances that are different every cartoon. Ranger Smith seems to have all kinds of different stations, no two alike. And Yogi must have moved a lot because he has a new cave in every cartoon. If there’s a chance, I’ll post some shots so you can get a look at the varied art in these early Hanna-Barbera cartoons.

5 comments:

  1. Its great seeing so many variations..as you say very unusual for cheapish cartoons...glad they went to the trouble..

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  2. Nicely collated! Sometimes it's just quicker (and more fun) to redraw something, rather than sift through a tonne of drawings to find an earlier example - I know!

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  3. I may be nutty, but I find this one very interesting. Thanks for all the cool pix.

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  4. The layouts for the exterior of Fred's home in "The Flintstones" was pretty much the same way, changing from show to show, and only occasionally because of the need to forward some specific part of the plot.

    While things like that, or the changing nature of the Jellystone Park entrances (let alone Ranger Smith's shape shifting for the first 1 1/2 seasons) may have annoyed continuity sticklers, in hindsight, with the cookie-cutter nature of TV cartoons over their first three decades, changing the backgrounds up actually provided some uniqueness to each cartoon, as a time when the more skilled Hanna-Barbera got in quickly turning out product, the more and more each episode of one specific product started to look the same.

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