Saturday, February 23, 2013

Augie Doggie — Pint Giant

Produced and Directed by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.
Animation – Dick Lundy, Bob Carr (uncredited)?; Layout – Paul Sommer; Backgrounds – Fernando Montealegre; Story – Mike Maltese; Story Director – Alex Lovy; Titles – Art Goble; Production Supervision – Howard Hanson. (no credits)
Voice Cast: Augie Doggie, Mike, Man in Manhole, Man in Window, Man With Packages – Daws Butler; Doggie Daddy, Cop 1 – Doug Young; Hector – Don Messick.
Music: Phil Green, Harry Bluestone-Emil Cadkin, Hecky Krasnow, Jack Shaindlin, unknown.
First Aired: rerun, week of May 8, 1961.
Episode: Quick Draw McGraw Show M-030, Production J-88.
Plot: Doggie Daddy pretends to be a giant after Augie tells a fib to a neighbour boy.

Here’s another cartoon where the star is the dialogue Mike Maltese puts into the mouths of characters in the middle of ridiculous situation. I especially love how Doggie Daddy can’t get his fairy tales straight.

Maltese isn’t just the writer of the cartoon. He’s in it. Well, one of the two cops in this one is named Mike. It’s a pity it’s not a caricature of him. The designs were, according to the Big Cartoon Database, by Paul Sommer. There’s no reason to think otherwise; they don’t look like the work of the other layout artists to me. Monty is the background artist; the style of block letters on the pennants in the opening scene give it away. I like how Augie’s bedroom has a picture of Huckleberry Hound. And Augie’s apparently a weightlifter, too.



BCDB says the animation is by Dick Lundy. I admit I’m sceptical. Lundy drew three Augie cartoons in the first season and they all look different; in “Million-Dollar Robbery,” the characters look hyper at times. He also animated “Patient Pop” in the second season and the main characters look different again. Let’s compare. The frame on the top is from “Pint Giant.” The frame on the bottom is from “Patient Pop.” They’re both from the end of each cartoon when Daddy is laughing, with his head in the farthest right position.




There is a possible explanation. A studio newsletter in the mid-‘60s gave a biography of Bob Carr, saying he did some assistant work on some cartoons before being promoted to a full animator. Some of the drawings, especially of characters with their eyes closed, look like Carr’s to my admittedly not-well-trained eye. So I’m going to speculate he worked on some scenes and Lundy did the rest. Regardless, there’s nothing really all that interesting in the way the characters move in this one. So it’s up to the soundtrack to carry things. Maltese does his best.

Daddy butchers words right off the bat. “Look at dis room! What a mess! I’ll make Augie come in dis instinct and unmess it back neat.” But, first, Daddy observes Augie talking to a human kid, Hector. It’s much in the vein of “Tee or Not Tee Vee” that Maltese wrote in the first season. We get the child-version (as opposed to the boy genius version) of Augie who makes up a story to one-up a bragging school mate. Hector has one of Don Messick’s un-childlike growly back-of-the-throat voices. The kid’s sneering that he’ll play Jack the Giant Killer in the school play and Augie responds by saying he’ll get a “really” giant, one of Maltese’s little dialogue quirks dating back to his days at Warner Bros, and plants some lima beans so a beanstalk will grow by the morning, just like in the fairy tale book.

“After all, who am I to shatter his faith in fairy tales?” says Daddy and the next scene shows him covering the dirt on a makeshift beanstalk. The scene’s in silhouette, which is a nice variation. He’s got Augie’s stilts to put him “in the giant cata-glory.” Morning comes. Augie wakes up (his head top is flat, just like Huckleberry Hound) and he and Hector check out the beanstalk where Daddy’s in a silly costume and holding on. “Fee, fie, and a foe and a fum. Someone has been eatin’ my porridge. I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house down.” Hector runs away but Augie chops down the beanstalk.



For reasons of convenience to the plot, Augie isn’t bright enough to recognise Dear Old Dad through the costume (or the voice) or his own stilts. Well, actually, no else does either. Everyone else Daddy meets up with for the rest of the cartoon thinks he’s a giant. Daddy gets tripped up on one of Augie’s skates, sending him 60 miles an hour down the street in a 20 zone. Daddy misquotes Jimmy Durante’s misquote along the way: “Someone stop me before there’s a cat-atstropic.” Of course, since it’s an Augie Doggie cartoon, the rule is if there’s speeding, a cop shows up (the aforementioned Mike and his nameless partner; both non-Irish for a change). Then chase is on but Daddy disappears. The cops decide there was no giant. “Must be the smog.” “Yeah. Makes you see things like giants and stuff.” Turns out Daddy went down a manhole. A sewer worker pops his head up out of the hole and Daddy’s on top of his hard hat. Daws Butler comes up with an odd voice for the sewer worker; I think he’s basing it on William Bendix. “I must be working too hard. I coulda sworn there was someone down here with me.”



“You’ve fee-fied your last fum,” yells Augie, who’s running down the street to lasso dear old dad. “One thing I can’t stand,” he says, “is a giant on stilts.”—as if such a thing is an everyday occurrence (Maybe it is. It would explain the handy bucket of water). Augie finally ropes “the giant” and goes to get help but runs into a guy with Fibber Fox’s voice. The conversation’s plain old silly.


Man: What’s the hurry, sonny?
Augie: I caught a giant! I caught a giant! I caught—
Man: Well, you pick up my packages and I’ll go get your giant.
Augie: Thank you. But be careful. He’s 30 feet tall.
Man: Oh, of course.
Daddy: What happened?
Man: Pardon me. Are you the giant?
Daddy: Uh huh.
Man: Well, how come you’re not 30 feet tall? I was told you were.
Daddy: Very simple. I haven’t been well lately.

Well, time’s just about up, so Maltese has to wrap up the cartoon. Daddy runs away. Cut to a scene of an ill-repaired beanstalk with Daddy pretending to yell at the giant as Augie slides to a stop. Augie’s jumps up and down to the drum kit sound effect before he zooms off to tell Hector he scared off the giant. Daddy’s standard style tag line “After all, what good is a fairy tale widout a happy ending?”

The music fits the action okay, though the sound cutter on this one likes to start new cues in mid-sentence. Sorry I don’t have the titles to some; they may be lost to the ages. The light symphonic string music that, I think, is by Lou De Francesco in the Sam Fox library appears again.


0:00 - Augie Doggie Main Title theme (Hanna-Barbera-Curtin).
0:26 - THE HAPPY COBBLER (Krasnow) – Pan over Augie’s room, Augie talks to Hector, “And when the giant climbs down…”
1:35 - CB-89A ROMANTIC JAUNT (Cadkin-Bluestone) – “Whap!”, Hector walks away, Daddy plants beanstalk.
2:32 - GR-65 BUSH BABY (Green) – Augie in bed, beanstalk, Daddy as giant.
2:53 - jaunty bassoon and skippy strings (Shaindlin) – Augie and Hector run to beanstalk, “Fee, fie…”
3:06 - related to Excitement Under Dialogue (Shaindlin) – “And a foe…”, Augie chops down beanstalk, Daddy on ground.
3:51 - light symphonic string music (?) – Augie runs, Daddy skates past cops, down manhole, crash.
4:51 - GR-347 GATHERING THE PRODUCE (Green) – Shot of police car, Augie with lasso, Daddy pokes head out from behind building.
5:26 - GR-457 DR QUACK BRIDGE No 1 (Green) – “I hope so, Augie,” water poured on Daddy.
5:39 - PG-177C LIGHT COMEDY MOVEMENT (Green) – Long shot of Daddy wearing bucket, man in window talks to audience.
5:48 - GR-78 CUSTARD PIE CAPERS BRIDGE No 1 (Green) – Daddy runs, Augie lassos, runs into man.
6:01 - EM-107D LIGHT MOVEMENT (Green) – Man talks to Augie and Daddy.
6:32 - tick tock/flute music (Shaindlin) – Beanstalk repaired, Augie excited, Daddy talks to audience.
7:10 - Augie Doggie End Title theme (Curtin).

5 comments:

  1. Augie not only pumps iron, but swipes traffic signs, to boot.

    The copy I watched on YouTube credits Carlo Vinci and Dick Bickenbach for animator and layout respectively.

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    Replies
    1. These credits aren't exactly from this Augie Doggie episode, which was animated by the Disney disciple Dick Lundy.
      Look at the characters' grimaces. They're trademarks of Dick Lundy's animation style.

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    2. TCJ, it's been so long since I wrote this review I had to go back to check my notes.
      The YouTube version's got the wrong credits; the copyright date should be a dead giveaway if nothing else. As much as I've bashed internet databases in the past, I have no doubt the BCDB has the correct credits for this one.

      Delete
  2. Dick Lundy, who animated this Augie Doggie episode, also would be, at this same season (1960), animating the episodes from The Flintstones (among them, The Sweepstakes Ticket [with the Walter Clinton's layouts]).

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  3. Seeing the Doggie Daddy's laughing face animated by Dick Lundy, it reminds me of the Barney Rubble's laughing face on the episodes from The Flintstones, which were animated by the same Dick Lundy.

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