Saturday, May 18, 2013

Augie Doggie — Horse Fathers

Produced and Directed by Joe Barbera and Bill Hanna.
Credits: Animation – Don Williams, Layout – Hi Mankin, Backgrounds – Art Lozzi, Written by Mike Maltese, Story Director – Alex Lovy, Titles – Art Goble, Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voice Cast: Augie Doggie, Roscoe, Fly, Passerby – Daws Butler; Doggie Daddy – Doug Young.
Music: Phil Green, Jack Shaindlin.
First Aired: 1961.
Episode: Quick Draw McGraw Show M-037, Production J-109.
Plot: Augie gives Daddy a blue horse for his birthday.

Mike Maltese gave Doggie Daddy an over-emotional horse in “Nag! Nag! Nag!” in the first season, so he tried it again in the second season. Different horse, though. This one is named Roscoe and is blue (I suppose if Hanna-Barbera can have a blue hound dog, it can have a blue horse).

The toothy horse in this cartoon is designed by layout man Hi Mankin, who I presume was freelancing. This is the only H-B cartoon where I can find his name, at least until he arrived at the studio to work on Jonny Quest in the ‘60s. Hi spent most of his life in comic art but he has an interesting animation pedigree. His dad was the owner of Cartoon Colour Co. in Culver City, which supplied paint for cels. One of his aunts was married to Max Maxwell, the Disney and Harman-Ising veteran who was the first production manager at the Fred Quimby-run MGM cartoon studio in 1937. Young Hi was an in-betweener in the Hanna-Barbera unit at MGM in the late ‘40s. You can read more about Hi here. Hiram Julian Mankin III died in Los Angeles on December 30, 1978. He was only 52.

Hi’s layouts aren’t all that spectacular. About the best thing in the cartoon is some of the expressions animator Don Williams gives to the characters, especially Roscoe. Note how first two drawings below of the cowboy hat and Daddy and the horse’s bodies are the same, they’re just turned around and inked and painted in reverse.



I mentioned in the post on Williams’ animation in “Pop’s Nature’s Pup” from the previous season that it looks like Williams animated the medium-shot scenes at one time and the close-up scenes at another because the shots didn’t match. The same thing happens in this cartoon. The two drawings below are on consecutive frames but the expressions don’t match.



Mike Maltese’s story is a variation on the “Can-We-Keep-(insert name of pet here)?” plot he recycled over and over in the Augie cartoons. The difference this time is the animal Augie’s bringing home to Dear Old Dad is a birthday present. Augie enumerates his gifts for us as Daddy sleeps to open the cartoon—a scrumptious birthday cake, a large parcel, a ten-gallon hat (Daddy size) and a noisy wake-up complete with horn and bass drum (“Jupin’ Jumpiter!” exclaims Daddy in a nice word turnaround). No doubt Daddy speaks for all fathers watching when he confides: “After all, it’s a father’s birthday duty to withstand surprises.”



“Be aghast with wonderment at your gift,” says Augie, pointing to the large package. Inside is Roscoe, who jumps on Daddy and slurps him like a dog. Daddy tries to kick him out of the house, but we gets tears from Augie and the Sylvester Junior-like “oh-the-shame-of-it” catchphrase and self-psychoanalysis. “Because my dear old dad rejected my birthday gift, I shall grow up with a trauma.” So Daddy lets Roscoe stay. “I wouldn’t want my boy to grow up with a trauma. They’re the woist kind,” he tells us.

Cut to the next scene, with Daddy about to enjoy his birthday cake with Augie and the horse. Roscoe, for some reason, has lost his nostrils in the medium shot of the three characters. A fly enters the cartoon and lands on Daddy’s nose. Roscoe tries to swat it away but smacks Daddy in the snout instead. Williams animates the nose, as it bounces around in four different positions, a bit of extra drawing that would be deemed superfluous in later cartoons. “It was only a fly, dear old dad” Augie says. “It felt more like a horse fly to me,” Dad muses. It’s time to blow out the candles, but the horse does it before Daddy has a chance—and blows the cake out the window and onto a chuckling “innocent passerby” (as he calls himself). Chuckles gives Daddy a gift, too—a punch in the face.




Roscoe neighs “I’ll say!” when Augie suggests the animal can take “flabby dad” on a healthy horseback ride. “Tall in the saddle dad” crash into the wall above the living room door when the grinning horse gallops through it. The hammy horse bawls when Daddy says “I remain terra firma and terra cotta” in not accepting the Roscoe’s apology, and tells him he can “throw all the transoms” he wants. Roscoe responds with a Muttley-like mutter and another crashing ride for “ditto dad.”

Daddy gives up. But that isn’t the end of it. Roscoe whispers something to Augie. The boy sets-up Dad. “What do you think of anyone who would separate a father and a son?” he asks. “Words cannot elucidate a low-down, no-good, low-life who would dare do such a thing,” Daddy exclaims. That’s Roscoe’s cue to invite his son to live with them. What can they do with two horses in the house? Much like the horse in “Nag! Nag! Nag!”—use them for furniture. Daddy looks at the camera and does his standard “After all, how many homes can boast a pair of real, live horse bookends?” line as the cartoon ends.

The sound-cutter wisely cuts the background music when Augie is tooting the toy horn and banging the drum to wake up Doggie Daddy. Roscoe gets his own galloping music—Jack Shaindlin’s “Six Day Bicycle Race.” Otherwise, the music is Phil Green’s work from the EMI Photoplay library, most of it from the Kiddie Comedy Suite.


0:00 - Augie Doggie Main Title theme (Hanna-Barbera-Curtin).
0:25 - GR-259 AND THEY ALL LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER (Green) – Daddy sleeping, Augie looks over gifts.
1:02 - No music. Noisemaker and bass drum wake up Daddy, Daddy asks “What’s going on?”
1:17 - EM-107D LIGHT MOVEMENT (Green) – “It’s your birthday,” Daddy opens package, Daddy allows Roscoe to stay, horse slurps Daddy.
3:11 - GR-258 THE TIN DRAGOONS (Green) – Horse slurps Daddy, birthday cake scene.
4:35 - GR-256 TOYLAND BURGLAR (Green) – Daddy wants to evict horse, Augie suggests horse ride.
4:55 - SIX DAY BICYCLE RACE (Shaindlin) – Horse ride, crash.
5:06 - GR-255 PUPPETRY COMEDY (Green) – “Tall in the saddle dad,” horse cries.
5:44 - SIX DAY BICYCLE RACE (Shaindlin) – Horse ride, crash.
5:54 - GR-255 PUPPETRY COMEDY (Green) – Daddy gives up, “…do such a thing.”
6:21 - GR-65 BUSH BABY (Green) – “Hear that Roscoe?” Roscoe Jr. comes in, bookends.
7:00 - GR-77 CUSTARD PIE CAPERS (Green) – Daddy talks to audience.
7:10 - Augie Doggie End Title theme (Curtin).

5 comments:

  1. "Yowp-Yowp" Dodsworth,

    Nice comparsion between Augie Doggie and Sylvester Jr. on saying: "Oh, the shame of it."
    Alias, Don Williams, who animated this Augie Doggie & Doggie Daddy episode, was from the Robert McKimson unit on Warner, where he animated various shorts involving Sylvester & Sylvester Jr. (incluiding those ones which appear the playful kangaroo baby, Hippity Hopper).
    Don Williams also animated on Universal/Walter Lantz and DePatie-Freleng.

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  2. Another detail which I have to include, it was at the scene where Roscoe appears wearing the Daddy's cowboy hat. Note how come he got looked like Quick Draw!



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  3. Actually, I liked the Augie character better than Sylvester, Jr. On another note, it's interesting that H-B continued using the Capital library well into 1961 when they were already building their own music library. The main difference in the cues used from 1959 on is that they reflect more of a "documentary" sound to them than the drama/comedy cues used from 1957-58. The cartoons within the QUICK DRAW show exist on a different level in terms of production and their "sound." It was alson in this same year, 1959 that H-B Enterprises became officially Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc.

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  4. And we cannot forget that the first Hanna-Barbera production to use the Hoyt Curtin's original music score, was the Loopy de Loop theatrical shorts in 1959.
    In the following year (1960), The Flintstones was the second Hanna-Barbera production to use the Hoyt Curtin's original scores. And the series produced from 1961 to on passed to use the original music scores (composed by Curtin, Ted Nichols, and later by John Debney, Haim Saban, James Venable, Guy Moon, Mark Mothersbaugh [from Devo], and many, many others).


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  5. Hi Mankin worked on a bunch of HB series, and is credited with creating the models for Birdman.

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