Produced and Directed by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.
Credits: Animation – Lew Marshall, Layout – Paul Sommer, Backgrounds – Dick Thomas, Written by Warren Foster, Story Director – Alex Lovy, Titles – Art Goble, Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voice Cast: Pixie, Professor, Monkey – Don Messick; Mr. Jinks, Dixie, Guy in Suit – Daws Butler.
Music: Jack Shaindlin, Geordie Hormel, Spencer Moore.
Episode: Huckleberry Hound Show K-051.
First Aired: week of February 27, 1961.
Plot: Jinks is at the mercy of an anti-gravity machine that keeps him in the air.
This cartoon is a dud.
Well, it’s not a dud if you like to see Mr. Jinks get bashed around without deserving it. Or if you like characters to spend screen time explaining what they’re going to do before doing it. Or if you like a comedy that has dialogue without punch lines. Or if you like a cartoon that relies on a catchphrase to bring it to a sudden end.
It’s too bad. Warren Foster came up with a pretty funny premise that he could have filled up with try-and-fail type gags like he did with Sylvester in the Tweety cartoons at Warners. But the premise alone can’t carry the cartoon. And the dialogue is so uninspired, even Daws Butler can’t find many places for Jinksie to perform his customary word-mangling. It may simply have been a case that Foster had to quickly churn out another story that could be inexpensively animated. The cartoon was one of the last new Pixie and Dixies to be aired in the 1960-61 season.
Dixie: There it is. “Cats Wanted For Fur Factory.”
Pixie: He wouldn’t want a job there.
It’s just not funny. It could have been, even though Pixie is merely stating the obvious, but Don Messick gives the line a straight-forward read without any tinge of facetiousness or irony.
We learn Jinks is being employed by a space scientist for a weightlessness experiment using a de-gravitising machine. The next scene features plenty of yapping between the scientist and a guy in a three-piece suit who is never identified. The scientist spends gobs of time explaining stuff then doing it.
Professor: I’ll show you how it works. I have put a wire in the cat’s tie for an antenna. And when I turn on the “juice,” as we call it...
Guy: Ha ha ha ha ha.
Professor: Heh heh. Heh heh heh. Heh heh heh. Heh-um.
I’m missing something here. What’s so funny about “juice”? I could understand if it was a pun, or even a bad pun.
Cut to the next scene. Jinks arrives at the door of his home holding a heavy metal garbage can (do they still make those?) and makes a dash for his bed. He doesn’t get there, rising to the ceiling instead. “Help, fellas!” cries the cat. “Get me down. I’ll have to walk around grasping an ashcan all my life. But if I stay up here, I’ll starve to death.” Dixie tries to toss Jinks a small rope to pull him down, but it hooks around the cat’s tail instead. Jinks looks at us and disgustedly says “Meeces!” That may be the best dialogue in the cartoon.
Jinks: You guys are, like, my pals, but...
Dixie: We know, we know.
Meeces: You hate meeces to pieces.
And Pixie and Dixie laugh to end another Hanna-Barbera cartoon.
The cartoon features a bunch of Jack Shaindlin neutral cues I can’t identify, though you can tell it’s his material because of the arrangements. The cutter favours lots of little cues for some reason; he uses snippets of longer pieces of music in addition to what appear to be short work-parts.
0:00 - Pixie and Dixie Main Title theme (Curtin, Hanna, Barbera, Shows).
0:12 - meandering flute, oboe and horns (Shaindlin) – Pixie looks in basket, “Search me.”
0:29 - no music – “He read the want ads,” “what interested him.”
0:35 - clarinet and falling strings (Shaindlin) – meece look at ads, “space project.”
1:00 - no music – “That would appeal to Jinksie,” meece giggle.
1:07 - playful flute and trumpet (Shaindlin) – Man talks to professor, “real well.”
1:14 - no music – professor talks about cream and sherbet.
1:19 - relaxed strings (Shaindlin) – shot of Jinks sleeping, “it’s of no use unless we.”
1:30 - L-80 COMEDY UNDERSCORE (Moore) – “degravitise him,” explanation of machine, “Watch.”
2:13 - short clarinet cue (Shaindlin) – Professor turns on machine, Jinks floats up, “That’s wonderful, professor.”
2:21 - no music – “He floated straight up,” “Can you…”
2:29 - meandering flute, oboe and horns (Shaindlin) – “…bring him down?” Jinks lands.
2:39 - no music – “Remarkable,” man points to monkey.
2:47 - flute and trumpet quack cue (Shaindlin) – Shot of monkey, invitation to lunch.
3:06 - comedy march (Shaindlin) – Professor and man walk, monkey turns on machine, Jinks on ceiling, “Like I am convinced.”
3:42 - no music – “This is no dream,” Jinks zips out of frame.
3:51 - LAF-5-20 TOBOGGAN RUN (Shaindlin) – Jinks runs outside.
4:01 - fluttering open music (Shaindlin) – Monkey plays with machine, Jinks up and down, grabs garbage can.
4:32 - ZR-47 LIGHT MOVEMENT (Hormel) – Jinks runs with garbage can.
4:46 - L-81 COMEDY UNDERSCORE (Moore) – Jinks at window, rises to ceiling, rope around tail, “Get me down.”
5:55 - ZR-47 LIGHT MOVEMENT (Hormel) – Professor and man run, kaboom.
6:10 - clarinet and falling strings (Shaindlin) – Jinks on ceiling, crashes to floor.
6:15 - L-78 COMEDY UNDERSCORE (Moore) – “You did not have to pull,” Jinks with broom.
6:33 - LAF-2-12 ON THE RUN (Shaindlin) – Meeces run, laugh.
6:56 - Pixie and Dixie End Title theme (Curtin).