Saturday, March 15, 2014
Quick Draw McGraw — Dynamite Fright
Credits: Animation – Hicks Lokey, Layout – Paul Sommer, Backgrounds – Vera Hanson, Written by Mike Maltese, Story Direction – Alex Lovy, Titles – Art Goble, Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voice Cast: Narrator, Dynamite Kaboom, Brown Hat Cowboy, Sheriff, Assorted Townsmen – Doug Young; Quick Draw, Baba Looey, Snuffles, Snuffles' kids, Paymaster, White Hat Cowboy, Deputy, Assorted Townsmen – Daws Butler.
Music: Hoyt Curtin.
First Aired: 1961.
Episode: Quick Draw McGraw Show M-041, Production J-110.
Plot: Quick Draw and Snuffles try to stop Dynamite Kaboom from blowing up the dam.
What do you do with a cartoon character when he’s only got one piece of schtick? You use him judiciously so he doesn’t wear himself out. That’s what Mike Maltese did with Snuffles. The biscuit-loving dog only appeared in seven Quick Draw McGraw cartoons. His routine never became tired, even with continual reruns of the cartoons.
This was one of six new Quick Draws made for the 1961-62 season, though in looking at the production numbers on the internet (not all of which have turned out to be correct) it was begun before one which appeared on the previous season. Snuffles appeared in two of them.
Maltese uses some pretty matter-of-fact dialogue in the first couple of minutes to set up the plot. Dynamite Kaboom, for reasons left to your imagination, wants to blow up a dam and flood a little western town in the process. There’s a little right-to-left pan over a Vera Ohman Hanson background.
There are townspeople running in fear. Here’s are Hicks Lokey’s drawings on twos. Anticipation drawings then a quick flee.
Now for some fun Maltese dialogue.
Sheriff: Quick Draw, I sent for you because Dynamite Kaboom is a-goin’ to blow up the new dam. Well, I don’t mind a little rain once in a while, but one big kersplash I don’t like. Uh, will you stop Dynamite Kaboom? For the sake of the settlers?
Quick Draw: I sure will! And thanks for the ten-thousand-dollars reward.
Sheriff: Now who said anything about a ten-thousand-dollar reward? Uh, how about a grand?
Quick Draw: A grand what?
Sheriff: A grand total of fifty dollars.
Quick Draw: I’ll take it.
Now Snuffles is introduced into the cartoon, with a brief appearance by his offspring. All have three hairs on their heads growing from the same place, like Dino on the Flintstones. Snuffles will do anything for a dog biscuit, including jumping through a window. Which he demonstrates.
The second half of the cartoon features the hunt for Dynamite Kaboom, interrupted as Quick Draw proves to himself a stick found by Snuffles is dynamite by blowing himself up. Snuffles captures the bad guy and gets his usual reward (see our post about the ecstasy animation HERE). But Dynamite Kaboom has a timer attached to his bundle of dynamite which threatens to blow up the dam and flood the town any second. Will Quick Draw save the town? There’s some real suspense here only because Quick Draw is so inept in his cartoons, and doesn’t always win in the end, you never know how the plot is going to play out. The uncertainty adds to Maltese’s story.
As it turns out (after Quick Draw says “hold on thar!” to the bundle of dynamite), the dynamite is tossed into the water, Quick Draw is kicked into the water by Dynamite Kaboom, who is kicked into the water by Baba Looey. Neither Quick Draw nor Dynamite Kaboom can swim, but Quick Draw is rescued from under the water because he conveniently has a dog biscuit to bribe Snuffles. The bad guy isn’t as well stocked (“Awww,” says Snuffles, shaking his head over the drowning villain’s plight). But Baba pulls Kaboom out of the water and it’s off to jail.
The wind-up scene has the Gro-Pup product placement, the four sons of Snuffles duplicating dad’s routine after eating biscuits, with Baba ending the cartoon by superfluously remarking “That’s what I call ‘like father, like sons’.”
Quick Draw doesn’t fit in his “I’ll do the thinnin’ around here” or “Oooh, that smarts” catchphrases in this cartoon.
You’ll recognise a number of short Flintstones cues in this cartoon, as well a dramatic horn cue during a shot of the bundle of dynamite that was used later on “Jonny Quest.” There are stretches of the cartoon where no music is heard (like the scene where the sheriff and Quick Draw discuss the reward). “That’s Quick Draw McGraw” accompanies the arrival of our hero, sung by Doug Young.