Saturday, May 31, 2014

Augie Doggie — Ape to Z

Produced and Directed by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.
Animation – Hicks Lokey, Layout – Tony Rivera, Backgrounds – Dick Thomas, Written by Mike Maltese, Story Direction – Alex Lovy, Titles – Art Goble, Production Supervision – Howard Hanson (credits from BCDB).
Voice Cast: Doggie Daddy – Doug Young; Augie Doggie – Daws Butler; Radio announcer, Bongo Bongo – Don Messick.
Music: Phil Green, Jack Shaindlin.
First Aired: 1961-62 season.
Plot: Jungle boy Augie brings home a gorilla from the zoo.

Mike Maltese enjoyed odd words and phrases so it’s no wonder he found a place for “jackanapes” in a cartoon. If he used it at Warner Bros., I can’t recall, but it’s front-and-centre in the first act of “Ape to Z.” Appropriate, I suppose, as a “jackanapes,” at one time, referred to an ape or a monkey (if the internet is correct).

This cartoon was apparently the first one aired in the final first-run season of the Augie Doggie series, but some of the storyline is like an old friend paying a visit. This is another “can-I-keep-him-dad/dad-is-reluctant” cartoon. Large, strong apes in Hanna-Barbera cartoons go back to Wee Willie in the first season of the Huckleberry Hound show. But to show you the difference between Hanna-Barbera in 1958 (with Joe Barbera and Charlie Shows writing) and Hanna-Barbera in 1961 (with Maltese writing), the “comic violence” of the early days has been replaced with words. Huck got bashed around a lot by Wee Willie. In this cartoon, Bongo Bongo opens a door on Doggie Daddy and throws him against a wall. Dear Old Dad remains uninjured for the remainder of the proceedings. And, as usual, dad gives in to Augie’s demand, tossing in an “After all” observation as he did in almost every cartoon.

And the whole first scene may remind you of when Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck jumps back and forth, playing two characters talking to each other, somehow changing costumes between each jump.

The animation isn’t anything to get excited about. I wondered if it was Dick Lundy assisted by Bob Carr, but the Big Cartoon Database says it’s Hicks Lokey. It certainly could be. Note the loops for closed eyes when Daddy’s snoring, with the grille of teeth in one drawing and little shovel mouth in another.



An interesting little bit of animation when Augie stops himself under a typical Dick Thomas painting on the wall and tells us he hears the snarl of the wild and ferocious jackanapes. He squints with one eye, then the other, then back again. It’s kind of like he’s eyeing his prey. It’s better than just standing there and bobbing his nose in dialogue, like Lew Marshall would have done.



There’s no attempt at stretching a character when he zips off stage, which happens frequently in this cartoon. Look at Augie. It’s like a regular drawing of him that’s partly off camera. It’s followed by swirl lines.



There are places where the drawings wouldn’t have been out of place on a lightboard at Gamma Productions. Here’s one of a four-drawing chew cycle of Bongo Bongo, the ape.



How about this ugly Augie?



In this scene, it looks like Bongo Bongo is floating. Shouldn’t his feet be even with Doggie Daddy’s?



Anyway, let’s get to the dialogue, which is usually the highlight of a Mike Maltese cartoon. Augie pretends to be a mighty hunter and the hunter’s gunboy, Ooga Ooga. Maltese makes fun of jungle pictures where natives speak broken English and some invented African dialect.


Augie (as gunboy): Oh, Master. Wogga wogga, ooga ooga. Me chicken.

Augie fits in “It is to laugh,” just like Bugs or Daffy in a Warners cartoon.

Augie pretends Daddy is a jackanapes and shoots him with his cork pop gun (that’d never have been allowed on network TV within a few years). Daddy makes a run for it past the same two pictures ten times.


Daddy: But, Augie what about the jackanapes? And, come to think of it, may I enquire as to what is a wild jackapes?
Augie: Well, you know, it’s, uh, just an animal that’s eight feet tall. Which I just mortally wounded.
Daddy: Heh, heh, heh. Well, you shouldn’t clutter the living room with jackanapes’ carcasses. Put him in the closet. It’s neater that way.

In the next scene, Augie’s listening to the radio, which reveals a gorilla is loose.

Augie: I’m going on a safari. Do you want to come along?
Daddy: No, thanks, Augie. It just so happens that I gotta luncheon engagement with a hippopotamus-saurius.

Doggie Daddy always seems to be sitting in his armchair reading the paper in every cartoon. This is the scene where he’s doing it.

Augie captures Bongo Bongo with bananas and a sign for bait, but feels sorry for him and invites him home for a pet. Daddy, thinking his son is kidding, tells him to put the gorilla away.


Augie: Bongo Bongo’s in the closet, dad.
Daddy: That’s fine, Augie. I’ll bring him a deck of cards so he and the wild jackanapes can pass the time playing gingery rummy. Heh, heh, heh, heh. Hey, what’s my old raccoon coat doin’ in here? I thought I packed that old thing in the trunk years ago. Yikes! It’s alive with moths. (Daddy is thrown against a wall) And the moths are hostile! An’ if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s hostile moths.

Later, when Bongo Bongo opens the closet door, which crashes against Daddy so hard, he goes right through the outside wall.

Daddy: Imagine. Thrown outta my own house by a raccoon coat. What a dilemmia.
Augie: Bongo Bongo didn’t mean it. He’ll be more careful next time.
Daddy: Jumpin’ jackanapes. It’s a gorilla!

And to end the cartoon, after Augie asks Daddy if they can keep the gorilla:

Augie: Then you’ll adopt him as your very own son?
Daddy: But I already have a son who is full of monkeyshines.
Augie: Well, uh, couldn’t he be your nephew, dad?
Gorilla: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Daddy: Dat’s a thought, Augie. After all, how many fathers can also say they’re a monkey’s uncle?

This is the only Hanna-Barbera cartoon made for the 1961-62 season which used the Capitol Hi-Q and Langlois Filmusic libraries. All other cartoons produced by the studio henceforth would have stock cues composed in house. Farewell, library music!

0:00 - Augie Doggie Main Title theme (Hanna-Barbera-Curtin)
0:26 - GR-65 BUSH BABY (Green) – Daddy snores, Augie tippy-toes into room, turns head.
0:59 - GR-255 PUPPETRY COMEDY (Green) – Conversation with “Ooga Ooga,” Augie shoots Daddy, Daddy bolts from chair.
2:02 - GR-78 CUSTARD PIE CAPERS (Green) – Daddy runs, skids to a stop.
2:13 - EM-107D LIGHT MOVEMENT (Green) – Daddy and Augie talk about Jackanapes.
2:44 - no music – Augie listens to radio.
2:59 - GR-154 PICNIC OR COUNTRY SCENE (Green) – Augie tells Daddy he’s going on a safari.
3:23 - PG-168J FAST MOVEMENT (Green) – Augie runs, reads sign.
3:30 – no music. “There. That oughta tempt him.”
3:32 - GR-348 EARLY MORNING (Green) – “Now, I’ll hide...I got him!”
3:40 - GR-96 BY JIMINY! IT’S JUMBO (Green) – Gorilla/Augie scene.
4:30 - skipping strings and jaunty bassoon (Shaindlin) – Daddy with boxes, gorilla in closet, Daddy with gorilla’s arm.
5:23 - CAPERS (Shaindlin) – Ape hauls Daddy back in closet, Daddy thrown out, door opens on Daddy.
5:50 - Tick Tock flute music (Shaindlin) – “Be careful...”, cartoon ends.
7:10 - Augie Doggie End Title theme (Curtin)

14 comments:

  1. Maltese did do his 1974 interview with Joe Adamson for his book on Tex Avery in a room where he had a stuffed 'jackalope', so it's likely that 13 years earlier Mike already had a liking on the idea of taking two incomparable animals and mixing their names together (or getting a taxidermist to do it) to create a new breed with a funny name.

    And a moment of silence -- or a sad stock music cue -- for the end of an audio era at Hanna-Barbera.

    ReplyDelete
  2. How about the one with the picnic, or shall we say:..Pic-a-nic Baskets placed in strategic places in the Yogi short "Booby Trapped Bear"(I THINK that was the title") - I don't recall Yowp reviewing THAT one..:) nd a moment of silence indeed..SC

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi, Steve. It aired the week of Oct. 24, 1960.
    I've just gone through my image files and you're quite right. The review was never done. Whether it will happen at this point, I don't know.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I remember very much of this episode.
    And the gorilla reminds very much the mischievous Wee Willie.
    And, by coincidence, I'm listening to the song Mickey's monkey, which Smokey Robinson & The Miracles recorded for Motown Records in 1963.

    ReplyDelete
  5. “And a moment of silence -- or a sad stock music cue -- for the end of an audio era at Hanna-Barbera.”

    And a moment of silence for the ALLEGED (note my emphasis) reason we do not have these cartoons on authorized Warner DVD!

    Of course, that means we SHOULD have Wally Gator and Peter Potamus, etc. …

    ReplyDelete
  6. It has moths and they are hostile. An'd If there is one thing I can't stand is hostile moths. - A line for the ages.

    ReplyDelete
  7. You can allege if you want, Joe. But Earl Kress, who worked on these sets, told me personally that was the main reason the sets weren't released. He would have known. He worked on the music clearance. The poor sales of the Huck set and lack of some of the elements of Quick Draw show (which were later found) were other reasons.
    I don't think it stands to reason that if music was a problem with one series of cartoons, that another series should be released because music isn't a problem. I understand there are restoration costs associated with the Lippy, etc. cartoons and Warners isn't going to the expense of restoring old cartoons right now. If you saw the ones on the 60s Saturday Morning sets, they're not in pristine shape.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I’m certainly not going to argue too loud and long against the combined might of yourself and the late Earl Kress – two persons I have a great deal of respect for. I completely believe Earl’s and your assertions concerning both music clearance and quality of the elements involved.

      But, I do have (and enjoyed) both “Saturday Morning Cartoons 1960s” sets (and the later debacle that was – “The Best of Warner Bros. Hanna-Barbera 25 Cartoon Collection”) and would deem the quality of the cartoons in question as “acceptable”, as long as Warner played fair with us, and offered a disclaimer on the packaging.

      Even if Huck had poor sales, series like Wally Gator, Peter Potamus, Atom Ant, and Secret Squirrel could certainly be offered via Warner Archives (where they could be “manufactured on demand”, only for those interested in such series – and not mass-marketed to presumed large losses).

      There could also be a mega-package of the Huck and Quick Draw 1961 season / Hoyt Curtin shorts, with all the Hokey Wolf cartoons included.

      Quality issues didn’t keep those few shorts off the “Saturday Morning Cartoons 1960s” and “The Best of Warner Bros. Hanna-Barbera 25 Cartoon Collection” sets, so why should they be excluded from Warner Archives, as long as they provide the proper disclaimer up-front. There are no music clearance issues with these series – and if released through Warner Archives and with a picture quality disclaimer, I fail to understand the reason these have yet to surface.

      And, under the Warner Archive program, they don’t need to “sell a million” to be successful. Just like the old and obscure Cagney and Bogart films I routinely buy from them. I’d certainly rather have these series in DVD-R and lesser quality, than not have them at all. I’d expect others among us to agree, as well

      So, that is why I respectively “allege” Music Clearance – as perhaps only one small part of a greater issue that remains unknown to eager H-B product consumers, such as myself.

      Delete
    2. Joe, I don't see any reason there can't be a release of the final season for the Huck and Quick Draw cartoons. The cartoons were restored, from what I was told. While it'd be nice to recreate the full half hours, I'd settle for just the cartoons themselves. There are certainly enough of them to fill a two-disc DVD set, one for Huck, P&D and Hokey, and the other for the Quick Draw series.
      I think there's a bit of a difference between one Wally Gator in an omnibus set and a full run of the series. Fans would expect the latter to be restored.
      As for the music, I only know what Earl explained to me. Since he was involved, I'll take his word for what happened.

      Delete
  8. Was there any reason why Hanna-Barbera stopped using stock music from Capital Records? Was it a cost issue or they just preferred Hoyt Curtin's stock cues?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Frank, I can only guess, but I suspect it's because the studio was putting out so many cartoons, it could afford to have Curtin come in and bang off a set of cues.
      And the days of stock music as incidental music on TV shows and movies was coming to an end. Radio became the market for production libraries and the old libraries were formatted for moods, not 60 and 30 second spots. Hi-Q became obsolete.

      Delete
    2. On the subject of stock music on TV, the most maddening thing about the particular stock libraries in question is that snippets of this music can be found sprinkled ALL OVER my DVD collection – in shows like LEAVE IT TO BEAVER, NAKED CITY, early GUNSMOKE, ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS, and THE UNTOUCHABLES. Not complete scores, by any stretch, but unexpected snippets that occur in odd places in each show.

      There’s even some of it (believe it or not) in a later episode of STAR TREK VOYAGER, playing in the background as the score of an ancient cartoon that Tom Paris is watching! How I wish I could cite the episode title for you, but I don’t feel up to going back over them to find it. It WAS probably from the last season, or close to it.

      And, every time I run across one of these (…maybe I watch too much ‘50s and ‘60s TV?) I think that this is what is keeping us from home-versions of some of the best Hanna-Barbera cartoons ever made!

      Delete
    3. Hey Joe. Still off the subject, The only place I know where the Hi-Q library was an issue, was when Viacom released season one of " My Three Sons " with the cues completely scrubbed and the shows re-scored. Left a real bad taste in the mouths of fans of the original music cues. Viacom has been really bad about replacing cues in various DVD sets. Don't know where Warner Brothers stand is on that. I agree with Yowp. It would be great to have the thirty minute version of the H-B shows, but, I would settle for the cartoons. Yowp was also right about radio production libraries. A lot of radio stations had the Capitol Library in its various forms through out the years. Later, companies would start issuing only 60, 30, and 15 second music cuts, specifically for commercials. Very, very sadly, I'm sure a lot of the libraries were just tossed when newer libraries became available.

      Delete
  9. Everyone, don't forget my own show, Gumby....in 1986 they had to rerecord the music even BEFORE Capitol's (by then and still today) owner Ole Georg sold out (and he had to for reasons Earl Kress mentioned, on the owners's part, ten years after that 1988 restoration),
    and those Rhino issues of Gumby had those re-ds (thechoice of the TYPE of replacement music or the stories for the NEW Gumbys weren't much better,either.) However Classic Media HAS restored them, and Warner Brothers still can sell the THEATRICAL six fall 1958 shorts with that music (not the only WB stuff with it)..."Weasel While You Work","A Bird in a Bonnet","Hook Line and Stinker","Pre-hystericsal Hare","Gopher Broke", and "Hip-Hip Hurry".
    (Now hearing John Seely, Blll Loose and David Rose's "TC-203 Wistful Comedy" heard at the end of those first two, WWyW and ABiaB.The same cue used in "Slumber Party Smarty" with Yogi and Iddy Biddy Buddy in the first bed scene, and in the scene in "Little Bridmouse" when Dixie flies out the schoolhouse window, chalk-board writing"Mice do't fly", and in Gumby and Pokey's 1957 film "Indian Trouble" near the beginning.Oddly, it's not one of the Loose-Seely pieces currentlyin the widget on the right..SC

    ReplyDelete