Saturday, June 7, 2014
Quick Draw McGraw — Baba Bait
Animation: Don Williams; Backgrounds – Dick Thomas; Written by Mike Maltese; Titles – Art Goble; Production Supervision – Howard Hanson. (No credits)
Voice Cast: Quick Draw, Baba Looey, Bank Teller, Sheriff, Blacksmith – Daws Butler; Narrator, Masked Mosquito, Bank President – Don Messick.
Music: Hoyt Curtin.
Episode: Quick Draw McGraw Show M-040, Production J-123.
First aired: 1961-62 season.
Plot: Baba Looey pretends to be a bad guy to bring in the bank robbing Masked Mosquito.
Just how dumb is Quick Draw McGraw? He concocts a scheme to have Baba Looey flush out the Masked Mosquito so he can capture him. And the plan works. Up to a point. The Mosquito runs right past Quick Draw.
Quick Draw: Who, Baba boy?
Baba: The Masked Mosquito. He just run out of the bank.
Quick Draw: Well, I dee-clare. I didn’t recog-nisize him with his mask off.
Baba: Then I thin’ I’d better capture him myself.
Quick Draw: Come to think of it, I wouldn’t recog-nisize him with his mask on, either.
Which defeats the whole purpose of Quick Draw’s plan. In fact, we get the idea it’s not going to work earlier in the cartoon when our hero mistakes the village blacksmith for the bad guy and gets socked in the snout.
Mike Maltese has come up with a well-constructed story with a silly premise—that a bad guy would be an insect. Unlike super hero comic books, the Masked Mosquito doesn’t try to look like a mosquito. He’s just a guy who makes buzzing sounds for reasons unknown. As usual, the characters talk with the cartoon’s narrator. But Maltese avoids having Baba Looey make a punning observation at the end. It doesn’t hurt the cartoon in the slightest. And the whole mood is helped by the animation. Here’s one frame of the sheriff.
The little triangular cross-eyes are the work of veteran Don Williams, who actually gets a bit of full animation in this cartoon. Baba does a little weave when he sings the Quick Draw McGraw theme song. Other than his feet, Baba’s whole body rocks and back and forth in time to the singing; it isn’t just a head bobbing. Some of the drawings are used on only one frame, others on two. It looks pretty smooth. Even when Williams bobs a head, there’ll be five different positions and in Quick Draw’s case, his kerchief moves, too, not just the snout. Williams also likes big mouths, and wide, almost deranged-looking, eyes--especially on Quick Draw.
Narrator: Oh, Sheriff, we know you must be very busy but can we ask you a question?
Narrator: Is it true that because of the Masked Mosquito robberies, the citizens threaten to run you out of town on a rail?
Sheriff: Well, let’s put it this way. Yes, it’s true.
Cut to a long shot of the Sheriff being carried on what looks like a thin log by two running men. No, the saying has nothing to do with a railway track. Go to THIS LINK to find out more. Cartoons can be very educational, you know. By the way, you’ll notice the clouds in the background of this cartoon are yellow.
The narrator mentions the famous Quick Draw McGraw is coming to town. That’s even more of an incentive for the Sheriff to vamoose. Look at the way Williams has drawn the Sheriff’s right hand. It looks like a boxing glove. It reminds me of those old Ub Iwerks cartoons where a fist was drawn as a circle with no fingers.
Enter our heroes.
Baba: Say, Quickstraw, look. I theen that fellow is riding a rail.
Quick Draw: Must be the poor feller can’t afford a horse, Baba Looey.
“It’s no sooner said that don’t, and don’t you forget it,” says Quick Draw to the narrator when informed of the job opening of sheriff. That’s when Quick Draw hatches the plot to have Baba attack him in the saloon where the Masked Mosquito (“unmasked, of course”) will be hanging out and become so impressed he’ll invite Baba to be part of his gang. “Ees a pretty good idea. Quickstraw must have seen it on TV, I theen.”
Quick Draw: Well, uh, after lookin’ all these gunslingers over, my inter-ition tells me that tough-lookin’ hombre is really the Masked Mosquito, without.
Baba: Without what, Quickstraw?
Quick Draw: Without his mask, of course.
“Without,” by the way, is an old form of saying “outside.”
The fake fight begins after some fake Spanish by Baba (“sombrero” “enchilada” and “tortilla” are included in the sentence, along with “Arriba!”). Baba bashes Quick Draw with all kinds of stuff. “Oooh. Does that ever smart!” Williams gives us some rolling eyes.
All this does is rile up the guy whose attention they’re trying to get. He gives Quick Draw one in the snoot. Then he reveals he’s not the Masked Mosquito but the village blacksmith.
But the Mosquito (“unmasked, of course”) has been watching the whole thing. “What did you do to that polecat McGraw?” he asks. So we get a repeat performance.
The wind-up has Baba in the sheriff’s chair and Quick Draw leaving town by rail. Cut to a shot of him at the train station. He walks out of the shot, there’s some noise and a cut to a shot of him being carried out of town on a rail by the same guys who did it to the sheriff to end the cartoon.