Saturday, October 25, 2014

Quick Draw McGraw — The Mark of El Kabong

Produced and Directed by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.
Credits: none. Written by Mike Maltese, Titles – Art Goble, Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voice Cast: Quick Draw McGraw, Baba Looey, Don Fateego, Sergeant, Yellow Kerchief Townsman – Daws Butler; Narrator, Generale Badguyos, Man in Sombrero, White Kerchief Townsman – Don Messick; Senorita Rita – Jean Vander Pyl.
Music: Hoyt Curtin.
First Aired: 1961-62 season.
Episode: Quick Draw McGraw Show M-044, Production J-136.
Plot: El Kabong takes on Generale Badguyos.

This is the final Quick Draw McGraw cartoon ever made, and it’s one of the funniest. There is some great dialogue and a beautiful plot twist at the end where the people El Kabong is supposed to be saving are so fed up with his clumsiness, they turn against him.

The credits attached to this cartoon in its DVD release are incorrect. ID expert Howard Fein says Bob Carr is the animator of this short. Carr arrived at Hanna-Barbera in March 1959 as an assistant animator. He was promoted to a full animator in September 1960 as “The Flintstones” was about to get on the air. Here’s Carr (at least I think it’s him) in a teeny cubicle at the windowless studio at 3501 Cahuenga Blvd., with Dick Lundy in the background and a piece of Carlo Vinci to the right.

Here are a couple of background drawings. The first is the town San Chihuahua, and opens the cartoon. The rolling hills remind me of Art Lozzi’s work. The cacti, clouds and the rose-coloured mesas as well (compare them with Lozzi’s work in “Mine Your Manners.” The sign lettering is by Art Goble.



Incidental character designs.



A line of dialogue in this cartoon resulted in a complaint to a local TV station. I spotted it some time ago in an old newspaper. Unfortunately, virtually all the sources I had for on-line newspaper archives are behind paywalls and I can’t tell you which paper it was in. However, someone objected to the villain’s line “Like Santa Claus, there is no such a person as El Kabong.” Yowp says: “Get a life.”

While we’re talking dialogue...


Narrator: Tell me, Quick Draw, why do you hide behind the mask of El Kabong?
Quick Draw: Because no one will take my unmasked face seriously.

Quick Draw (singing off-key): Ohhhh, I won’t be at the round-up, Nellie, because I’m such a squaaaaare.

Don Fateego: Who knocks at my fine old hacienda door?
Generale: It is I, Generale Badguyos, (smiles at camera) friend of the people.
Don Fateego: What do you want, you oppressor?
Generale: I have come to ask for the hand of your beautiful daughter.
Rita: For the 117th time, the answer is still “no,” (smiles coyly) you handsome villain.

Generale: Anyone else daring putting me out? (points sword at Baba) How about you, shorty? Do you dare?
Baba: Huh? Oh, you can stay for dinner for all I care.

Rita: You have broken my final guitar on the gentleman’s head, you oaf!
Quick Draw: Sorry, lady, but there are certain occupational hazards connected with being a masked hero.



Mike Maltese glues adjectives that stick to everything. So Don Fateego has a “fine, old hacienda” and that’s how it’s referred to during the duration of the cartoon (Rita hears it so much, she calls her father “a fine, old hacienda” until correcting herself). El Kabong destroys a “fine old chandelier,” “a fine old expensive vase,” “fine old priceless antique table,” “fine old genuine bone-china teapot” and, finally, a “fine old imported window” during the climactic sword fight with the Generale. At one point, Baba acts like a golf caddy, complete with club bag, handing Quick Draw his “number five sword.”

Naturally, we don’t see any of this stuff getting wrecked because it would cost too much to animate. So you get to imagine it, like on radio.

Finally, Don Fateego and his daughter have had enough. They join Generale Badguyos in chasing El Kabong (in a long-shot silhouette). Since this is the final Quick Draw cartoon, they could be running after him to this very day.

Since this is an El Kabong cartoon, we’d better show you a couple of ka-bongs.



We’ve posted the storyboard for the cartoon HERE. You can see some of the things Mike Maltese wrote that had to be cut out, likely for time.

Hoyt Curtin’s music that underscores the scene where we’re introduced to the father and his daughter sounds more calypso than something from the Spanish-tinged Old West. And the dueling scene to the end of the cartoon features a cue associated with “Top Cat.”

Thus ends our reviews of the 45 Quick Draw McGraw cartoons. Quick Draw remains my favourite series out of the nine made by Hanna-Barbera for syndicated television in the 1950s.

4 comments:

  1. Seeing the character designs, they seem very much the Iwao Takamoto design.

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  2. Wonderful finale to the Quick Draw / El Kabong run!

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  3. Bye Bye, Senor Queekstraw/El KABONG!!!(Snagglepuss comes in with his guitar) like, instantly, e-ven, stage right, after 45 episodes and at least two years even.

    SteveC

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