In order to don all those roles, Snagglepuss does a lot of zipping around. That means a lot of brush lines. The painting department at the Hanna-Barbera studio kept busy on this cartoon. Some examples...
The animator in this cartoon is veteran Jack Carr. He was born in Manhattan on June 23, 1901 to James J. and Alice (Boland) Carr. He began his career drawing comic strips for the New York Globe before going into the animation business in 1924. According to his obit in the Los Angeles Times, he worked on the silent Felix the Cat shorts. Carr got a job with the Mintz studio and moved West with it in 1930. He jumped from Mintz to Lantz to Warners in a few short years and purportedly was the voice of Buddy in the Warners cartoons (Variety noted in 1936 he was doing cartoon “vocal effects”). By the end of the decade, Carr began a long career at MGM, much of it apparently as an assistant animator as he was only credited on screen in the mid ‘40s in the George Gordon unit and toward the end of the studio’s life in the later ‘50s. Somewhere along the way, he had a spell at Disney. In November 1967, Weekly Variety reported Carr became first employee in 10-year history of Hanna-Barbera Prods. to retire under Motion Picture Pension Fund. Carr died in Los Angeles on August 3, 1974.
Snagglepuss emotes forth with one of his soliloquys. The situation is this. Bank robber Fowler Means and his crooked lawyer Ornery Cuss have used their guns to intimidate everyone to get out of town, thus stopping Means’ trial (“sudden lead poisonin’,” Means calls it). Included is the circuit judge, who takes refuge from the flying bullets in Snagglepuss’ cave. Sayeth the mountain lion:
Who slammeth my door and disturbeth my slumber? Mayhap an errant breeze, mayhap. (Looks down). But ho! Beneath my sleepin’ pad, a pair of boots belongin’ to a sneakin’ cad. Come out! Emerge, even!More dialogue from this sequence.
Judge: Don’t shoot! I’m the circuit judge.Maltese pulls a beautiful pun. Snagglepuss is sworn in, goes into town and introduces himself to Means and his lawyer. “I’m the new circuit judge,” he declares. “Have robe, will gavel.”
Snag: A short circuit judge.
Judge: It can get mighty dangerous out there dispensin’ justice.
Snag: Ah! If I were judge, no criminal the law would smudge.
Judge: Why not? You could take my place and split the fee.
Snag: It would be an honour to be a “your honour.”
Judge Snagglepuss now conjures a stream-of-consciousness routine where he invents people needed for the trial to proceed, baffling Means and Cuss in the process. He quickly becomes the prosecuting attorney who, needing a witness, instantly becomes Zelda Scrubbinbrush, the cleaning lady at the bank (Daws Butler uses his Tilly Schimmelstone voice from the Flintstones episode “The Little White Lie” as a great comic tuba cue plays in the background). No sooner does “she” smash an umbrella on the head of Cuss when he objects to the testimony, than Snagglepuss turns into Zelda’s nephew, Wild Bill Hickory Stick, “the fastest draw in the West...or East, even!”
The two bad guys approach Snagglepuss from either side. Maltese now tosses in one of those fast-talking situation changes he’d pull off in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. He starts giving instructions like the two are dueling and they follow along, They catch on. Suddenly, Snagglepuss resumes being the judge and orders Means from his court, not realising what he just did until he returns to the stand in the next scene. Snagglepuss decides to become the accused, who is convicted by the jury, all duplicates of Means, then returns to the bench and sentences himself to 99 years. The cartoon ends with Snagglepuss bolting from the courthouse and running along Dick Thomas’ Western plain, with rose-coloured buttes and yellow and orange dirt. Carr’s run cycle is pretty basic. Six drawings, one for each frame. Means’ feet are in the exact same position during a run cycle earlier in the cartoon. Unfortunately, I can’t create an endless cycle for you. The background begins repeating after the 16th drawing. Six doesn’t go into 16 evenly.
That background is in the opening scene (the sign is on an overlay). Thomas has another desert scenario in the background when the judge runs into Snagglepuss’ cave (on two overlays). The horse disappears from the cartoon after the first shot.
Art Davis is the story editor, Lance Nolley is the layout artist. There are only four characters in the cartoon (other than the identical jurors); Don Messick is Ornery Cuss while Butler plays Snagglepuss, the judge and Means.
Camera: Norm Stainback.
Filmed: July 20, 1961.