Credits: Animation – Lew Marshall, Layout – Paul Sommer, Backgrounds – Dick Thomas, Written by Mike Maltese, Story Director – Alex Lovy, Titles – Art Goble, Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voices: Snagglepuss, Adventurer’s Club M.C., Australian, Wildebeest Capturer – Daws Butler; Major Minor, Mongoose Capturer, Floorwalker – Don Messick.
Music: Hoyt Curtin.
Plot: The Major makes a deal with Snagglepuss to try to capture him to avoid being kicked out the Adventurers Club.
Mike Maltese wrote the Quick Draw McGraw, Augie Doggie, Snooper and Blabber and Snagglepuss cartoons and many Yakky Doodles. One of the things the series have in common is none of them had a regular antagonist. Fibber Fox appeared in only some of the Yakky cartoons, giving Maltese some freedom in developing stories. The same was true with Snagglepuss. Major Minor didn’t show up in every cartoon. But, by Gadfrey!, Snagglepuss was loaded with catchphrases and standard routines and one of them involved the major.
Witness this exchange from “Major Operation,” as the major walks through a zoo.
Snagglepuss: Major! As I live to breathe, it is truly you.Snagglepuss also likes disguises to fool his victim. In the course of this cartoon he rises up under a garbage can lid to make it look like a sugegasa, and turns himself into a Japanese stereotype. He even fits in the word “prease” as one of Hoyt Curtin’s Far East-sounding cues used on the ju jitsu/prowler episode of The Flintstones plays in the background. Oh, well. The war was still fresh on people’s minds, I guess.
Major: By Gadfrey, it’s Snagglepuss. What are you doing in that cage?
Snagglepuss: I was captured in Cambodia while cavortin’ with a Cambodian.
Major: But didn’t I shoot you in the Mato Grosso?
Snagglepuss: Negative. I believe you got me below the equator. Or was it in the left clavicle?
Better still is when Snagglepuss pretends to be a cop (with a London bobby hat, no less). “Stop,” he yells, “in the limb of the law. As Snooper would say.”
Major: What’s the meaning of this, officer?Indeed, Snooper did say “Stop in the limb of the law” in “Big Cat Caper,” featuring the orange version of Snagglepuss, the white moustached version of Major Minor and the two sitting down to tea—which they do in this cartoon as well. Snagglepuss engages in tea-time conversation. Maltese pens an amazing mix of the songs “How Are Things in Glocca Morra?” and “Dear Old Donegal” and adds his own special rhymes and puns.
Snagglepuss: I think I’ll book ya on a charge of grand lozenges and intent to commit mayhap.
Major: You wouldn’t dare.
Snagglepuss: Have you ever been booked?
Major: I’ve been paged but never booked.
Snagglepuss: How are things in Glocca Morra, Kilkenny and Kildare? How is Duffy, McGuffy, McCarthy, Malone? McCullough, McGillen, and lots of malarky? How’s your sister Kate down by the garden gate? Is she still swingin’? And your brother Paul behind the prison wall?This part of the cartoon ends with the major shooting at Snagglepuss but hitting some small plates instead, sending them skyward. “Major, look out for them flyin’ sausahs!” yells Snagglepuss. They crash (off camera) on top of the major. “By Jupiter,” he exclaims. “We’ve been invaded.”
“Sausahs”? Yes, Daws gives Snagglepuss an unusual delivery in this one. The “r” sound comes out as “aw” or “ah” as in “Shall we stawt?” (instead of “start”) and “Pawdon me flowwalkah” (instead of “floorwalker”). Maybe he was going for the broad “a” as heard in the thea-tah but it sounds odd.
And we get “Exit, stage left (or right)” and “Heavens to Murgatroyd,” though this is an early Snagglepuss so the lines aren’t as elaborate as they got later.
Dick Thomas is the background artist and Paul Sommer came up with the incidental characters. Thomas’ interiors are the least stylised of any of Hanna-Barbera’s background people of the time.
And a complete street-scape from one end to the other (sorry Major Minor is in the way).
Lew Marshall’s the animator. Here’s one of his Snagglepuss exits, stage left.
Hoyt Curtin’s stock library works pretty well in this cartoon. The sound cutter puts the Snagglepuss main title theme (edited) behind the final sequence in the Adventurers Club, which provides for a nice bridge to the end title theme.