Saturday, April 2, 2016
Yakky Doodle – Baddie Buddies
Credits: Animation – Dick Lundy; Layout – Tony Rivera; Backgrounds – Dick Thomas; Written by Tony Benedict; Story Director – Lew Marshall; Titles – Art Goble; Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voice Cast: Narrator, Desperado, Bank Teller, Engineer – Daws Butler; Yakky Doodle – Jimmy Weldon.
Music: Hoyt Curtin.
Copyright 1962 by Hanna-Barbera Productions.
Plot: Yakky Doodle tries to make friends with a bad guy in the Old West.
Yakky: Did I do something wrong?
Desperado: Did you do something wrong? (Laughs). Yeah. You were born.
Yes, Mr. Desperado, I feel the same way.
I don’t want to keep whining about how much I hate Yakky Doodle’s whining. But it really is annoying. This cartoon’s a really good example why.
Wait a minute. Didn’t he just say he didn’t have a mamma? Why does he suddenly have one? I could understand if Yakky were playing some kind of con-artist trick on the bad guy, so beloved by Warners cartoon characters of the 1940s. But he’s not. And several times in the course of the cartoon he goes from morose and tearful to instantly bright and cheery. Of course, if the duck accepted the fact he’s a ruddy pain and nobody wants him, we wouldn’t have any cartoon.
Tony Benedict comes up with four gag sequences for the cartoon as Yakky unwittingly ruins every attempt by the unnamed bad guy to commit a crime, though two are similar. “Mr. Desperado,” as Yakky keeps calling him, tries to rob a bank. He pulls out Yakky from his holster instead of a gun (“Bang! Bang! Bang!” shouts the smiling duck). This gives the bank teller time to shoot at the bandit. The same thing happens when the crook tries to rob a stagecoach. The duck interrupts the proceedings with an apology, giving the people on the stage time to fire their rifles at the bad guy (with a crudely-drawn blast effect).
The other two sequences have the bad guy butted in the butt by a steer he tries to rustle when Yakky jumps on his hat and pushes it over his eyes, and getting clobbered by a locomotive engineer with a shovel after Yakky warns him the bad guy is going to rob the train.
Dick Lundy, known for his artistry with another duck at Disney some 25 years before this cartoon, is the animator. I really liked his work when he first arrived at Hanna-Barbara; he had some really funny extremes. By 1962, the studio’s cartoons were getting watered down. Lundy seems to have liked big eyes and big pupils in this one. He also draws Yakky doing the palm-up, finger-raised that John Boersma and other animators at the studio used.
Dick Thomas’ backgrounds feature the sketchy grass and mesa shading you’ll find in other cartoons. Tony Rivera did a nice job of designing the steam train.
Here’s part of the background in the opening pan. A narrator opened to put the story in an old west setting and then disappeared, which seems to be the usual procedure for narrators in H-B cartoons after Charlie Shows left the studio in 1959. Hoyt Curtin has a nice woodwind-ish, clip-clop cue to start the cartoon.
The rest of Curtin’s music should be familiar from other 1959-62 short cartoons and The Flintstones. It sets an appropriate mood.