Saturday, May 7, 2016
Yakky Doodle – Whistle-Stop and Go
Credits: Animation – Art Davis, Layout – Tony Rivera, Backgrounds – Dick Thomas, Written by Mike Maltese, Story Director – Alex Lovy, Titles – Art Goble, Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voice Cast: Yakky Doodle – Jimmy Weldon; Chopper – Vance Colvig; Dog Catcher, Hunter, Fibber Fox – Daws Butler.
Music: Hoyt Curtin.
Plot: Chopper gives Yakky a whistle to use when he needs help.
Copyright 1961 by Hanna-Barbera Productions
In The Bodyguard, Jerry the mouse helps Butch the bulldog escape from a dog catcher and, in return, promises to run to him for help if he just whistles. 17 years later, the same plot gets revisited in this cartoon. The difference is the dog in this case (Chopper) gives Yakky Doodle a real whistle to blow for assistance.
There’s a sequence where a hunter is trying to get a bead on Yakky, who is jumping up and down blowing his whistle. Chopper rushes into the scene. He grabs Yakky and pulls him away just as the hunter fires and misses. “Are ya hurt, little feller?” asks Chopper. Yakky just shakes his head. Maltese couldn’t be bothered to even work up a quip like he wrote so well at Warner Bros. and for Hanna-Barbera on Quick Draw McGraw. There’s nothing funny or amusing in the whole sequence. Maltese doesn’t even try. It’s like the first half of the cartoon is a long set-up with no pay-off.
This is a cartoon that will drive continuity freaks nuts. It tells a story of how Chopper and Yakky first met. Except there was at least one other cartoon which did the same thing. How can that be? Simple. No one cared about that kind of stuff then. No one kept track of it. There was no need to. As Yakky writer Tony Benedict puts it: “There were no bibles back then.” Writers were free to create whatever they wanted outside of the basics.
One of the fine veterans of the industry animated this cartoon. You can tell Art Davis’ animation in some of the Hanna-Barbera animal cartoons by the tight curved smile or grin that goes way up into the head. There’s sometimes a little row of teeth.
And some exit-from-scene drawings. The first pair are consecutive frames.
Joe Ruby, or whoever did the sound cutting on this, inserts Hoyt Curtin’s versions of “Strolling Through the Park One Day,” “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and the William Tell Overture, along with some familiar bassoon cues from other cartoons around this time. And the soundtrack features the standard “Ain’t that cute!” and “Close your little eyes, Yakky. You shouldn’t oughta see...” catchphrases.