Wednesday, 25 December 2019

A Holiday Yowp to You and Yours

Santa Season greetings from your retired blogger, Yowp. Enjoy this fine character compilation (artist unidentified) who came up with this wonderful drawing for the studio’s 25th anniversary in 1982.

Yes, Yogi Bear didn’t get his own show until 1961, but let’s be charitable during the Christmas holidays.

Again, thanks for reading over the last decade.

Saturday, 7 December 2019

Art Lozzi

The sad news has been passed on to me by Jerry Beck, through an obit in the Los Angeles Times, that the last original artist at the Hanna-Barbera studio, Art Lozzi, has passed away in Greece.

He was 90 years of age.

Arminio Lozzi was born on October 22, 1929 in Everett, Massachusetts to Guido Antonio and Elena Lozzi. His father was a shoemaker from Vittorito, in the province of Abruzzi, Italy, who came to the U.S. from Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1926 (coincidentally, his father was a week shy of 90 when he died). Lozzi went to art school in Boston and, at 21, was president of the Students Art Gallery, which displayed the works of local artists age 18 to 22. His older sister Adele was a painter as well.

Lozzi had worked at MGM along with Fernando Montealegre and Bob Gentle. After Hanna-Barbera opened at the old Chaplin studio at 1416 North La Brea Avenue in Hollywood in 1957, the three of them formed the original background department. Lozzi left in the 1960s to design interiors for Hilton Hotels and a cruise ship line, settling in Athens.

One of my favourite Lozzi backgrounds is in the Huckleberry Hound cartoon “Little Red Riding Huck.”

Here are two from “Yogi in the City,” from the Yogi Bear Show; I’ve never posted the second one before. Many of Lozzi’s backgrounds featured blue tones, even though the cartoons first aired in black and white.

Art told animator John Kricfalusi that he and Monte never airbrushed; they worked in acrylics and pastels, and pointed out there really was no time to airbrush as the backgrounds had to be churned out. Here’s a “limited” background from the Snagglepuss cartoon “Paws For Applause.” The colours are well-chosen and would show up as a range of greys on a black and white set. It’s simple enough that there is nothing that would distract the viewers’ eyes from the characters playing in the foreground.

Another Snagglepuss, “Arrow Error.” I believe the varied grass colours come courtesy of a sponge (background artists used rollers at times as well). The lettering is likely by Art Goble.

These two are from “Foxy Proxy,” with Fibber Fox. Excellent colours and the designs of the trees are inspired. One tree is transparent!

“A Wooin’ Bruin” features Lozzi’s lumpy clouds (which somehow fit the mountains in the background) and round and fan shaped blooms on trees.

Lozzi also worked with Quick Draw McGraw. This background is from “Mine Your Manners.”

More blue tints and lumpy mountains in “Missile Bound Yogi.”

One last example—this is from the Yogi Bear cartoon “Loco Locomotive.” You can find more examples of Lozzi’s work on this cartoon in this post.

No, the Yowp blog is not coming back. This is a special post to honour the work of Art Lozzi. I’m sure the many early Hanna-Barbera fans who read this blog wish to extend their sympathies to his sister and her family (Lozzi, it appears, never married). He is one of many artists who made the original Hanna-Barbera series enjoyable to watch.

Saturday, 31 August 2019

Thank You For Reading

I love old cartoons and I love 1950s stock music. This blog was started ten years ago as a place to document the stock cues used on every cartoon on the first season of “The Huckleberry Hound Show,” along with a few frames from each and some random thoughts. That goal was passed long ago. We’ve now reviewed every cartoon from all four seasons of the Huck show, save Hokey Wolf, as well as every short from my favourite series, Quick Draw McGraw. That’s all I really wanted to review. Somehow, things kept going and “The Yogi Bear Show” cartoons and “The Jetsons” have been reviewed as well. There have been just over 1,320 posts.

All blogs come to an end. So my intention is to make this the last post.

I’d like to use this space to thank everyone who has dropped by here over the years. I’d especially like to thank those who have left comments, or corrected my mistakes and typos, or added information that I didn’t know. I’m not an animator, I’ve never worked in animation, I can’t even draw. I’m just a guy who likes old cartoons. Having people who know the industry take the time, put up with my lack of knowledge, and add their insights here has been of great benefit, I think, to all the readers.

Rewatching cartoons that I first saw more than 55 years ago (and, in many cases, have rarely seen since) has been an interesting exercise. I’ve watched them with fresh adult eyes, not with nostalgic ones; I don’t pine for childhood days of 1963. Not all of the cartoons were great. Some were disappointing. But others hold up very well and are still pretty entertaining. People should love cartoons for what they are, not because of who we were before adulthood. And I still find it funny that someone came up with a cartoon character that only says “Yowp!”

I’m bowled over by the fact I’ve had the chance to chat with Tony Benedict and Jerry Eisenberg. I’d never have thought, years and years ago, I’d ever talk to anyone whose name I saw on the TV whenever the credits were shown. They’re both very nice people. And funny, too. What pleasure they’ve brought to so many people. Isn’t that a great legacy? Author Jerry Beck has taken some of his limited personal time to be incredibly encouraging. I devoured his Scarecrow Press book he wrote with Will Friedwald when it came out almost 40 years ago and am a little floored he has corresponded with a complete stranger like me. Animator Mark Kausler has been kind and generously volunteered any help he could give, especially his knowledge of cartoons and animators. He is a true friend of animation history. I am fortunate to have had a chance to correspond with Elliot Field, the retired KFWB rock jock who was the original voice of Blabber Mouse in 1959.

Thank you to those who dug up and sent me the Capitol Hi-Q and Langlois Filmusic cues you’ve heard for decades in these cartoons. I looked for them for years not knowing exactly what I was looking for. It’s so fun to hear them without voices or sound effects on top of them. (As a side note, YourPalDoug really is a pal. So is that entertaining pianist, Dave Powers).

Richard Holliss contacted me out of the blue from the U.K. and asked if I’d like scans of his colour Yogi Bear and Flintstones comics. You can thank him for his generosity; the artwork is a treat and it’s a shame there’s never been a will by a publisher to put them in a book.

Thank you to the late Earl Kress. He knew more about these cartoons than probably anyone else and graciously shared his knowledge. He hunted down stock music so it could be cleared for use on CD and DVD. He rummaged through Hanna-Barbera’s archives looking for decent film of bumpers so fans could see them again. And listened to reels of Hoyt Curtin’s recording sessions. Earl’s an unsung hero and I really miss him.

It’s a little stunning to see that this blog has attracted readers from all over the world. And, judging by people who are on the Yowp Facebook account, Hanna-Barbera cartoons cut through race, age, religion, political beliefs and sexual orientation. They unite people around the world with smiles and laughter. Humanity needs something like that every day.

So, again, thanks.

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

On the Road With Huckleberry

Take the idea of people dressed in huge cartoon character costumes (like at Disneyland) with personal appearances (like the Lone Ranger or a TV kid’s show host) and what do you get?

Huckleberry Hound on location.

The incredible, and almost instant, popularity of the Huckleberry Hound Show quickly got the promotional minds at Screen Gems into gear. They came up with the idea of having Huck and his cohorts show up at department stores, state fairs, wherever someone wanted them to show up. Of course, being animated, Huck et al had to appear via human stand-ins in outfits. One report described the personal appearances as involving dancing and miming to Daws Butler recordings.

Here’s a story from the Hackensack Record of August 25, 1959. Huck was still into his first season. Some of this story has been quoted verbatim on this blog. It would appear the descriptions of the characters used in it likely came from Columbia/Screen Gems news release. Indignantly, I point out somebody at the studio obviously had no clue about Yowp; this is the third different newspaper piece which quotes a line insisting that fine dog said “Yep, yep.” I hope whoever at the company was checked for hearing problems.

Characters From Television Arrive, Greet Old Friends
Huck Hound And Yogi Bear Share The Honors With Fred Sales Of Junior Town

PARAMUS — Television's canine hero Huckleberry Hound will be, honored Thursday, Friday, and Saturday when Huck Hound days are celebrated at Bergen Mall. Huck is the brainchild of cartoonists Bill Hann [sic] and Joe Barbera. He is seen weekly on WPIX and 200 other television stations in the series produced by Screen Gems.
Master of ceremonies on Friday will be television personality Fred Sales of Channel 13's Junior Town. For the celebration at Bergen Mall, Huckleberry Hound will be impersonated by Eddie Alberian, a former member of the Howdy Doody gang. Alberian will pass out canine mementoes to youngsters in the crowd.
This is the second in a series of major local events honoring the tenacious, Southern drawling hound. Two weeks ago when Foley's Department Store in Houston, Texas, held a Huckleberry Hound Day the store was mobbed by more than 10,000 youngsters.
The producers of "Huckleberry Hound", sponsored by Kellogg's, are old hands at animation. For 20 years they produced and directed the "Tom and Jerry" theatrical cartoons and won seven Academy Awards doing it. For their new series they gave birth to six new stars, plus a host of featured players which they turned out in a dizzying production schedule that any sane cartoonist of 20 years ago would have said was impossible.
Title role of "Huckleberry Hound" is that of a quietly persevering canine who will take on any job that promises adventure. Huck, who is host as well as leading player of the series, appears deceptively phlegmatic on first meeting. But underneath that layer of lethargy is an enterprising spirit. The very diversity of the jobs he takes on in the face of repeated failure is proof that Huck just won't give up. In the first few weeks he will appear as an African hunter, a Wild West lawman, a medieval knight, an aviator and a circus barker. And that's only the beginning.
Another new face in the new show is Yogi Bear. Yogi is an overgrown boy. He must be overgrown because next to the trees he's almost the biggest thing in Jellystone National Park. And he must be a boy because he's so playful. His manner may remind you of a certain sewer cleaner who once lived upstairs from a certain bus driver in a certain TV comedy series of two seasons back.
Yogi is aided in his trouble-making by his patient little friend, Boo Boo Bear, a fuzzy little fellow with bedroom eyes and a Midwestern twang.
Hanna and Barbera have a special affection for mice. In their new show they star two little charmers named Pixie and Dixie. They're from the South, and they live behind the baseboard in a comfortable middle-class home. Their only problem in life is a large, cantankerous cat named Mr. Jinks. An impetuous fellow, Jinksie is a "method actor." His readings may remind you of Marlon Brando.
These are the continuing performers in "Huckleberry Hound." In addition, Hanna and Barbera promise a long succession of brand new featured players. To name a few, there's Dinky Dalton, last of the notorious Dalton gang; Judo Jack, whom Pixie and Dixie hire to help protect them from Jinksie; the Fat Knight, who holds the Fair Damsel captive in Hassle Castle; an English hunter (who sounds amazingly like Charles Laughton) and his English bulldog (who says nothing but "yep, yep"), a little Indian boy and a baby fox.
That's just a sampling. All together, there may well be more debuts on "Huckleberry Hound" than on all other TV shows put together.

Saturday, 24 August 2019

Helicopter Huck

Huckleberry Hound was probably never animated as gracefully than on the little cartoons between the cartoons on his show. It’s so nice to see Huck and the stars of his other shows move fluidly (in full animation at times). Alas, this lasted for only the first season (1958-59); later mini-cartoons move the same way they did on the show with held drawings and so on.

Here’s Huck saying so long to us, diving into a trampoline and telling us at home that we’ll flip over the next episode. Huck flips as he talks to us.

Huck’s straw hat sprouts a helicopter blade and Huck flies out of the scene. He loses his eyes for two frames.

The posing is very nice. It may be the work of Ed Love, but it’s certainly smoother than the way he animated Mr. Jinks and the other characters in the 1959-60 season.

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

How Kids Teach Daws Butler

Daws Butler taught all kinds of newcomers the art of acting, but Daws got a few lessons himself—from his own children.

So he admitted in an article that appeared in the San Antonio Express and News on April 14, 1963. Unfortunately we can’t reproduce a nice photo of Daws and his youngest son, but we can reproduce the story. There’s no byline so my guess is this was from a syndicate.

Thoughtful? Attentive?
TV's Kids Aren't Realistic, Says Cartoon Voice Daws
HOLLYWOOD — It's rare to see a child acting like one on TV or in any other drama medium, says Daws Butler, the voice of young Elroy on ABC- TV's animated “The Jetsons” series.
Soft-spoken, with a puckish sense of humor, Daws is considered something of an expert on juveniles—boys in particular, because he lives with four of them. His four “technical consultants” are sons David, 10, Don, 16, Paul, 12, and Charles, 9. All volunteer ideas on voicing Elroy when Daws works at the mike in his Beverly Hills home sound studio.
“Part of the unrealism of TV children,” explained Daws, “is that they listen thoughtfully to their elders, pay attention when an adult is speaking.
Minds Flit
“Actually, children's minds are flitty. If I tell one of our younger ones that I want to speak to him, he's apt to come up with something like, ‘Wait a minute. I have to get the football.’
“Children aren't dishonest, but if there's a chance to weasel out, they will, because what is important to us is not to them,” he added.
Looking at Charles, Butler commented, “Typical of Elroy Jetson's sophistication is the fact that when his father tells him to do something, he asks ‘Why?’ or ‘Why do I have to do it your way?’
He thought of another Elroy truism:
“When words are too big for Elroy, he remembers what he can and improvises the rest—like real kids. They come close to a word and add flu element of humor, like ‘idiotcyncracy’ or ‘stupidstitious.’”
From home study, Daws has also picked up the knack of having Elroy either race through a line or underplay it “for his own satisfaction but so his father can't hear it.”
A native of Toledo, Ohio, Butler grew up in Oak Park, Ill. He studied public speaking at Oak Park High School to overcome shyness and entered the entertainment world for the same reason. He made his professional debut at the Black Hawk Restaurant, Chicago, doing imitations as one of “The Three Short Waves.” This led to a radio career followed by his present specialities of creating commercials and cartoon voices.
Other Voices
Butler, heard on other Hanna-Barbera shows as Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, Quick Draw McGraw, Mr. Jinks and Snagglepuss, did his first juvenile on the old “Time for Beany” show.
His other “kid” voices for H-B include Augie Doggie, Baba Looey, Blabber and Dixie.
Working in “The Jetsons” has made Daws a super hero at home.
“The youngsters are fascinated with the series and want to know all about it. After all, the future is their world,” he says.
And they like Elroy.
“He's a wide-eyed, attractive little guy, and all-boy. I try to keep him that way vocally—strongly boyish but cute. There would be no point in making his voice odd or gimmicky.
“I also try to stay away from gushing or overplaying,” said Daws. “Kids only like other kids if they don't resent them. And kids do like Elroy. He's one of them.”

What did Daws’ youngsters and students think of him? Our friend Adel Khan has passed along a link to this tribute to Daws Butler that includes some words from his son David and some people whose voices you may recognise from cartoons. It’s pretty long so you may want to skip through it. You can watch it in high-definition if you prefer.