Saturday, 20 February 2010

Yogi Bear — Nowhere Bear

Produced and Directed by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.
Credits: Animation – Ed Love; Layout – Ed Benedict; Backgrounds - Bob Gentle; Story – Warren Foster; Story Sketches – Dan Gordon; Story Direction – Alex Lovy; Titles – Art Goble; Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Cast: Narrator, Ranger Smith, Boo Boo – Don Messick; Yogi, Superintendent – Daws Butler.
First aired: Week of December 21, 1959.
Plot: After faking being hypnotised by Ranger Smith, Yogi hypnotises Boo Boo into thinking he’s a bird.

Many thanks to reader Scott for a TV bugless title card.

One of the things that happened after Warren Foster arrived at Hanna-Barbera was to marry Yogi Bear to a formula. In the first season of the Huckleberry Hound Show, Yogi roamed freely. He wasn’t always in Jellystone Park, he didn’t need Boo-Boo as an accoutrement and he didn’t utter the word “pic-a-nic” until the 19th cartoon. Rarely did he set out to put one over on a ranger, and whatever rangers appeared had different names (if any) and different designs in just about every cartoon.

Foster was hired to write the second season of the Huck show after Charlie Shows left. It was at that time that the all-blackout-gag and kiddie-rescuing versions of Yogi were tossed out. A decision was made to, more or less, create a permanent formula based on the first season’s Yogi Bear’s Big Break—Yogi tries to outwit a ranger at Jellystone, with Boo-Boo glued to him as a conscience/sidekick, though it took several funny cartoons to get there. And it was decided to give Yogi only one nemesis who viewers could become familiar with. Foster grabbed the name of one of the rangers from the previous year—Smith—and Don Messick settled on a voice. But it took a little time to come up with a design and this cartoon is proof. Nowhere does Ranger Smith look as odd as he does in this cartoon.

It’s a fun design, more so than one with the permanent five-o’clock-shadow which every Hanna-Barbera human seemed to grow. So, naturally, it had to be created by none other than Ed Benedict. And this Ranger Smith is animated with goofy-looking overbite expressions with individual teeth. So, naturally, the man at the light board had to be Ed Love, the former Disneyite later responsible for many commercials animated at Hanna-Barbera, and a stellar animator for Bob Clampett in his abortive attempt at a series at Republic (It’s a Grand Old Nag), Tex Avery’s unit at MGM, and at Lantz during its best period (mid-late ‘40s). This was Love’s first Yogi cartoon and the only one he animated in the 1959-60 season. Love drew the ranger in a more conventional style later so it would seem he was following Benedict’s layouts closely.

This is really a cartoon in two halves and the first one sets up the second one (Foster’s earlier Lullabye-Bye Bear is written the same way). The first half involves hypnosis and the second half features a variety of almost black-out gags to undo the result of the first half. The cartoon starts with cars and trailers leaving the park.

Narrator: As the tourist season comes to a close at Jellystone Park, the hard-working rangers relax by reading or pursuing some hobby.

The shot dissolves to Ranger Smith’s office with the phone ringing and Smith telling Bill (Hanna?) on the other end he’s been reading his do-it-yourself hypnotism book. He needs someone to practise on. The unheard Bill suggests using a park bear.

So Smith shouts to Yogi, who’s sleeping in his cave with Boo Boo. Yogi reports to the ranger’s office and Foster shows his sense of irony:

Smith: You’re getting sleepy. Sleeepy. Sleeeepyyy.
Yogi: You get me out of bed to tell me this?

The hypnotic attempt is augmented by a change from Bill Loose’s happy music to a flute and strings piece by Spencer Moore’s ghost writer. Yogi spots the hypnotism book on the ranger’s desk and decides to play along. There’s a colour error. Someone forgot to change Yogi’s muzzle to a tan colour for a few frames. It happens later in the cartoon as well.

The clever Yogi manages to finagle a piece of chocolate cake out of the ranger (“might help the acoustics”) before being able to “hear” his orders, though it’s munched on off-camera as we get a three-second hold shot of the ranger watching. “You are now a dog,” commands the ranger, and Yogi barks as the music segues into that echoey, creepy tune that pops up on the second-season Huck Show cartoons. The music reverts to more Bill Loose happy melody music when Yogi reverts back. It’s probably one of the best uses of music changes that H-B got out of its stock libraries.

Yogi toddles back to his cave and decides to try the “hypno-tizzicle stuff” on Boo Boo for laughs. I like how he tells the snoring Boo Boo “You’re getting sleepy” when the little bear is already asleep.

Here’s a great example of Love’s style of dialogue animation in medium shot. Instead of a Lew Marshall-style two-position head-bob, Love will use three or four different head positions and moves the mouth around a bit off-centre on the face; Yogi’s muzzle is big enough to take advantage of it. And Yogi (and Ranger Smith) sometimes talk through their teeth; other times, the mouth is open to varying degrees. On top of that, Love doesn’t always animate on twos. He’s following Daws’ delivery and, in this scene, he tosses in some threes and a few ones because characters don’t talk in an even, mechanical cadence. Ed’s getting the most out of limited animation.

At first, it doesn’t seem Yogi’s suggestion “You are a bird” has done anything—unless Yogi hears tweeting, sees Boo Boo flapping his arms atop the bed and then flying out the cave entrance.

“That’s ridiculous, Bill. I don’t care how people saw it. Bears don’t fly,” says Smith into the phone. Naturally, that’s the moment he spots Boo Boo flying in the background. Yogi and the ranger then track down the airborne bear “before the Commissioner hears about this” and watch as Boo Boo flies into a cliff and falls into a nest on a jutting piece of the face. That snaps him out of his hypnotic state so he’s a bear and can’t fly any more.

The rest of the cartoon is taken up with gags to rescue Boo Boo. The first one has the ranger on a teeter-board and Yogi adopt a station wagon. Yogi jumps on one end of the plank, the ranger sails up and gets unexpectedly stopped by an abutment. Smith lands back on the board and the laws of gravity send Yogi up and head-first through the roof of the station wagon.

Next gag has the Ranger atop the cliff lowering Yogi on a fishing line. But the bear’s “heavier than a sack of a cement” and Smith can’t control the line. Yogi zips past Boo Boo and crashes to the bottom. Then the ranger puts Yogi in a home-made ejector seat to send him skyward but blows up the bear instead. “Hmm. Needs a little work yet.”

Finally, Smith attaches balloons to Yogi to allow him to float up and rescue Boo Boo. It’s a success. But no one worked out how the bears were to get back down. “Oh, no,” groans the ranger. A phone on a tree starts ringing. It’s the Superintendent (what happened to the Commissioner?) telling him “there are two bears floating over the park.” The ranger starts crying as the camera fades.

Whoever did the sound cutting on this cartoon (the credits never say who it is, but my guess is Greg Watson) has the music running seamlessly in several places, despite the fact it is the work of different composers. All the regular stock composers are here, including Phil Green, a rarity for Yogi. I still haven’t been able to identify the creepy wa-wa echoey horn music.

0:00 - Yogi Bear Sub Main Title theme (Hoyt Curtin)
0:13 - C-14 DOMESTIC LIGHT (Loose) – Ranger Smith on phone, Yogi goes to ranger station.
1:23 - L-80 COMEDY UNDERSCORE (Spencer Moore) – Ranger tries to hypnotise Yogi; Yogi catches on.
1:51 - GR-259 AND THEY ALL LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER (Green) – Yogi snores, eats cake.
2:18 - creepy reverb trumpet music (Raoul Kraushaar?) – Yogi pretends to be a dog; snaps out of it.
2:32 - C-3 DOMESTIC CHILDREN (Loose) – Yogi hypnotises Boo Boo; Boo Boo out of cave.
3:45 - ZR-47 LIGHT MOVEMENT (Hormel) – Boo Boo flies away.
3:58 - L-1158 ANIMATION COMEDY (Moore) – “I don’t care...Bears don’t fly.”
4:01 - TC-201 PIXIE COMEDY (Loose-John Seely) – Yogi runs into ranger’s office, Yogi and Smith look through binoculars.
4:37 - ZR-47 LIGHT MOVEMENT (Hormel) – Boo Boo flies into cliff, lands in nest, Smith and Yogi run cycle.
4:57 - TC-303 ZANY COMEDY (Loose-Seely) – Yogi jumps on plank.
5:05 - fast circus ‘scale’ music (Jack Shaindlin) – Ranger bashes head, Yogi lands in station wagon, fishing line gag, Ejector seat gag.
6:00 - TC-204A WISTFUL COMEDY (Loose-Seely) – “Needs a little work”, Smith releases Yogi.
6:19 - LICKITY SPLIT (Shaindlin) – Yogi floats up, Yogi and Boo Boo float away, Superintendent calls Smith.
6:58 - Yogi Bear Sub End Title theme (Curtin)


  1. Ed Love Is Best Animator EVER!, His stuff is always fun and pure eye candy to watch! His TV animaton is soo Great and fluid and very organic!, and this episode is no execption. What makes it even more great is Ed Benedict's wonderful designs. Ed love and ed benedict make a wonderful team! both ed and ed are soo Great! Sincerly, Asim.

  2. How suitable for today. This very same episode was on Teletoon Retro this morning!

    Indeed, Ed Love was the one who seemed to put in the most effort, to milk limited aniamtion for all it was worth. You forgot to mention about his career at Disney before the strike, where he was pride of Jack King's Donald Duck cartoons.

    I love the way Yogi smashes into that Station Wagon. Someone was messing with frame rates again!

  3. Yowp, How about doing an review on Lullaby Bye Bear and Horse Fathers. Lullaby bye bear has some great fluid George Nicholas animation, i also liked the expression he gave when the ranger said Crazy Bear!?. and also Horse fathers because Rosco has the same design as Cyclone and it features some nice stylized animation by Don Williams. Thanks Yowp.

    Sincerly, Asim.

  4. Next to Ken Muse and Carlo Vinci, Ed Love probably has the most recognizable animation style- regardless of which studio he was animating for. It can be identified from early 40s Disney all the way to 1993's title animation for DIC's Sonic the Hedgehog!

    It must have been his aptitude that resulted in Love animating not only commercials and bumpers in the Kelloggs' era, but also opening title animation for numerous later H-B series: YOGI'S GANG, BUTCH CASSIDY, the original SCOOBY & SCRAPPY DOO, THE LAVERNE & SHIRLEY/MORK & MINDY HOUR, and even the misbegotten POPEYE & SON! The latter was animated overseas, which makes Love's typically vivid titles that much more noticeable.

    Love was especially intricate at eye and facial movements. When Fred Flintstone is laughing sarcastically or Penelope Pitstop trying to back hold back a sneeze, the effort put into the drawings is very evident. He also worked on the early Peanuts special CHARLIE BROWN'S ALL-STARS. Even through the low budget, I was able to pick out Love in the scene where our hero is struggling with bad news over the phone.

  5. One unending mystery: where was Ed Love all during the 1950s? His tenure at Lantz seemed mostly in 1948; he may have stayed longer if not for the lengthy studio shutdown. By the 50s, there were seven major theatrical animation studios: WB, Lantz, Terry, MGM, UPA, Disney, and Famous/Paramount. Maybe he was busy in the burgeoning TV commercial industry?

    Thank you for posting the official names of the various cues. It puts them into context, and we don't have to write things like "the music you hear when Yogi is plotting a new scheme" or "Mr. Jinks chasing the meeces". Many of the slower or lesser-used beds are quite rich and dramatic when you don't hear Daws Butler and H-B SFX under them.

  6. I was hoping the Animation Guild website would have an answer, Howard. It mentions his own company, Love, Hutten and Love, but I haven't been able to find out when it was in business (is that Bill Hutten/Hutton?).

    There certainly was no end of animation companies doing work in Los Angeles in the 1950. Billboard of the day mentions the people running the studios, like Earl Klein or Arnold Gillespie, but that's about it.

    You're going to be out of luck with real names for maybe 15 cues. I simply don't have the music or know where it came from. And I don't have names for a bunch of the Shaindlin cues. A couple of readers have helped with identities of some others. And the Bluestone-Cadkin cues have had their names changed; I don't have the originals so I can only go which what they're licensed as now.

  7. It says here that Ed worked with Ray Patin in the early 1950s making breakfast cereal commercials:

  8. Have always loved this short; " You woke me up to tell me this?". Also, this would be one of many versions of " Ranger Smith ". Back in 1996, " Cartoon Network " during their " Super-Chunk " ran a funny promo about the many faces of Ranger Smith. Yowp, Pokey, maybe one day, someone will find that " Creepy " cue and post it online. It's a big a mystery as it sounds.

  9. Jesus! This classical Yogi Bear episode is anthologic! Having the design done by the legendary Ed Benedict (the rightful creator of the good and old "HB-style") and the animation made by another legend: Ed Love, this episode has many influences from the Warner's Looney Tunes shorts, thanks to the scrpits done by the also legendary Warren Foster.

  10. Howie Fein,

    There are many overtures of Hanna-Barbera animated series which were animated by Ed Love: The Super Globetrotters (1979), Shirt Tales (1982), the first Super Friends series (1973 [with Marvin, Wendy and the Superdog]); and outside the Hanna-Barbera dominions, Ed Love animated the overture of the DIC's Get Along Gang (1984).

  11. If John Kricfalusi saw this topic...

  12. Rod, John pops by here occasionally. I'm sure he'll comment if he'd like.

    Asim, I've talked so much about Lullabye-Bye Bear, I thought I had done it. I've got some reviews backlogged so it may be some time before it appears here. I wish the Yogi cartoons had continued to be as expressive as that one.

    Errol, I don't want to go off on a tangent as this is not a '50s TV production music blog. Suffice it to say the bed is not in my collection and doesn't sound like a Hi-Q piece, so all I can do is make an educated guess about it and leave it at that. If someone has a copy, I'd be ecstatic to hear from them.

  13. Yowp, I also mentioned you could do a post about horse fathers as well. Asim.

  14. Seeing the Ed Benedict's Ranger Smith (a.k.a. Mr. Ranger) design on this Yogi Bear episode, I could notice how Mr. Ranger looks like an elf.

  15. Howie Fein,

    Don't forget of the ending from The Huckleberry Hound Show (Hanna-Barbera/Columbia Pictures, 1958-62) - more exactly the ending that brings the Kellogg's mascots interacting with Huck -, which also was animated by Ed Love.
    I could recognize his animation style, when I saw this Huckleberry Hound closing on YouTube.

  16. "Yowp-Yowp" Dodsworth,

    I hope that you see a cool article about the facial movements on the Ed Love's animations for Hanna-Barbera.
    It's on the John Kricfalusi's blog ( The article is located on the following link:
    Enjoy to see this link, OK?

  17. LOL "I wasn't designed by Iwao Takamoto" title over the ranger talking.

  18. I always saw this as the cartoon where the standard Yogi Bear/Ranger Smith dynamic was finally established. It's probably the first one where Ranger Smith plays a pretty significant role (even in his debut, Lullabye-Bye Bear, he was mostly just "the annoying authority figure"). It's also where his voice was solidified.