Saturday, 8 October 2011

Quick Draw McGraw — Bronco Bustin’ Boobs

Produced and Directed by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.
Credits: Animation – Ken Muse; Layout – Dick Bickenbach; Backgrounds – Dick Thomas; Story – Mike Maltese; Story Sketches – Dan Gordon; Titles – Lawrence Goble; Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voices: Quick Draw, Baba Looey, Snuffles – Daws Butler; Mild Bill, Little Horse, Ringmaster – Don Messick.
Music: Phil Green, Jack Shaindlin.
First Aired: week of February 8, 1960 (rerun, week of August 8, 1960).
Episode: Quick Draw McGraw Show M-020, Production J-60.
Plot: Quick Draw is hired to capture a tiny horse.

It has been said time and time again that Quick Draw McGraw never rode a horse because, well, he’s a horse. But this cartoon proves otherwise.

It actually brings to mind the 1953 Barney Bear cartoon Half-Pint Palomino from the non-Hanna-Barbera unit at MGM at the time under the direction of Dick Lundy. In that one, written by Heck Allen and Jack Cosgriff, Barney and Benny Burro set out for the Grand Canyon to capture the world’s smallest horse for an eccentric millionaire. In this one, Quick Draw and Baba Looey (a burro) set out for Little Horse Canyon (population: one little horse) to capture a midget wild horse for Mild Bill’s Wild West Show. Despite the huge number of ex-MGMers at Hanna-Barbera in the early days, none who worked on the first cartoon were involved with this one. (see footnote at bottom of post)

The star of the cartoon really isn’t Quick Draw. It’s Snuffles. I love Snuffles. He’s the least altruistic cartoon hero in history. He has no loyalty. He has a simple life philosophy. Give him a dog biscuit, he’ll do anything. Don’t give him one and he’ll cancel the job. Business is business. In a way, he was an alter ego of Bill and Joe. He didn’t exist because he was a funny character, even though he was. He existed because business is business. Kellogg’s gave Hanna and Barbera money. Kellogg’s liked Snuffles. So Bill and Joe kept putting Snuffles in cartoons. Oh, and for good measure, they also put Gro-Pup T-Bone Dog Biscuits in the cartoons, something which just happened to be made by Kellogg’s. Read more about that in this blog post.

This was Snuffles’ third cartoon of the season. He doesn’t appear until about the last third, so writer Mike Maltese ably fills the interim with Quick Draw being a simpleton and a klutz (it’s a happy coincidence one of the background cues is a Jack Shaindlin piece called ‘Crazy Goof’). The cartoon opens Quick Draw and Baba in their trusty jeep on their way to an undisclosed job with Mild Bill. Their new boss looks more like Buffalo Bill Cody than Wild Bill Hickok and has the same speech impediment as Elmer Fudd and wadio’s Waymond Wadcwiffe, though Don Messick doesn’t try to imitate Arthur Q. Bryan’s characters.

Mild Bill needs a new act for his Wild West Show. Naturally, Quick Draw thinks he’s being offered the job, and demonstates his act, first with an imitation of a yellow-feathered thrush and then some fancy shootin’. Of course, that brings about the end result (and the catchphrase “Oh. That smarts” when Quick Draw shoots himself in the foot). Say, why is it he’s indoors when he’s doing his bird call but outside when he’s twirling his gun? Bit of a background error, it appears. Quick Draw warns Mild Bill the job will cost him plenty—a season’s pass to the Wild West Show. Evidently, Baba Looey will have to get his own.

Our heroes arrive at their destination. The backgrounds feature clouds with borders around them and interesting colour blends. They spot their prey. For while, the cartoon features pulled-into-immoveable-things gags as Quick Draw shouts to the galloping lassoed little horse that he’ll put him in show business.

● Horse pulls body (and Quick Draw) off jeep and into a boulder.
● Horse pulls Quick Draw into another boulder.
● Horse, with Quick Draw riding him, romps into small hole in cliff. Quick Draw smashes against side of cliff.

In the last gag, Quick Draw is showing off his trick riding skills for Baba and looking at the audience and doesn’t notice the cliff. I couldn’t help but notice this reminded me of Maltese’s famous Wile E. Coyote Batman-suit gag in Gee Whiz-z-z-z-z-z-z (1956).

With three minutes left in the cartoon, Quick Draw decides to bring in Snuffles.

No time is wasted for Snuffles to go into his ecstasy routine. I suppose H-B could have cheapened out and re-used the hugging and floating animation from his second cartoon (done by Lew Marshall; he doesn’t float in the first one) but Ken Muse takes a crack at it. Muse seems to have problems with the proportions on Snuffles’ head in some parts of the cartoon. Here’s a frame of Snuffles and Quick Draw which cuts, in the next frame, to a shot of Snuffles.

Snuffles immediately nabs the little horse. Ah, but Quick Draw can’t give him the promised dog biscuit in return. Deal’s off. Snuffles puts the horse back in the cave, a bit Maltese would use in future cartoons. “Hold on thar!” Quick Draw catchphrases. He and Snuffles shake hands (er, hoof and paw) over a promise to hand over a whole box of dog biscuits, which happens to be in town.

Back to the Mild West show. Mild Bill comes out a-shootin’ on the little horse. Snuffles wants his dog biscuits. The Gro-Pup package isn’t the one you and I would have found in a store in 1960, but that’s not Snuffles’ complaint. The box is empty. Deal’s off. He slams the box over Quick Draw’s head and absconds with the little horse.

Baba: Oh, oh. That Mild Bill, he’s going to be a Wild Bill now.
Quick Draw: Don’t fret none, Baba. I have a say-lution.

The scene fades out and fades in to Mild Bill, a-shootin’ and a-hollerin’ on the little horse. Everything seems normal until Quick Draw bids “I’m on my way” to Mild Bill, who replies “Good wuck, Qwick Dwaw. And I hopes ya find that widdo hoss.” It turns out the horse Mild Bill is on is really Baba Looey. Iris out.

We’re missing a catchphrase in this cartoon. Quick Draw doesn’t tell us he’ll do the thinnin’ around here.

One little piece of music is almost completely drowned out by Daws Butler and sound effects. The sound cutter has the sense, as in the second Snuffles cartoon, to cut the stock music when Snuffles is floating down to the tinkling percussion sound.

0:00 - Quick Draw McGraw Sub Main Title theme (Curtin).
0:15 - related to Sportscope (Shaindlin) – Quick Draw and Baba in jeep.
0:41 - CRAZY GOOF (Shaindlin) – Quick Draw and Baba talk to Mild Bill, bird calls
1:01 - GR-75 POPCORN SHORT BRIDGE No 1 (Green) – Gun trick.
1:14 - GR-99 THE DIDDLECOMB HUNT (Green) – Bill says he’s after horse, Quick Draw agrees to take job.
1:55 - GR-248 STREETS OF THE CITY (Green) – Quick Draw and Baba drive to canyon, horse pulls Quick Draw into rock, horse under hat runs into cave.
4:07 - GR-472 HICKSVILLE (Green) – Snuffles eats biscuit.
4:20 - musical effect – Snuffles floats in air.
4:26 - GR-472 HICKSVILLE (Green) – Snuffles zips into cave.
4:44 - CRAZY GOOF (Shaindlin) – Snuffles gets horse, puts him back, makes deal for whole box.
5:24 - rising scale vaudeville music (Shaindlin) – Mild Bill introduces horse, no more dog biscuits, Snuffles takes horse, Quick Draw has solution.
6:24 - fast circus chase music (Shaindlin) – Mild Bill rides “horse,” Baba in disguise.
7:00 - Quick Draw McGraw Sub-Main title (Curtin).

Yowp note: The Ruff and Reddy ‘G’ series of 13 episodes (aired 1958) centred around a tiny horse named (surprise) Pee Wee who was hoss-napped by Harry Safari. Ruff, Reddy, a burro named Poco Loco and the horse’s mother set out to rescue him. At least some cartoons in that series were animated by Lew Marshall with backgrounds by Art Lozzi and some gooney-looking character designs by Ed Benedict.


  1. Just once, before I die, I would like to see the complete series of Ruff and Reddy! That is TRULY LOST Hanna-Barbera!

  2. Is it truly lost? Or, does WB have it somewhere and it's collecting dust? I'm curious about the original films. Was the series produced on 35mm or 16mm? Does anybody know?

  3. Anon, I wish I knew. All I know about the show is it was in bad need of restoration a few years ago. I don't know if all the masters exist.
    This is the kind of stuff I used to put to Earl Kress because he went through all their early stuff. The last e-mail I sent to Earl was on R&R because I have a post on it sitting in my queue, but he was too sick to respond.

  4. Didn’t mean to hijack Quick Draw’s thread to Ruff and Reddy, but this is a discussion that should take place.

    Beyond the dimmest of early childhood memories, my only testimonies to the existence of Ruff and Reddy is the line of Dell comic books, the theme snippets that lead off Earl Kress’ wonderful H-B compilation CD, the edited first arc (“Muni Mula” serial) that appeared on the “Animal Follies” VHS tape -- and a bootleg DVD I have with ALL the chapters.

    Why did R&R never have any noticeable (certainly not in NYC Metro) later life in syndication, or find a place on Cartoon Network (… when they actually showed the great H-B cartoons), or on Boomerang(…where last night I found two-hour blocks of the live action MUNSTERS and ADDAMS FAMILY?! A tribute to the J. Evil Scientist family, perhaps?)

    What IS the status of R&R, in terms of home video possibilities? Warner Archives could attempt something… but for “those old demon music rights issues”? You’re quite correct that, if anyone would know, it would be Earl Kress. Just another reason he will be SOOOO missed!

  5. I hate quoting "someone" but it seems to me someone asked about this on the Warner Home Archive page on Facebook and the response was the masters were in poor shape and required a lot of work. And that doesn't even take into consideration using the Capitol music.
    The last time I searched around, not all the chapters on-line were complete and there were some I couldn't find at all. Admittedly, I didn't look hard because R&R doesn't interest me a lot.