Thursday 26 January 2012

Ruff and Reddy Story Drawings

I’m not a big fan of Ruff and Reddy, but I am a fan of old storyboards. And some story panels from a couple of Ruff and Reddy episodes have showed up on line. I suspect they’re the work of Dan Gordon, who did story sketches for Hanna-Barbera for the first two years (and then some) of the studio’s life. They’re pretty attractive.

I didn’t make notes, but I think these came from the Van Eaton Gallery, which sells all kinds of animation art.

Here’s a layout drawing of Olaf, the little Viking boy who appeared in the second season.

Joe Barbera must have been hot for scripts with little blond boys that year. The cave kid Ubble Ubble was also introduced that season.

As I mentioned, I’m not a big fan of the series so I can’t tell you which cartoon in the Pinky adventure this is from. I can tell you it was used in newspaper publicity art. And that Reddy is fatter than he should be.

One of the reasons Ruff and Reddy never appealed much to me as a kid is that it wasn’t funny like Huck or Quick Draw. I couldn’t get into the characters. And it really seems aimed at younger kids; when you’re exposed to Warners and Fleischer cartoons and adult sitcoms as a child, who wants dull kid stuff? Here’s a dialogue sheet, apparently one used by Don Messick. All the lines that are changed are Messick’s.

Someone had the sense to cross out material that made the narration seem like it was talking down to kids even more. Wisely, Barbera, Gordon and writer Charlie Shows decided the studio’s next venture, The Huckleberry Hound Show, may have been in what was a kids’ timeslot in the network radio days, but went for a general audience instead. Barbera’s stories and Shows’ dialogue were more hit than miss, and it was Huck, not Ruff and Reddy, that gave the studio its initial fame.


  1. I think I mentioned this a month or so ago, but coming at Ruff and Reddy after I was familiar with Shows' work on Huckleberry Hound, the tone was the same, but I kept waiting for the funny/slightly cynical plot points that never arrived.

    Tone-wise, Ruff and Reddy struck me the same way as some of the early 1960s Terrytoons that were geared more towards what the staff thought kids would like. Even when I was the target audience, it felt a bit patronizing, as if everything had to be laid out for the audience as straightforwardly as possible (the Deitch Tom Terrific shorts of the late 50s were also targeted towards that audience, but at least stuck a bit of its tongue in its cheek via the over-hyperbole).

  2. I'm not sure who drew the rest of these Ruff n' Reddy story sketches, but the page numbered "13" is Joe Barbera's.
    Mark Kausler

  3. Do I detect some love for Shows? This is indeed a marvelous day at Yowp-Central!

    Much more so than “Sixties Alice”, R&R is my TRUE H-B Holy Grail! Mostly because, not only have I never seen it as an adult… I’ve never even seen it as “A Kid with Any Amount of Awareness”!

    Meaning that, as a kid, I saw Huck, Yogi, Quick Draw, Flintstones etc., with a degree of awareness of how great they were – and what it was that made them great! (And that awareness only GREW with each passing year!) I just have the vaguest early childhood memories of R&R.

    Those memories lump it in with Rocky and Bullwinkle and Crusader Rabbit (another show with the same dim personal memories akin to those of R&R) as a serialized adventure continuity – but, as my one and only bootleg DVD of “Muni-Mula” reveals, without the exquisite multi-layered humor of R&B!

    Something I continue to wonder about – as the self-proclaimed “Greatest Charlie Shows Fan” among this Blog’s followers is: Did Shows stay on with R&R, even after Foster took over Huck?

    I know R&R continued on for a few seasons but, with only the “Muni-Mula” bootleg and the small run of Dell Comics to validate the very existence of R&R for me, this is something I hope someone here can answer.

  4. That publicity drawing of Reddy makes him look just like Spike the bulldog, who was in many one-shot Tex Avery cartoons of the early 50s.

  5. captain greedy and salt water daffy...two of my favorite hb villains.