Wednesday, 11 April 2012

More Storyboards and Models

Tony Benedict was the first writer hired at Hanna-Barbera after the arrival of Mike Maltese and Warren Foster, and began work on all the company’s series. Like Foster, he drew his own storyboards (Maltese seems to have drawn sketches that were cleaned up by others), but I can’t tell you whether he drew these story panels for ‘Cinderella Stone’ (1964) or if Alex Lovy did. Regardless, Tony wrote the cartoon and here are some panels for it.

Yogi Bear was spun off into his own show in 1961. That meant someone had to replace him on The Huckleberry Hound Show. That somebody was Hokey Wolf, with mandatory sidekick Dingaling. Dick Bickenbach came up with these model sheets. The Ding model is from October 1960. Hokey first aired in January 1961 so that gives you an idea how fast the cartoons were churned out. The Hokeys were really the first I-can-take-it-or-leave-it TV cartoons the company produced. They weren’t nearly as funny as Huck or Quick Draw but were okay. The drawing style and voices gave them a familiarity.

Hokey wasn’t nearly as funny as Snooper and Blabber, either. Here’s a nice model sheet of them from Bick.

And, finally, some odds and sods. This August 1960 model sheet by Bick is self-explanatory. I didn’t realise sheets like this would have been made for television cartoons.

This model is from the Quick Draw McGraw cartoon “Talky Hawky.” The chicken hawk is called “Maxie” because Daws Butler used his Maxie Rosenbloom-style voice that was used more often at the Jay Ward studio. Tony Rivera did layouts on the cartoon.

Here’s a layout drawing of Blabber. I haven’t been able to figure out which cartoon this is from. I suspect this is Bick again.

And, finally, a 1964 sheet from ‘Ricochet Rabbit,’ showing differences in character sizes. Someone more interested in Mr. Bing-bing-BINGGG!! can tell you which cartoon this is from. It looks like Bick’s hand-writing again.

I believe these all came from the Van Eaton Gallery web site, which is always worth a look to see what animation-related things they have for sale.


  1. The Ricochet layout is from "Slick Quick Gun".

  2. Late 60-early 61 seems to be when the studio started suffering from the first signs of diminished returns from their increasing workload. Hokey wasn't a bad character compared to what came after, but his basic set-up with the farmer was too close to the Yogi-Boo Boo-Ranger situation, and the Phil Silvers mimicry worked better in Top Cat, where they had enough of a budget to add on a few more sidekicks with their own personalities to flesh out the story lines.

    It's also interesting to note how the pre-62 models were simply, yet borrowing on the style developed by MGM during its CinemaScope years, were still appealing. By the time we get to '64 we're getting character designs that are actually a little more detailed than the early H-B years, but at the same time, manage to be less visually appealing.

  3. Awww, maaaan… No love for Hokey, first on DVD and now at Yowp?!

    Hokey Wolf seemed to be a nice fit for “The Huckleberry Hound Show”, with the departure of Yogi Bear. He was similar enough for comfort – but not too similar.

    Somewhere I recall Yowp posting that both Bigelow and J. Evil Scientist were in line for series. Neither one would have filled the slot as neatly as Hokey.

    Fast talking schemer, with a short sidekick? Why not. As names go, was “Ding-a-Ling” really such a far cry from “Boo-Boo”? The difference was that Ding idolized Hokey, while Boob was more of a conscience and voice-of-reason.

    True, the Farmer was his “Elmer Fudd”, but he didn’t appear that often. Though I recall they *did* do an out-and-out remake of the Bugs and Elmer cartoon “Robot Rabbit”. And, in the great cartoon “Chock Full Chuck Wagon”, we get a taste of what H-B’s version of Yosemite Sam would have been like! If I could only have ONE Hokey on DVD, that would be the one!

    Daws Butler put his “Phil Silvers” voice to great use, and the characters “grew” out of an earlier Huck cartoon (“Ship-Shape Sheepherder”), just as Snagglepuss “grew” out of Quick Draw McGraw.

    Maybe Hokey never got to show his “softer” side (as Yogi often did) – and even TC had the room to occasionally do – and that might be why he’s not more highly thought of.

    I prefer to think of Hokey as one of the LAST of the great original H-B characters, before a slight decline thru 1965, a larger decline from 1965-1970 (when Sat AM shows were the primary focus)… and total disaster thereafter.

    Regardless, I want some Hokey on DVD – and, like the 4th season of “The Huckleberry Hound Show” as a whole, there are no music issues to prevent it. …How ‘bout it, Warner?

  4. Or, Joe, maybe it was the entire OPPOSITE: Maybe Hokey wasn't playing watered downseventies top 40 pop w/The Partirdges or the Pebbles/BammBamm Bedrock Rockers to a Glen Glenn or HB laugh track! Hmmmm.......maybe THAT was it. JUst Hoyt Curtin's music for seven minutes then it's over, no "Yabbba Dabbba Doozey","Inside Otside etc."[Josie],etc. No meddling kids. And NO dumb cat/dog./etc.Steve C.