Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The Rug and Tumble World of Huck and Wally

Some of the most attractive drawings of the cast of The Huckleberry Hound Show aren’t to be found in the cartoons themselves. The Hanna-Barbera studio developed promotional art and product designs. Somewhere on-line, I found a couple with Huck so I’m including them in kind of a potpourri post as I clean out my computer’s photo folders.

Here’s the cast on a merry-go-round. What an attractive little layout. My default reaction is it’s by Dick Bickenbach, but I really don’t know. It seems the studio licensed the characters for carpets. Compare it with this picture of an actual rug.

So is the drawing some kind of pattern? I admit I’m not up on my carpetology.

Here’s another rug design. It was one of several. Another design, for a rug that’s about 38 x 21 inches, like a bathroom rug, featured Huck on his horse from “Sir Huckleberry Hound.”

Now, let’s move ahead a few years…

The model sheet of Wally Gator is signed by Bick. It’s apparently dated Oct. 3, 1961. Sorry I can’t make it any larger. Below it are what look like two drawings from the opening of the series. One of Hanna-Barbera’s everlasting great mysteries is why Wally Gator is a swinging alligator in the swamp in his theme song and opening animation but the series is set in a zoo.

And, finally, a couple of Huck cels. I think these came from the Van Eaton Gallery site, which is always worth a look. The first cel is from the final season’s “Huck’ Dé Paree” (1962), animated by Ken Southworth. The second one is from “Science Friction” (1961), animated by Ed Love. The background by Dick Thomas is from an earlier part of the cartoon.


  1. The other nice thing about the early H-B promotional art is that since so much of it was done in-house, it stayed on-model. Even as a animation consumer in single-digit age back in the 60s, I might not have been that discerning between theatrical and made-for-TV animation (down to the Sam Singer level of TV cartoons), I was still irked by off-model drawings of familiar characters.

    (As for Wally, like Peter Potamous four years later, it seems like H-B came up with the idea of using a different species of animal for their newest cartoon, but then couldn't figure out what to do with the character, once they finalized the idea of Ed Wynn as a reptile or a big African grassland-and-river creature in a safari pith helmet and with Joe E. Brown's voice. In Wally's case, they opted for a 'lite' version of the Yogi-Ranger Smith scenario; with Peter they simply threw up their hands after a few episodes and gave him a time machine.)

  2. "One of Hanna-Barbera’s everlasting great mysteries is why Wally Gator is a swinging alligator in the swamp in his theme song and opening animation but the series is set in a zoo."

    Yeah, I've always wondered about that myself...and this:

    "There has never been a greater operator in the swamp."

    Greater operator? Yogi or Hokey were greater operators no doubt, but Wally Gator? Wally usually got his a** handed to him in his cartoons...jeez

    1. The questions that may always go unanswered!

      Yes, Wally wasn't quite an operator at all. that opening tune so pulled the wool over our eyes!

  3. And don't forget about Top Cat, he's quite an operator, too!

  4. "Yowp-Yowp" Dodsworth and HB-fans from the whole world,

    Jesus! I'm recognizing this reference showing Huck aboard of a locomotive from a kiddie train!
    It's of a closing bumper from the 1st season (1958-59) of The Huckleberry Hound Show (Hanna-Barbera/Columbia Pictures, 1958-62), which goes before the final credits from this same show.
    Alongisde Huck, also were aboard of this same kiddie train, Pixie, Dixie & Mr. Jinks, who appear together aboard of a wagon; and Yogi, slumbering in another wagon.
    Alias, these bumpers from The Huckleberry Hound Show aren't seen here in Brazil since the early 70s.