Saturday, 29 June 2013

Augie Doggie — Little Wonder

Produced and Directed by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.
Credits: Animation – Bob Carr; Layout – Tony Rivera; Backgrounds – Fernando Montealegre; Story – Mike Maltese; Story Director – Alex Lovy; Titles – Art Goble; Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voice Cast: Augie Doggie, Museum Guard – Daws Butler; Doggie Daddy – Doug Young.
Music: Phil Green, Jack Shaindlin, Harry Bluestone-Emil Cadkin, unknown.
First Aired: week of January 9, 1961 (rerun, week of June 19, 1961).
Episode: Quick Draw McGraw Show M-034, Production J-105.
Plot: Daddy decides to raise Augie Doggie to be a genius.

There are cartoons where Augie Doggie is a boy like any other (“Pint Giant”). There are cartoons where Augie Doggie is a boy genius (“It’s a Mice Day”). And then you have this cartoon where Doggie Daddy wants his boy to be a boy genius.

This is an innocuous cartoon. There’s nothing spectacular in it but nothing terrible, either. Bob Carr’s the animator, which means you get the basics and not much more. Tony Rivera’s got a couple of layouts that are a welcome change from Paul Sommer’s audience-looking-at-a-stage perspective. And Monte’s backgrounds are tamer than they were a year earlier, though he still likes to put a transparent flower-patterned chair in the Daddy home.

I like his pinkish clouds, too. I thought Art Lozzi used to go for the same kind of effect where the cloud becomes lighter and airier at the bottom. You can see how simple the buildings are. They have TV antennas. I presume the greenery in the background is on an overlay.

Mike Maltese’s best dialogue in the cartoon comes in the scene where Daddy is trying to educate Augie at a natural museum. There’s a huge Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton. The two pull off what could be an Abbott and Costello routine.

Augie: How many bones does it got, Dad?
Daddy: Oh, just oodles, Augie, oodles.
Augie: How many is “oodles,” father of mine?
Daddy: Oodles is da number of bones he’s got.

So Daddy uses his “math-meh-matical prowess” and counts them.

Daddy: Hey, Augie, dere are two thousand ten bones—give or take a few hundred.
Augie: Gosh, that’s just oodles of bones, isn’t it, Dad?

The cartoon’s premise is simple. Daddy reads a news story about Rodney Q. Brilliant, age 9, who has an I.Q. of 460. Is he harbouring a boy genius, too, Daddy wonders. That’s when Augie enters the picture, playing all the roles in a battle between cowboys and Indians, including an appearance by El Kabong, mask and all, flying on a rope. Never mind the childish game, Daddy says, how’s his I.Q.? Augie responds by naming a bunch of other letters of the alphabet.

Daddy figures the boy’s I.Q. is only about 300, so he decides to increase it in the next scene by having Augie ask him questions about Mother Nature. Daddy can’t answer any of them. So Daddy takes him to the museum we mentioned earlier (nice angular layout by Tony Rivera) where a uniformed guard startles him into wrecking the “pre-hysterical monster” skeleton (also known as the “Tyranerdo-roarius Rex”). “If dere’s one ting I can’t stand,” says Daddy, “it’s a guard who won’t let you count bones.”

Back home, Daddy tells Augie to “stop acting your age” (he is pretending to be a super-jet) and split an atom “scien-teh-tifcally.” He gives him a walnut to practice on first. After figuring out some math (Augie is wearing a green visor), he works out the distance where he can catapult a huge boulder from a tree onto the nut. Instead, it crashes into the Doggie home, destroying it. Augie cries about how he miscalculated the wind velocity, tells “disappointed dad,” whose head is sticking out of the wrecked chimney, he’s “just an average boy who’s got the best dad in the whole world.” Dad smiles and tells us how glad he is Augie doesn’t need a high I.Q. for that.

Augie gets different music cues depending on the role he’s taking on when playing cowboys and Indians. The El Kabong part has the harmonica version of “La Cucaracha” heard on quite a few Quick Draw McGraw cartoons; I haven’t tracked its source. Same with the war dance cue when Augie’s playing a native. My guess is it’s by Geordie Hormel and contained somewhere in the Hi-Q ‘X’ series.

0:00 - Augie Doggie Main Title theme (Hanna-Barbera-Curtin).
0:25 - GR-65 BUSH BABY (Green) – Daddy reads paper.
0:55 - Indian War Dance Music (?) – Augie pretends to be an Indian chief.
1:01 - related to Excitement Under Dialogue (Shaindlin) – Augie pretends to be a cowboy.
1:05 - La Cucaracha (Trad.) – Augie pretends to be El Kabong.
1:12 - LFU-117-1 MAD RUSH No 1 (Shaindlin) – Augie pretends to be the cavalry, dying scene.
1:34 - CB-86A HIDE AND SEEK (Cadkin-Bluestone) – IQ scene.
2:00 - CB-89A ROMANTIC JAUNT (Cadkin-Bluestone) – Daddy and Augie in park.
3:10 - GR-155 PARKS AND GARDENS (Green) – Daddy and Augie in museum.
3:55 - GR-258 THE TIN DRAGOONS (Green) – Daddy counts bones, Daddy slips.
4:29 - fast circus chase music (Shaindlin) – Daddy falls, Guard cries.
5:07 - GR-248 STREETS OF THE CITY (Green) – Augie pretends to be super-jet, walnut calculations, catapults boulder.
6:32 - ‘FIREMAN’ (Shaindlin) – Boulder takes off, house destroyed, Dad in chimney.
7:10 - Augie Doggie End Title theme (Curtin).


  1. Maybe Augie was a schizophrenic, that would explain some things.

    1. I think we're all looking too far into a cartoon.

      I also think I really didn't need to respond to a 7 year old post.