Thursday 25 December 2014

What's Under the Virtual Hanna-Barbera Tree

Your favourite Hanna-Barbera cartoon dog is in a festive mood (note the party hat in the picture of the napkin to your right sent by Rick Greene). And since this is a time for being with friends and giving, allow me to pass to you some H-B holiday(ish) items from around the internet. Maybe we’ll have a special gift, too.

Before we get to some pictures, allow me to send a Wee Willie-sized thank you to all who have visited this blog over the years.

Is this Mel Crawford artwork? It reminds me of the Hanna-Barbera Golden Books he illustrated in the early ‘60s. If anyone knows, please post a comment. It’s a great drawing. It’s odd seeing Baba Looey without Quick Draw. Perhaps he was busy battling a Typical Western Bad Guy as El Kabong and didn’t have time to sit for the portrait. Keith Fisk sent a note saying he found the artwork and substituted the holiday greeting.

Who needs Santa when you can have a visit from Yogi Bear and Huckleberry Hound? Granted, you had to go to a department store to see them. And you had to ignore the fact that Yogi and Huck were really a couple of guys in fuzzy costumes. This is from the Philadelphia Inquirer before Christmas 1961.

This fun drawing is publicity artwork for “Yogi Bear’s All-Star Comedy Christmas Caper,” a 1982 special on CBS. It was written in 2½ days by Mark Evanier. Mark talks about it in this great post on his blog. The characters are expertly drawn by Scott Shaw.

And at Christmas-time, if you didn’t get your fix of Hanna-Barbera characters by turning on your TV set, there was always the Golden Book series we mentioned earlier. Unfortunately, a copy of “Huckleberry Hound and the Christmas Sleigh” (1960) isn’t on-line, but some original artwork from the book is. The drawings are by C.W. Sattersfield. These are a few of them.

If books weren’t enough of a fix, you could simply use your imagination. Assisted by Hanna-Barbera merchandise, of course. There were seemingly endless board games, Flintstones Building Boulders, a gin rummy card game (with Yowp on one of the cards), and so on, all available at your local department store just in time for Christmas. My brother got a Kenner Give-a-Show movie projector, though this Easy-Show you see to the right looks pretty cool. And only $4.69! Did you have a favourite H-B toy or game you got for Christmas one year?

Since we’re talking about Christmas, allow me to re-gift a couple of drawings posted earlier. The first one is from Mark Christiansen’s collection. If I had to guess, I’d say it was from the pen of Dick Bickenbach. The second one with Quick Draw in the Christmas tree is from a Huckleberry Hound book by Whitman.

In Decembers past, Santa Yowp has given the gift of music. Oh, how I wish I had more of Jack Shaindlin’s Langlois Filmusic stock music from the early cartoons to pass on, but I’ve given up hope I’ll ever find any. So you’ll have to make do with something else.

Hoyt Curtin’s best work may have been done on “Jonny Quest,” but my favourite music of his was written for “Top Cat,” a series which has never done much for me. A number of years ago, 19½ minutes of Curtin’s music for the series was put out on CD. The majority of it has never been released. Here are some of the cues that have never been on CD. Judging by the sound quality, I suspect these were dubbed onto a cassette and put through Dolby noise reduction. I doubt the names of the cues are Curtin’s; they’re certainly not mine. You may recognise them from later H-B series. I hope you like them and you have an enjoyable holiday season.

This is the City (T-113)

Tin Pan Alley Cat (T-11)

Honey Dumelon (T-112)

Whimsical Bit T-33

Love Under the Stars (T-42)

Dinosaur Love (T-43)

He Who Hesitates (T-3)

Nightclub Bridge (T-206)

Maison La Rock (T-41)

Gi-Gi Galaxy (T-48)

Hold Me in Your Arms (Q-120)

The Nightclub Before Christmas (T-8)

Alto Swinger T-24

Sultry Strings (T-34)

Boston Bound Boogie Woogie (T-39)

Gee Daddy-O, It's a Wurlitzer (T-40)

Band Swinger T-28

Tinkle in Time (T-205)

Choo Choo's Bossa Nova T-13

Dance All Night (T-49)

Mr Lucky T-26


  1. Merry Christmas, Yowp!

    Thanks as always for the great post. One of my best early gifts with an H-B tie-in was as mentioned above a Kenner Easy Show Projector with several H-B character slides included among the mix. I also remembering, under the Christmas tree, a copy of a Gold Key Giant Special featuring The Flintstones with Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm (not the usual comic book cover, but a paper cover using the same kind of paper as the interior--I'm sure you know which one I mean). My brother received the giant Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge in the same format...but he was never much of a reader, so eventually that one got absorbed into my collection as well. Interesting, because while I've always been a lifelong Disney fan, I was even more into The Flintstones than Disney in those early days, and my parents somehow picked up on it.

    On another Christmas, my brother and I also received punch-out play sets, one featuring The Flintstones and one featuring Atom Ant and his supporting characters. These included fold-out paper mats suitable for coloring, marked to indicate where the various characters and structures were to be placed. The characters didn't stand up too well on it, because the folds were so thick that they didn't smooth out when the paper was laid flat, but it was still fun putting it together and playing with the cutout figures--although Atom Ant was way out of proportion to his size in relation to the other characters!

    Oh--one more Christmas gift was a set of plastic Flintstones figures with a stone-age circus motif--they plus a few plastic props could be snapped together to make different acrobatic formations. A definite oddity, but I recently recovered it from my mother's attic.

    Once again, Merry Christmas!

  2. Yeah, yeah, I'm hip, I'm hip! Great post. Thanks for sharing those very obscure cues.

    Seasons Greetings!

  3. My favourite music right there! Any way to download these? The artwork's great to look at too. A smashing after dinner Christmas treat. Many thanks Mr. Yowp.

  4. That “popping-out-of-the-package” illustration (with Baba Looey) may be even more of an oddity than meets the eye, since I’ve always known it as the cover of Gold Key Comics’ YOGI BEAR # 13 from 1963.

    Funny thing is, on the comic book, the banner held by Baba, Boo-Boo, and the Meeces reads “Best Wishes”, and the interior content is a special “Yogi Birthday” tale – not having anything to do with the animated TV special of about 1961, or the previous Dell Comics Yogi Birthday special.

    So, it appears that this painted artwork was either repurposed for “birthday” or Christmas” use. Just another thing we may never know about the mysterious and convoluted history of Dell and Gold Key Comics!

    Can’t say if it is Mel Crawford, though it certainly could be. It’s always more difficult to ID an artist’s painted work, than his penciled work. Inside art is by Harvey Eisenberg, Pete Alvarado, and maybe Kay Wright and Tony Strobl.

  5. I can see someone not really getting into Top Cat. Despite the fantastic music, after having watched the series through a few times, it just isn't as memorable as HB's other prime time series, The Flintstones and The Jetsons. T. C.'s costars just don't seem to be as fleshed out as the Flintstones cast was. Both the Flintstones and the Jetsons (to a lesser degree) created their own world to capture the viewer's imagination, even if the stories themselves were often warmed-over standard sitcom fare. T. C. didn't have the flexibility with its rigid setting and story structure (not to mention having way too many main characters to have to find something for them to do each week. At least Yogi Bear had only three reoccurring characters once they settled in to a formula.).

    1. Have to disagree. Top Cat was light years ahead of The Jetsons in my opinion. The characters were far better acted in my view and more fun to watch.

  6. I agree, Debbie. Top Cat had the most voice actors for its (including Allen Jenkins for Officer Dibble) with overlap (Leo DeLyon for both the hilariously misnamed Brain) and hip Spook name, plus Arnold Stang as TC, Maurice Gosfield as Benny, Marvin Kaplan as Choo-Choo, and John Stephenson as Fancy Fancy and sometimes appearing rival Pierre--and Jean Vander Pyl as another recurrant, Goldie. But I love the dialogue and music...

  7. 12/29/14 Wrote:
    What I would give for a Woolworth's store to be in the state of Michigan again. That show projector is really cool.

  8. Beautiful! Love the songs! So sweet!