Saturday 30 July 2016

Matador Huck

I love the little cartoons between the cartoons on the Huck, Yogi and Quick Draw shows. It’s neat seeing the characters interact with each other as actors on a TV cartoon show but still in character. And, at least in the early Huck series, the little cartoons are very attractive. In fact, if you look frame-to-frame, you’ll see parts of them are in full animation. Scenes are drawn on ones in some spots and you’ll find full body movement from frame to frame, not just the eyes or mouth sliding around on top of a cel of a character’s body.

Here are a couple of neat scenes from one where Huck plays a matador. Joe Barbera, or Dan Gordon, or Charlie Shows, or whoever, used the gag where the “bull” (in this case, Mr. Jinks), disappears in the matador’s cape. Huck flaps the cape and Jinks emerges in a little rolling ball before opening up and landing on the ground. The drawings are really nice. These are some of them.

“I’ll grab them mouses yet,” says Jinks, before dashing out of the scene. Check the mouth shapes. And note how Jinks’ body moves. Full animation.

The backgrounds in this mini-cartoon are great, too.

I thought the animator was Ed Love, but Mike Kazaleh tells me Phil Duncan worked on these bumpers. He knows Duncan’s work better than anybody. I presume Duncan wasn’t on the Hanna-Barbera staff, that these were farmed out to wherever Duncan was at the time (Playhouse Pictures?) or he was freelancing.

Wednesday 27 July 2016

Random Hanna-Barbera Pictures

Those wonderful TV producers you see to your right brought us hours upon hours of enjoyment—and still do through reruns and home video. And with it came an endless array of this-and-that for parents to buy for kids, campgrounds, contests, and all kinds of other things. People have sent me pictures of stuff involving Hanna-Barbera and we periodically get around to posting them. So here’s a hodge-podge of Hanna-Barberiana. One or two may have been posted before.

Is this a Yogi Bear sundial? Does anyone know where this is? The World’s Largest Yogi Bear is in Cook Forest, Pennsylvania, but I don’t believe that looks like Pennsylvania. I thought it might be in Larkspur, Colorado, but I can’t find this picture there.

If you grew up in the ‘60s like I did, you can probably sing the Kellogg’s jingle. Kellogg’s headquarters was in Battle Creek, Michigan. Here is the Kellogg’s plant (circa 1960) in all its glory, surrounded by its cereal box mascots. Coco the elephant’s banner waving didn’t save his job. He was replaced on packages of Cocoa Krispies by Snagglepuss (if I had to pick a favourite Kellogg’s cereal, that would be it. I’ll bet it tastes different now).

Here’s Bill Hanna surrounded by storyboards, a box of Man Size Kleenex and someone who remains unidentified. My suspicious is he worked with Hanna at the MGM cartoon studio. Nobody I’ve asked knows who it is, including people at the studio when this was likely taken (mid-to-late ‘60s).

A publicity drawing for that new TV series, The Jetsons. I’ve seen it in several newspapers of 1962 but not in colour. Artist unknown.

I’m presuming this is a record sleeve. We posted some, er, questionable country music stylings involving Yogi on the blog a few years ago. If you really want to search for them, go ahead. I’ll pass.

Magic Slate was released in 1959 by Watkins-Strathmore Company and cost mom or dad 29 cents. The only problem with these is the grey film on top would get wrinkled if it was used too much and that would cause a broken line with whatever you were drawing. But for 29 cents, you can’t go wrong.

Aladdin Industries of Nashville made lunch kits. The company is still around (under new management) but it’s apparently out of the carry-your-sandwich-to-school business. Mind you, a lot of moms are out of the making-your-lunch-for-school business, too, what with elementary school cafeterias and such today. I’m pulling for Quick Draw in this contest.

And now, the Yowp Fashion Section. Below is an example of good fashion.

And below is an example of bad fashion.

It’s cool to think that someone is making Huckleberry Hound T-shirts, especially since Huck isn’t exactly a very high-profile character these days (though he might be if Hanna-Barbera’s owners released the final season of the Huckleberry Hound Show on DVD; music rights are not a problem with it). And, having lived through the ‘80s, I can confirm guys wore mesh half-shirts. Have they made a comeback yet?

Ah!! Headless Snagglepuss!!! This sticker book was published by Whitman in 1963. Now, if they chopped off Yakky’s head...

T.C. was long into reruns when this colour version of the studio’s 1961 publicity art was made. That pose of Top Cat got an awful lot of use.

If Yogi Bear were a Japanese stop-motion production, would he look like this? And why is Yogi carrying Easter Eggs? Perhaps we have some readers who are able to solve these puzzles.

My thanks to Billie Towzer and others who sent these pictures to the blog.

Saturday 23 July 2016

They Threw Yogi a Party

There’s one Yogi Bear cartoon we haven’t reviewed on the blog, and that’s the half-hour birthday party episode that capped the first season of Yogi’s show on TV. It aired during the week of October 1, 1961 (internet sources that say January 1962 are flat-out wrong), the time slot depending on when Leo Burnett was able to buy time on a particular station.

The birthday party was part of a huge Yogi publicity campaign. TV stations were encouraged to have kids come down and have a real birthday party, with the cartoon being only part of the proceedings. There was a free Dell Comic book, tied in boxes of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. You can read about the promotional blitz and the party in this post and this post.

One of the disappointments of the Yogi Bear show DVD which came out a few years ago is the lack of credits at the end of the cartoon. I don’t like to rely on web sites where anonymous people can fill in their own educated or uneducated guesses about movies or TV shows as if it were indisputable, well-sourced fact. So I’ve never really been sure who worked on the birthday show—other than Jerry Eisenberg told me his dad drew the storyboard for it. But reader Mike Rossi has come up with the credits from a VHS tape of the episode. The credits fade in and out over top of each other as a Dixieland version of the Yogi Bear theme plays in the background.

A few things stand out. One is the copyright date is 1960. This half-hour must have been in the planning stages for an awful lot time. Another is the mention of Duke Mitchell. He does the swingin’ singing instructor in the show. Duke’s the crazy cat who sang for Fred in the first season of The Flintstones. Actually, Duke was supposed to be a crazy cat. The trades announced he was going to be a voice on Top Cat (as Spook maybe?). But it never happened. Read a bit more about Duke in this post.

Dick Lundy gets an “animation supervision” credit, but no animators are credited. The reason is simple. I’ve been told that Hanna-Barbera farmed out the work on the half-hour to one of the local commercial houses. It might have been Quartet; it might have been Playhouse. I don’t recall and I have no notes about where I got the information. So you’ll have to treat this as hearsay unless Mike Kazaleh or someone who’s an expert on this sort of thing posts a comment.

Since we’re talking Yogi and birthdays, here’s a real kid having a real birthday party with real Hanna-Barbera stuff. The picture was purloined off the internet a few years ago so I have no idea who the youngster is or when this took place.

You can click on the picture to get a better look. You’ll notice Li’l Tom Tom and Iddy Biddy Buddy (Yakky Doodle in his pre-Yakky days) as well as Huck, Yogi, Boo Boo and Mr. Jinks. I believe the kangaroo is Ka-pow who was in the Pixie and Dixie cartoon “Boxing Buddy.” Where’s Yowp, you ask? After all, a party isn’t a party without Yowp. We can only hope mom picked up the matching paper plates you see below to ensure everyone’s favourite cartoon dog that says “Yowp!” was invited.