Saturday, 20 August 2016

Snagglepuss – Royal Rodent

Writer Mike Maltese found a way to populate the Snagglepuss series—by borrowing characters he had used in other series. Thus is it that Snagglepuss met up with the future Yakky Doodle; Snuffles, from the Quick Draw McGraw cartoons; the J. Evil Scientist family from the Snooper and Blabber cartoons and Bigelow the mouse from the Augie Doggie series.

Bigelow may be the least remembered of the lot. Basically, it was Doug Young doing a Jimmy Cagney impression. The tough guy mouse appeared with Snagglepuss twice, Yakky Doodle once and in three Loopy De Loop cartoons.

In Royal Rodent, the King (Daws Butler) loves cheese. So does Bigelow, who keeps stealing it. So the King hires Snagglepuss to get rid of him. Next follows some gags that seem like watered-down Warner Bros. material, followed by Snagglepuss scaring Bigelow out of the castle by telling corny jokes that would have had him booed off a small-time vaudeville stage. The cartoon ends with Snagglepuss hired as the court jester, whose jokes the King never hears after making sure he’s wearing ear muffs to block out the sound.

Snagglepuss is home writing the King when his servant comes to retrieve him for employment:

Snagglepuss: Dear Kingy, it doth behoove me—or is it “beehive me?” No matter—I’m writin’ you for the tenth time offerin’ my services in whatever capacity you deem my talents fit.

The gags:
● Snagglepuss puts out a piece of cheese outside Bigelow’s hole as bait, ready to bash him with a fly swatter when he emerges. “I’ll give him swat for! Who knows? I may even be knightied for this. Or pyjamaed even!” Instead, Bigelow saws the floor under Snagglepuss. Down goes our hero. Bigelow laughs and grabs the cheese. Reponsds Snagglepuss: “He who laughs last laughs who. Or he who laughs who he. Best laughs he who who he. Be, skip it.”
● Snagglepuss rolls a bowling ball toward Bigelow’s hole. The mouse pushes out a spring which sproings the bowling ball back and knocks down the King.
● “Come and get it! Free cheese for everybody!” shouts Snagglepuss, who then boards up Bigelow’s hole when the mouse runs to get it. Snagglepuss then slaps down on him with the fly swatter. Bigelow ends up in the King’s crown. You know what happens next. Like in an old Tweety cartoon, Snagglepuss tries bashing the mouse but clobbers the King instead.

● Bigelow challenges Snagglepuss to a duel (Bigelow with a sword, Snagglepuss with the fly swatter). Snagglepuss decides “to appeal to his sense of humour” and lets out with some groaners while they’re dueling. “Say, didja heard the one about the janitor’s son, didja? His father left home so the elevator man brought him up. Then there was the horse who ate the bail or wire by mistake. You know what happened to him? He went haywire!” That’s enough to scare Bigelow away. A couple of reaction drawings.

Also included in the dialogue:

Exit, anticipatin’ all the way, stage left.
Exit, do-it-yourselfing all the way, stage right.
Heavens to pincushion! (and there’s a murgatroyd in there as well)
What shall it be, a buckswashlin’ musketeer?

There seems to have been a real problem matching colours. Look at Snagglepuss’ head and arm (which move). They’re darker than his body (which doesn’t move).

There are no credits on the cartoon. The cartoon was Production R-76, the fourth of eight Snagglepuss cartoons to be put into production for the 1961-62 season. Documents from Leo Burnett, Kellogg’s agency, suggest this was the final Snagglepuss cartoon to air in first-run.

Bigelow has at least five head positions during dialogue. The characters roll their heads while talking on occasion, so Dick Lundy may be the animator. I like the design on the King’s attendant (played by Doug Young).

Hoyt Curtin’s music includes a few short pieces heard on The Flintstones. It sounds like there’s a lot of a bass clarinet in the underscore.


  1. Bigelow Mouse probably could have had a series of his own. I would actually prefer him over Pixie and Dixie.

    1. I've had the same thought. He generally adds some zest to the proceedings whenever he appears in a cartoon.

      He could at least have gotten a comic book series, even as a back-up feature.

      I wonder if there ever were any serious thoughts at the H-B studio of Bigelow as a potential star?

  2. Snagglepuss' neck is muzzle-colored, too.
    IMPO, what would really/truly shock is a Classic Nine™ character's face/muzzle, face/beak, etc. being entirely one color.

  3. I'd have to watch this one again, but seem to remember the animation being by Ed Parks. His style is similar to Lundy, but with more facial distortions. Parks animated many FLINTSTONE episodes from Season 3 on. He did "Scrubby Brush Man" with Huck, "From Hand to Mouse" with Augie, and "Magician Jinks".