Saturday 17 December 2016

Snagglepuss in Tail Wag Snag

Produced and Directed by Joe Barbera and Bill Hanna.
Credits: Animation – Allen Wilzbach, Dick Lundy (uncredited); Layout – Noel Tucker; Backgrounds – Art Lozzi; Written by Mike Maltese; Story Director – Lew Marshall; Titles – Art Goble; Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voice Cast: Snagglepuss, Snuffles, 2nd Adventurer – Daws Butler; Major Minor, 1st Adventurer – Don Messick.
Music: Hoyt Curtin.
Episode: Production R-72 (sixth of eight in 1961-62 season).
Copyright 1961 by Hanna-Barbera Productions.
Plot: The Major uses Snuffles to try to capture Snagglepuss.

It seems as if Snuffles the biscuit loving dog was in a whole bunch of cartoons because he made such an impression on viewers, but he only appeared in eight. Seven were with Quick Draw McGraw, the eighth was this cartoon with Snagglepuss.

The two characters work well together. Snuffles goes through an emotional battle in this one, with Major Minor bribing the dog with an increasing number of dog biscuits to capture Snagglepuss, while the mountain lion tries to stop it by appealing to his friendship. There’s an amusing sequence where Snagglepuss tries to distract Snuffles by jointly singing “While Strolling Through the Park One Day”, but after every line of the chorus the dog turns threatening.

In the cartoon’s climax, the Major hands Snuffles the whole box of dog biscuits (with Hanna-Barbera kissing up to sponsor Kellogg’s by featuring its brand of dog biscuits in the carton). Snuffles goes into such ecstasy that he leaps through the roof of Snagglepuss’ cave. Then just as the rifle-bearing Major is getting a bead on the mountain lion, Snuffles crashes on top of him. Snagglepuss lives to see another cartoon.

Allen Wilzbach is the animator of this cartoon but it appears the Snuffles ecstasy animation toward the beginning was reused from an earlier Quick Draw McGraw cartoon animated by Dick Lundy. Wilzbach’s Snuffles has been apparently really been chowing down on the dog biscuits.

Wilzbach really saves on Bill Hanna’s budget. Besides reusing drawings, there’s almost five seconds of the Major standing stiff with his eyes blinking three times. Some other randomly selected drawings.

Art Lozzi is the background artist. Here is his establishing shot.

Lozzi loved blue. You can find dark blue trees, mountains and rocks in a bunch of his cartoons around this time. Here is Snagglepuss’ cave.

And Lozzi uses a sponge to create a textured background card. You can see the yellow spongework in Snagglepuss’ cave above.

What would a Snagglepuss cartoon be without Maltese’s punny dialogue between our hero and his nemesis?

Snag: It’s the Major! Come all the way from Tallahassee. Where he shat me in the high grassy. Or did he gun me in the Gloamin’ in ol’ Wyomin’?
Major: Neither. I shot you in the county seat of old Mesquite.
Snag: But none the nevertheless, I got away, diddled I?

We don’t get a “Heavens to Murgatroyd” in this cartoon. We do get a “Heavens to first aid!” and “Heavens to astronaut!” Other catchphrases include:

● Exit, smartin’ all the way, stage left.
● Like Mother Hubbard, my cupboard is bare. Empty, even.
● For shame! Five shame, even!
● It’s me, your old pal, your buddy. Bosom, even.
● I don’t think I could stand it. Or sit it, even.
● Consider the quenceconses.

The cartoon ends with Snagglepuss running past the same tree, telling us “Every dog has its day. And so has a lion. So has a lion. Kiwanis, even.” Here’s an endless run cycle to finish our post.


  1. "Shat"? "Diddled"? Snag has quite the off-color vocabulary here. On-color, even.

  2. The ecstasy sequence would sort-of make its way into the Scooby-Doo franchise (most notably, A Pup Named Scooby-Doo).