Saturday, 3 December 2016

Yakky Doodle in Dog Pounded

Produced and Directed by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.
Credits: Animation – Hicks Lokey; Layout – Jack Huber, Backgrounds – Neenah Maxwell, Written by Tony Benedict, Story Director – Lew Marshall, Titles – Art Goble, Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voice Cast: Chopper – Vance Colvig; Yakky Doodle – Jimmy Weldon; Dog Catcher, Radio newscaster – Daws Butler.
Music: Hoyt Curtin.
Episode: Production R-71 (third of eight in 1961-62 season).
Copyright 1961 by Hanna-Barbera Productions.
Plot: Fibber Fox has Chopper taken away by a dog catcher and tries to cook Yakky Doodle.

Fibber Fox has always been my favourite character in the Yakky Doodle cartoons. Generally, he gets off some funny observations on his own situation in the cartoon to the audience. In this one, not so much.

There are a few neat lines. Maybe the best one comes right at the opening when Yakky is strolling along singing “Yankee Doodle.” Fibber clomps a bowl over him. “Well! A singing duck. How about that? I like some music with my meals,” Fibber tells us.

Tony Benedict’s story incorporates the idea of a dog license (or lack thereof), which goes back to MGM cartoons like The Bodyguard (1944) and Give and Tyke (1958). Fibber steals Chopper’s dog tags and reports him to a dog catcher, imitating Yakky’s stretched-out laugh for good measure. With Chopper out of the way, Fibber spends more time talking to his captured prey than cooking him. The potential feast is interrupted a special news bulletin on the radio. “A very angry dog has just escaped from city pound. He vows vengeance on unnamed fox. That is all.”

Yup, Chopper bashes in the door of Fibber’s cave. Fibber drops Yakky, hands over the dog tags, and runs into dog catcher, telling him he’s a dog and demanding to be taken to the pound. But Chopper then turns himself in so he can be locked in the same dog catcher van as Fibber. Before Chopper closes the door, he snickers just like you’re used to hearing out of Precious Pupp or Muttley. No, Tony Benedict didn’t invent the evil snicker. It was used by dogs in some Huckleberry Hound cartoons before this and goes back to Tex Avery’s Bad Luck Blackie at MGM. The cartoon ends with the van driving past the same lamp post 26 times (there seem to be a lot of repeating background pans in this cartoon).

There’s nothing spectacular about Hicks Lokey’s animation or Neenah Maxwell’s backgrounds, though I do like the sponged tree greenery. The sound cutter uses a number of bridges and other music heard on The Flintstones. I wish I could be more enthusiastic about this cartoon but it doesn’t do too much for me.


  1. This one showed Don Messick wasn't the only one to snicker like that....

    BTW I wait to find if any Hokey Wolf shorts might get reviewed, since it's the only of the short series on TV by Hanna-Barbera pre-1962 reveiwed outside the pioneering cliffhanger Ruff and Reddy. Pixie and Dixie, of course, had a cartoon in 1958 reivewed here in the 1st season Huckleberry Hound series about a dimwitted but protective dog named King Size, "King Size Surprise" that REALLY used the dog tag aspect--all the way back to the dog-as-guardian of that Tom and Jerry short, "The Bodyguard" as mentioned.SC

  2. Well, gee whiz... No cartoon with Fibber can all bad!

  3. Not sure, but that doesn't sound like Daws as the dog catcher to me.

    1. You think it's Shep Menken? Was he doing anything at HB yet?