Saturday 21 January 2017

Snagglepuss in Rent and Rave

Produced and Directed by Joe Barbera and Bill Hanna.
Credits: Animation – Jack Ozark, Layout – Tony Rivera, Backgrounds – Neenah Maxwell, Written by Mike Maltese, Story Director – Art Davis, Titles – Art Goble, Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voice Cast: Snagglepuss – Daws Butler; Lila – Jean Vander Pyl; Announcer – Don Messick.
Music: Hoyt Curtin.
Episode: Production R-78 (sixth of eight in 1961-62 season).
Copyright 1961 by Hanna-Barbera Productions.
Plot: Snagglepuss rents his home for some extra money, but his tenant is the constantly-demanding Lila.

Snagglepuss met up with the domineering mountain lioness Lila in three cartoons. They’re all pretty good. Unlike the other two, Lila isn’t attempting to land Snagglepuss as a husband in this one, nor is she as calculating. She’s just plain old bossy and self-absorbed. (She’s also a yellow colour in this cartoon instead of a shade of purple-pink). As in her debut cartoon, Spring Hits a Snag, she launches into a crying routine after Snagglepuss has had enough of her constant harping and tells her to shut up. Snagglepuss backs down. But only temporarily. He finally unleashes a torrent of tap water in her face (in reused animation), cuts away the annex to his home and happily floats down river on it. He’s seen the end of her at the end of the cartoon (well, until the next cartoon).

This cartoon was animated by Jack Ozark, who has a really odd way of drawing Snagglepuss at times. Ozark’s animation career began in 1932 at the Fleischer studio in New York. He arrived at Hanna-Barbera in 1961; he had spent the previous year animating Q.T. Hush cartoons for Animation Associates and then on the Dick Tracy TV animated series. He worked for several years at Hanna-Barbera before moving on to Filmation around 1966.

Here, Snagglepuss’ snout is thinner and longer than usual.

Snagglepuss has an inwardly curved forehead.

In some scenes, Snag has slanted oval eyes.

A head-shake scene leaves Snagglepuss with an oversized head.

And there are scenes where his eyes are a little farther apart than others. Carlo Vinci spaced eyes apart like this, too.

He also had Snagglepuss bending from the waist during dialogue in a number of places in the cartoon. Perhaps that was indicated on Tony Rivera’s layouts.

Shots from scene to scene didn’t always match in Hanna-Barbera cartoons. Here’s an example, though it’s not as bad as I’ve seen in some cartoons. These are consecutive frames. Snagglepuss should have the same mouth position.

There are places in the cartoons where Ozark is animating on ones, but the animation’s not altogether fluid. He also gives Snagglepuss a few hand gestures (in one scene, Snag wiggles his fingers in a little cycle).

There’s always some fun dialogue in a Snagglepuss cartoon. In this one, our hero has a conversation with his radio after lamenting he doesn’t have enough money for a South Seas vacation.

Radio: Friend, are you feeling a little pinched? Would a little money ease the pain? That extra cash for those little extra things you’ve always wanted, hmmm?
Snagglepuss: Yes! Yes!
Radio: For a vacation. A new car. 500 pounds of putty.
Snagglepuss: How’s about a South Seas cruise?
Radio: Yes, even a South Seas cruise.
Snagglepuss: How do I get the money? How do I get the ditto?
Radio: By simply letting us build another room on your home. Then all you have to do is sit back and collect the rent.
Snagglepuss: I get it. Then I stand up and use the money for a South Seas cruise.
Radio (angrily): Not until you pay us $10,000 for building you the room.
Snagglepuss: Nothin’ doin’! (turns off radio) I’ll build my own room and thereby eliminate the middle man, little man.
Snagglepuss fits in his usual catchphrases and variations thereon (“Heavens to Hilton! It’s a tenant!” ... “Heavens to rental unit! I’ve been duplexed! Evacuated, even!” ... “I take leave of the landlord biz. Exit, to the rental unit, stage left.”), as well as puns (“She’s undoubted-tedly a school teacher. Or some such intellectual careerist. I can tell by the cut of her giblets.”)

Hoyt Curtin’s music should be familiar to those weened on H-B cartoons in 1961. The sound cutter finds a place for the Lippy the Lion/Touche Turtle running music when Snagglepuss is forced to lift and cart a piano around while Lila can’t make up her mind where to put it (“Heavens to slipped discs!”). A lot of the music is recognisable from the Flintstones; the Fred-working-in-the-quarry cue pops up when Snagglepuss is fixing the faucet.

Finally, another cycle. Eye pupil drawings 1, 2, 3, 2 create a take.


  1. Nice review! Also,Jack Ozark did a lot of work on the Loopy de Loop shorts.

  2. Mr,Ozark did do a pretty,highly personal design and style all his own on Snagglepuss...;HEAVENS to MURGATROYD, even!SC

  3. Jack Ozark's animation seems very similar to Hugh Fraser's. The faces and bodies are very angular, yet flexible. Ozark seemed to prefer 'tall' characters: as well as Snagglepuss and Loopy, he's supposedly animated a lot of Wally Gator shorts.

    As far as I know, the only credited FLINTSTONES animation Ozark did was in Season 3's (1962-63) "Baby Barney". It appears to be the scene in the adoption agency in which the boys get thrown out when it's learned they only want to adopt a baby for just a few days (while Fred's Uncle Tex is in town). For a long time I assumed that was done by Fraser.