Saturday, 2 December 2017

Yakky Doodle in Beach Brawl

Produced and Directed by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.
Credits: Animation – Don Patterson, Layout – Jack Huber, Backgrounds – Dick Thomas, Written by Mike Maltese, Story Director – Paul Sommer, Titles – Art Goble, Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voice Cast: Yakky Doodle – Jimmy Weldon; Chopper – Vance Colvig; Fibber Fox, Shark – Daws Butler.
Music: Hoyt Curtin.
Episode: Production R-61 (aired in last episode of the first season).
Copyright 1961 by Hanna-Barbera Productions.
Plot: Fibber tries to catch Yakky on a beach outing, but Chopper and a shark get in the way.

Mike Maltese couldn’t get away from the idea of disguises and French romantics. At Warner Bros. he developed Pepé Le Pew, the French skunk who chased after a cat disguised as a skunk. In one of his first Hanna-Barbera stories, Lamb Chopped (1959), a French ram rushes into the picture to romance Quick Draw McGraw disguised as a sheep. And in this cartoon, a French shark tries to woo Fibber Fox disguised as a shark. How Mssr. Shark concludes Fibber is of the female gender is one of those plot holes you just have to ignore.

Maltese also loaded up on air-coming-out gags in this cartoon. He has three of them. Yakky’s rubber horse is punctured by Fibber’s hook. Chopper sticks a pin in a beach ball that Fibber’s hiding in and explodes it. And Chopper pulls the plug out of an inner tube Fibber is on and shrinks it.

The story is pretty straight-forward. Chopper is taking a day off from his watchdogging duties to lie on the beach. He covers himself with sun-tan oil (over his fur?!) and then buries himself in the sand. Yakky comes along with his inflatable beach horse. Meanwhile, Fibber Fox is fishing off a peer. All he’s catching is old boots. Yakky floats over. “Well! Shiver me hungry timbers. It’s a sea-going type duck. Ready for plucking, canning and picnicking,” exclaims Fibber. Yakky and he have a nice little conversation. “The fishing’s great, it’s the catching that’s awful,” says the fox, who then declares “the duck season just opened” and snags the horsie with his hook. “Hey! What’s the big idea?” cries Yakky. But Fibber rips a hole in the beach toy when he pulls out the hook, and Yakky jets out of the picture. “Now just a duck-roasting minute!” yells Fibber. “I haven’t told you the big idea.”

Yakky yells for Chopper and the cartoon takes a familiar turn. “Oh come on!” shouts Fibber, chasing after the duck on the beach. “Don’t get full of sand. It gets in my teeth.” Yakky is instructed by Chopper to close his itty-bitty eyes. Punch! Fibber lands inside a beach umbrella that Chopper tosses into the water.

Fibber puts a fin on his back and swims toward Yakky. That’s when the French shark shows up. “ ‘Allo baby doll! Where have you been all my life,” he parlez while hugging the fox, as a Hoyt Curtin solo piano cue plays in the background. “You are different from the other girl sharks, no?” Fibber runs away on the water in terror. “Aw well,” says the shark to the camera. “There are other girl fish in the sea, yes?” The gag ends with Chopper handing Fibber a “life saver”—which is really a set of barbells. Splash! Curtin’s xylophone cue based on a few bars of “Entrance of the Gladiators” is heard to end the gag.

Fibber hides in a huge white beach ball. He can’t reach Yakky through a little flap in it (for some reason, the ball doesn’t deflate when it’s open). Chopper kicks it. Fibber screams in pain. “Hey! Who said ‘Yow-wow-ouch’?” wonders Chopper who, after a bit of dialogue with Fibber inside, punctures the ball which zooms into the sky and explodes. Crash to the ground. End scene.

Next, Fibber blows up an inner tube. “We’re going to launch for a lunch. Nice and quiet. Now just the barely discernible swish of an oar in the water,” he says as he paddles next to the duck fishing in a boat. Chopper swims underwater and pulls the plug on the inner tube. Purely for the sake of convenience, Yakky and his boat are no longer there when the shot cuts back to the fox on the shrunken tube. Convenient, because the shark returns, looking for l’amours. The irritated Fibber bashes him on the head with the oar. “Sacroiliac! Then you are not the girl shark after all,” growls the shark. Fibber quickly sinks into the water and then realises the position he’s in. “Now then,” says the angered shark. “We have a score to settle, yes?” Fibber swims quickly to shore (with boat motor sound in the background, the one in the opening of the Wally Gator cartoons) with the shark after him. Crash into a huge rock on the beach. End scene.

The cartoon ends with a pun. Chopper and Yakky are baking a fish on the beach. Chopper wonders what Fibber’s eating. Cut to Fibber on the pier, holding a stick with boots over an open campfire (on a wooden pier?!). “Well, for heaven’s sake,” he asks us. “Haven’t you heard of a shoes-kabob?” Yakky and Chopper laugh. Fade out.

There’s not much else to say. The shark design (by Jack Huber) is good. The sound cutter opens things with a nice little tenor sax/guitar cue that evokes Hawaii. Actually, all the music suits the cartoon.


  1. It was very similar to the Oscar nominated Sandy Claws!

  2. I recognize that shark design before! A similar shark was used in a Lippy-Hardy short, “Map Happy,” one year later.