Saturday, 19 May 2018

Season Two For Huckleberry Hound

Bigger is better. Bigger means more profits. That’s the free enterprise system. H-B Enterprises was a business. Therefore, it got bigger.

The Huckleberry Hound Show started life in 1958 as a huge success. Sponsor Kellogg’s wanted more. Hanna-Barbera was willing to oblige. In 1959, it created a whole new cartoon series called the Quick Draw McGraw Show and shopped it to Kellogg’s by early April, according to Sponsor magazine. Huck carried on with a second season, but H-B cut the number of cartoons produced for it from 66 to 39. Evidently, Kellogg’s was content with re-airing cartoons from the first 66; after all, didn’t kids keep tuning in the same Bugs Bunny cartoons over and over and over again? Either that, or the studio didn’t have the staff or equipment in 1959 to make more than that. Ruff and Reddy was still in production, and Screen Gems’ John Mitchell was pushing Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera to take the next logical television step—into prime time.

All of this meant H-B Enterprises (the company changed its name to Hanna-Barbera Productions in August 1959) had to add staff beyond its three animators (a fourth, Mike Lah, had pitched in on occasion). Variety noted on August 19, 1959:
To cope with the largescale output, the H-B plant at Amco Studios here is now on a 24-hour-a-day schedule, its 175-man staff of animators, story editors, camera operators, inkers and others split into three eight-hour shifts.
Hanna-Barbera brought in some solid people. La Verne Harding and Don Patterson came from Walter Lantz (along with story director Alex Lovy, an old colleague of Barbera’s from the Van Beuren studio in New York). Ed Love and Dick Lundy had been at the commercial houses; both had worked at MGM and Disney before that.

Perhaps my favourite out of the group was George Nicholas, who had been animating at Disney and, at age 48, was laid off after completion of Sleeping Beauty. Hanna-Barbera hired him in mid-April 1959. Nicholas was handed the first cartoon put into production for the second season of the Huck Show, the Yogi Bear adventure “Lullabye-Bye Bear.” He gave Yogi wild and insane expressions. He toned it down after that. Whether it was at the behest of management, I don’t know, but I would have loved to have seen more cartoons animated that way.

Love’s name was on the closing credits, but he told interviewer Harvey Deneroff he was never on staff, he worked freelance at H-B. The studio evidently hired others on a freelance basis. Manny Perez and Don Williams both animated a solitary cartoon on the Huck show (Williams did a bit of other work at the studio). Gerard Baldwin animated for Hanna-Barbera as well before jumping at the chance to work in Mexico under a Jay Ward contract later in the year.

Documents from the Leo Burnett files obtained by the late Earl Kress reveal the studio also animated five new opening billboards for the show that year, along with seven closing ones, and something called “opening units” (five) and “closing units” (four). This was not the main or closing title animation and because I’m not in the industry, I have no idea what’s being referred to.

Oddly, the document refers to only one piece of closing animation, with the same production number as the one in the 1958-59 season. But we know part of the animation was re-done. Instead of Huck driving through a hoop, Yogi Bear is now treated somewhat on an equal footing with the blue dog, as the two carry a banner with the Kellogg’s slogan of the day.

Besides animators, additional background and directorial staff were brought in. The biggest impact may have been the decision to hire Mike Maltese from Warner Bros. in November 1958 to write for the studio. He was joined in mid-April by Warren Foster, who had left Warners in 1957 for John Sutherland Productions. Maltese was assigned to handle Quick Draw, Foster (with one exception) wrote the Huck show in 1959. Under Foster, the cartoons seemed to get a lot chattier. Foster also got rid of the idea of solo Yogi Bear adventures and spot-gag cartoons, making Boo Boo a permanent sidekick and creating a permanent adversary out of a bunch of generic rangers used by Joe Barbera and Charlie Shows the previous season. (Interestingly, there is a Ranger-less/Boo Boo-less cartoon this season. It is the last one to feature Yowp, who was then put in the cartoon retirement kennel).

The cartoons continued to feature the Capitol Hi-Q and Langlois Filmusic libraries for mood music. Some different cues were added this season to freshen the sound a bit. As well, Joe Barbera went hunting for additional voice actors. Hal Smith and Jean Vander Pyl were among those hired who join Don Messick and Daws Butler on the Huck series.

Was this bigger Hanna-Barbera better? In 1959, perhaps it was. There were a lot of entertaining cartoons produced that year. But I still think expansion hurt the studio in the long-run; at least I smiled a lot less at Peter Potamus than I did at Yogi getting mixed up with seven dwarfs. I even turned off the TV set while Magilla Gorilla was on.

Here are the cartoons for the second season in order of production. The “K” designation is for the first show the cartoon appeared in. My thanks again to Denise Kress for sending me this documentation.


E-67 Lullabye-Bye Bear (K-028) Yogi/Nicholas
E-68 Grim Pilgrim (K-028) Huck/Muse
E-69 Sour Puss (K-029) PD/Love
E-70 Papa Yogi (K-030) Yogi/Nicholas
E-71 Tin Pin Alley (K-027) Huck/Love
E-72 Rapid Robot (K-028) PD/Vinci
E-73 Bare Face Bear (K-029) Yogi/Baldwin
E-74 Show Biz Bear (K-027) Yogi/Patterson
E-75 Jolly Roger and Out (K-029) Huck/Muse
E-76 King Size Poodle (K-30) PD/Vinci
E-77 Nottingham and Yeggs (K-032) Huck/Love
E-78 Rah Rah Bear (K-032) Yogi/Vinci
E-79 Hi-Fido (K-027) PD/Perez
E-80 Stranger Ranger (K-031) Yogi/Muse
E-81 Somebody’s Lion (K-030) Huck/Lundy
E-82 Batty Bat (K-033) PD/Williams
E-83 Cop and Saucer (K-034) Huck/Love
E-84 Mighty Mite (K-031) PD/Marshall
E-85 Bear For Punishment (K-033) Yogi/Baldwin
E-86 Pony Boy Huck (K-035) Huck/Harding
E-87 A Bully Dog (K-031) Huck/Muse
E-88 Nowhere Bear (K-034) Yogi/Love
E-89 Bird Brained Cat (K-032) PD/Patterson
E-90 Huck the Giant Killer (K-033) Huck/Lundy
E-91 Wound-Up Bear (K-035) Yogi/Patterson
E-92 Lend Lease Meece (K-034) PD/Nicholas
E-93 A Good Good Fairy (K-035) PD/Marshall
E-94 Bewitched Bear (K-036) Yogi/Patterson
E-95 Pet Vet (K-036) Huck/Vinci
From this point, all cartoons are copyrighted “Hanna-Barbera Productions” instead of “H-B Enterprises, Inc.”
E-96 Heavens to Jinksy (K-036) PD/Muse
E-97 Hoodwinked Bear (K-037) Yogi/Nicholas
E-98 Picadilly Dilly (K-037) Huck/Patterson
E-99 Goldfish Fever (K-037) PD/Lundy
E-100 Snow White Bear (K-038) Yogi/Nicholas
E-101 Wiki Waki Huck (K-038) Huck/Marshall
E-102 Pushy Cat (K-038) PD/Vinci
E-103 Space Bear (K-039) Yogi/Patterson
E-104 Puss in Boats (K-039) PD/Lundy
E-105 Huck’s Hack (K-039) Huck/Patterson


6 comments:

  1. With these fewer episodes, this was a sure sign that the end of the road was almost approaching. It in fact already seemed to be as you mentioned with the beginning of reruns that would last long past the series finale, ending up on channels from WKBD TV-50 (or wherever they were reran in your area during this time) to the USA Network to Cartoon Network before eventually landing on Boomerang.

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    1. True, the first time I saw " Lullabye Bye Bear " after decades of not seeing it, was on USA's " Cartoon Express " in the early 1990's.

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    2. :) Very good article, Yowp...

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  2. So no Yogi Bear or Flintstones Sunday comics this month?

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    1. I'm also very anxious to se the Flintstones and Yogi Bear Sunday pages from May 1968. And until now, nothing.

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  3. I think it ran on Channel 10 WBNS-TV at the time

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