Saturday, 22 June 2019

Jinks in Space

Hanna-Barbera’s love of outer space wasn’t confined to The Jetsons’ debut in 1962. It started right at the beginning of the studio with the Muni-Mula serial which opened Ruff and Reddy on December 15, 1957.

Here’s an obscure example from The Huckleberry Hound Show. It’s from one of the cartoons after the main cartoons that urged us to tune in next week. Huck and his gang are in a rocket ship. Dixie pulls a lever which opens a hatch sending a sleeping Jinks into space. Fortunately, he’s got a parachute.

The animator gives Jinks a cross-eyed look in dialogue. You’ll notice the teeth fill the mouth in certain letter positions.

The meeces and then Yogi float past him upside down. You’ll notice how the noses and inner mouth are not black. They’re blue-ish to emphasize the fact the head is inside glass.

A sheepish Jinksie.

Silhouette Huck zooms past in the rocket.

Cut to Huck. His mouth doesn’t stay inside the space helmet in all the dialogue.

A Jetsons-like shot ends the mini-cartoon. The cameraman trucks into the background art and turns it so the shot isn’t static.

Another in-between cartoon involved a space ship. We talked about it a bit in this post.

Hanna-Barbera’s writers liked aliens, too. Pixie and Dixie met one in “The Ace of Space,” Huck tries to arrest one in “Cop and Saucer,” Augie Doggie had a little friend on the red planet in “Mars Little Precious,” and he and Doggie Daddy met up with an outer space rabbit-like thing in “Vacation Tripped.” Snooper and Blabber took on an “Outer Space Case,” while a fiendish alien plot involving a fake Yogi Bear was foiled in “Space Bear.”

There were space mission short cartoons as well, such as “Astro-Nut Huck” and “Price For Mice,” while “Space Cat” included a king mouse on some obscure planet that was tied into a spoof of space TV shows like Captain Video.

Considering all this, along with cartoons like “Ten Little Flintstones” and the unlamented series Space Kidettes, Hanna-Barbera got plenty of mileage (or perhaps “lightyear-age”) from using the cosmos as a setting in the studio’s first few years.


  1. I suppose you can also toss Gazoo into the mix, though Fred and Barney never went to outer space with him (once you get past '66, things change from the original H-B sensibility about outer space to Fred Silverman's sensibilities, and we're asked to start taking outer space seriously in things like "Space Ghost" and the other mid-60s action/adventure Saturday morning efforts).

    1. And Josie/Pussycats and Partridges in Space still a decade away.

    2. In "The Long, Long, Long Weekend", Gazoo sent the Flintstone and Rubble spouses (a million years) into the future, where one story segment had the cavemen go to Mars.

  2. I believe you're wrong about SPACE KIDETTES, which I thought was pretty funny, a rare H-B comedy in the '66-'68 seasons, and one of Daws Butler's last starring roles till IT'S THE WOLF and HAIR BEAR BUNCH at least. ("You can't do that to little kids!") Also, if you consider the spherical space helmet Huck is wearing as three-dimensional, his snout is not leaving the area of the the sphere at all.

  3. Looks like Ed Love's animation on "Jinks In Space", Yowp!