Sunday 21 February 2021

Flintstones Weekend Comics, September 1964

Seven years ago, this blog featured Flintstones Sunday comics from 1964. Unfortunately, I stopping finding readable copies so there were no posts for four months. Lately, I accidentally found a source with the four months’ worth of comics so I’m going to post them.

Actually, at least two of them did get posted along the way, but we’ll bring you the full month.

September 6th: “Write it down” may be the cleverest line of the month. And an ink pen and dial telephone really are Stone Age.

September 13th: I guess those are little baby dinosaurs near the pointing kid in the last panel. We get silhouetted characters and non-smoking volcanoes.

September 20th: Fred and Wilma always seemed to have a better wardrobe in the comics than on TV. I’m still not much on the thinking Pebbles but it seems to work in the comics. As you can see, Mr. Slate is not Fred's boss in the comics.

September 27th: It’s always nice seeing Dino get some space. Betty doesn’t appear this month. In fact, she doesn’t appear next month either. I guess it’s only in the comics that Dino says “Gleef Gleef.”

Click on any of the comics to enlarge them.

Saturday 13 February 2021

He's Still a Top Cat

It’s tough to say how much the older Hanna-Barbera cartoons are in the public consciousness these days. I don’t watch TV so I couldn’t tell you if any channel is airing them. The Flintstones got a Blu-ray release last year and The Jetsons came out in the same format a year earlier, so the people at Warners still thinks there’s a market for some of the cartoons.

This is a roundabout way of saying I was surprised to see a story the other about some of Hanna-Barbera’s output, including Top Cat. It was in, of all places, The Press and Journal of Aberdeen, Scotland. Granted, it appears to be a column designed to bring about nostalgia in older readers, but it’s better than nothing. You can read it here.

You’ll have a good laugh at how the writer praises Bill and Joe’s Tom and Jerry cartoons at MGM—with a frame from a Chuck Jones Tom and Jerry! And you’d think he’d mention that Ken Muse animated both the MGM Tom and Jerry cartoons and Top Cat (in the frame above, you can see the same expression he gave Tom in a number of theatrical shorts).

Meanwhile, the Gwinnett Daily Post this week had a trivia question about the series.

And over at the
NBC Right Now site, a lifestyles writer has named Top Cat number 86 in its list of the Top 100 TV shows of the ‘60s (people love lists).

Incidentally, The Hollywood Reporter blurbed on July 16, 1961:

Writer-cartoonist Tony Benedict has been signed to a three-year exclusive pact by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera. As his first assignment, Benedict will tele-script two “Top Cat” shows.

Tony has mentioned to me did work on Top Cat but he wants to make it clear that he started at Hanna-Barbera in 1960 without a contract, first writing and storyboarding the Huckleberry Hound and Yogi Bear shows (he invented Alfie Gator on the Yakky cartoons) and moved on to the half-hour comedy prime-time shows, and others “too humorous to mention,” he tells me. I was hoping he could tell me which T.C. episodes he wrote, as the credits were snipped from the shows some time ago (before the DVD release), but I am awaiting a response.

Saturday 6 February 2021

Le Hound et Le Bear Yogi

When the Huckleberry Hound Show DVD came out years ago, it included some of the little cartoons-between-the-cartoons found on the original series. It didn’t contain all of them. Whoever was running Hanna-Barbera then didn’t know where a lot of things were. Considering some bumpers on the DVD were from VHS recordings, those must have come from someone’s personal collection.

Internet TV host Stu Shostak recently purchased a 16mm black and white reel of the Huck show in French and thoughtfully sent me a copy. (This blog has always had good readers). He figured I would be interested to hear the version of the end title theme. More interestingly is it has at least two mini-cartoons that never made it to DVD.

Here’s one. Huck tunes in the next Yogi Bear cartoon. You kids today don’t have to adjust the verticle knob so the picture doesn’t roll.

Someone drew characters in these mini-cartoons with half-moon eyes and little round mouths. I want to say it’s Don Williams but I honestly don’t know.

Yogi steps out of the set to join Huck in watching a Yogi Bear cartoon.

Huck checks out some Yogi butt.

This is a bit off the topic, but it's a story that appeared in the Fresno Bee on May 7, 1961 about foreign dubs of Hanna-Barbera series. I imagine this was a hand-out from Arnie Carr's PR department. By then, Yogi had his own show.

Studio Now Dubs Japanese Spanish To Flintstones
Lloyd Burns, vice president in charge of international operations of Screen Gems announced both Spanish and Japanese dubbing has started on the entire first year's production of The Flintstones.
The Hanna-Barbera animated show, one of the top new entries of the current TV season in the US, has just been sold to Japan. It already has been sold in four Latin American countries: Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina, and Uruguay.
In addition, the series already is on the air in English in five other countries: Canada, England, Australia, Finland and the Philippines.
Hanna-Barbera's Huckleberry Hound, the first made for TV animated series to undergo any dubbing, now is sold in over 30 countries, which brings it close to being an all-time international best seller. Huck now speaks six languages: Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Japanese and English. Screen Gems distributes all the Hanna-Barbera animated shows, of which there will be five a week on US TV next fall.

Here’s the opening title card in French.


There was no opening/closing animation, just cards. And the reel has something which was chopped off the DVD release. Instead we got a frozen card.

If you’re wondering, the cartoons were Un Cerveau Vagabond, Le Gentil Chaton and Zélé Facteur.

The French version decided to omit the Randy Van Horne singers. For the end titles, the show used the instrumental track (in those days at H-B, the effects and music were mixed onto one track).