Friday, April 27, 2012

Gene Hattree

After The Beagles Total Television tried to sell other shows. They produced several pilots but none of them got picked up. Two of those pilots, Gene Hattree and Cauliflower Cabby, were later added into syndication as part of Underdog so they didn't go totally unseen.

TTV's shows rely on formula to go with their stories. If this was to be picked up, one could guess how the other episodes would have went (crime happens in the western town, Gene Hattree goes off to catch them while Rabbit Foot tries to prove himself that he's a crimefighter, but fails).

The music cues are reused from TTV's other shows; you can even hear a guitar version of the Tennessee Tuxedo theme song in some scenes.

Voices by Sandy Becker (Gene), Jackson Beck (Tortilla Fats), and Herb Duncan (Rabbit Foot).

Thanks to Mike Kazaleh for additional info.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Hunter

Lately I've been taking a look at the old Total TeleVision cartoons from the 1960s. They produced shows such as Tennessee Tuxedo and Underdog, with many more segments inbetween. They are often confused with Jay Ward because the animation was farmed out to Gamma Productions in Mexico, which Ward has also used.

Despite having the same animators, the producers are different. Jay Ward was based in Hollywood and utilized west-coast voice actors such as June Foray, Paul Frees, and Daws Butler. Total TeleVision, on the other hand, was an east-coast operation based in New York, with actors such as Allen Swift, Bradley Bolke, and Jackson Beck.

While TTV's outputs aren't as witty as Ward's, they still did good work. One of them is The Hunter.

The Hunter was in production 1960-64 for 65 segments, each running no more than five minutes. The first 39 was made as part of King Leonardo and His Short Subjects, which aired on NBC from 1960 to '63. Additional 26 was made for the first season of Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales.

The Hunter featured a bumbling dog detective who went after The Fox, who has stolen everything from the Lincoln Tunnel to Brooklyn Bridge to every single spoon in the world. Despite his bumbling behavior, he always catches the Fox in the end.

I wonder how many kids thought of Foghorn Leghorn when hearing his voice. Some may be surprised to learn that the Hunter's voice is actually the original. Kenny Delmar was a radio star who portrayed a character named Senator Claghorn. Mel Blanc used that as a basis for his voice on Foghorn.

Oddly enough, when King Leonardo was starting up, they were planning on using an impersonator for the Hunter as well. But producer Treadwell Covington suggested getting Delmar himself. As it turned out he was gracious for the job. According to co-producer Buck Biggers, Delmar was sick of hearing his voice being impersonated in Foghorn Leghorn and was gracious that they were willing to use the real deal. Delmar ended up voicing on other TTV series, including Commander McBragg.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Rugrats comic strip

I found this while going through my huge Sunday comics collection. At the peak of its popularity Rugrats had a newspaper strip running from 1998 to 2003.

It wasn't unusual for a popular animated cartoon to gain a newspaper comic. Throughout history there were strips based on Felix the Cat, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Tom and Jerry, Bugs Bunny, Yogi Bear, Bullwinkle, Flintstones, He-Man, and even Dr. Katz (yes, that squiggly cartoon from Comedy Central).

But by the 1990s they became rarer and rarer. I believe "Rugrats" is the last of its kind.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Just want to repost my film "Fishing" on this blog. Took it down temporarily so I could submit to an animation website.

As I said before, I drew this on paper and shot it on 16mm film.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Daffy Duck and Porky Pig Meet the Groovie Goolies (1972)

Possibly the oddest cartoon crossover ever is this Warner Bros/Filmation mash-up from 1972. It was made as part of ABC's Saturday Superstar Movie, which featured one-hour specials from various animation studios (Hanna-Barbera, Rankin-Bass, etc.).

The Groovie Goolies was a series produced by Filmation, originally as a segment on Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1970). They were popular enough to get its own spinoff a year later. And then, finally, they appeared in a crossover movie with the Looney Tunes characters.

Like everything Filmation has done, this is a poor cartoon. The animation is barely-there, the stock music is grating, and the laugh-tracks are cumbersome. Mel Blanc voiced all the Looney Tunes gang, but they sped up Daffy's voice too much, to the point that he sounds like Woody Woodpecker!

It's unlikely that this special will ever be re-released due to the rights issues. Classic Media owns the rights to most of the Filmation properties, including the Goolies, while the Warner Bros., of course, has the Looney Tunes. After seeing this, though, I don't think anyone's itching to buy a DVD of it except for die-hard completests.