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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

El Kabong Meets El Kazing


This is kind of odd for me, considering that I usually discuss theatrical cartoons with full animation, but I'd like to talk about the early Hanna-Barbera cartoons.

I've really began to appreciate this era of animation a lot. Even if the animation is extremely limited, the designs of the characters were still very pleasant to look at and the staging of these cartoons was simple, but easier to understand. Now, I don't know much about these early H-B shorts, but thankfully my blogger friend Yowp does. The link to his blog is somewhere on the side of mine. Visit it! It's worth it!

Anyway, I've really begun to love Quick Draw McGraw in particular. Everything aout this guy is just so damn funny. His actions, motifs, and most importantly, his voice. Daws Butler does a wonderful job portraying Quick Draw and Baba Looey. I know he based a lot of these characters on TV and movie stars of the 50's, like Yogi Bear was Art Carney and Mr. Jinks was a mix of Crazy Guggenheim and Marlon Brando. I'm not sure where Quick Draw's comes from. Maybe it's original?

I really get a kick out of the El Kabong cartoons. Thanks to the writing by Mike Maltese with George Nichol's animation, this has become my personal favorite Q-D cartoon. And, as a bonus, the prototype Snagglepuss in in this one! The Burt Lehr voice is still there, but he's orange and more of a wise-ass villian than a patsy ham and sort of a hero. The part where Snaggle hyphen puss demostrates his "Kazinger" always gets me! Even Baba Looey gets into the act at the end, as El Kapowey. "champion of champions, I theen"!

Orange Snagglepuss from, "The Lyin Lion" (1960)

Long story short, this cartoon just rocks! I'll probably post more posts dedicated to these shorts, so keep a look out by visiting regularly. Again, for more information about the early H-B cartoons, visit Yowp's blog (the link's on the right.)

video

5 comments:

Yowp said...

The best of these cartoons are entertaining because Hanna-Barbera grabbed some top writers and voice people, and had animators who were able to get the gags across despite the comparatively minimal movement.

Unfortunately, all the elements started getting stale within a few years and that began the studio's downfall. But the early stuff is fun when everything's working together.

mark said...

I'm mystified by the acclaim for early HB TV cartoons. As a business proposition for non-discriminating children-viewers, i respect the efforts, but could you imagine this cartoon being shown to a group of adults in a theater? Could you imagine any laughs? I can't.

JSmith said...

Mark:
I can't really visualize seeing a Yogi Bear in a theater. The early H-B stuff only works for TV. (if their Tom & Jerry cartoons don't count) Another thing is that some of them seemed to be kid-oriented. Ruff & Reddy really reflects that. Some of the jokes are more adult-oriented, like the gun-in-the-face gags, but nothing on Tex Avery's or Warner Bros' level.

Yowp: I agree. H-B were smart in hiring the right people for their cartoons. Even if the animation was very limited, they still managed to create really iconic characters in their early days, like Yogi, Huckleberry Hound, & Quick Draw. One more thing: the music for these shows works for these early TV cartoons. I love Jack Shaindlin's music in particular.

Pokey said...

Not to mention the excellent use of composer Jack Shaindlin's quick old stock chase music when the KaBong and the KaZing meet!

Steve

Pokey said...

Ah, JSmith, your last comment, really reflects mine [Shaindlins's music..]

Regarding Ruff and Reddy, I saw on YouTube a leprachaun spooky house episode that looked like a slighty more smarter Scooby Doo episode! Talk about being ahead of their time [not that it's basically a good thing.] Quick Draw is the opposite matter.