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    Renegades of Animation: Pat Sullivan

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Smarter And More Entertaining Than The Average Bear.

Discussion in 'Hanna-Barbera' started by emeraldisle, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. emeraldisle

    emeraldisle Moderator Staff Member I SUPPORT BCDB!

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    Ah, Yogi Bear. Iconic, multifaceted, and one of the great ones from Hanna-Barbera.

    I actually got a kick out of seeing him steal pic-a-nic baskets and have run-ins with Ranger Smith after ignoring Boo-Boo's warnings. It was easy to see that the Ranger wasn't a true adversary. He was just doing his job. Yogi had ways of getting himself in trouble even when he was away from Jellystone Park.

    He was popular enough to continue on throughout the '60's, '70's, '80's, and '90's with a number of animated series, movies, and TV specials. For most of these, he and other animals from the studio became "Team Yogi," more or less. And I still see him as "Smarter than the average bear."

    Of course, there were supporting segments:

    Yakky Doodle. Maybe Tom .T Hall didn't have Yakky in mind when he sang about loving little baby ducks, but I don't see why not. The duckling probably got on other people's nerves, but not mine. And Chopper, Fibber Fox, and Alfy Gator were perfect supporting characters.

    Snagglepuss. I did like seeing a cougar who could have done well in Shakespearean Theater. I also liked it when he became the mascot for Cocoa Krispies. He should have held that "job" longer. Instead of exiting stage left or stage right, he, like most other funny animals from that era, was able to keep right on going.

    Ah, but every time he said, "Heavens To Murgatroyd!" I often asked myself, "Who the heck is this Murgatroyd guy?" LOL!


    So yes, I do rate Yogi high on my personal H-B scale. :)

    Trivia Question 55: The Gossipy Witch got what job when she arrived at Jellystone Park?

    Answer: Switchboard operator.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2014
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  2. oneuglybunny

    oneuglybunny Moderator Staff Member Forum Member

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    Agreed, Yogi Bear is one of the better characters in the Hanna-Barbera menagerie. Yogi is the renegade profiteer much like Warner Brothers' Daffy Duck, plus the shrewd subversive much like Bugs Bunny. Technically, Yogi is a villain / thief that deserves his plight ... except that Yogi has a certain villain charm. By a similar token, Paul Newman and Robert Redford from The Sting are flim flam men working to fleece a banker Doyle Lonnegan, and we should be rooting for them to fail. But our sympathy lies with the hucksters, who are putting such effort and charm into their graft that audiences believe that they deserve to succeed.

    And likewise, Yogi Bear shouldn't be encouraged to abscond with people's picnic baskets, yet viewer sympathy lies with the bear who's locked in a system that parades so many rewards near him, but won't allow him to partake of any. The poor bear is suffering much like Tantalus from Greek mythology, teased and taunted with food and drink that remain forever just beyond his grasp.

    There is usually something compelling about the ingenious underdog that out-wiggles a heartless system designed to thwart him. Let us cheer the poor bumpkin who cleans out the crooked casino, because every dog (and bear) should have his day. :D

    Oh, and PeterHale once noted that Murgatroyd comes from the old English "moor gate road," describing the road out of town that leads into some ugly, non-arable land, with a marker of some kind that denotes where civilization ends and the wilderness begins. However, the name always makes me think of a parody poster that limned United Airlines' old ad campaign showing smiling, gorgeous stewardesses (the term was in use at the time) cooing at customers: "I'm Bambi. Fly me." The parody poster showed a figure in silhouette very similar to the Wicked Witch of the West, broom in hand, exhorting, "I'm Murgatroyd. Fly me." Yeah, that'll reduce air traffic, for sure. :cautious:
  3. peterhale

    peterhale Moderator Staff Member I SUPPORT BCDB!

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    Apparently Snagglepuss' use of the phrase follows from the decision to base his voice on Bert Lahr (the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz). In the the 1944 film Meet the People Lahr has the line "Heavens to Murgatroyd!" and its originality, along with his delivery, probably made it a signature phrase for impersonators at the time. Daws Butler must have quoted it when rehearsing the voice, and it stuck.

    Huckleberry Hound (like so many of the characters hastily concocted by H-B) was a one-joke character, and rather a flat joke at that. But with Yogi they hit real gold - as OUB demonstrates. The premise comes from Jack Hannah's Fatso Bear cartoons for Lantz - a rehash of his earlier Humphrey the Bear cartoons for Disney - where a bear tries to outwit a Park Ranger (J. Audubon Woodore [as he was later named] in the Disney cartoons, Ranger Willoughby in the Lantz ones). But by giving him a voice based on popular TV character Ed Norton from The Honeymooners (Art Carney) Hanna-Barbera gave Yogi a breezier personality: upbeat and optimistic against all odds. Adding a smaller sidekick (Boo Boo) to observe and comment on his folly created a winning double-act - one that H-B would seek to repeat with Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble, and Quick Draw McGraw and Baba Looey, among others. And yes, despite H-B claiming co-incidence when faced with a defamation suit from the baseball player, the name was of course coined as a play on Yogi Berra.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014
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  4. emeraldisle

    emeraldisle Moderator Staff Member I SUPPORT BCDB!

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    Guess I'll throw in my thoughts on the later Yogi shows here and now:

    "Yogi's Gang." Nice to see Yogi and other animals dealing with polluters and other enemies of the human race years before "Captain Planet" did likewise. And it was preceded by "Yogi's Ark Lark," which I liked for its ecological theme of a search for the perfect place.

    "Yogi's Space Race." Another interesting premise. It was brilliant to see baddies Phantom Phink and Sinister Sludge disguise themselves as Captain Good and Clean Cat, and pretend to be heroes. Here's what I thought of the other segments and subsequent series:

    "The Buford Files." Mostly lackluster, but I liked seeing Buford's nose glow.

    "The Galaxy Goofups." Yogi, Scare Bear, Huckleberry Hound, and Quackup as space patrol animals? Can't say much, since I didn't actually see it.

    "The Galloping Ghost." Wendy, Rita, and Nugget Nose were only so-so characters.

    "Yogi's Treasure Hunt," "The New Yogi Bear Show," "Fender-Bender 500," "Yo Yogi!" and all theatrical and made-for -TV movies. Some good, some bad. At least Ninja Racoon was original.

    Then there was "Wake, Rattle, and Roll," which had Yogi as one of the many participants in "Fender Bender 500." This, and the unrelated "Monster Tails," I admit I never actually saw. But I guess I'd have liked them had I been able to fit them into my viewing schedule.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2014
  5. Humperdinck

    Humperdinck Apprentice Forum Member New Member

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    Yogi Bear is a classic character who I have always enjoyed. Until the movie I had never been disappointed with a Yogi Bear project. I happily await his return in animated form, maybe it'll pull the cartoon industry back from the dark oblivion it has fallen into.
  6. MattPriceTime

    MattPriceTime Intern Forum Member New Member

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    (guess i'll be going back on the Flintstones thread then. But i'll take on Yogi and then Yogi's Gang. Save the rest when they get to DVD or at least get started)
    ---

    Yogi's original show is a winner for me. Judging just the then segments, Yogi had found his stride and the not cemented Boo Boo and Ranger Smith prove a formula that is ripe for fun and pic-a-nic basket stealing. In loveable rogue fashion, Yogi serves as a good face. Despite his issues and when he misbehaves, Yogi is still a loveable guy, erm bear.

    Snagglepuss is also a good segment. His mannerisms with the BL impression are always good for a chuckle. His feud and interactions with the Major are often well to deliver on the funny bone.But Snag had plenty of other characters to deal with over his run. I love me some Snagglepuss. He's funny, hilarious, a regular bowl full of jokes, even!

    Yakky Doodle to me was always the weaker of the segments here. While still good, Yakky and Chopper often aren't the big sell here. Fibber Fox and Alfy Gator are more the big hits for me here (and maybe the house cat that sounds like Fibber's brother). As antagonists they are great. I wish they could have come back in the laff-a-lympics since Yakky was.

    Overall i should note CN loved showing a half hour block of just Yogi Bear cartoons, but Snagglpuss and Yakky Doodle were still around. Snagglepuss shorts i remember more frequently then Yakky. I recall my first time seeing the three together was when sunday late night had Boomerang with funny animals come on after Adult Swim (how i weeped when Adult Swim got to repeat itself at night) That was really my catchup time for Yakky Doodle, where a lot of segments were then new to me.

    The DVD was great to see the whole run for snagglepuss and yakky. It was also my first time seeing Happy Birthday Yogi. Was a well earned purchase
    ---

    Yogi's Gang was one of my all time favorite Hanna Barbera cartoons. I love crossovers. I love watching them, i love reading them, i even write them in my own works. So when i first laid eyes on a show that featured a lot of the HB animals in a flying ark....i was flipping ready! Yogi's Gang had a regular shared slot on weekday mornings (Space Race and Treasure Hunt would rotate in and out with it) but i never recall CN airing the Ark Lark parts with it then. In later years it only came on the Boomerang block. I checked tv guides to await the morning it had the spot in that 6-7 block time.

    The show itself hits me right in the spot i want. All those characters together in the same show! Funtastic! While some had to be a little toned down from their older roguish self, that admittedly was noticeable but never served as a problem. And then came the villains. Personifications of the evils of man, you say? Oh yes and they are hilarious! This show in a way helped put images in my head from the many things i had read when younger came out of Pandora's box. Even though now older, the racist ray gun idea is a kooky as can get, and the fact the guy looks like a vampire and rides around in a dirigible that looks like a cloud, is so much ridiculous that i can't help but laugh my rear off at the concept.

    It should be no surprise that i get excited when HB dvds are announced, but only a few made me jump for joy. Yogi's Gang was one of them. Such a favorite of mine, and one that i will watch again and again.
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  7. MattPriceTime

    MattPriceTime Intern Forum Member New Member

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    Adding my thoughts now on two of the Yogi specials
    ---
    Growing up, Hey There it's Yogi Bear is one that i never knew existed. As i don't ever remember it playing on theater runs, so the internet first informed me of it's existence and DVD was my first viewing of this feature as a whole. I had seen the Cindy song upon watching the HB 50 years special on youtube prior but that was it.

    So upon watching the movie i found myself enjoying Yogi's run in the theater. The name singers taking over the voices when it came time for singing was at first a little weird for me, but it grew on me. The movie has some pretty good songs and has a nice story with Yogi and Boo Boo coming to save Cindy. Plus an earlier addition to the snickering dog family tree in Mugger. It's all in all an enjoyable film.
    --
    In contrast Yogi the Easter Bear is one that i was aware of due to VHS ads for it, but I had never got to see it in my youth. I was often not in front of a tv on Easter, so that also may have been a factor. But once again DVD was my first shot at this one.

    Like mentioned on the Flintstones christmas carol, the loss of Daws here is very much felt, but while very notiable i still didn't feel like it was a problem. This special is one of the shorter variety and i think it helps it. There's some more fun as we get to see Yogi have another adventure at Easter time. It's just not one of the better efforts but something that works enough to give me enjoyment.

    And i think i'll tackle the three superstars 10 movies at a later time.
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  8. artytoons

    artytoons Administrator I SUPPORT BCDB! Forum Member New Member

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    "Yogi's Gang" used familiar sounding guest star actors to play the villains including Rose Marie as Lotta Litter, Jesse White as Peter D. Cheater, and Tom Bosley as Commodore Phineas P. Fibber as well as the Hanna-Barbera regular actors John Stephenson, Paul Winchell, and Hal Smith.

    It was great to hear Daws Butler in fine vocal form in performing Yogi, Huckleberry Hound, Snagglepuss, and most of the H-B animals more than 10 years after his original performances in the short episodes for his other "Yogi" series revivals.

    "Laff-A-Lympics" remains the ultimate Hanna-Barbera reunion show.
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  9. MattPriceTime

    MattPriceTime Intern Forum Member New Member

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    Took a while, but yes finally going to talk about the Superstars 10
    --
    Let me begin with Yogi's Great Escape. And I do that to get the least favorite one out of the way. Yogi's Great Escape i remember playing a few times on Cartoon Network. I mostly recall using the cubs in my drawing of cartoon characters like they were regular characters lol. But fresh eyes didn't come to later.

    So let me say, this movie is okay. It seems episodic and sets up as a Yogi movie and includes guest appearances, but overall this just isn't that special. It's a movie i may watch on occasion, but it's one i'm going to be putting further down the HB totem pole. My major fave moment in this one is the real after all gag with the ghost and Wally. It's a nice done and spoken gag. I consider it the high light
    ---
    Now on the Spruce Goose. This one I actually recall seeing in school first. It was second grade for me, when a substitute teacher brought it in on VHS for us to watch, but we didn't watch the whole thing. So I didn't get to see the whole thing until later on tv. This one works better for me. It's a bigger team up outing and involved the Spruce Goose. And it works. It also brings back Mumbly and Dred Baron for another outing as baddies. The Hollyday Jollyday Tour Bus song is pretty addicting too.

    One thing I do mark on this one is that it's got that magical feeling that lights my sparkle. If that makes much sense. A bunch of friends on a magical flying plane going on adventures is like a very warm friendly adventure that many would want. It's not a heavy adventure but one that I think handles it's episodic part plot better than Great Escape does. It's one of those movies you just don't know where it might go next for the first time. And I think that's a charm that works well here. Also the alien gag is hilarious. They really should have just went to New Jersey.
    ---
    And lastly, Invasion of the Space Bears. This one is my clear favorite of the three. It's very much a Yogi gang movie and I think it's nice to see. Plus it's got aliens! And Boo Boo gets a romantic interest!! Yes! I have a bit more attachment to this, as I only recall seeing it on CN like twice and the first time I recorded it on my VCR and for many years it's was my go to movie to watch back.

    This movie provides a lot of fun with Yogi and Boo Boo...or is it Yagi and Boo Oob getting duplicated. This provides a lot of fun scenarios for Ranger Smith to have to deal with. There's also some more touching moments in the movie. Boo Boo's song towards the end is one of HB's most beautiful songs. (props to Cindy's too) Too bad their was no sequel to see Boo Boo and Snulu reunite. I really like this one in general though and that includes music besides the romantic ones I mentioned. It's a funtastic one for sure.

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