On Popeye Day

Get ready to sing along because today is Popeye Day! (Words will appear during the second stanza)

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During my youth, the Mr. Cartoon Show at 4 in the afternoon on WSAZ provided my weekday cartoon fix … and Popeye the Sailor was the star of the show. Once I learned about Saturday being Popeye Day (actually celebrating his comic strip debut in 1929), I delayed the next Explore post because this is the perfect opportunity to revisit some classic characters through past posts.

Here’s the main cast of characters
Popeye
Olive Oyl
Bluto
Wimpy

Which did you visit?

On the First Feline Star

Felix, a squatty black cat with wide eyes and a recognizable smile, is the first true animation star. His popularity during the silent film era matched that of film stars.

It’s time to watch the screen to sing along with his introduction

The Early Years
Felix’s origins are disputable; but linked to Pat Sullivan and Otto Messmer

His prototype’s first appearance is disputable, either Feline Follies (1919) or Tail of Thomas the Kat – but Felix wasn’t the name in either

Adventures of Felix (1919) marked the appearance of Felix as the name

Besides is his popularity, there was a successful transition from screen to print with over 250 newspapers in syndication with the comic strip

Supporting characters include Willie Jones (his master), Skiddoo (mouse), Inky, Dinky, & Winky (nephews, and Kitty (girlfriend)

US Navy Fighter Squadron 2-B chose Felix as a mascot, thus appeared holding a bomb on the side of F-3 biplanes (1920s)

New York Yankees adopt Felix as the team mascot (1922)

Logansport High School (Indiana) choses Felix as the school mascot (1926), and remains so today … although their nickname is the Berries

Charles Lindbergh took a Felix doll on his historic solo flight across the Atlantic (1927)

Felix appeared as the first balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade (1927)

RCA used a papier-mâché Felix doll in a test as one of the first images ever broadcast by television (1928)

Felix’s last silent film was The Last Life (1928)

Felix the Cat by Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra

Felix Kept on Walking by Paul Whiteman

Post-Silent Film Era
Transition from silent to sound unsuccessful as new characters became more popular

1st voiced by Mae Questral (1936)

Animation transitioned to Joe Oriolo (and eventually Don Oriolo), who produced 264 shorts featuring Felix (voiced by Jack Mercer for 29 years)

Felix, now less mischievous, using a “bag of tricks” became his trademark

First full feature film was Felix the Cat: The Movie (1988)

DreamWorks Animations currently own Felix the Cat

Newer Opener

Honors
#28 TV Guide’s Greatest Cartoon Characters of All Time (2002)

#89 British Television Channel 4 poll of 100 Greatest Cartoon Characters (2004)

#36 Animal Planet’s 50 Greatest Movie Animals (2004)

Enjoy this tribute

On One Smart Bear

Sing along with his best known theme song. For those that don’t know the words, here ya go.

Yogi Bear is smarter than the average bear,
Yogi Bear is always in the ranger’s hair.
At a picnic table you will find him there
Stuffing down more goodies than the average bear.

He will sleep till noon but before it’s dark,
He’ll have every picnic basket that’s in Jellystone Park.

Yogi has it better than a millionaire
That’s because he’s smarter than the average bear.


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Many may not know that the above wasn’t original theme song … but this one is

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Yogi Bear is #36 on TV Guide’s Greatest Cartoon Characters of All-Time (Personally, he should be higher)

Created by William Hanna, Joseph Barbera, Ed Benedict

First voiced by Daws Butler

Yogi Bear featured in 10 shows, 13 films and specials, 10 video games, 88 comic books, and, comic strip (1961-19880 created by Gene Hazelton

He made his debut in 1958 as a supporting character in The Huckleberry Hound Show

Three years later (January 1961), The Yogi Bear Show debuts, which included segments Snagglepuss, Fibber Fox, Yakky Doodle and Chopper

Lives in Jellystone Park

Characters include Boo-Boo Bear (best friend), Ranger Smith (rival/friend), and Cindy Bear (girlfriend)

First appearance in his own show: watch Yogi Bear’s Big Break

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Yogi’s personality and mannerisms were based on Art Carney’s Ed Norton character on The Honeymooners

A musical animated feature film, Hey There, It’s Yogi Bear!, produced in 1964.

Yogi by the Ivy Three (1960), sung in a voice mimicking Yogi Bear, and reached reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 (must have been a slow music period)

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Speech
Often speaks in rhyme

Often uses puns in his speech

Has a habit of pronouncing large words with a long vocal flourish

Yogisms

  • pic-a-nic baskets
  • Pic-a-nic baskets may be delicious on the lips, but they’re a lifetime on the hips.
  • I’m smarter than the av-er-age bear!
  • Hello, Mr. Ranger, sir!
  • Hey there, Boo Boo!
  • I’m so smart that it hurts.
  • What do we do, Boo-Boo?
  • A genius never questions his instincts, Boo-Boo. When you have a mind like mine, you can’t blink or you’ll put a kink in your think!
  • I’m hungrier than the average bear. I wish I could find a bush that tasted like birthday cake!

Yogi Bear: [On the Ranger’s phone] Hello? Hello? Is this the White House?
Ranger Smith: Yogi!
Yogi Bear: Hey, the President knows my name.

Ranger Smith: [showing a “Do Not Feed The Bears” sign to Yogi] Read this sign.
Yogi Bear: [deliberately reading incorrectly] Uh, “No Smoking In The Forest”?

Here are two tributes to Yogi Bear

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Meanwhile, it’s time for me to take a break. See you in a few … and hopefully not too long. Be safe, be well, do good work, and hope to see you soon.

On the Love Skunk

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A Warner Brothers, Looney Tunes, and Merrie Melodies cartoon character

A French skunk who is constantly seeking love

Storylines typically involve Pepé in pursuit of what appears to be a female skunk (“la belle femme skunk fatale”)

Has two big turnoff: his odor and his inability to take “no” for an answer

Created by Chuck Jones (1945)

A short video with Chuck Jones on Pepé

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17 shorts; first – Odor-able Kitty, last – Louvre Come Back to Me (1962)

1949 Academy Award winner: For Scent-imental Reasons

First voiced by Mel Blanc, who based the voiced on Charles Boyer’s Pepé le Moko (Algiers, 1938)

In first short he was named Stinky, but revealed to by a philandering American skunk named Henry with wife and children

Odor of the Day (1948) is the only cartoon in which Pepé is not a “lovebird” nor does he have a French accent; but not directly by Chuck Jones (but Arthur Davis)

Memorable Lines

  • Do not come wiz me to ze Casbah – we shall make beautiful musicks togezzer right here!
  • I am ze locksmith of love, no?
  • I am the broken heart of love. I am the disillusioned. I wish to enlist in the Foreign Legion so I may forget. Take me!
  • I like it! Come back! Ze corned beef does not run away from ze cabbage!
  • How is it that she can sleep when I am so near? We must stoke the furnace of love, must we not?

Links with Pepé sound clips
From Soundboard
From Megawavs

Enjoy this episode: The Cats Bah

On a Quincy

Note: Much more important than the frivolity of this post, keep in mind those most closely affected by the recent school shooting in Connecticut.

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Not only is Mr. Magoo one of my all-time favorites, TV Guide selected him as #29 on their all-time favorites – and the idea came to me last week that this is the perfect time to honor him.

Quincy Magoo – a wealthy, nearsighted, crotchety (but lovable) retiree

Graduate of Rutgers University, class of 1903

First appearance, The Ragtime Bear (1949)

Created by John Hubley and UPA Animation Studio

UPA created 54 shorts

Most-notably voiced by character-actor Jim Backus

Nominated for four Oscars, but won two: When Magoo Flew (1955) and Magoo’s Puddle Jumper (1956)

Most Famous Catchphrase: “Oh Magoo, you’ve done it again!”

Release an album, Magoo (1957)

Here’s some clips of Mcgoo, followed by more info!

Other Characters (a partial list)
Waldo (nephew) (voiced by Casey Kasem in the 1970s)
Charlie (houseboy)
Bowser (Siamese cat that Mcgoo thought was a dog)
Wheeler and Dealer (children he occasionally babysat)
Mother Magoo (first voiced by Henny Backus)
McBarker (nearsighted dog in the 1970s)
Worchestershire (Tycoon Mcgoo’s butler)

Had three TV series

Helped advertise General Electric products in the 1950s and 1960s

Appeared in this ad for Stag Beer


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Mr. Magoo is a perfect honoree for the season because his one-hour portrayal of Scrooge in Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol – a holiday classic from the 1960s. To me, the commercial of Santa on a Norelco sleigh started the Christmas season, and Mcgoo’s version of the Charles Dickens’ classic was a must-watch event – in which he sang this song: Ringle, Ringle


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Holiday cheers to Quincy Mcgoo, and for those needing to see Mr. Mcgoo’s Christmas Carol in its entirety, here it is.