|Binro the Heretic - 2017-12-23 |
In my area, this is the only syndicated Jay Ward cartoon that came on after school. All the rest, "Rocky's Flying Circus", "Underdog", "Leonardo Lion" etc. came on early in the morning as I was getting ready for school. Well, except for "George of the Jungle" which came on Sunday mornings as my mom prepared me to be dragged out to Catholic services.
As a result, this is the only one I have fond memories of and the only that doesn't trigger mild anxieties & feelings of resentment.
Underdog and Leonardo Lion weren't Jay Ward shows. They were animated in Mexico by Gamma Studios, however. It seems like there should be a parallel Mexican animation industry on par with anime right now but there isn't. I really wish there was a luchador show cottage industry like Japan's sentai tradition.
Interesting fact about Hoppity Hooper: it was mainly a result of Bill Scott getting blacklisted during the McCarthy era for being a lefty. Disney *hated* his ass on a personal basis. Because of this, he was pretty much forbidden from being a showrunner (although in the meantime he did a bunch for UPA, but those were never mainstream), and he came in under Ward, who was never a cartoonist and deeply ignorant of how animation actually worked.
Ward was a real estate entrepreneur who took a look at TV in the 50s, realized animation was going to be the future, and made some good investments. He was very similar to a Silicon Valley tech founder. He pioneered the "fun boss/wacky atmosphere" reputation and tried to set his studio as the underdog opposed to Disney, which made it the refuge of blacklisted pinkos and Disney refugees. In reality he was really poorly equipped to run an animation studio, very much a skinflint about what he paid his artist, somewhat cheerfully abused outsourcing, and suffered from a litany of neuroses. He once got into a bidding war with Walt Disney at an antiques auction that resulted in him owning an enormous Italian espresso press DECADES before it was a trend, and he tried to go into the bean roasting business, which failed miserably because the market was just not ready for it. Had he attempted twenty years later, we'd be drinking Ward Coffee instead of Starbucks. Jay Ward never was personally invested in animation, it was just a very timely investment and he had an aptitude for hiring competent people who were in a bind professionally and willing to work for less.
Jay Ward is kind of like Walt Disney's personal imp of perversity. Whenever Disney wanted to do something, Ward was there, being generally annoying.
Binro the Heretic
Sorry for the confusion. Leonardo & Underdog were included in a mish-mash of Jay Ward & Total Television cartoons that came on every morning starting at 5:00am. Their animation & narrative style were so similar, I thought they were all by the same folks.
|John Holmes Motherfucker - 2017-12-24 |
I vaguely remember this, but I'd forgotten that the frog had a bow tie.
|blase - 2017-12-24 |
I remember the characters from a dime store puzzle my mother bought for me when I was 1 or 2
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