ANIMATION ANECDOTES
September 10, 2021 posted by Jim Korkis

The Jack Hannah Filmography at Walter Lantz

Suspended Animation #336

Previously, I shared a small portion of Jack Hannah’s memories of working at the Walter Lantz studio. It got me to thinking that maybe I should include a listing of his theatrical shorts for that studio so that you might get a better understanding of his contribution during his two years with Lantz.

Freeloading Feline September 1960
A top hat wearing black cat named Doc and a bulldog named Champ trick their way into a penthouse party and their scuffles leave the party in a shambles.

Hunger Strife October 1960
On the first day of tourist season at Peachstone National Park, Ranger Willoughby forbids Fatso the Bear from taking any handouts from the tourists because he is too fat. The characters and their relationship are very reminiscent of Hannah’s Disney characters Humphrey the Bear and the Little Ranger.

Southern Fried Hospitality November 1960
A starving Gabby Gator discovers a recipe in a cookbook for fricassee de woodpecker. He writes Woody Woodpecker a fan letter to come and perform a show. When Woody arrives, he quickly realizes that it was a ruse to cook him and turns the tables.

First appearance of Gabby Gator, inspired by an earlier version called Ali Gator from two previous Lantz cartoons: Romp in the Swamp (1958) and Everglade Raid (1959. Daws Butler supplies the voice for Gabby.

Jungle Medics (1960)
Two chimpanzees named Sam and Simian set themselves up as doctors in the jungle but run into trouble when they try to treat a lion with a painful tooth.

This cartoon was the pilot for a possible television series so when it was released theatrically there were no credits or production number. While the film is generally considered to have been released in 1960, the title card gives the copyright as 1961. The cartoon is often misidentified as being directed by Paul Smith.

An adaptation of the story by writer Carl Fallberg and artist John Carey with a slightly different ending where the chimps are forced to rebuild the lion’s destroyed home appears in the comic book Dell Four Color # 1132 (1960), an issue with Space Mouse on the cover who was another failed television pilot.

Poop Deck Pirate January 1961
Upset by the noise in the city that prevents him from sleeping, Woody Woodpecker goes to the Tooti Frutti Islands where he finds just as much noise when a patch-eyed pirate named Sea Dog Sam arrives and tries to recover his buried treasure.

Fatso Bear

Eggnapper February 1961

With the summer tourist season over at Peachstone National Park, Fatso the bear must forage for himself. He decides it will be easy pickings to raid the nearby henhouse for eggs but it is guarded by a vicious rooster.

Gabby’s Diner April 1961
Flying over Florida on holiday, Woody Woodpecker gets fooled into staying at starving Gabby Gator’s fake hotel, the Fryer’s Club Hotel. Gabby tries many devious methods to cook the bird but Woody always survives.

Clash and Carry May 1961
Chilly Willy the penguin uses a variety of tricks to steal fish from the market owned by Wally Walrus. At one point, Chilly tricks Wally into phoning up fishing boats to tell them he will buy whatever they can catch.

First Wally Walrus appearance in a Chilly Willy cartoon. There is some limited speeded-up live action footage of fishing boats from San Pedro.

Bear and the Bees May 1961
In Springtime, Cupid shoots multiple arrows into Fatso the bear who becomes smitten with a female bear but has no idea how to win her affection. The last Fatso the Bear cartoon.

Franken-Stymied July 1961
When Woody’s home in a tree is destroyed by lightning, he seeks shelter from the storm in a nearby castle. Inside is a mad scientist who has created a mechanical man named Frankie who will pluck the feathers off a chicken or any other bird.

Tricky Trout September 1961
Chilly Willy finds a trout fish hatchery run by Wally Walrus and tries unsuccessfully several times to get himself a meal before finally giving up.
Last appearance of Wally Walrus in a Lantz cartoon.

Tin Can Concert October 1961
Doc the cat conducts an all-cat symphony orchestra in a rendition of Gioachino Rossini’s musical composition Cinderella Overture. The concert disturbs a mouse trying to sleep inside the grandfather clock Doc is using as his podium.

Gabby Gator

Doc’s Last Stand November 1961
Doc and Champ travel across the Wild West in a wagon filled with goods that they sell to the locals.

Woody’s Kook-Out November 1961
Once again, the starving Florida alligator, Gabby Gator decides to trick Woody Woodpecker into visiting him so he can cook him for dinner.

Rock-A-Bye Gator January 1962
It’s hibernating season for alligators but Gabby Gator is wide awake and hungry and wants to have Woody Woodpecker for a meal. However, the clever bird knows a lullaby that keeps putting the gator asleep temporarily.

Pest of Show February 1962
Doc finds an announcement for an upcoming dog show that offers a $50,000 prize and a banquet to the winner. Doc spends weeks training Champ in proper speech, decorum, attire and more.

Mackerel Moocher March 1962
Chilly Willy is on a wharf fishing but keeps getting interrupted by a pelican who gobbles up everything Chilly catches.

Fowled-Up Birthday April 1962
The Beary family consists of a father (Charlie), a mother (Bessie) a teenaged son (Junior) and a young daughter (Suzy). It is Suzy’s birthday and Charlie goes to the store to get a chicken because Suzy loves fried chicken. The butcher offers Charlie a big fat live goose for half the price of a chicken and he takes it home. Suzy assumes it is her birthday present and a pet. Charlie has several encounters trying to kill the goose but in the end, a battered and bruised Charlie gives up and Suzy shares her birthday with her new pet.

The first of the Beary Family cartoons. When Hannah leaves Lantz, the goose and the little daughter disappear from the Beary family series.

Rocket Racket April 1962
Gabby Gator is watching a cooking show on his television and is so hungry that he licks the screen. He sends Woody a telegram that his country needs him to pilot the Atlas (But Not Least) Space Rocket to the moon. Woody arrives and once again discovers it was a trick to cook him.

Mother’s Little Helper June 1962
Bessie Beary is tired of doing all the housework and Charlie tells her to go to the beauty parlor and he will take care of things. He does a horrendous job.

Voo-Doo Boo-Boo August 1962
In a cave, Gabby Gator wearing a purple wizard’s cap carves a totem in the shape of a disbelieving Woody and manipulates him physically.

Punchy Pooch September 1962
At a carnival, Doc enters Champ in a boxing match against “The Australian Bounder”, a fighting kangaroo where they can win $500 if Champ stays for four rounds.

Corny Concerto October 1962
As Doc prepares Champ for a boxing comeback, he accidentally drops a hammer on Champ’s foot causing him to yell and hop around. A Beatnik coffee shop owner sees this and thinks it is an act and hires them to perform where they become a huge hit.

Fish And Chips January 1963
While Colonel Blooblud is away, his faithful watchdog Smedley receives a package for the Colonel from Antarctica. When he opens it, it is Chilly Willy the penguin. As Smedley goes to get a sardine for Chilly, the penguin has his eyes on a bigger meal, the stuffed prized marlin over the mantle.

4 Comments

  • The forerunner to Gabby Gator in “Everglade Raid” was not “Ali” Gator but “All. I. Gator”, as it’s spelled out explicitly on his business sign. A year after Gabby’s debut, Alfy Gator (based on Alfred Hitchcock) was introduced as a potential predator of Yakky Doodle, and the following year saw the premiere of Wally Gator (based on Ed Wynn). That’s four gator characters in as many years, all voiced by Daws Butler.

    Rossini’s Cinderella Overture, featured in “Tin Can Concert”, usually appears on concert programs under the opera’s Italian title, “La Cenerentola”. For some reason music director Eugene Poddany transposed it into F major from its original key of E-flat, as well as tinkering with the orchestration, adding a xylophone part for example. The overture was originally composed for an earlier opera, “La Gazzetta” (The Newspaper, or the Marriage Contest), just as his famous “Barber of Seville” Overture had been previously used in two other operas, “Aureliano in Palmira” and “Elizabeth, Queen of England”. At this time, when he was in his early to mid-twenties, Rossini was composing as many as four operas in a year, so he sometimes had to steal from himself in order to meet a deadline. Besides, all of these operas premiered in different cities, so audiences wouldn’t have noticed anyway.

    “Corny Concerto” borrows its title from Bob Clampett’s better-known “A Corny Concerto” of twenty years earlier, and its plot would in turn be used in the Flintstones’ sixth season episode “Shinrock A-Go-Go”. When Barney drops his bowling ball on Fred’s sore foot, the big guy hops around on one foot and yells in agony just like Champ in the beatnik coffee house and inadvertently creates a dance sensation, “the Flintstone Frantic”. Later, just as he’s about to appear in a TV variety show, he sits on a tack and comes up with another dance craze, “the Flintstone Flop”. “Every time he hurts himself, it’s a new dance,” Barney observes. “He’ll make a fortune if he lives!”

    Thanks for compiling this list of Lantz cartoons directed by Jack Hannah. I remember many of them fondly, and the ones that don’t ring any bells sound intriguing enough to be worth checking out.

  • Anyone ever notice how Charlie Beary (Sr) and Barney Bear are never seen in the same room together?

    • I think you’re on to something.

  • On the comic side of things, I sometimes wonder how another duck master (and Jack’s former Disney collegue), Carl Barks, would’ve done some comics with Woody Woodpecker at Western. He did do that odd early Andy Panda comic story.

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