Drawing Woody

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I spent most of yesterday with a local artist who was building a legacy video. We had already captured his artwork to a digital form; yesterday was spent capturing his narration as he explained the backstory to each of his paintings. Once done, it will be a blessing for his family and for future generations.

It did remind me of the sad fact that I possess absolutely no artistic ability. Even stick figures confuse me and, when I draw them, they seem somehow grossly deformed. However, I do have a wild card to pull out if ever pressed into service. I know how to draw Woody Woodpecker.

I remember watching Walter Lantz, brilliant animator and cartoon creator, giving a crash course on TV on how to draw Woody and for some inexplicable reason, it stuck in my head.

If you go through my grade school textbooks and happen upon my doodlings, you will be sure to see Woody’s visage on page after page.

Below is a video of Walter and Woody. I don’t think this is the one I saw because my process to draw Woody is different. But I do remember Walter Lantz giving step by step instructions on how to draw his most famous character even while that same character offered critique from the very page upon which he was being drawn.  But memories are like that… subjective. I know what I remember… I just don’t know if it is true.  But I can draw that pesky woodpecker in my sleep so I must have learned it from somewhere.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories. For more information, call us at 352-735-8550 or visit www.homevideostudio.com/mtd.

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Cartoon Memories

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Boy, make one mention of a childhood cartoon and the memories start flooding in. I was born in the 50s and spent most of my childhood in the 60s. Naturally, cartoons are going to be a major part of my early memories.

Here are some of the familiar catchphrases said by popular cartoon characters of my youth. To reveal the speaker, drag your cursor over the open space to the right of the quote. How many did you remember?

20. “Heavens to Murgatroyd!” – Snagglepuss

19. “Boop boop da boop” – Betty Boop

18. “Oh, Magoo.. you’ve done it again.” – Mr. Magoo

17. “Nothing up my sleeve.” – Bullwinkle the Moose

16. “Yabba Dabba Doo!” – Fred Flintstone

15. “I’m smarter than the av-er-age bear.” – Yogi Bear

14. “That’s all I can stands, I can’t stands no more!” – Popeye

13. “Here I come to save the day!” – Mighty Mouse

12. “Hokey Smoke.” – Rocket J. Squirrel

11. “You’re dethspicable.” – Daffy Duck

10. “Beep Beep” – The Roadrunner

9. “Oh bother.” – Winnie the Pooh

8. “Silly Wabbit.” – Elmer Fudd

7. “Bing Bing Bing!” – Ricochet Rabbit

6. “Suffern’ succotash!” – Sylvester the Cat

5. “Exit Stage Left” – Snagglepuss.

4. “I tawt I taw a puddy tat.” – Tweety Bird

3. “There’s no need to fear…” – Underdog

2. “What’s up, doc?” – Bugs Bunny

1. “Th-th-th-that’s all folks!” – Porky Pig

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit www.homevideostudio.com/mtd.

I’ll Be Your Huckleberry

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It is amazing what will spark a memory.  I was transferring a client’s film today and the Christmas scene that appeared on the screen was of a young boy who had just received an inflatable punching bag in the image of Huckleberry Hound.

I had one of those. And I certainly remember Hanna-Barbera’s Huckleberry Hound being a favorite cartoon when I was growing up.  But my memory played a trick on me.  I would have sworn that the Huckleberry Hound Show that I watched as a youngster consisted of three segments: Huckleberry himself; Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo (whose segment eventually became more popular than those of the titular star); and (I thought) Quick Draw McGraw with his sidekick “bing bing bing” Ricochet Rabbit.

But I was wrong. Quick Draw had his own show. The third segment for Huck, as he is familiarly known to his young fans, involved a pair of mice, Pixie and Dixie, and the object of their abuse, the cat Mr. Jinx. Just goes to show how memories can tend to distort and blend together over time.

A few trivia tidbits about this cartoon from my past:

Huckleberry Hound debuted in 1958 and featured a slow moving, slow talking blue dog who held a multitude of jobs and always seemed to succeed due to either luck or an obstinate persistence.

Huck was voiced by Daws Butler who also provided the voices for Wally Gator, Yogi Bear, Quick Draw McGraw, and Snagglepuss.

Daws Butler fashioned the voice of Yogi Bear after Art Carney’s portrayal of Ed Norton in The Honeymooners. And, despite the similarities, he always denied using Andy Griffith as the inspiration for the voice of Huckleberry. (And as it turns out, Huckleberry arrived on the scene a few years before Andy Griffith became a household name.)

It was the first animated program to be honored with an Emmy Award (1961).

Edit:  Yet another memory failure. I have been reminded that Ricochet Rabbit was not the sidekick of QuickDraw McGraw.  He was the star of his own show. Quick Draw’s sidekick was Baba Louey – which I should have remembered on my own as that was also the nickname given to my baby sister.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit www.homevideostudio.com.mtd.