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Droopy

A standard Droopy opening title card from the early 1950s.
Directed by Tex Avery
Dick Lundy
Michael Lah
Produced by Fred Quimby
William Hanna and Joseph Barbera
Music by Scott Bradley
Release date(s) 1943 - 1958
Country United States
Language English

Droopy is an animated cartoon character, an anthropomorphic dog (supposedly a Basset Hound) with a droopy face, hence the name Droopy. He was created by Tex Avery, for theatrical cartoon shorts produced by the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer cartoon studio, in 1943. Essentially the polar opposite of Avery's other famous MGM character, the loud and wacky Screwy Squirrel, Droopy moved slowly and lethargically, spoke in a jowly monotone, and, though he didn't look like much, was shrewd enough to outwit his enemies and, when finally roused to anger, capable of beating adversaries twice his size with a comical thrashing.

The character first appeared, nameless, in Avery's 1943 cartoon Dumb-hounded. Though he would not be called "Droopy" onscreen until his fifth cartoon, Señor Droopy (1949), the character was officially first labeled Happy Hound, a name used in the character's appearances in Our Gang Comics. After the demise of the Droopy series in 1958, the character has been revived several times for new productions, often television shows also featuring MGM's other famous cartoon stars, Tom and Jerry.

Contents

History

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Droopy first appeared in the MGM cartoon Dumb-Hounded, released by MGM on March 20, 1943. Droopy's first scene is when he saunters into view, looks at the audience, and declares, "Hello all you happy people...you know what? I'm the hero." In the cartoon, Droopy is tracking an escaped convict and is always waiting for the crook wherever he turns up. Avery had used a similar gag in his 1941 Merrie Melodies short Tortoise Beats Hare, which in turn was an expansion/exaggeration of the premise of his The Blow Out (1936). In fact, this cartoon shows that early ideas about Droopy's personality were already germinating, as that film's Cecil Turtle is very similar in character to Droopy.

Droopy's meek, deadpan voice and personality were modeled after the character Wallace Wimple on the radio comedy Fibber McGee and Molly; actor Bill Thompson, who played Wimple, was the original voice of Droopy. During his time in the US Navy during World War II, the role was played by other voice actors, including Don Messick, who reprised the role in the 1990s. Avery's preferred gag man Heck Allen said that Tex himself provided the voice on several occasions, and "You couldn't tell the difference."[1] Droopy himself was a versatile actor: he could play a Mountie, a cowboy, a deputy, an heir, or a Dixieland-loving everyday Joe with equal ease. The same voice was used for Big Heel-Watha in the Screwy Squirrel cartoon of the same name and for a Pilgrim who chases a turkey modeled after Jimmy Durante in Avery's 1945 short Jerky Turkey.

One of Droopy's traits is his incredible strength, given his diminutive stature and unassuming looks and personality, but only when he was upset, and then he would monotone, "You know what? That makes me mad," prior to tossing the hapless villain of the piece over his head many times. One such occasion was in Señor Droopy, where he did this to a bull. It happened again in One Droopy Knight, where a dragon was Droopy's victim. This was also once done by a baby version of Droopy, in the Western-themed short, Homesteader Droopy.

In most of his cartoons, Droopy matches wits with either a slick anthropomorphic Wolf (the Wolf character "portrays" the crooks in both Dumb-hounded and its semi-remake, Northwest Hounded Police (1946)) or a bulldog named "Spike", sometimes silent, sometimes sporting a Gaelic accent. Two Droopy cartoons - The Shooting of Dan McGoo and Wild and Woolfy - also feature appearances from the curvy heroine of Avery's Red Hot Riding Hood (1943) as a damsel in distress being pursued by the Wolf. Three later Droopy cartoons - Three Little Pups (1953), Blackboard Jumble (1957), and Sheep Wrecked (1958) - feature a slow-moving southern wolf character. Voiced by Daws Butler in a dialect he later used for Hanna-Barbera's Huckleberry Hound, this wolf was a more deadpan character with a tendency to whistle "Kingdom Coming" (aka "Jubalio") to himself (much like Huckleberry would sing "Oh My Darling Clementine" to himself).

Avery took a year-long break from MGM from 1950 to 1951, during which time Dick Lundy took over his unit to do one Droopy cartoon, Caballero Droopy, and several Barney Bear cartoons. Avery returned in late 1951 and continued with Droopy and his one-shots until the Avery unit was dissolved by MGM in 1953. Michael Lah, an Avery animator, stayed on long enough to help William Hanna and Joseph Barbera complete Deputy Droopy after Avery had left the studio. Lah himself then left MGM, but returned in 1955 to direct CinemaScope Droopy cartoons costarring either Spike, now called Butch because of the same-named bulldog in Hanna and Barbera's Tom and Jerry cartoons, or the "Kingdom Coming"-whistling wolf. One of these, One Droopy Knight (1957), was nominated for the 1957 Academy Award for Best Short Subject (Cartoons). However, by the time of One Droopy Knight's release in December 1957, the MGM cartoon studio had been closed for six months, a casualty of corporate downsizing.

Later appearances

In 1980, Filmation produced a series of lower-budget Droopy shorts for television as part of a new Tom and Jerry show, with Frank Welker and producer Lou Scheimer alternating as the voice of the hound.

In the 1990s, Hanna-Barbera offering Tom & Jerry Kids, Droopy had a young son named Dripple—possibly an older version of the infant we see in Homesteader Droopy. The mild success of the show provided perhaps the most Droopy merchandise: plush toys, gummy snacks, figurines, etc. Tom & Jerry Kids had a spin-off series, Droopy, Master Detective. He also had cameos in two theatrical features: as an elevator operator in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (where he was voiced by the film's animation director Richard Williams), and in Tom and Jerry: The Movie (voiced by Messick). Droopy also had cameos in all three subsequently-produced Roger Rabbit shorts, Tummy Trouble, Roller Coaster Rabbit, and Trail Mix-Up (played by Williams in the first short and by Corey Burton in the latter two). Droopy also appears in the 2006 cartoon series Tom and Jerry Tales, voiced by Don Brown. He even makes an appearance in the direct-to-video special Tom and Jerry: The Magic Ring, voiced by Jeff Bennett.

A three-issue Droopy comic book miniseries was released in the mid-1990s by Dark Horse Comics.

Matt Groening has stated that he based The Simpsons character Hans Moleman on Droopy.

Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central's news parody The Daily Show, has taken to imitating Connecticut senator and 2000 Democratic vice-presidential candidate Joe Lieberman with Droopy Dog's voice and mannerisms.

In the early 2000s, Droopy appeared in a Cartoon Network short entitled Thanks a Latté, in which he works at a coffee shop and tricks a greedy wolf into giving him a tip. The short now airs on Cartoon Network's sister channel Boomerang.

During the same period, Droopy was also featured in Adult Swim's Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law in the episode "Droopy Botox" voiced by Maurice LaMarche. He is seen seeking a settlement after a cosmetic surgeon injected him with too much botox (A running gag in this episode was the fact that Droopy was often seen crying despite having a huge grin frozen on his face, whereas in the classic cartoons a sad-faced Droopy would often say, "You know what? I'm happy").

In a 2004 episode of the Comedy Central animated series Drawn Together, "Clara's Dirty Little Secret", the character Foxxy Love listens to a book on tape entitled: Clara's Story: How I Kissed a Black Girl, as read by Droopy Dog on headphones. The character Toot Braunstein listens for a moment as well, hearing the voice of Droopy reading a sentence that begins, "As her buttery maple pelvis gyrated..."

In the Family Guy episode "Ocean's Three and a Half," a parody of Fox News Channel's former show Hannity & Colmes featured co-host Alan Colmes portrayed by Droopy Dog.

In the Manga and Anime Dragon Ball, Droopy has a cameo as the Abbot of the Buddhist Monastery that hosts the Strongest Under Heaven Tournament. Before the fights begin, Abbot Droopy delivers - in his trademark deadpan - this bit of Zen wisdom: "Woof."

Voices

MGM filmography

# Film Director(s) Producer(s) Original release date Notes
1 Dumb-Hounded Blueribbon icon.png Tex Avery Fred Quimby March 20, 1943
2 The Shooting Of Dan McGoo Blueribbon icon.png Tex Avery Fred Quimby March 3, 1945
3 Wild and Woolfy Blueribbon icon.png Tex Avery Fred Quimby November 3, 1945
4 Northwest Hounded Police Blueribbon icon.png Tex Avery Fred Quimby August 13, 1946
5 Señor Droopy Blueribbon icon.png Tex Avery Fred Quimby April 9, 1949
  • First official short in Droopy series; also first to use that name
6 Wags to Riches Tex Avery Fred Quimby August 13, 1949
  • First appearance of Spike
7 Out-Foxed Blueribbon icon.png Tex Avery Fred Quimby October 12, 1949
8 The Chump Champ Blueribbon icon.png Tex Avery Fred Quimby November 4, 1950
9 Daredevil Droopy Blueribbon icon.png Tex Avery Fred Quimby March 31, 1951
10 Droopy's Good Deed Blueribbon icon.png Tex Avery Fred Quimby May 5, 1951
11 Droopy's "Double Trouble" Tex Avery Fred Quimby November 17, 1951
12 Caballero Droopy Dick Lundy Fred Quimby September 27, 1952
13 The Three Little Pups Blueribbon icon.png Tex Avery Fred Quimby December 26, 1953
14 Drag-a-Long Droopy Blueribbon icon.png Tex Avery Fred Quimby February 20, 1954
15 Homesteader Droopy Blueribbon icon.png Tex Avery Fred Quimby July 10, 1954
16 Dixieland Droopy Tex Avery Fred Quimby December 4, 1954
17 Deputy Droopy Tex Avery
Michael Lah
Fred Quimby October 28, 1955
18 Millionaire Droopy Tex Avery William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
September 21, 1956
  • CinemaScope remake of Wags to Riches using retraced cels from the original.
19 Grin and Share It Michael Lah William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
May 17, 1957
  • First new CinemaScope short in series.
20 Blackboard Jumble Michael Lah William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
October 4, 1957
  • In CinemaScope
21 One Droopy Knight Michael Lah William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
December 6, 1957
22 Sheep Wrecked Michael Lah William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
February 7, 1958
  • In CinemaScope
23 Mutts About Racing Michael Lah William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
April 4, 1958
  • In CinemaScope
24 Droopy Leprechaun Michael Lah William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
July 4, 1958
  • In CinemaScope

DVD releases

On May 15, 2007, Warner Home Video (whose corporate sibling Turner Entertainment now owns the rights to the character) released all of Droopy's MGM cartoons on DVD as Tex Avery's Droopy: The Complete Theatrical Collection.[2] The seven Droopy cartoons produced in CinemaScope were released in their original widescreen versions, instead of the pan and scan versions regularly broadcast on television.[3]

See also

References

  1. ^ Adamson, Joe, Tex Avery: King of Cartoons, De Capo Press, 1975.
  2. ^ "Warner Home Video product information for Tex Avery's Droopy: The Complete Theatrical Collection (DVD)". WarnerHomevideo.com. http://whv.warnerbros.com/WHVPORTAL/Portal/product.jsp?OID=19030. Retrieved 2007-06-15. 
  3. ^ Back of DVD box for Tex Avery's Droopy: The Complete Theatrical Collection.

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Droopy, also known as Droopy Dog, is an animated cartoon character, an anthropomorphic dog with a droopy face, hence the name "Droopy". Originally known as "Happy Hound", he was created by Tex Avery, for theatrical cartoon shorts produced by the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer cartoon studio, in 1943.

Contents

Dumb-Hounded (1943)

  • Droopy: Hello all you happy people...you know what? I'm the hero.

The Shooting Of Dan McGoo

Wild and Woofy

Northwest Hounded Police

Señor Droopy (1949)

  • Droopy: You know what? That makes me mad.
  • Droopy (after winning a date with actress Lina Romay, deadpan to camera): You know what? I'm happy.

Wags to Riches

Out-Foxed

The Chump Champ

Daredevil Droopy

Droopy's Good Deed

Droopy's "Double Trouble"

Spike: Now cut it out!! Quit hitting me with that shillelagh!

Caballero Droopy

Droopy: You know what? That's not sanitary

The Three Little Pups

Drag-a-Long Droopy

Homesteader Droopy

Dixieland Droopy

Droopy: Hello folks

Narrator: Well Johnn at least you still have your record.

Ringmaster: Hey you! Come back here with my fleas

Deputy Droopy

Millionaire Droopy

Grin and Share It

Blackboard Jumble

One Droopy Knight

Sheep Wrecked

Mutts About Racing

Droopy Leprechaun

External links

Wikipedia
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