Thursday, December 19, 2019


Having grown up with the King Features cartoons that sprang up in the success of the made-for-tee-vee POPEYE cartoons (SNUFFY SMITH and KRAZY KAT being amongst 'em) I decided to splurge a grossly reduced price on this collection of BEETLE BAILEY cartoons since those really do dredge up a whole lotta pre-stool turdler-era warm and fuzzies in me.

And hey, even though I am somewhat older and perhaps not any wiser than I was when these cartoons originally  hit the catodes way back when I gotta say that I really enjoyed giving these a watch! Of course some of the stories just don't match up to the comic strip while the tee-vee animation seen could at times make ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE look like Walt Dizzy (tho it wasn't as slipshod fast as the mid-sixties POPEYE's that King Features cranked out at the end of that particular run!), but like the four-year-old in me (who I don't think I'll be passing out my rectum any day soon) begs to differ.

Howard Morris's Beetle does sound like his Jughead only with less of a twang, and his General Halftrack was close enough to what we would imagine him to sound like denture air gasps and all. Whoever thought it would make his character more "endearing" by his usage of various spoonerisms was way off the mark. And while I'm at it I can't imagine why Lt. Fuzz has a Southern accent which really doesn't place him. Considering his apple-polishing ass-licking ways I thought they would give him a golly gee voice! Zero's Moose-like baritone seems too obvious, though I thought June Foray did a fantastic job voicing Beetle's longtime gal pal Bunny who looks so sexy in these 'toons. Frankly I think Miss Buxley pales dramatically next to Bunny especially the way she's voiced (and animated) here. Bunny's one character I wish wasn't expunged from the strip unlike Beetle's first gal Buzzy who was so freckled and flat-chested I couldn't see what her appeal to Beetle was in the first place.

Quibbles aside it was sure wonderful watching these again. The one where Beetle and Sarge enter Otto into a dog show was one I could vaguely remember, if only because I asked my mother what a "pedigree" meant because of it! Sure is interesting to remember the first time in my life words entered into my consciousness, just like it was when I discovered what Pistachio ice cream was after Lumpy mentioned it was his favorite flavor in some old yet raucous LEAVE IT TO BEAVER (y'know, the one where a vengeful Wally douses the Lump with melted ice cream before giving Eddie Haskell the same treatment!).

The bonus CBS TV special from the late-eighties or so does not to much for me even with the improved animation techniques. In fact the thing limps along like most of these seventies/eighties-era specials failing to capture a whole lot of what we liked in comic strips and animation ever since we were but mere sprouts. The animation may be better, but man is it sterile, perhaps to match the script that the artists were given to work with. The voices are way too obvious too what with Miss Buxley's airhead bimbo cokehead squeal and Ms. Blips bulldyke yell, plus those of Beetle and Killer ain't much to roar about either. (At least I thought it was great when the King Features Killer was given a voice straight out of James Cagney...he, along with the Brow from the tee-vee DICK TRACY cartoons and Bigelow the Mouse from the Hanna Barbera AUGIE DOGGIE and a variety of others coulda had a nice three-way conversation complimenting each other's sneers!)

The packaging is fine, for you get your one disque slipped into a nice box that also features a booklet you can read as well as a whole slew of BAILEY comic strips featuring a few I haven't seen in ages since the vast assortment of paperback collections tend to concentrate on the sixties throughout the eighties at the expense of the fifties ones. I sure wish someone would collect the years 1957-63 years in book form so's I can read those stories featuring many long-written off characters like Ozone, Pops and that proto-Miss Buxley character who had more of an early-sixties Jackie Kennedy sorta swerve to her than Buxley's doof porno actress pose.

So if ya really wanna dig back into some of that television programming that made me the fanabla that I am today these King Features BAILEYs would be a good place to start, along with a few hundred hours of other mind-melting entertainment from old Warner Brothers cartoons, CASPER THE FRIENDLY GHOST, LITTLE RASCALS, LEARN TO DRAW WITH JON GNAGY... And don't forget those living bra commercials!


Anonymous said...

Buzzy "went gay," moved to Frisco, shacked up with Judy Hensler.


Christopher Stigliano said...

"Buzzy" maybe. Bunny, "NO"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Correct. Bunny was a trad gal.

Anonymous said...

lol beetle bailey? really? lol try doonseberry for a good comic lol doonseberry is topical, pushes the envelope lol beetle bailey is pablum and pro military lol