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Hoppity Hooper is an American animated television series produced by Jay Ward, and sponsored by General Mills, originally broadcast on ABC on September 26, 1964. The series was produced in Hollywood by Jay Ward and Bill Scott, with animation done in Mexico City by Gamma Productions.
|Also known as||Uncle Waldo's Cartoon Show|
|Created by||Bill Scott|
|Written by||Chris Jenkyns|
|Directed by||Pete Burness|
|Starring||Uncle Waldo P. Wigglesworth, Fillmore Bear, and Hoppity Hooper|
|Voices of||Chris Allen|
|Narrated by||Paul Frees|
|Theme music composer||Dennis Farnon|
|Opening theme||"Olga Moletoad's Ride"|
|Country of origin||United States and Mexico|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||104 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Peter M. Piech|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Jay Ward Productions, P.A.T.|
|Distributor||P.A.T., Filmtel International|
|Original network||ABC (1964–1967)|
|Original release||September 26, 1964 –|
September 2, 1967
The three main characters were Hoppity Hooper, a plucky frog, voiced by Chris Allen; Waldo P. Wigglesworth, a patent medicine-hawking fox, voiced by Hans Conried, who posed as Hoppity's long-lost uncle in the pilot episode; and Fillmore, a bear wearing Civil War clothes and (poorly) playing his bugle, voiced by William Scott (with Alan Reed portraying the character in the pilot). The stories revolved around the three main characters, who lived in Foggy Bog, Wisconsin, seeking their fortune together through different jobs or schemes, usually ending in misadventure.
Each story consisted of four short cartoons, one aired at the beginning and end of each episode, with the four-part story shown over two consecutive episodes. Much like Jay Ward's other series The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, Hoppity Hooper used pun-based titles to identify each upcoming segment and a narrator (voiced at various times by William Conrad and Paul Frees) who often interacted with the characters and broke the fourth wall. Interspersed were recycled second features from the earlier series Peabody's Improbable History, Fractured Fairy Tales, and Aesop and Son. In later syndicated runs, each four-part story was assembled into a single half-hour episode.
One of the best-remembered stories is "The Traffic Zone," a parody of The Twilight Zone (complete with Rod Serling-style narration) in which the characters stumble upon a portal into another dimension that transforms them into vegetables.
The first two episodes were produced in 1960 and featured Alan Reed as Fillmore. The series was not picked up for broadcast until September 1964, and by that time Reed was unavailable, because of his commitment with another ABC animated TV series, The Flintstones, as the voice of Fred Flintstone. Therefore, Bill Scott was named to do the voice of Fillmore.
The series was broadcast first-run by ABC, and NBC on their Saturday Morning schedule. The series was later syndicated to local television stations under the title Uncle Waldo's Cartoon Show, beginning in 1965.
Over the course of three seasons, 52 episodes were broadcast with two segments of Hoppity Hooper each. With two exceptions (as noted), each story line consisted of four episodes (or four shorts – making 27 stories told over 104 segments).
Season 1 (1964–1965)Edit
|1||Ring a Ding Spring|
|2||Rock 'n' Roll Star|
|5||The Giant of Hoot 'n' Holler|
|9||The Masked Martin|
|10||Jumping Frog Contest|
|11||The Traffic Zone|
|12||Wottabango Corn Elixir|
|13||Frog Prince of Monomania|
Season 2 (1965–1966)Edit
|1||Colonel Clabber—Limburger Cheese Statue||(4 parts)|
|2||The Giant Cork||(4 parts)|
|3||Ferkle to Hawaii||(4 parts)|
|6||Horse Race Follies||(4 parts)|
|7||Jack and the Beanstalk||(4 parts)|
Season 3 (1966–1967)Edit
|1||Granny's Gang||(4 parts)|
|2||Golf Tournament||(2 parts)|
|3||The Hopeless Diamond||(2 parts)|
|4||The Dragon of Eubetchia||(4 parts)|
|5||Rare Butterfly Hunt||(4 parts)|
|6||Oil's Well at Oasis Gardens||(4 parts)|
|7||Wonder Water||(4 parts)|
- Producers: Jay Ward, Bill Scott
- Directors: Pete Burness, Bill Hurtz, Lew Keller
- Writers: Chris Jenkyns, Bill Scott
- Film Editor: Skip Craig
- Designers: Sam Clayberger, Roy Morita, and Shirley Silvey
- Animation by Gamma Productions S.A. de C.V.
- Production Director: Harvey Siegel
- Assistant Director: Jaime Torres
- Animation Supervisor: Sam S. Kai
- Layout Supervisor: Joe Montell
- Executive Producers: Peter Piech, Ponsonby Britt, O.B.E. (Pseudonym of Jay Ward and Bill Scott.)
- A Jay Ward Production
- In cooperation with Producers Associates of Television, inc.
- Chris Allen (eps. 1–27) Hoppity Hooper, (eps. 2–8) Susan Swivelhips
- Hans Conried (eps. 1–27) Uncle Waldo P. Wigglesworth
- Alan Reed (Episodes 1 & 2 of "Ring-A-Ding Spring") and Bill Scott (Episodes 3 & 104 of "Ring-A-Ding Spring" and "Wonder Water") – Fillmore Bear
- Paul Frees (eps. 1–25) and Bill Conrad (eps. 26–27) – Narrator
Hoppity Hooper was released in three separate volumes on VHS in the early 1990s. Volume One was released on DVD in the 2000s (the copyrights for each of these three releases were in question at the time of their respective releases).
In 2008, Mill Creek Entertainment released episodes 1–6 and episodes 8–11 as part of their "Giant 600 Cartoon Collection". They also re-released these episodes as part of the "Super 300 Cartoon Collection" in 2009. Also in 2008, Mill Creek released the first 6 episodes under their 200 Classic Cartoons: Collectors Edition label.