Andrea/Duck Dodgers here. I friendly welcome every fan of animation at my blog. The goal is to support the love and rediscovery of Classic Theatrical Cartoons from the Golden Age of Animation, keeping meanwhile an eye on Golden Age "Funny Animals" Comics as well as on modern animated productions! Every SUPPRESSED ethnic caricature to be sometimes presented here is just for HISTORICAL and EDUCATIONAL purpose and NOT to offend anyone. Stay Tooned and Enjoy the place !

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Mother Hubba-Hubba Hubbard (1947)

Here are the screenshots from "Mother Hubba-Hubba Hubbard", a Columbia/Screen Gems cartoon released on 5/29/1947.
Columbia had perhaps the most turbulent history amongst all the cartoon distributors and studios of the classic era, with numerous changes of management and some dramatic shifts in style and quality. With majority of its '30s and '40s output virtually unseen for decades, it remains one of the more obscure and unknown studios. If you're interested in a detailed chronicle and history of Columbia cartoons, take a look at the excellent The Columbia Crow's Nest web site.

The most lauded, and sadly very brief-lived period in Columbia/Screen Gems history has been 1941-42, with great Frank Tashlin working as a producer, storyman and director. Some excellent and innovative cartoons have been made during that time. However, by the mid-'40s, Columbia/Screen Gems was languishing, with The Fox and The Crow series being the only one rising highly above the mediocrity of studio's production. One last serious attempt to revitalize the studio came in 1946. with the arrival of Warner/Schlesinger associates Ray Katz and Henry Binder as the studio managers. They lured some well known people from Warner Bros, among them writers Cal Howard and Dave Monahan, and... a cetain fellow named Bob Clampett! With Clampett as studio's creative director, there were great chances for a real revolution, similar to what Tashlin did five years before. It didn't happen though, and studio closed the doors by the end of 1946. The final result were some solid Warner-influenced cartoons that received the theatrical distribution in the following two years, after studio's demise.

Very little is known about Clampett's involvement, and by all accounts, he worked mostly as a storyman (two cartoons usually credited to him are "Boston Beanie" and "Up'n'Atom"). "Mother Hubba-Hubba Hubbard" clearly shows some of the Clampett influence, and it might have been at least partially written by him. This fast-paced cartoon filled with crazy and absurd gags seems at the moment like some strange hybrid of Avery's "Who Killed Who", and Clampett's own "The Great Piggy Bank Robbery". And while it's not as good as those two towering masterpieces, "Mother Hubba-Hubba Hubbard" is neverthenless one of the better and most enjoyable Columbia cartoons of the '40s.

Director of this cartoon is Bob Wickersham, a veteran of Disney, Iwerks and Fleischer studios. Wickersham directed more than 30 cartoons at Columbia, among them the majority of Fox and Crow titles. Does anybody knows any biographical details about this very good and talented director?




























































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9 Comments:

Anonymous Bartman said...

This is one of the better latter-day COLOR RHAPSODIES, IMO - unfortunately, the stills you are showing are from the edited TOTALLY TOONED IN print - missing from your collage is the scene in which the fleeing dog hands the satchel to a black porter ("Check your bag, Boss? Check your bag?") The porter runs away with the satchel, only to be machine-gunned down by an unknown assailant. The porter crashes into a wall and a mask falls, revealing that it is the butler in disguise.

Also, it is been rumored that Clampett also provided the storyline for "Cockatoos for Two", although no story credit is listed in the opening credits.

5:03 pm

 
Blogger Thad K said...

Clampett's involvement with those films I have found to have been exaggerated and I seriously doubt it had the impact that is being implied here. His stay was short (it had to have been, seeing as the studio closed in '46, and Clampett would be working on "It's a Grand Old Nag") and the 'consultant' position was most likely given out of pity.

The most he'd have done was contribute story ideas and gags, not 'revolutionize' the studio as Tashlin had.

"Mother Hubba Hubba Hubbard" is probably the weirdest one of the era, but there were many films from that period that are even better by the talented Sid Marcus and Alex Lovy. Why try to give the credit for the creativeness to someone else, especially when they don't deserve it?

More on topic, Bob Wick did some beautiful comic book work, of most interest here, the Fox and Crow/Flippity & Flop, and also his own book "The Kilroys".

3:47 am

 
Blogger Duck Dodgers said...

Yep, Bartman!

I'll post that missing sequence today.

7:38 am

 
Blogger ryan said...

where can i see this cartoon??

1:49 am

 
Blogger The GagaMan(n) said...

Yikes, the quality of the drawings here really drop about half way through. It looks like two animators worked on a half each, and while the first half is full of fantastic, funny drawings, the latter half looks mainly quite weak. Any idea who the animators on this toon were?

6:42 pm

 
Blogger danimack said...

Actually, Bob Wickersham is my great Grandfather!!! You probably won't believe me, but he is. He's my mom's dad's dad. Well, adoptive parent...but all the same. I never got to meet him since he died so soon...only 2 years after my mother's birth. But we have a picture of him in the studio and still yet have little info as his grandchildren. My mother found some old tapes of the cartoons he took part in. So if anyone else has more infor, other than what the internet provides, I'd def. be interested. THANX for having those stills. That made my day seeing his work :)

5:43 am

 
Blogger Hammerson said...

danimack said...
>>Actually, Bob Wickersham is my great Grandfather!!!<<

Welcome and thanks for the comment! It's always exciting to receive such notes from the relatives of legendary animators. Finding any biographical info on Bob Wickersham is really difficult and I wasn't able to find out more than I already wrote. You might consider asking at GAC forum or Animation History forum . There are lot of knowledgable people there, so somebody might help you with more info. Bob was a really talented director and one of the main creative people at Columbia/Screen Gems studios during the '40s. Have you seen his Fox and Crow cartoons? I will post more screenshots from these, and other Wickersham's cartoons in some near future.

1:33 pm

 
Blogger Duck Dodgers said...

Danimack,
great to have you here.
My email address is ippolitiandrea@tiscali.it

Feel free to contact me to know more about your grandfather. If you have artwork, drawings and other animation-related memorabilia that you wish to sell or at least share let me know.
Bye!

P.S.: I'm going to highlight soon on this blog one of your grandpa's best cartoons, "Woodsman spare that Tree"!

6:52 am

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The one word of this title in Mother Hubba-Hubba Hubbard is Hubba, Ironically, that was once a king named Hubba in Denmark. King Hubba descends to all the Hubbards.

5:56 pm

 

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