Tuesday, 7 September 2010

"Three Wing Fling" - Windy and Breezy

When Walter Lantz's studios reopened in the 1950's, it was clear their animation and design quality undertook a massive overhaul for cost efficient needs - something not unlike Hanna-Barbera's look when they brought out "The Hucklebery Hound Show" in 1958 for television.
...and like many studios then, right up to today, it seemed that Walter Lantz would follow the "pirate" way and create semi-similar characters based by other people's creations.
 Take, for instance, Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo. They started out the same time as Huckleberry Hound a long while before gaining their own show, yet almost the exact same time - 1957 - Walter Lantz brought to us Windy and Breezy.
Windy & Breezy first starred in a Woody Woodpecker short "Fodder and Son" before being given a short-lived series lasting for about 4 cartoons, their last outing in 1959. Unlike Yogi, these two were father and son - although in similar vein to Andy Panda and Pop (also by Lantz), it was the dad who stole the show and pretty much the screentime.
Had it not been for writer Homer Brightman and VA legend Daws Butler, these two probably wouldn't have made it as far as they did. Sure, they're not the most renown cartoon bears in animation history, but for those who do remember them here's a little taster of memory lane:


  1. Given how Yogi Bear's voice was loosely based on Art Carney's "Ed Norton" character from The Honeymooners, it seems ironic that Windy's voice appeared to be patterned after Jackie Gleason and/or his "Ralph Kramden" character.

    The other difference: Windy and Breezy were both voiced by Butler. Unlike on Yogi Bear where Boo Boo's voice was supplied by Don Messick.

  2. Correct me if I'm wrong: "Fodder and Son" aired in 1957 and Yogi Bear appeared in 1958 (i don't know if the information in Wkipedia is accurate). So, Yogi Bear is the copy, isn't it?

  3. "Fodder and Son" has a theatrical release date of November 4, 1957 meaning that it had been in production for several months prior to it's actual release. Yogi debuted as a segment of "The Huckleberry Hound Show" in September of 1958.

    This particular theatrical is almost too coincidental in similarities to the later Yogi Bear character...right down to the familiar "Do Not Feed the Bears" sign seen in so many Yogi cartoons...so I can see how some may come to the conclusion that the team at Hanna-Barbera could have lifted the concept of a forever hungry bear craving food meant for human consumption from this story and applied it to Yogi but to come out and publicly accuse them, or anyone else, of stealing idea's and concepts is something I'd never do.

    I enjoy Yogi and the several cartoons of Windy equally irregardless of which idea originated first.