Almost simultaneously, longtime friends Mark Arnold and David Gerstein e-mailed me today with the news that The Warner Archive Collection is releasing a complete MOD DVD collection of Hanna-Barbera’s LOOPY De LOOP theatrical shorts, produced between 1959 and 1965.
You could have knocked me over with a low-carb, economy-sized feather!
LOOPY De LOOP?! REALLY?! …WOW!
Ten years ago, in 2004, when my first DVD purchases consisted of the first seasons of LOST IN SPACE and THE FLINTSTONES, and the two-season run of SCOOBY-DOO WHERE ARE YOU (worthy cultural icons all), I would never have imagined I’d see a DVD set of LOOPY De LOOP!
Indeed, despite being a lifelong Hanna-Barbera fan, I’d hardly even known Loopy as a character.
I first saw him in this Gold Key comic, in 1962...
...and actually thought he was a “made-up-for-comics” character, as were Uncle Scrooge and Gyro Gearloose for the Disney comics, Hedgerow Huppy for the Warner Bros. comics, and the Cave Kids for the Hanna-Barbera comics!
It wasn’t until the early ‘80s, and Leonard Maltin’s definitive book on theatrical animation, “Of Mice and Magic”, did I learn that LOOPY De LOOP was a theatrical series. Certainly, a series I never saw on TV… until a brief time in the late ‘80s, when USA Network ran some of the Loopy cartoons on its daily “Cartoon Express”.
|That first Loopy comic, when I wondered who the heck he was!|
Loopy, for those not in the know, is a French-accented “gentleman wolf”, whose mission in life is to rehabilitate the poor image of wolves overall. One does not envy Loopy his task, considering that literature and legend is littered with images of “The Big Bad Wolf”, “A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” and the like.
Indeed, Hanna-Barbera’s own HOKEY WOLF, an out-and-out con artist, might actually be one of the most benign depictions of a wolf in our vast popular culture.
|"Did you hear that, Ding? I'm actually benign!"|
So, Loopy travels the world doing good deeds in the name of wolves everywhere, and usually getting the business in return.
|He'll get the business in the end!|
Though Loopy himself might be a lesser character, for H-B fans this release is a treasure trove of “lost” H-B material from when the studio was at its best.
Daws Butler performs his classic French-speak as Loopy, with stories by Michael Maltese, Warren Foster, and Tony Benedict – the writers that made H-B great! Hoyt Curtin provides scores that would become vital components of most H-B ‘60s TV cartoons.
|"Say, Loopy... Why ARE you so unknown? I mean you're a really good wolf, after all!"|
Warner Archives is commended for this surprise release – especially as I took them to task for the poor job they had been doing with animation (in THIS POST).
|"Maybe zose Warner Archive Folks are not so bad, after all!"|
I ordered a copy as soon as I was able to sit in front of my computer. And, if you wish to see more classic Hanna-Barbera releases from The Warner Archive Collection, I’d suggest you do the same.
|HURRY! ORDER YOUR COPY!|
Do YOURSELF a “good deed” and enjoy some LOOPY De LOOP!