Cattanooga Cats

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Cattanooga Cats
Genre Animation
Comedy
Written by Neal Barbera
Larz Bourne
Directed by William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Voices of William Callaway
Casey Kasem
Jim Begg
Julie Bennett
Bruce Watson
Janet Waldo
Don Messick
Allan Melvin
Daws Butler
Marty Ingels
Dick Curtis
Country of origin USA
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 17
Production
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) Hanna-Barbera Productions
Broadcast
Original channel ABC
Original run September 13, 1969 – September 5, 1971

Cattanooga Cats is an animated television series produced by Hanna-Barbera for ABC. It aired from September 6, 1969 until September 4, 1971.

Segments[edit]

The show was a package program similar to the Hanna-Barbera/NBC show The Banana Splits, except that it contained no live-action segments. During the 1969–1970 season, Cattanooga Cats ran one hour and contained four segments. During the 1970–1971 season, the segments It's the Wolf! and Motormouse and Autocat were spun off into a half-hour show. Around the World in 79 Days remained a part of Cattanooga Cats, which was reduced to a half-hour. Motormouse and Autocat ran concurrently with Cattanooga Cats until both met their demise at the end of the 1970–1971 season.

Cattanooga Cats[edit]

Cattanooga Cats depicted the adventures of a fictitious rock band similar to The Archies and The Banana Splits populated by anthropomorphic hillbilly cats consisting of:

A fifth member, a mouse keyboardist named "Cheesie", was storyboarded but cut out of the series. The group traveled around in a van, was chased by a female cat groupie named Chessie, the "Autograph Hound" (also voiced by Julie Bennett) and Kitty Jo owned a big blue dog named "Teeny Tim". The singing vocals for The Cattanooga Cats were performed by Michael Lloyd and Peggy Clinger. Producer Mike Curb was the musical director for the series and co-wrote all the songs performed by the Cattanooga Cats. Ted Nichols composed the background music. An LP, The Cattanooga Cats (Forward ST-F-1018), featuring some of the songs used in the series, was released in 1969.

The Cats also appeared in various "bumpers" between the other cartoons, but were best remembered for their animated musical segments. These cartoons showed a strong psychedelic and op-art influence and the Cattanooga Cats remain a cult favorite to this day.

Episodes[edit]

Only nine cartoon story segments featuring the characters were produced:

  1. Witch Whacky – While traveling to a gig, the Cats meet a witch determined to use Kitty Jo as her replacement.
  2. Geronihoho – A Native American chief chases tourists away to preserve his land, even in the modern day, until the Cats show him a better life in show biz.
  3. The Big Boo-Boo – A princess, her father, and her servant attend a concert of the Cats. The princess wishes she could do the dances, leading the servant to become obsessed with capturing Kitty Jo in order to fulfill the wish, in spite of the fact the people were to leave for home tomorrow. In the end, the Cats give her a book illustrating all the dances.
  4. The Wee Greenie Goofie – A leprechaun has followed Kitty Jo's uncle home from the Republic of Ireland, and continues playing pranks on the Cats until they beat him at his own game. They turn down his pot of gold to let him free, and so he decides to hitch a ride with them.
  5. Mummy's Day – The Cats manage to get inside a museum before closing time and get locked in.
  6. Zoo's Who – The Cats spend their day at a zoo.
  7. Autograph Hounded – Chessie the Autograph Hound stalks the Cats in order to get autographs and satisfy her fan club, inspiring the nightmare Groove has later on. When he wakes up, he thinks his dream has been real, but what he thought was Chessie was only a police officer asking the Cats to play at their charity ball.
  8. The Caribbean Kook – A pirate invades a cruise ship the Cats were booked to perform on, and after a series of plots they foil, the passengers all think it was all part of the act. As a result, the pirate gets a full-time job in place of being a real pirate.
  9. Ghosting A-Go-Go – The Cats arrive at a haunted house, where its ghost is determined to trap them once and for all.

Around the World in 79 Days[edit]

Loosely based upon the novel Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne, this was an adventure segment involving balloonist "Phinny Fogg" (conceived as the great-great grandson from America of the main character Phileas Fogg in the novel and voiced by Bruce Watson) and reporter teenagers Jenny (voiced by Janet Waldo) and Hoppy (voiced by Don Messick), who set out on a globetrotting adventure to travel around the world in 79 days and beat the original record set by Phinny's father. The trio are in competition for both the record and a £1,000,000 prize against the sinister Crumden (voiced by Daws Butler), who supposedly was the butler of the original Phineas. Crumden is aided by his idiotic chauffeur Bumbler (voiced by Allan Melvin) and his pet monkey Smirky (voiced by Don Messick). Unlike the other segments, Around the World in 79 Days was a serial with a continuing story, however, as with many shows made during this period, it has no specific ending.

Episodes[edit]

  1. The Race is On
  2. Swiss Mis-Adventure
  3. Arabian Daze
  4. Madrid or Busted
  5. Mr. Bom Bom
  6. India or Bust
  7. Snow Slappy
  8. Finney Finney Fun Fun
  9. The Argentiney Meany
  10. The Tree Man
  11. Saucy Aussie
  12. Crumden's Last Stand
  13. Egyptian Jinx
  14. Border Disorder
  15. Troubles in Dutch
  16. The Fiji Weegees
  17. Hawaiian Hangup

It's the Wolf![edit]

It's the Wolf! followed the comic exploits of a wolf named Mildew (voiced by an uncredited yet easily recognizable Paul Lynde), who aspires to catch and eat a sure-footed little lamb named Lambsy (voiced by Daws Butler), but is always thwarted in this plan by the dog Bristle Hound (voiced by Allan Melvin). Bristle would apprehend Mildew (usually after hearing Lambsy's cries of, "It's the wool-uff!"), pound him, and toss him sailing into the air, with Mildew screaming a phrase such as "Spoilsport!" as he flies into the horizon and lands with a thud. Showing modest responsibility, Lambsy never fails to recognize Mildew.

Episodes[edit]

  1. It's the Wolf – The pilot show. Mildew Wolf arrives to catch Lambsy so he can eat him for dinner, but didn't factor in the lamb's guardian, Bristle Hound.
  2. When My Sheep Comes In – Lambsy and Bristle are on a cruise ship headed for Australia so Lambsy can participate in a sheep show. Of course, Mildew shows up to make life miserable for the two.
  3. A Sheep in the Deep – A deserted island is where Mildew finds Bristle and Lambsy relaxing. Eventually it sinks.
  4. High Hopes – Lambsy is put in a hot-air balloon, and eventually joins Bristle in an airplane; all the while, Mildew is posing as the Crimson Baron (a parody of the Red Baron).
  5. Winter Blunder-Land! – Winter has brought its snow, and Lambsy enjoys a variety of snow-themed activities whilst having to have Bristle protect him from Mildew.
  6. Merry Go Round Up
  7. Super Sheep Sitting Service – Bristle uses a closed circuit television camera system to help stop Mildew.
  8. Any Sport in a Storm – Lambsy tries out a bunch of sports, all of which Mildew uses to try to catch him.
  9. Magic Wanderer – Mildew and Lambsy, and later Bristle, use magic tricks in their ongoing battle.
  10. Runaway Home – Lambsy decides to run away from home, but gives up after all of Mildew's follies, thus confirming Bristle was telling the truth when quoting the following quote: "Leave them alone and they'll come home, wagging their tails behind them."
  11. Smart Dummy – Mildew makes mechanical dummies of himself to catch Lambsy, only to get beaten at his own game.
  12. Channel Chasers – When Lambsy and Bristle get a new television set, Mildew tricks Lambsy into thinking he's a film director.
  13. Mask Me No Questions – The Masked Avenger is Lambsy's favorite TV hero, and he writes a letter to the character to ask for protection from Mildew. When Lambsy finally meets him while running from Mildew, the actor's fear of wolves leads him to run away when he spots Mildew. Lambsy is disappointed and goes back to depending on Bristle.
  14. Freeway Frenzy
  15. Slumber Jacks
  16. Pow Wow Wolf
  17. Ghost of a Chance
  18. Lamb Scout Cook Out – Lambsy has joined the Lamb Scouts, a fact to which Mildew uses to try to trap him.
  19. Wolf in a Sheep's Clothing – Bristle and Lambsy search for Little Bo Beep's missing sheep, while Mildew tries disguises ranging from Little Bo Peep to Little Boy Blue, even playing a jazzy trumpet solo.
  20. To Beach His Own
  21. Sheep Scene Stealer – Mildew uses Lambsy's stage acting lessons as an excuse to catch him.
  22. Kookie Cook Book Cook
  23. Train Tripped – Bristle and Lambsy take a train trip, and Mildew comes along for the ride.
  24. I Never Met a Lamb I Didn't Like – Mildew takes advantage of Lambsy's boredom to catch him, going as far as being a pony customers can ride for 10¢. But then an actual cowboy shows up and has actually paid the dime for the ride, and rides Mildew!
  25. Cat Caper

Motormouse and Autocat[edit]

Essentially a motor-racing version of Tom and Jerry, this segment involved the antics of a race car-driving cat and a motorcycle-driving mouse. Much of the segment's appeal lay in the bizarre cars that Autocat (voiced by Marty Ingels) devised in his attempts to catch Motormouse (voiced by Dick Curtis), and in the pleasing, and unusual character voices and dialect. For example, Motormouse would often over enunciate words, saying things like "Chi-co-ry", and greeting Autocat with a friendly "Hey there, Au-to-cat". Motormouse resembled Pixie & Dixie in character design.

Episodes[edit]

No. Title Air date
1 "Wheelin' and Dealin'"
Motormouse and Autocat compete with their racing machines when they receive new parts and upgrades.
2 "Party Crasher"
Autocat tries to crash Motormouse's party, not realising it is for his birthday.
3 "Water Sports"
4 "What's the Motor with You?"
5 "Mini Messenger"
Autocat attempts to put Motormouse's Delivery Service out of business.
6 "Wild Wheelin' Wheels"
Autocat's failed attempts to catch Motormouse without a car, prompt him to take drastic automobile action.
7 "Soggy To Me"
Motormouse becomes a firefighter. Autocat's efforts to bag Motormouse, end with him soaking wet.
8 "Crash Course"
Autocat tries to ensure Motormouse doesn't make it to the motorcycle race, but he gets himself in the race.
9 "Fueling Around"
When Motormouse mixes a new Super fuel, Autocat tries to mix his own, with explosive results.
10 "Buzzin' Cousin"
11 "Snow-Go"
12 "Hard Days Day"
Autocat creates a remote-controlled Motormouse Remover, complete with a missile.
13 "Tally Ha Ha"
14 "Hocus Focus"
15 "Kitty Kitty Bang Bang"
16 "King Size Kaddy"
17 "Catch as Cat Can"
18 "Catnapping Mouse"
19 "Paint That Ain't"
20 "I've Been Framed"
21 "Match Making Mouse"
22 "Electronic Brainstorm"
23 "Brute Farce"
24 "Bouncing Buddies"
25 "Ramblin Wreck from Texas"
26 "Two Car Mirage"
27 "Alacazap'"
28 "Geni and the Meany"
29 "Choo Choo Cheetah"
30 "The Fastest Mouse in the West"
31 "Cat Skill School"
32 "The Cool Cat Contest"
33 "Lights! Action! Catastrophe!"
34 "Follow That Cat"

Voice Cast

In other languages[edit]

Epilogue[edit]

Hanna-Barbera had high hopes for Cattanooga Cats to be a hit program, like The Banana Splits, but the show failed to attract a large audience during its original run. Mildew Wolf, the most popular character on the program, resurfaced six years after the cancellation of Cattanooga Cats as co-host, with Snagglepuss, on Laff-a-Lympics, this time voiced by John Stephenson. Lambsy appeared in the TV film Yogi's Ark Lark. Sky One in the U.K. occasionally broadcast "Cattanooga Cats" shorts in 1990; the segments were shown in complete isolation, broadcast neither as part of the original show or a new compilation.

Reruns of Cattanooga Cats were not seen until the program began airing as part of the Boomerang programming block on the Cartoon Network, which later became a spin-off network of its own. Cattanooga Cats will air on the channel on May 4, 2013, replacing Ben 10: Omniverse on its schedule. For several months the UK Boomerang channel ran the musical interludes from the show, all of which ran to exactly 1 minute 45 seconds, as short (and unidentified) fillers before closing down at midnight. When the channel expanded to 24 hours, these interludes were dropped. The complete show has not been seen in the UK in recent years.

CD release[edit]

Curb Records, the eventual successor to Forward Records (which was also owned by Mike Curb), most likely owns the master tapes of the "Cattanooga Cats" album. Curb likewise has no plans to rerelease the "Cattanooga Cats" album on CD at this time.

External links[edit]