The Hillbilly Bears
The Hillbilly Bears is an animated television series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions. It aired as a segment on The Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel Show for two seasons, from 1965 to 1967. During the first half of the 1966-67 television season, The Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel Show was split into two shows, and The Hillbilly Bears aired as part of The Atom Ant Show. The characters in the series were a family of four funny animal bears: Paw and Maw Rugg, their teenage daughter Floral, and their young son Shag (whose voices and personas were nearly identical to Elroy and Judy Jetson).
The Hillbilly Bears played on a social stereotype of the "hillbilly", with a gun toting, mumbling father Paw Rugg (voiced by Henry Corden) who was always "feudin" ("feudin" was usually a lethargic operation, in which the protagonists fired the same bullet back and forth from the comfort of their rocking chairs) with the neighbors the Hoppers.
Paw Rugg's voice was a mumble, splattered with a few understandable words. Particularly in the first episodes, Paw Rugg's voice was incomprehensible; his speech improved with the later episodes. His wife Maw (voiced by Jean Vander Pyl) was a homemaker who appeared as the more levelheaded parent; their daughter Floral (voiced by Jean Vander Pyl) had lemon-colored fur (as opposed to the darker-colored fur of Maw, Paw and Shag), and Floral was the southern belle and most sophisticated member of the family while Shag (the youngest and smallest of the family, voiced by Don Messick) was a troublemaker who looks up to his father.
There were a total of 26 six-minute episodes produced.
|1||Detour For Sure||1965|
|4||Stranger Than Friction||1965|
|5||Goldilocks and the Four Bears||1965|
|6||Going, Going Gone Gopher||1965|
|10||Just Plane Around||1965|
|13||Slap Happy Grandpappy||1965|
|16||My Fair Hillbilly||1966|
|24||Gettin' Paws Goat||1966|
|26||Do the Bear||1966|
- Henry Corden - Paw Rugg
- Paul Frees - Claude Hopper
- Don Messick - Shag Rugg
- Jean Vander Pyl - Maw Rugg, Floral Rugg
The episode "Woodpecked" is available on the DVD Saturday Morning Cartoons 1960's vol. 1. The episode "Picnic Panicked" is available on the DVD Saturday Morning Cartoons 1960's Vol. 2.
Pa and Maw Rugg appeared in Yogi's Treasure Hunt.
The Hillbilly Bears appeared in a Cartoon Network Shortie, "Miss Understanding," where Maw takes them on a Jerry Springer-like show due to the fact she can't understand Paw, although the audience assumes that she means she doesn't "understand" him in the sense that she doesn't know who he is anymore. This results in Paw shooting on the wall "I luv you Maw".
On the Dexter's Laboratory episode, "Chubby Cheese" an animatronic Paw Rugg is seen playing the xylophone during Chubby's song.
The Hillbilly Bears appear in the Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law episode "Guitar Control" defending their home from the SWAT team and Bear. Paw Rugg's name can be seen in Harvey's black book in "BabySitter" and Paw can be seen using a crowbar to tear off the logo for Sebben and Sebben in "The Death of Harvey".
- Hillbilly Bears - Cartoon Network Department of Cartoons (Archive)
- The Hillbilly Bears at the Internet Movie Database