Linus the Lionhearted

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Linus the Lionhearted
Genre Animated television series
Created by Ed Graham
Developed by Gene Schinto
Directed by Ed Graham
Voices of Sheldon Leonard
Ed Graham
Carl Reiner
Ruth Buzzi
Bob McFadden
Jesse White
Jonathan Winters
Gerry Matthews
"Bashful Bigshots"
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 39
Executive producer(s) Ed Graham
Producer(s) Ed Graham
Running time 30 minutes (with commercials)
Production company(s) Ed Graham Productions in association with General Foods
CBS Television Distribution (Syndication rights)
Original network CBS (1964-1966)
ABC (1966-1969)
Picture format Black-and-white (CBS) & Colorized (ABC)
Audio format Monaural
Original release September 26, 1964 (1964-09-26) – September 7, 1969 (1969-09-07)

Linus the Lionhearted is an American animated television series featuring a main character of the same name. The character was created in 1959, by the Ed Graham advertising agency, originally as a series of ads for General Foods' Post Cereals. At first, Linus was the spokesman for the short-lived Post cereal "Heart of Oats" (a Cheerios imitation). Eventually, the lion was redesigned and reintroduced in 1963, to sell Crispy Critters, which featured Linus on the box. The ads were so popular that a television series was created in 1964 (with General Foods as sponsor), and ran on the CBS network until 1966, then reruns [in color] aired on ABC from 1966, until it was cancelled three years later. A coloring book was published which detailed the adventures of So-Hi going on a scavenger hunt in order to break a curse on a two-headed bird, who is then transformed into a boy due to So-Hi's dedication.

In addition to Linus, a rather good-natured "King of the Beasts" who ruled from his personal barber's chair and voiced by Sheldon Leonard, there were other features as well, all based on characters representing other popular Post breakfast cereals. The best-known of these was Sugar Bear (Sugar Crisp), who sounded like Bing Crosby and was voiced by actor Gerry Matthews. There was also a postman named Lovable Truly (Alpha-Bits), a young Asian boy named So Hi (Rice Krinkles) and Rory Raccoon (Post Toasties).

A long-play record album was also released as a premium in the year of the show's debut featuring the characters (voiced by the same stars as the animated cartoon) singing with re-written lyrics familiar songs such as "Jimmy Cracked Corn."

Vocal talent[edit]

The show was perhaps best noted for its abundance of well-known vocal talent. In addition to Leonard, Carl Reiner voiced several characters, most notably Linus' friend Billy Bird; Ruth Buzzi voiced an old witch who'd befriended Lovable Truly, as well as Sugar Bear's sometime nemesis, Granny Goodwitch; and veteran Bob McFadden voiced So Hi, Rory and Lovable Truly. Jonathan Winters made a number of guest appearances, as did Jerry Stiller and his wife Anne Meara. Also credited was the later "Maytag Repairman," Jesse White.

End Theme[edit]

As opposed to the standard cartoon opening, which promoted "Linus the King, Linus the Star, Linus the Lionhearted," the end theme was an unusual sad/melancholy nearly-operatic form. (This was likely by the Johnny Mann Singers.) As the End Theme plays, the five cartoon characters(while wiping away tears) are loading a trunk under a spotlight. As the song progresses and with the trunk filled, closed, and now in Linus' hand, the five cartoon characters-- Linus, Truly Lovable, So Hi, Sugar Bear, and Rory Raccoon--with big tears in their eyes--all sadly wave goodbye, turn, and fade away into the darkness as they walk out of the spotlight. As the song concludes, the Billy the Bird character "mopped up" the white spotlight circle until it faded to black. The performance of the song is guaranteed to bring tears to your eyes and a lump in your throat:

"Linus and his friends must go, so we leave you with a song,

We're all kind of sad to go, glad to know it won't be long...

Lion-hearted friendships don't end, we'll all be back and then...

Linus and his friends will go, on with the show a-gain!"


The FCC made a ruling in 1969 that forbade children's show characters from appearing in advertisements on the same program and ABC was forced to cancel the program.[1]


Season 1[edit]

  • Supervising Director: Irv Spector
  • Production Supervision: Lew Irwin
  • Character Models: George Cannata
  • Head Writer: Bill Schnurr
  • Associate Producer: Rick Herland
  • Produced and Directed by Ed Graham, Jr.
  • Animation Directors: John Freeman, Clyde Geronimi, Rube Grossman, Ed Rehberg, George Singer, Marvin Woodward
  • Layouts: Corny Cole, Bob Dranko, Burt Freund, Dave Hanan, Homer Jonas, Tony Rivera, Sam Weiss, Bob Singer
  • Storyboards: Tom Dagenais, Art Diamond, Bob Givins, Cal Howard, Bob Kurtz, Mike Smollim
  • Backgrounds: Bill Butler, Boris Gorelick, Erv Kaplan, Bob McIntosh, Lorraine Morgan, Curt Perkins
  • Editors: Hank Goetzenberg, Jerry MacDonald, George Marana
  • Sound Engineer: Gil Arion
  • Ink and Paint by Connie Crawley, Dea Shirley
  • Character Layouts: Stan Green
  • Special Music Arrangements: Johnny Mann
  • Production Assistants: Ruth Kennedy, Armand Shaw
  • Animators: Ray Abrams, Frank Andrina, Tom Baron, Warren Batchelder, Bob Bentley, Dan Bessie, Frank Braxton, Brad Case, Jim Davis, Ed Friedman, Bob Goe, Frank Gonzales, Manny Gould, Bill Hajee, Ken Hultgren, Tom McDonald, Dan Mills, Chic Otterstrom, Amby Paliwoda, Manny Perez, Virgil Ross, Ed Solomon, Russ von Neida, Ray Young, Rudy Zamora

Season 2[edit]

  • Direction: Gerard Baldwin, Clyde Geronimi, George Singer, Marvin Woodward
  • Music: Hoyt Curtin
  • Head Writer: Bill Schnurr
  • Character Models: George Cannata Jr.
  • Production Supervision: Lew Irwin
  • Production Assistants: Henry Hof III, Ruth Kennedy, Armand Shaw
  • Film Editing: Hank Gotzenberg, George Mahana
  • Sound Engineer: Gil Arion
  • Inking & Painting: Connie Crawley
  • Storyboards: Tom Dagenais, Tom Henderson, Lee Mishkin, Irv Spector
  • Layout: Stan Green, Burt Freund, Don Jurwich, Tony Rivera, Sam Weiss
  • Animation: Bob Bentley, Ted Bonnicksen, Herm Cohen, Ed Friedman, Bob Goe, Manny Gould, Bill Hajik, Ken Hultgren, Fred Madison, Amby Paliwoda, George Rowley, Ed Solomon, John Walker, Rudy Zamora
  • Background: Erv Kaplan, Curt Perkins
  • Associate Producer: Rick Herland
  • Produced and Directed by Ed Graham Jr.



  1. ^ Webster, Andy (30 August 2007). "Trouble in Paradise? Call a Shaman, Hold the PlayStation". New York Times. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 

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