Pontoffel Pock, Where Are You?
|Pontoffel Pock, Where Are You?|
|Written by||Dr. Seuss|
|Directed by||Gerard Baldwin|
|Country of origin||United States|
David H. DePatie|
|Production company(s)||DePatie–Freleng Enterprises|
|Original release||May 2, 1980|
Pontoffel Pock, Where Are You? (titled Pontoffel Pock & His Magic Piano for the sing-a-long videocasette release) is an animated musical television special written by Dr. Seuss, directed by Gerard Baldwin, produced by DePatie–Freleng Enterprises, completed in 1979 and first aired on ABC on May 2, 1980. This was one of the final cartoons done at DePatie–Freleng as the studio would be sold to Marvel Comics and become Marvel Productions in 1981. The songs are by Joe Raposo.
Pontoffel Pock confuses the "Pullum" and "Pushum" controls for a device that places pickles into jars, wreaking havoc at the dill pickle factory and prompting the owner to deny him of work. Now having been denied of a job, Pontoffel returns alone to his dilapidated house and wishes that he could "get away from it all". He is immediately visited by McGillicuddy, a representative of the "Amalgamated Do-Gooding Fairies" who says: "Pontoffel Pock, your wish has been heard, and your wish has been granted." McGillicuddy and his fairy associates, Humboldt and Higby (and later on, Hoikendorf), give him a magical flying piano that takes him anywhere in the world. To do so, Pontoffel Pock plays these six very simple notes (C, C, C, D, D#, E) and then chooses a destination by pressing one of many differently-colored buttons, which fly him to his destination. The first place he goes to is Groogen (based on Switzerland).
Pontoffel recklessly flies through Groogen, scaring the locals ("Groogenites") out of their wits and causing a flugelhorn to get damaged. In a measure of self-defense, he is attacked by their "Goomy Gun", which fires multi-colored paint, that turns his piano yellow and causes its motor to lose power. He plummets downward, but at the last second Pontoffel "twitches the Homing Pigeon Switch" that sends him and the piano home. When he gets home, McGillicuddy at first attempts to take the piano back for Pontoffel's failure, calling him a "show-off" and a "smart-aleck", but eventually relents and gives Pontoffel a second chance.
The piano's next destination is Casbahmopolis (based on The Middle East), where Pontoffel falls in love with a girl named Neefa Feefa, a famous "eyeball dancer" who dislikes her job of dancing for the King and, like Pontoffel, wants to "get away from it all". He infiltrates the King's palace to rescue her and is pursued and surrounded by the palace guards, one of whom breaks the Homing Pigeon Switch such that Pontoffel cannot take Neefa Feefa home with him. When he decides to travel somewhere else, he loses control of the piano and Neefa Feefa slips off into the guards' clutches. Having lost his sense of direction, Pontoffel starts pushing random buttons, sending him to several different places (which are based on many real places such as the North Pole, the Congo region, Spain, Waikiki, Africa, Japan, and others, including Seuss's birthplace of Springfield, Massachusetts) in the hope of returning to her.
Meanwhile, McGillicuddy gets worried, having not heard from Pontoffel in a long time, so he enlists the help of all of his fairy associates to fly all over the world, looking for him by song: "Pontoffel Pock, Where The Heck Are You?" Finally remembering the right button, Pontoffel goes straight to Neefa Feefa, only to crash-land into the tower where she is being kept prisoner and destroy the piano. Neefa Feefa voices a wish to "get away from it all", just as Pontoffel had earlier, which comes to the attention of the fairies who appear to grant her wish. They are escorted home together, and for proving himself, Pontoffel is somehow hired at the pickle factory, along with Neefa Feefa. Outside, a rainbow appears as the Fairies fly the worn-out piano away.
- Ken Lundie - Higby
- Joe Raposo - Gil Gickler / Additional voices
- Wayne Morton - Pontoffel Pock
- Hal Smith - McGillicuddy / Good Fairy-in-Chief
- Sue Allen - Neefa Feefa
- Don Messick - Humboldt
- "Pull on the Pullum" - Joe Raposo and Chorus
- "I Had Failed" - Wayne Morton and Chorus
- "The House that My Family Had Left Me" - Wayne Morton (To the tune of My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean)
- "This Wondrous Piano" - Hal Smith
- "Welcome to Groogen" - Chorus
- "I'm Flying Free" - Wayne Morton
- "Optic Coptic (AKA The Eyes Song)" - Sue Allen
- "This Wondrous Piano (Reprise)" - Wayne Morton
- "Pontoffel Pock, Where the Heck Are You?" - Hal Smith and Sue Allen
- "Pull On the Pullum (Reprise)" - Joe Raposo, Wayne Morton, Sue Allen and Chorus