The Hoober-Bloob Highway
|The Hoober-Bloob Highway|
|Written by||Dr. Seuss|
|Directed by||Alan Zaslove|
|Voices of||Bob Holt
|Country of origin||United States|
|Executive producer(s)||David H. DePatie|
Ted Geisel (characters)
|Running time||24 mins.|
|Production company(s)||The Cat in the Hat Productions
|Original release||February 19, 1975|
The Hoober-Bloob Highway is an animated musical special written by Dr. Seuss and produced by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises for CBS in 1975. The special is a musical, and features several songs written by Dr. Seuss and composed by Dean Elliott.
Mr. Hoober-Bloob, a dispatcher of newborn children from some location in space, is preparing to send a new child down his highway to Earth, but first, he gives the child a chance to decide for himself whether he wants the life of a human. Mr. Hoober-Bloob shows him the realistic problems and pleasures that people face in life. The story suggests that while things may be pretty bad, there's always something to be thankful for.
The titular highway is a long and winding road that leads to Earth from an area high up in space where newborn babies come from. The plot revolves around a newborn child, referred to as "Bub", as he tries to decide what he wants out of its life, or even if he wants to go at all, before being sent down the Hoober-Bloob Highway to be born.
Mr. Hoober-Bloob, with the help of a lute with arms and legs that often breaks into fast-paced solos (which annoys Mr. Hoober-Bloob), explains to the child what to expect in human life. His explanations are often accompanied by musical vignettes of the baby, depicted as a pre-adolescent boy, in an unusual situation that accompanies the song (such as being placed in front of a long and quickly scrolling tape with checkboxes on it and being expected to check the boxes quickly in the "Answer Yes or No" segment). Eventually, the baby makes the decision to depart for the world below, and Mr. Hoober-Bloob excitedly pushes his carriage down the Hoober-Bloob Highway at last.
- Bob Holt - Mr. Hoober-Bloob
- Hal Smith - Additional voices
- Mel Blanc - Bub, Additional voices
- Pat Woodell - Additional voices
- Julie Bennett - Additional voices
- Lennie Weinrib - Additional voices
- Stan Freberg - Additional voices
- Don Messick - Additional voices
- June Foray - Additional voices
- Bill Scott - Additional voices
- Animation: Bob Richardson, Don Williams, Norm McCabe, Warren Batchelder, Nelson Shin, Bob Matz, Bob Bemiller, Brenda Banks, Bob Bransford, Ruth Kissane, John Freeman
- Backgrounds: Richard H. Thomas, Gloria Wood
- Layout: Dick Ung
- Sequence Director: Gerry Chiniquy
- In Charge Of Production: Lee Gunther
- Camera: John Burton, Jr., Hogan-Lee Images
- Film Editing: Rick Steward
- Music by: Dean Elliott
- Teleplay & Lyrics by: Dr. Seuss
- Production Design by: Roy Morita
- Storyboard by: Rosemary O'Connor, Chris Jenkyns
- Directed by: Alan Zaslove
- Executive Producer: David H. DePatie
- Producer by: Ted Geisel and Friz Freleng
- This the first DFE Dr. Seuss special not to have been based on any of Geisel's books.
- This is the last Dr. Seuss special to be aired on CBS.
- This is the last special to be produced by Cat in the Hat Productions and to feature the short version of the 1971-1975 Cat in the Hat Productions logo.
- This version is less of a traditional version of a Dr. Seuss story. In almost all scenes, the characters do not have horseshoe-shaped eye pupils. The color, layouts, and backgrounds are more elaborate and abstract compared to The Cat In The Hat, The Lorax, and Dr. Seuss on the Loose, all of which literally resemble a fully colored, fully animated Dr. Seuss book. The specials that followed this one used the same production design as The Hoober-Bloob Highway, but returned to using traditional horseshoe-shaped pupils for the characters.
- While an original story, the special does borrow elements from other Dr. Seuss books, such as If I Ran the Zoo, Scrambled Eggs Super!, Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?, On Beyond Zebra! and Fox in Socks. In another note, Mr. Hoober-Bloob himself also resembles Seuss's illustration of the Doorman from I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew.
- There is a major change in production staff after this special. The last of Chuck Jones's production staff (from MGM Animation/Visual Arts) such as Dean Elliott and Maurice Noble did not work on any more Dr. Seuss stories.
- This is also the last Dr. Seuss special to feature music from Dean Elliott. He was replaced by Joe Raposo.
The Hoober-Bloob Highway was nominated for a Primetime Emmy, but it lost out to Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus. Today, it is one of the lesser-known Dr. Seuss animated specials, having not been a book adaptation. It was given limited release on VHS, and can also be found alongside the VHS release of The Cat in the Hat and the VHS and DVD releases of The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat. It is to be included as a bonus special on the upcoming Blu-ray release of The Cat in the Hat.
The Hoober-Bloob Highway features a number of songs, centered on the decisions the newborn must make about his future life. All the lyrics are written by Dr. Seuss, all music by Dean Elliott.
- The Hoober-Bloob Highway
- ...And That's the Way It Is, Bub
- West Watch-A-Ka-Tella
- This Is Your Life
- Among the Daisies
- That's Just the Beginning
- Things You Have to Know
- I Know the Way You Feel, Bub
- On the Other Hand, Though
- It's Fun to be a Human
- What Do You Do?
- Answer Yes or No
- You're a Human
The soundtrack was referenced by rapper Danny! through a track titled "This Is Your Life (In West Watch-A-Ka-Tella) (instrumental)" off of his album Where Is Danny? The Japanese version of this record, released via Interscope Records, replaces the aforementioned track with another instrumental titled "...And That's the Way It Is, Bub", also in reference to the soundtrack.