The Secret Lives of Waldo Kitty
|The Secret Lives of Waldo Kitty|
|Directed by||Hal Sutherland|
|Creative director(s)||Don Christensen|
|Voices of||Howard Morris
|Theme music composer||Jackie Mills
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Running time||30 min.|
|Original release||September 6 – November 29, 1975|
The Secret Lives of Waldo Kitty is a children's television series alternating animation and live footage segments. The series took the concept of James Thurber's short story The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and parodied it with anthropomorphised dogs and cats. The show did not last long; it ran into trouble with the Thurber estate, as it was not authorized by them.
Waldo Kitty, an orange and white bicolor cat, and his girlfriend Felicia, a white Persian, were cats who were constantly bullied by the bulldog, Tyrone. Each episode featured wraparound live-action segments of two cats and a bulldog playing the parts, with voiceovers. Waldo or Felicia (or both) would inevitably be bullied by Tyrone, inducing Waldo to begin wishing he was a famous character, and the scene would shift to a cartoon version of whichever character he wished to be, with Felicia appearing as the appropriate love-interest, and Tyrone appearing as the villain. In the animated stories, Tyrone was consistently flanked by three henchmen dogs: a large, fat Sheepdog, a tall, thin Irish Setter-like hound, and a diminutive Cocker Spaniel, whose voice was a caricature of Peter Lorre. Although they were constantly by Tyrone's side in the animated story, they never made any appearances in the live-action story. On the other hand, a small sparrow, a mutual friend of both Waldo and Felicia's, would often appear in the animated sequences, usually as Waldo's sidekick (Such as in the Cat Man stories, in which he was Cat Man's sidekick "Sparrow" - a parody of Robin).
At the conclusion of the animated segment, the show would return to the live-action, in which Waldo, now inspired with renewed courage and confidence thanks to the animated story, would then stand up to the bullying Tyrone. Not his physical equal in any way, Waldo would use his wiles to goad Tyrone into chasing him, leading Tyrone into a trap that would result in Tyrone getting in serious trouble with his owners (either a hot-tempered man or woman, whose faces were never seen), and Tyrone would suffer the consequences, (i.e., spanked, locked inside the house, tethered to a tree, etc.). Now safe from Tyrone, Waldo and Felecia could relax without worry and have a laugh or two at Tyrone's predicament.
Pop culture references
These characters consisted of a variety of characters which spoofed various characters from pop-culture. Cat-Man and Sparrow were an obvious lampooning of Batman and Robin, as was Catzan of the Apes, spoofing Tarzan. Also spoofed was Robin Hood, where the feline was that hero of English yore, Robin Cat. Also parodied were The Lone Ranger ("The Lone Kitty") and Star Trek ("Cat Trek", with Captain Herc of the starship "Second-Prize"). (As it happens, Filmation had done or would eventually do straight adaptations of all of these properties except Robin Hood.) A running gag of this series was the arch-villain's (Tyrone's) response to Waldo's character: "Seize him!", to which his henchman would reply, "We sees him, we sees him. What of it?"
Thirteen animated 30-minute installments were produced for the series, which aired on NBC Saturday morning between September 6, 1975 and September 4, 1976. According to Animation by Filmation authors Michael Swanigan and Darryl McNeil, Filmation did not secure the rights to use the title or characters from Thurber's estate, which sued, and forced a title change to The New Adventures of Waldo Kitty for syndication as part of The Groovie Goolies and Friends package. In this version, the title was not only changed, but the live-action wraparounds were removed as well.
|No.||Title||Original air date|
|1||"Cat Man"||September 6, 1975|
|2||"Catzan of the Apes"||September 13, 1975|
|3||"The Lone Kitty"||September 20, 1975|
|4||"Robin Cat"||September 27, 1975|
|5||"Cat Trek"||October 4, 1975|
|6||"Cat Man Meets the Poochquin"||October 11, 1975|
|7||"Catzan or Not Catzan"||October 18, 1975|
|8||"The Lone Kitty Rides Again"||October 25, 1975|
|9||"Sheriff of Sherwood"||November 1, 1975|
|10||"Cat Man Meets the Puzzler"||November 8, 1975|
|11||"Dr. Livingstone, I Presume?"||November 15, 1975|
|12||"Ping or Pongo"||November 22, 1975|
|13||"Chaw the Bullet"||November 29, 1975|
BCI Eclipse had a pair of releases planned for this cartoon, pairing it with a similar Filmation series, Fraidy Cat. However, chances of its release is unknown, as the company had since ceased operations.
- The Cat Pack: Waldo Kitty & Fraidy Cat Volume One
- The Cat Pack: Waldo Kitty & Fraidy Cat Volume Two
- Produced by: Lou Scheimer, Norm Prescott
- Written by: Bill Danch, Jim Ryan
- Creative Director: Don Christensen
- Animation Directors: Rudy Larriva, Bill Reed, Lou Zukor
- The Secret Lives of Waldo Kitty Based on an Idea by: Lorna Smith
- Animation Storyboard Supervision: Kay Wright
- Animation Storyboard: Sherman Labby, Paul Fennell, Mike O'Connor, Roy Wilson
- Art Director: Alberto de Mello
- Key Assistant: Mike Hazy
- Layout: Wendall Washier, George Goode, Mario Piluso, Wes Herschensohn, Tom Knowles, David West, Jim Fletcher, Martin Miller, Clark Haas, John Perry, Bob Kleine, Lorna Smith, Ken Leonard, Jim Willoughby, Carol Lundenberg
- Director of Color: Ervin L. Kaplan
- Background Artists: Tom O'Loughlin, Curt Perkins, Patricia Keppler, Rolly Oliva, Barbara Bendetto, Douglas Stevenson
- Animators: Bob Carr, Karen Peterson, Jesse Cosio, Casey Onaitis, Zeon Davush, Jack Ozrak, Otto Feuer, Bill Pratt, Ed Friedman, Virgil Raddatz, John W. Garling, Len Rogers, Don Ruch, Dick Hall, Don Schloat, Marsh Lamore, Larry Silverman, Fred Myers, Hank Smith, Larry Miller, Irv Spector, Tony Pabian, Dardo Velez, Ron Westlund
- Checking Supervision: Marion Turk
- Xerography Supervision: John Remmel
- Paint Supervision: Betty Brooks
- Camera Supervision: Bob Pope
- Camera: Thane Berti, Joe Ponticelle, F.T. Ziegler
- Pre-Production and Editorial Supervision: Joe Simon
- Film Editing: Doreen Dixon, Jim Blodgett
- Film Coordinator: June Gilham
- Music and Sound Effects: Horta-Mahana Corporation
- Color by: Technicolor
- Waldo Kitty Theme Written by: Jackie Mills, Joyce Taylor
- Background Music by: Jeff Michael, Yvette Blais
- Music Publisher: Shermley Music Co. A.S.C.A.P.
- Live-Action Segments by: Filmart
- Animals Supplied by: Frank Inn, Inc.
- (c)1975 Filmation Associates, Inc.
- The Secret Lives of Waldo Kitty at the Internet Movie Database
- The Secret Lives of Waldo Kitty at TV.com
- Entertainment Rights - The Adventures of Waldo Kitty
- The Secret Lives of Waldo Kitty at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on July 19, 2015.
- The Secret Lives of Waldo Kitty at the Big Cartoon DataBase