King Leonardo the lion is the inept ruler of the land of Bongo Congo. Aided by the skunk Odie Colognie, Leonardo tried to stop the evil plans of Biggy Rat, who kept trying to install Leo's ...
See full summary »
King Leonardo the lion is the inept ruler of the land of Bongo Congo. Aided by the skunk Odie Colognie, Leonardo tried to stop the evil plans of Biggy Rat, who kept trying to install Leo's brother Itchy on the throne. Other short subject featured in this animated series included Tooter Turtle (a sort of reptilian Walter Mitty), who was granted wishes by Wizard the Lizard. The magic words "Drizzle Drazzle Druozzle Drome, time for this one to come home!" would bring Tooter back from his magic misadventures. Written by
Richard The Lion Hearted & brother, Prince John, done as a mid 20th Century Saturday Morning Animated Entry!
There are only just so many plots. As for this one, Jacob and Esau or Cain and Able would suffice.
The tradition continues, right down to present day "sophisticated" America. We know our kids are smarter than we were, learn more info faster and earlier in their lives than any previous generation. So why for do they still watch Saturdy Morning Cartoons?
Well, Schultz, we seem to be laboring under a delusion that intelligence level and maturity are the same thing. They are not. Even a bright kid, an extremely bright kid still has the emotional make-up of their child,which they are. Ergo, we should not expect them to behave like a (so called) "grown-up".* So, what I'm trying to tell you is at 14 years of age, this writer still saw many a Saturday Network animated series, some not so hot and having no appeal and some were excellent, with wide and varied age groups being able to enjoy the humor inherent in the 'adventure' story lines.
"KING LEONARDO AND HIS SHORT SUBJECTS"(1960) (aka just "KING LEONARDO") was the name given to the weekly half-hour that was shown on the NBC TV Network, Saturday morn, naturally. Like most of the typical cartoon half-hours, it was divided between 2 or 3 featured series. In the case of this "KING LEONARDO", there were three separate story lines shown of three different series.
Leading off, we would have an opening installment of the serialized "King and Odie". The featured characters King Leonardo, the Sovreign of the mythical Kingdom of Bongo-Congo. He was always being helped out of horrible situations by his Personal Valet, Odie Colognie. Leonardo. being King, is of course a Lion, and his servant with the perfumey sounding name is a Skunk, of course. The King is constantly finding himself the object of the 'Bad Guys', his treacherous, envious sibling, Itchy Brother. He is flea ridden with a scraggly looking Mane, and lacks any real intelligence of his own. He has a sort of 'Prince John to King Richard the Lion Hearted' relationship with his brother.
Itchy constantly and chronically covets his brother's throne as Ruler of Bongo-Congo, but, on his own lacks the drive, initiative and the smarts to hatch a plot and conduct a campaign against the King.
So, it is Itchy's cohort who is the plotter and driving force behind each and every plot against the Crown. His 'partner in crime is Biggy Rat, himself.
The second feature is "THE HUNTER" an Anthropomorphic Canine Detective character with a fondness for sounding a trumpet. The Hunter is a Southern Gentleman in the old tradition, with a deep, rich and somewhat slowly and deliberately elocuted voice. His perennial Arch Enemy is the Master Criminal known as 'The Fox', who, naturally, is one.
The 3rd Cartoon featured TOOTER TURTLE, who is always wanting to try his hand at a different occupation or walk of life. He may even wish for a different life in another age, such as being a Knight in the Middle Ages or at King Arthur's Camelot.
He would start out each adventure by paying a visit to MR. WIZARD, a Lizard who lived "down by the forest by a tall, tall tree", in a box. Mr. Wizard, who spoke with a distinctly Germanic Accent, would caution Tooter, and question the Turtle's desire to be whatever it was that week. After going through a few trials and tribulations, Tooter would always find himself in a very bad position and would call out the usual "HELP, MR. WIZARD!" With the recital of the Lizard's Magic Incantation, "DRIZZLE, DRAZZLE, DRAZZLE, DROME! TIME FOR THIS ONE TO COME HOME!" And Tooter would be magically returned to the wooden box Lizard house. And Mr. Wizard would always remind him that he should be content in being what he is by using some rhyme, which escapes the old memory at this moment.
This 3rd Cartoon would be followed with a second "KING and ODIE" installment of their serialized story.
The Show and the 3 Features in it, were the creation of W. Watts "Buck" Biggers, who would a few years later bring us "UNDER DOG"(1964-). The Companies were Leonardo Productions, Liason Productions and TOTAL Television, with the broadcast venue being NBC TV Network (1960-63).
The Voice Characterizations were done by a fine, crew of real, true Professionals, veterans of "Old Time Radio", all. We had former Narrator/Announcer of the SUPERMAN Radio Show, as well as the voice for Bluto in the Paramount Famous Studios POPEYE Cartoons, Jackson Beck. He provided voices for not only King Leonardo, but also an Edward G.Robinson-like Biggy Rat voice.Kenny Delmar ("Senator Claghorn" on THE FRED ALLEN Radio Show)did 'THE HUNTER'.Sandy Becker & Frank Milano apparently split time with Mr. Wizard the Lizard. Allen Swift gave us Odie Colognie, Itchy Brother and Tooter Turtle, with Ben Stone providing us with the Fox's audio. George S.Irving and Delo Slates gave various other voices.
Very much like the older "CRUSADER RABBIT", "ROCKY & BULLWINKLE" and their own later "UNDER DOG!", the production crew provided us with a half hour that could be enjoyed by the entire family, though on different levels.
And they had one of the funniest theme songs, both in coming on and in signing off. It is in itself a sort of parody of theme songs and really has to be heard to be appreciated. Please,don't ask me to sing it! Please!
NOTE: * In our household, we were blessed with two very bright girls. And when they were say in the 3rd Grade, with reading levels and math skills at a 9th grade levels, they still played with dolls and would play house. Their intelligence should not deprive them of a childhood. ANOTHER good example is our 42nd President of the United States of America. A most likable guy, possessed a very high I.Q.; but was very Immature, indeed.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?