The sixth Hanna-Barbera syndicated cartoon after their departure from MGM starred Peter Potamus (a purple hippopotamus), and his traveling companion So-So (a monkey), who fly back and forth... See full summary »
The sixth Hanna-Barbera syndicated cartoon after their departure from MGM starred Peter Potamus (a purple hippopotamus), and his traveling companion So-So (a monkey), who fly back and forth through time in a balloon participating in historic events. Whenever they get into serious enough trouble, as they do in every episode, Peter defeats his enemies with his trademark "Hippo Hurricane Hollar." Other cartoon shorts include, "Breezly and Sneely," and "Yippee, Yappee, and Yahooey." Written by
Daniel Timothy Dey
The Peter Potamus set must stand as the biggest sign of what was wrong with HB; the creativity was waning, but there was still something there.
"We've done too many dogs and bears and cats! Think of something else!" A hippo? That says creative? Appealing to kids? I've heard Peter Potamus was based on Joe E. Ross, like Doggy Daddy is Jimmy Durante or Wally Gator is Ed Wynn. I don't see it with Potamus and Ross.
As Yogi is grouped with Yakkee Doodle and Snaggle Puss, Huckleberry Hound is with Mr. Jinx and Hokey Wolf, Quickdraw McGraw is with Augie Doggy and Super Snooper, so does Peter Potamus have his compadres.
The second cartoon is Breezly Bruin and Sneezly, a green seal. Breezly is a polar bear. Breezly is constantly trying to get into an Alaskan army base for the provisions. Sneezly (voiced by Mel Blanc) is always sneezing.
Weak. Breezly and Sneezly are nothing more than Yogi and Booboo in different clothes. There is even a colonel trying to keep these two out of the base, reversed Ranger Smith.
Actually, the army base has its moments, such as a dance in which white soldiers are dancing with native girls. The awareness is there, trying to sort out what is wrong and what is okay.
The third cartoon (perhaps one of the worst HB efforts I have ever seen) is Yippee, Yappee and Yahooey. Three dogs as the musketeers who work for a king, voiced by Hal Smith (Otis Campbell from Mayberry).
Did Huck and Augie not do enough for dogs? The gimmick of these three is to yell their names when they charge.
Rarely heard in these cartoons, Doug Young as the first dog, Yippee, who also gets the most dialogue, is refreshing to hear. He almost has a much more intelligent Goofy sound.
As awful as the third dog's voice (by Daws Butler) might be, he does get the funniest lines, but that isn't saying much. He has the same voice that Curly Joe would have in the Scooby Doo-3 STooges movies. Thankfully, Butler did this voice to the absolute minimum.
But Peter Potamus. The hippo.
Character-wise, he is still a lame wise-acre, failing to deliver truly funny lines steadily (even Breezly Bruin and Yappee got a winner at least once), but the premise of the cartoon is a unique one.
Peter Potamus and his sidekick, So-so the monkey (who should have been the star) ride in a boat that has a balloon attached to it and they fly through time.
In "Rebel Rumble" Peter and So-so are dressed as redcoats in the revolutionary war and come face to face with a non-HB animated George Washington (no bulb nose, overbite or 5 o'clock shadow).
They flee the general and come back to the present. "I'm glad we won't have to face General Washington," Pete says, and they fly into Mt. Rushmore.
In "Lion Around" the episode ends with the scaredy lion hiding in their boat.
In "Kooky Spook" they have a ghost with them at the end.
Time traveling and picking up acquaintances. It all looked like Doctor Who.
The flying boat of course looks like images from Little Nemo in Slumberland. It was all very imaginative.
But Peter didn't work. He didn't connect. Maybe had it been the kids from Shazzan doing this, or a Jonny Quest set, the cartoon would be an undeniable classic.
Now all Peter stands as is an odd watch from decades past.
But certainly not a classic.
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