Matty's Funnies with Beany and Cecil (TV Series 1959–1962) Poster

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"I'm comin' Beany boy!"
jonesy74-126 September 2005
This cartoon was developed from a local t.v. puppet show that aired in Los Angeles years before by Bob Clampett of Warner Brothers fame. It consisted of the adventures of a ship led by Captain Huffenpuff and his motley crew of Beany (a young boy wearing a - you guessed it - beanie - a plastic hat called a "Beanie-Copter" actually was marketed from this series by a toy company - Mattel?), a crow who resided in the crow's nest of the ship - he was rarely ever featured in the series and Cecil, billed as Cecil the Seasick Sea Serpent. Cecil didn't ride on the ship - he swam along with Beany and the Captain wherever they went. Cecil, or Cece (Sees), as Beany called him, basically had a long neck sticking out of the water and you never saw what was below the waterline, which prompted audiences to muse, "Did he have legs and feet, or was there just more neck?" Huffenpuff was essentially a coward who excused himself regularly to skulk off to his cabin whenever danger threatened. Beany was an overly sunny little blond guy with an annoying chuckle and Cecil (basically, the star of the show) provided the comedy relief with his husky, dopey, gravelly voice.

The antagonist was a crook-nosed baddie in a black cape-and-hat named Dishonest John, who, whenever he showed up in an episode, sat on the sidelines and tossed monkey-wrenches into whatever the crew's objective was. Many a child on a playground during this time would utter Dishonest John's signature dastardly laugh when plotting a foul deed against a playmate - "NYAH ah AAAAH!" D.J., as he was referred to by Cecil, had a voice reminiscent of Hans Conried, the voice of Captain Hook from Disney's animated Peter Pan, however, the voice was supplied by another actor entirely.

The various episodes placed the crew in plots such as discovering the dreaded Boo Birds, ghostly birds with a penchant for mischief directed toward our heroes, encountering the giant gorilla, "Ping Pong" and also, seeking to capture the "Wild Man," a bongo-playing beatnik artist in a leopard skin whose voice was supplied by Scatman Carothers ("Wild, man, wild!" "Don' bug me, man. Dooon' bug me!").

Probably the best episode out of the entire series was one where the crew goes to the moon to start a theme park called "Beanyland." As they travel through space, Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" plays along with the starlight backdrop. This cartoon was created shortly after Disneyland's debut and definite fun was poked at it (especially with the mention of where they would place a "Darned Old Duck Pond"). Captain Huffenpuff would rise into the air, a la Tinkerbell, and wave a wand issuing sparkles that would cause the park to raise magically from the surface of the moon. The resemblance to Disneyland was obvious.

There were puns aplenty in this series. It was very, very juvenile in one sense, yet packed jokes that only adults could get. There was lots of lampooning of famous characters which included, of all people, a Keely Smith-type character in the "Vegas" episode. Another episode included a sawfish named "Jack the Knife" who would break into a rendition of a song that sounded all too much like Bobby Darin's "Mack the Knife," finger-snapping and all.

I loved this series - until it aired too long on Saturday morning. I could practically recite the dialog from memory. Still, the series remains a pleasant memory from my childhood.
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I remember Beany & Cecil, but who is Matty?
paskuniag7 September 2001
"Beany & Cecil" first aired on Sunday mornings nearly forty years ago (!). Their major sponsor was Mattel toys, whose icon at the time was a young animated boy named Matty, hence the name of the show (there was no sign of Matty when the series was brought back for a short run on cable about six years ago). I seem to remember Matty as having a crown on his head while he repeated the company slogan, "You can tell it's Mattel- it's swell!"
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10/10
Animated Anarchy (for television)
Seamus28297 October 2008
Although I wasn't even born yet when this series was first aired in the late 1950's, I got to finally see it when it was briefly revived in the early 1990's (I had read about it from a film collector's publication, where episodes were made available in the old 16mm format,and that one of the original directors/animation supervisors was none other than the great Bob Clampett,of many a Bugs Bunny short). Although the animation style was carried out on a much smaller budget than most of the animated shorts released by the major studios,it more than made up in the humour department (some of the jokes would have for certain gone right over the heads of most young children at the time). One of my favorite segments was the Beany & Cecil shorts (most of which were directed by Clampett). Other segments varied from so,so (Casper the friendly ghost was a concept that got really old fast),to pretty damned funny (Baby Huey---a gigantic duck that dressed like a baby & acted like an inbred idiot). This series hasn't got much exposure since the early 1990's, so it's safe to assume it's now locked away in some film studio vault & moldering away with time---only to be yet,another one of the forgotten aspects of animation.
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6/10
Harvey Comics breaks into the Electronic Media
redryan6424 August 2015
WE RECALL THIS series as an amalgam of cartoon series that had been produced and released theatrically by Paramount Pictures' FAMOUS STUDIOS animation unit. The characters included CASPER THE FRIENDLY GHOST, HERMAN & CATNIP, LITTLE AUDREY, BUZZIE THE FUNNY CROW and BABY HUEY.

THE RIGHTS TO the character ass well as the existing cartoons were purchased by HARVEY COMICS PUBLICATIONS in 1959. Harvey Comics had been publishing the CASPER Comic Books and had designs on moving their media sphere of influence into kiddie oriented network television.

THE RESULTING SERIES on ABC TV was titled MATTY'S FUNDAY FUNNIES and featured the above mentioned characters shorts showcased on the program; which was broadcast on Sunday afternoons. The name of "MATTY" in the show's title refers to its sponsor, MATTELL TOYS; with the character of "Matty" was strictly for being a sort of Master of Ceremonies of the opening credits. nothing more, nothing less.*

NEWLY DRAWN TITLE cards and closing fade out title all read HARVEYTOONS. By utilizing a sort of Jack-in-the Box rising character displaying a sign that said so, the likes of Casper, Audrey, Baby Huey, Buzzie and Herman & Catnip all were proclaimed to the world as having been moved from the Paramount Pictures' NOVELTOONS to Harvey; both on the screen and in the pages of Harvey Comics joke-books.**

IN ADDITION TO these myriad of animation characters, the series also introduced the animated adventures of Bob Clampett's BEANY & CECIL; which eventually did crowd all else out and take over the show.***

NOTE * In much the same manner, Hanna-Barbera's HUCKLEBERRY HOUND Show had its opening centering on the animated Rooster from the Kellogg's Corn Flakes box; who introduced Huck, Yogi Bear and Pixie & Dixie and Mr. Jynx. Obviously, Kellogg's was its sponsor in syndication.

NOTE ** This was the equivalence of the custom of having a traded baseball player suiting up in the uniform of his new club.

NOTE: *** Mr. Clampett's character originated on the live action puppet show, TIME FOR BEANY (1949-54).
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