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George of the Jungle

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George of the Jungle
George of the Jungle
Genre Comedy
Format Animated Series
Created by Jay Ward
Bill Scott
Starring Bill Scott
Paul Frees
June Foray
Daws Butler
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 17
Production
Executive producer(s) Ponsonby Britt, O.B.E.
Jay Ward
Bill Scott
Running time 22 minutes (approx.)
Production company(s) Jay Ward Productions
Broadcast
Original channel ABC
First shown 1967
Original run September 9, 1967 – December 30, 1967
Status Ended
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George of the Jungle is an American animated series produced by Jay Ward and Bill Scott, who created The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. The character George was inspired by the legend of Tarzan and a cartoon characterization of George Eiferman (Mr. America, Mr. Universe, IFBB Hall of Famer) drawn by a cook on his mine sweeper in the Navy during WW2. It ran for 17 episodes on Saturday mornings from September 9 to December 30, 1967, on the American TV network ABC. The half-hour program was distributed for many years by Worldvision Enterprises, currently part of CBS Television Distribution.

The series later appeared in reruns on Cartoon Network from 1995 to 1997.

Overview

Each episode features three segments in the form of three unrelated cartoons: George of the Jungle, Tom Slick, and Super Chicken.

Unlike previous Ward series, the animation production was done in Hollywood using veteran animators Phil Duncan, Rod Scribner, and Rudy Zamora, among others. Each segment's theme song was written by the team of Stan Worth and Sheldon Allman, though the cartoons themselves had little or no music scoring, as with Bullwinkle. Ward mainstays Bill Scott, June Foray, Paul Frees, and Daws Butler provided most of the character voices over all three segments.

The cartoons are technically more advanced than the crude animation in Ward's earlier series, which originated from a Mexican studio sponsored by Ward. He was so pleased with George of the Jungle that he allowed production to go over-budget, which resulted in considerable financial loss, ultimately limiting the series to 17 episodes.

Segments

George of the Jungle

The title segment, George of the Jungle, is a parody of the popular Tarzan stories of Edgar Rice Burroughs. George (voiced by Bill Scott), is a dim-witted but big-hearted "ape man" who is always called upon by District Commissioner Alistair (voiced by Paul Frees) to save inhabitants of the jungle from various threats.

In the opening title, George is depicted swinging on vines, repeatedly slamming face-first into trees or other obstacles even as theme-song singers warn him to "watch out for that tree!" Another running gag is that George keeps forgetting that he lives in a treehouse, falling to the ground every time he leaves home.

George's "beloved mate" is Ursula (voiced by June Foray), a Jane-like character far brighter than George, whom George refers to as "Fella." (Thus the appearance of the dancing "twins" Fella and Ursula in the end titles.) George's closest friend is an ape named Ape (voiced by Paul Frees impersonating Ronald Colman) who like Ursula is far more intelligent than George. George has a pet elephant named Shep, who behaves like a lap dog or, as George refers to him, a "great big peanut-lovin' poochie," and who George thinks is a dog. Also of note is the Tooky Tooky (or Tookie Tookie) bird famous for his call: "Ah ah ee ee tooky tooky."

George's two most frequent foes are a pair of hunters named "Tiger" Titherage and "Weevil" Plumtree (voiced by Daws Butler and Paul Frees). "Tiger" Titherage, the taller of the two, wears a pith helmet and khakis and has a pencil moustache; while "Weevil" Plumtree talks like a pirate ("Arr!") and wears a white t-shirt and shorts with a hat. Another one of the George's enemies is a mad scientist named Dr. Chicago (voiced by Daws Butler)

Tom Slick

Tom Slick features the title character (voiced by Bill Scott), a racecar driver who competes in races with his trusty vehicle, the Thunderbolt Greaseslapper. He is accompanied by his girlfriend, Marigold (voiced by June Foray), and his elderly mechanic, Gertie Growler (also voiced by Bill Scott). Tom's chief antagonists are Baron Otto Matic (voiced by Paul Frees) and his lackey, Clutcher (voiced by Daws Butler), whom the Baron often hits across the head with a monkey wrench.

Super Chicken

Super Chicken features the title character (voiced by Bill Scott), a superhero (who, in "real life", is wealthy Henry Cabot Henhouse III) with a lion sidekick named Fred (voiced by Paul Frees). Super Chicken usually begins their adventures with the battle cry, "Quick, Fred, to the Super Coop," and when Fred comments on his latest injury, responds with a variation of the theme, "You knew the job was dangerous when you took it." Following his own mistakes, Super Chicken remarks, "I'm glad no one was here to see that!"

Episodes

Episode 1

  • "The Sultan's Pearl"
  • "The Zipper"
  • "The Bigg Race"

Episode 2

  • "The Malady Lingers On"
  • "One of our States is Missing"
  • "Monster Rally"

Episode 3

  • "Ungawa the Gorilla God"
  • "The Oyster"
  • "Snow What"

Episode 4

  • "Oo-oo Birds of a Feather"
  • "Wild Ralph Hiccup"
  • "Send In a Sub"

Episode 5

  • "Monkey Business"
  • "The Elephant Spreader"
  • "I Was Railroaded"

Episode 6

  • "The Desperate Showers"
  • "Rotten Hood"
  • "The Cupp Cup Race"

Episode 7

  • "Little Scissor"
  • "The Easter Bunny"
  • "The Great Balloon Race"

Episode 8

  • "Next Time, Take the Train"
  • "The Geezer"
  • "Dranko the Dragster"

Episode 9

  • "The Trouble I've Seed"
  • "The Noodle"
  • "Overstocked"

Episode 10

  • "Big Flop at the Big Top"
  • "Salvador Rag Dolly"
  • "Sneaky Sheik"

Episode 11

  • "Rescue is My Business"
  • "Merlin Brando"
  • "The Apple-less Indian 500"

Episode 12

  • "Dr. Schpritzer, I Presume?"
  • "The Fat Man"
  • "Double Cross Country Race"

Episode 13

  • "Chi Chi Dog"
  • "Briggs Bad Wolf"
  • "Cheap Skate Board Derby"

Episode 14

  • "Treasure of Sarah Madre"
  • "The Laundry Man"
  • "Irish Cheapstakes"

Episode 15

  • "A Man For All Hunting Seasons"
  • "The Muscle"
  • "The Badyear Blimp"

Episode 16

  • "The Forest's Prime Evil"
  • "Dr. Gizmo"
  • "Swamp Buggy Race"

Episode 17

  • "Kings Back-to-Back"
  • "The Wild Hair"
  • "Mack Buster Trophy"

DVD Release

On February 12, 2008, Classic Media released a complete collection of the 1967 series, which included as a bonus feature the original pilot cartoons for both George of the Jungle and Super Chicken.

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