Beany and Cecil

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Beany and Cecil
GenreAnimation
Created byBob Clampett
Voices ofJim MacGeorge
Irv Shoemaker
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes26
Production
Running time30 minutes
Broadcast
Original channelABC
Picture formatAcademy ratio
Original runJanuary 6, 1962 – June 30, 1969
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Beany and Cecil
GenreAnimation
Created byBob Clampett
Voices ofJim MacGeorge
Irv Shoemaker
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes26
Production
Running time30 minutes
Broadcast
Original channelABC
Picture formatAcademy ratio
Original runJanuary 6, 1962 – June 30, 1969

Beany and Cecil first appeared as a hand puppet TV show in the late 40's created by Bob Clampett. It later became an animated cartoon series under the Warner Brothers aegis. The puppet show, entitled Time for Beany, originally aired in 1949, and the animated series first appeared in Matty's Funday Funnies in 1959, later renamed Matty's Funnies with Beany and Cecil and finally Beany and Cecil in the USA. Another season was produced in 1988. In its original form with hand puppets, the show conveyed a greater sense of personal communication than did the animated series that followed. The hand puppets were extensively marketed and sold well.

Originally created as a children's show, the genius of the creators and writers soon became evident and the show began attracting more adults than children. As Time For Beany, the entire family was crowded around the 6" (or so) television screen. The crux of Beany's success was the intermingling of current political issues and fiascos that appeared as thinly veiled plots easily recognizable as lampoons of current political issues or personalities. The Shakespearian asides given by Beany, Cecil and the rest of the cast were magnificent and often alluded to embarrassing public fiascos or personages, on which the adult audience immediately picked up.

Along with The Jetsons and The Flintstones it was one of the first three color television series on the ABC television network (the initial season, though, was originally shown in black and white, as ABC was unable to telecast color programs until September 1962).

History[edit]

Beany and Cecil was created by animator Bob Clampett[1] after he left Warner Bros., where he had been directing theatrical cartoon shorts. Clampett originated the idea for Cecil when he was a boy after seeing the top half of the dinosaur swimming from the water at the end of the 1925 film The Lost World.

Clampett originally created the series as a puppet show called Time for Beany,[2] which ran from February 28, 1949 to 1954. Time for Beany featured the talents of veteran voice actors Stan Freberg as Cecil and Dishonest John, and Daws Butler as Beany and Uncle Captain.

Clampett revived the series in animated form, though Freberg and Butler did not reprise their roles. On 11 October 1959, the animated show was introduced as Matty's Funday Funnies. named for "Matty Mattel" the animated spokesperson for its primary sponsor Mattel Toys. The program was later retitled The Beany and Cecil Show, airing prime time on Saturdays during the 1962 TV season, on ABC Television. The newer cartoons replaced the Famous Studios cartoons of Casper the Friendly Ghost and Little Audrey among others packaged under the previous said title of Matty's Funday Funnies.

After 1962, the 26 shows (including 78 cartoons) were repeated on Saturday mornings for the next five years. The cartoon featured Beany, a boy, and Cecil the Sea-Sick Sea Serpent embarking on a series of adventures, often to discover ancient civilizations and artifacts. These escapades were rife with cartoon slapstick and puns.

Prior to the animated series, but concurrent with the puppet show, Clampett created a comic-book series of Beany and Cecil adventures for Dell Comics. The artwork for this series of comics, running from 1951–54, was drawn by Jack Bradbury.

In 1988, the show was revived as The New Adventures of Beany and Cecil by DiC Entertainment. Only eight episodes were ever made, and only five episodes ever aired. This incarnation of the show was produced and directed by John Kricfalusi, who would later create The Ren and Stimpy Show, and made use of voices from Billy West, who also did voices for Ren and Stimpy.

Characters[edit]

Main characters[edit]

Minor characters[edit]

Music[edit]

One episode ("Beanyland") featured Tchaikovsky's instantly recognizable celesta piece, Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy, from The Nutcracker. Other famed pieces of the Nutcracker were used in the series as musical interludes such as the Chinese Dance and Dance of the Reed-Flutes. Many other well-known classical music pieces were featured in the show as well, including The William Tell Overture (in the episodes "Beanyland" and "The Phantom of the Horse Opera"), Ride of the Valkyries and Flight of the Bumblebee. Some of the background music was also recycled from Leave it to Beaver and some early Walter Lantz cartoons.

Influence[edit]

The AC/DC song "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" is titled after the business cards of character Dishonest John, which read "Dirty deeds done dirt cheap. Holidays, Sundays and special rates."

The puppet origins and the form of Cecil inspired the famous science fiction author Larry Niven to invent an important extraterrestrial race called Pierson's Puppeteer within his Known Space series of novels and short stories.[3] Beany and Cecil was also an inspiration for Joel Hodgson to create the show Mystery Science Theater 3000.[4]

The artists[edit]

The credits of the show did not show traditional job titles, but pictorial icons indicating their jobs. Bob Clampett's writing credit was indicated by a typewriter typing out the words "...by Bob Clampett", for instance.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Beany and Cecil at the Internet Movie Database
  2. ^ Beany and Cecil at the Internet Movie Database
  3. ^ As originally stated in "The Soft Weapon" and repeated in other Known Space works.
  4. ^ "20 Questions Only Joel Hodgson Can Answer about MST3K". Special Feature. Satellite News. January 1999. Archived from the original on 3 March 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-12. 


External links[edit]