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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
The episodes of HUCKLEBERRY HOUND that still air on Boomerang (and are available on DVD) are classic late-1950s cartoons that were among the first actually made for television (as opposed to movie shorts). Every episode includes three cartoons: one featuring Huckleberry himself (voiced by Daws Butler), one with cat Mr. Jinks and mice Dixie and Pixie, and one starring a rotating cast of other Hanna-Barbera characters like Hokey Wolf and Yogi Bear.
Is it any good?
These cartoons were much loved by children when they were first released, and they've lived on ever since thanks to reruns. But watching them today, particularly with a young child, you have to wonder why. While Huckleberry's appeal is clear -- he's far more dangerous than he looks or sounds, and his unassuming ways and Southern drawl hide the tough character that every child likes to imagine he or she is -- the situations he finds himself in (the Foreign Legion, dogcatcher, mailman) tend to be sophisticated rather than funny. Although the action makes kids laugh, there's definitely a pause as they struggle to grasp the set-up.
Kids who are already into classic cartoons will probably like Huckleberry, and in the end it's not much different than the original Bugs Bunny, Tom and Jerry, or even Mickey Mouse. Guns are prevalent, fist fights common, and every cigar explodes -- but that's 'toon life.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why these cartoons and characters lack the lighthearted feel of the Looney Tunes, which are otherwise similar and come from about the same era. Why is Bugs more appealing than Huckleberry? Is it the art -- which was certainly smoother in the Warner Brothers studio -- or is it something else? How is this show different from today's cartoons?