Friday, April 25, 2014

Toon Legends: Ruff & Reddy (1957)

History tells us that Ruff & Reddy was Hanna-Barbera's 1st series after breaking away from MGM. The dog & cat combo appeared in primetime on NBC for 3 seasons (1957-60), and the serialized format of their adventures was duplicated by Jay Ward, not once but twice (Rocky & His Friends & Hoppity Hooper), and others, such as Cambria (Space Angel & Clutch Cargo).

Ruff (Don Messick, who also narrated) was the cat, and Reddy (Daws Butler, using the same voice he'd use for Huckleberry Hound) was a bulldog. Somehow, I had envisioned Reddy having a stronger, tougher voice, but what did I know?

My first exposure to Ruff & Reddy was a brief---and I do mean, brief---cable run in the late 80's-early 90's, well before the introduction of Cartoon Network. Most unenlightened types might think Ruff & Reddy was a rip-off of Rocky & His Friends, due largely to the serial format, but the truth is, Ruff & Reddy came first by 2 full years.

The fact that CN & Boomerang have repeatedly ignored the series should tell you something about the lack of interest in H-B's storied history at those networks. Their loss, as usual.

Here's the opener, "Planet Pirates":

No rating. I didn't see enough of these shorts back in the day to form a credible opinion.


magicdog said...

I knew of Ruff & Reddy but never saw them until their cartoons turned up online. I didn't know they were in a serialized format either.

It was particular strange to have Reddy speaking with Huckleberry Hound's voice - I agree that another VA should have been used. I think the first time I had seen them was on Yogi's Ark.

Trouble is they're so obscure now, they will unlikely get a reboot. Their adventures could still work since CN is so hot to use comedy shorts right now. It would give folks a break from T&J at least.

hobbyfan said...

Agreed. Either WB suits are so clueless when it comes to Ruff & Reddy or they just don't care.

I do have plans for them down the road over at Toon Zone, though.