Saturday, May 27, 2017

Rare Treats: The pilot for George of the Jungle (1967)

George of the Jungle marks his 50th anniversary this year. A heretofore unseen pilot episode has recently been uncovered, which offers a couple of subtle differences.

First, Hans Conreid is the narrator, instead of Paul Frees. Second, George's mate, Ursula (June Foray), is named Jane, just like Tarzan's wife, in the pilot. Third, George (Bill Scott) is even more of an imbecile than we'd subsequently see. Not only that, but Ape (Frees) is a little more gullible.

Finally, the villains of the piece may not have been seen during the series proper, specifically, a greedy hunter (Frees, impersonating Humphrey Bogart) and his sidekick (Foray). The plot surrounds the fact that Shep, George's pet elephant, trumpets in E-Flat, as opposed to other elephants doing so in F-Sharp, as Conreid explains in the narrative. And, yeah, the iconic theme song is nowhere to be found. Sheldon Allman & Stan Worth would later write the famous theme.



The pilots for the back-up features, Super Chicken & Tom Slick, will be up soon.

Rating: B-.

2 comments:

Steven Dolce said...

I did not grow up with this cartoon (since I was born in 1994), but I did see the 1997 live-action Disney movie.

hobbyfan said...

Thanks for telling me I've got 31 years on you, Steve.

I've seen the '97 movie, too, but not the Direct-to-Video sequel that followed (w/o Brendan Fraser). Poor translation of source material.