Western Animation: Beany And Cecil
A classic television cartoon series produced and directed by former Looney Tunes
director Bob Clampett
, Beany and Cecil
covers the escapades of an adventurous boy named Beany, and his friend, a sea-sick serpent named Cecil, as they get into all sorts of trouble across the world with Beany's treasure-hunting Uncle Huffenpuff and their enemy, Dishonest John.
The show was relatively short lived (only 26 episodes on ABC
, all broadcast in 1962) but has gained a healthy cult following over the years. The Clampett family has also released the entire series on two DVD collections, packed with plenty of supplementary material, including an ultra-rare short Clampett made for Republic Pictures!
Beany and Cecil also has one other quirk which almost never happens in media. The listed copyright
owner of the cartoons is not some corporate entity or animation company, but Bob Clampett
personally. Individuals almost never get to own the rights to their creations because they're employees and thus it's a work for hire or they often incorporate their own company and have it own their work for tax reasons.
A revival of the series was attempted in the late 1980s by Bob's family and John Kricfalusi
, but promptly crumbled following creative differences between Kricfalusi and the editors. The series was quickly cancelled after only 5 episodes had aired.
Recently, the Clampett family has set up a new website
for the series, as well as a Youtube Channel
and Facebook page
. They are also releasing an updated version of the first DVD collection.
Tropes This Series Uses:
- Absentee Actor: None of the main characters appear in "There's No Such Thing as a Sea Serpent", a Musical Episode featuring a one-time character named Snorky.
- This is reflected in the opening title. Rather than singing "Now here's Beany and Cecil in..." it's altered to have it sung "Now it's Snorking Snorkle in..."
- Big Ball of Violence: In "DJ's Disappearing Act" a huge fight breaks out because Dishonest John had stolen a rare diamond, Uncle Captain asks Cecil, "Do you know what this is?" and Cecil responds, "The biggest fight cloud in the history of Saturday morning cartoons?"
- Big Friendly Sea Serpent: Cecil. Almost every episode has at least one moment of him licking Beany's face.
- Brains and Brawn: Beany and Cecil, respectively.
- Cartoon Bomb: Dishonest John comes across one of these and attempts to literally defuse it. It doesn't work.
Dishonest John: [Removes the lit fuse and tosses away the bomb itself] You've got to get up pretty early in the morning to put one over on ol' D.J.! [The fuse explodes, leaving John battered and singed] Shake hands with a late sleeper.
- Catch Phrase: "I'm comin', Beany-boy!"
- Come Out, Come Out, Whatever You Are: Greenie the Meanie Genie, who was anything but mean. He was drunk.
- Cut Short: The revival only lasted five episodes, with three more left unaired.
- The Dark Age of Animation
- Dastardly Whiplash: Dishonest John
- Deranged Animation: While not quite up there with Clampett's previous work like Porky in Wackyland and The Great Piggy Bank Robbery, this is still a really, really bizarre show at times.
- Dinner Deformation: Convict Dishonest John gets a birthday cake full of tools - but the guard makes him eat it all up in front of him. Cue wrench, hammer, and saw-shaped lumps in his throat dropping into his gut with appropriate tool sound effects and a jaunty "Happy Birthday To You".
- ranks as one of if not THE funniest moment of the series!
- Evil Laugh: Nya-ah-ahhh!
- Friendly Enemy: Our heroes are surprisingly chummy with that "dirty guy" Dishonest John. There's even a short where he's in the hospital after a failed caper and they show up bearing gifts, and in an episode of the 80's show it's even a plot point - where the heroes are so friendly with him that he's incapable of proving to other bad guys that he's a real villain.
- Hurricane of Puns: THE WHOLE SHOW.
Captain Huffenpuff: "We've cut through the Sandwich Islands and saw the Thousand Islands dressing. And now we've reached our destination: No Bikini Atoll!"
Cecil: "NO BIKINI ATOLL!? WOOOOOW!!"
- Also, as Cecil gets clobbered looking at the cement footprints of Marilyn Monroe:
Cecil: I'd say Monroe needs a little doctorin'!
- As Cecil serenades Cecilia (1988 episode; last aired of the new series):
Dishonest John: Cecil's singing is giving me a haddock. I wish I was hard of herring.
- Jail Bake: Convict Dishonest John gets a birthday cake full of tools - but the guard makes him eat it all up in front of him.
- Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: A Mickey Mouse-esque doll appears in one episode on Cecil's head. Also in "Beany & Cecil Meet Billy The Squid" (first produced in 1959 and screened in Canadian theatres), Uncle Captain is wearing Mickey Mouse ears.
- In "The Seventh Voyage of Singood," when Captain Huffenpuff tells the crew to watch out for Singood the Sailor Man (actually Dishonest John), Cecil's face turns into Popeye.
- Medium Awareness: Frequent examples, such as the one given for Big Ball of Violence above.
- No Fourth Wall: Most of the characters take their time to address the audience.
- Panty Shot: Mainly by Sisterbelle, sister of Matty (the "King of Toys," mascot for Mattel) in the host segments of Matty's Funnies With Beany & Cecil. Beany's girl friend Baby Ruthie had a couple as well.
- Rebus Bubble: The little alien Beepin' Tom, whose dialogue consists of rebuses, as shown in standard comic book dialogue balloons ("O", buoy, arrow pointing towards a Joker card and a "s" and some nuts, which reads as "Oh boy, this joker's nuts," referring to Dishonest John).
- Shout-Out: AC/DC's title "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" is a reference to a phrase used by Dishonest John.
- After Cecil's face (with a Mickey Mouse doll on it) gets mauled by a cat, he says, "I tawt I taw a putty tat!"
- Cecil gets wrapped up in a strait-jacket meant for the Wildman of Wildsville, and the sleeves are raised up making him look like a rabbit. He quips "Eh...What's up, pops?". The Wildman paints a giant carrot for him and says "Don't 'Bugs' me, man...don't 'Bugs' me!"
- Signature Laugh: Dishonest John's "Nya-ha-HAH!".
- Take That: Against a certain animation studio and its theme park in the "Beanyland" episode. The second DVD edition has the director's cut of this episode, titled "Park At The Top Of The Stars."
- Hammered home by Cecil's song, "When you wish upon a moon."
- A self-parody Take That: in 1988's The Brotherhood of B.L.E.C.H., the DiC Animation studio building is seen going over a waterfall.
- Thick-Line Animation