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Western Animation: Heckle and Jeckle

A classic Terrytoons cartoon, this animated show stars two identical wisecracking magpies, Heckle and Jeckle. One has a British accent, the other a New York one, and they are fast friends who are able to overcome foes by outwitting them, breaking the rules, and generally having fun at other people's expense.

Many characters on other shows are known to enjoy watching Heckle and Jeckle, including Fonzie, Lenny and Squiggy, and Jack, while imprisoned by the Others.

Together with the rest of the classic Terrytoons package, Heckle and Jeckle vanished from American TV in about 1990óbecause the USA Network, owner of the license, changed management and decided to simply sit on the cartoons. Ever since, the characters have slowly been sliding down the memory hole. Today, there are many who misremember the black birds as having been black stereotypes (much like Buzzy The Crow of Famous Studios or the crows in Dumbo), even though their characterizations aren't actually ethnic at all.


     Filmography 

  • The Talking Magpies (1946)
  • The Uninvited Pests (1946)
  • McDougal's Rest Farm (1947)
  • Happy Go Lucky (1947)
  • Cat Trouble (1947)
  • The Intruders (1947)
  • Flying South (1947)
  • Fishing by the Sea (1947)
  • The Super Salesman (1947)
  • The Hitch Hikers (1947)
  • Taming the Cat (1948)
  • A Sleepless Night (1948)
  • Magpie Madness (1948)
  • Out Again In Again (1948)
  • Free Enterprise (1948)
  • Goony Golfers (1948)
  • The Power of Thought (1948)
  • The Lion Hunt (1949)
  • The Stowaways (1949)
  • Happy Landing (1949)
  • Hula Hula Land (1949)
  • Dancing Shoes (1949)
  • The Fox Hunt (1950)
  • A Merry Chase (1950)
  • King Tut's Tomb (1950)
  • Bulldozing the Bull (1951)
  • The Rainmakers (1951)
  • Steeple Jacks (1951)
  • 'Sno Fun (1951)
  • Rival Romeos (!951)
  • Off to the Opera (1952)
  • House Busters (1952)
  • Moose on the Loose (1952)
  • Movie Madness (1952)
  • Hair Cut-Ups (1953)
  • Pill Peddlers (1953)
  • Ten Pin Terrors (1953)
  • Bargain Daze (1953)
  • Log Rollers (1953)
  • Blind Date (1954)
  • Satisfied Customers (1954)
  • Blue Plate Symphony (1954)
  • Miami Maniacs (1955)
  • Pirate's Gold (1957)
  • Wild Life (1959)
  • Trapeze, Pleeze (1960)
  • Mint Men (1960)
  • Deep Sea Doodle (1960)
  • Stunt Men (1960)
  • Thousand Smile Checkup (1960)
  • Sappy New Year (1961)
  • Messed Up Movie Makers (1966)

Tropes:

  • American Accents
  • British Accents
  • Butt Monkey: The lugubrious Dimwit Dog. And to some extent, the bulldog (who was named Chesty in the St. John's comic books which were drawn by Terrytoons artists).
  • Clever Crows: Excellent examples of the trickster archetype, Heckle and Jeckle are able to overcome foes by outwitting them, breaking the rules, and generally having fun at other people's expense.
  • Deranged Animation: Any scene animated by Jim Tyer. Check out the scene in "Goony Golfers" as Jeckle uses a putter to move the hole around as Chesty tries to putt it in, and Chesty's subsequent loss of temper.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first cartoon listed, "The Talking Magpies," was actually a Farmer Al Falfa cartoon. The two magpies shown at the start are a married couple whose squabbling over their nest disturbs Al Falfa and his dog (an early version of Dimwit). As Heckle and Jeckle took their more known forms in "The Uninvited Pests," they were voiced by Syd Raymond (Jeckle's voice wasn't the familiar British accent; that would come when Ned Sparks took over as the birds' voices).
  • Filmation: Produced the New Adventures of Mighty Mouse and Heckle & Jeckle.
  • The Golden Age of Animation: Until 1959, when they started making cartoons directly for television. Though it got hard to tell before then.
  • Happy Rain: Done in The Rainmakers, when they make it rain after a drought, and are given a parade in the rain.
  • Heel Face Door Slam: In "Sappy New Year." The boys sign a pledge to give up practical jokes as a New Year's resolution, but when their attempts to do good deeds are misinterpreted as mischief, Heckle starts to revert back.
  • Heel-Face Turn: As much of con artists, vagabonds and reprobates they were depicted as, Heckle and Jeckle could also use their wiles to combat bad guys. "Blue Plate Symphony," "Sno Fun" and "Hair Cut-Ups" are good examples. "Hair Cut-Ups" had them as barbers in the old west facing the outlaw Dangerous Dan. As noted in verse three of the cartoon's song:
    One day towards the town he came ridin' real fast,
    A-lookin' for some harmless cowboy to blast.
    And so met his downfall as all bad men should
    By two tenderfoot barbers who trimmed him for good.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Are they ever!
  • Landmark Sale: Someone tries to sell the magpies the Brooklyn Bridge, and they turn him downóbecause they already own it!
  • Man, I Feel Like a Woman : Heckle dresses Jeckle in drag to impersonate a millionaire's long-lost girl friend in "Blind Date."
  • Name and Name
  • No Fourth Wall: in Pirate's Gold, after making off with a buccaneer's treasure, the taxman comes in at the end and glomps 99% of it:
    Heckle: Ya can't escape it. Even in a cartoon.
    • The Lion Hunt has them changing scenes and modes of transportation four times in a fifteen second spurt en route to Africa:
      Jeckle: My, things sure happen quickly in a cartoon, don't they?
  • Reality Warper: The magpies realize in The Power of Thought that they're just in a cartoon, and can do anything they want.
  • Talking Animal
  • Thieving Magpie
  • Tricksters
  • Vagabond Buddies
  • Wheel o' Feet: During any Chase Scene in the Filmation series. Complete with spinning sound effects.

Gravedale HighThe Renaissance Age of AnimationHelp! I'm a Fish
Fun and Fancy FreeThe FortiesHerman And Katnip
Mighty MouseThe Golden Age of AnimationTom Terrific
Heathcliff and the Catillac CatsWestern AnimationHello Kitty's Furry Tale Theater
TerrytoonsCreator/Magnetic VideoThe Kid

alternative title(s): Heckle And Jeckle
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