A real cutie, BABY HUEY!
As big as a house, as gentle as a mouse.
Drinks milk by the cow-ful, BABY HUEY!
Bumbles along, singing his song, so he better, better beware
He’s not always right, but boy what a sight. AND IT'S SCARY UNFAIR!
A glorious fellow, what a shade of yellow
A little bit screwy, Baby Huey!
He’s half a ton, of yellow fun.
Wadda you know? It’s the Baby Huey Show!"
Baby Huey is a gigantic and naïve duckling cartoon character. He was created by Martin Taras for the Paramount Pictures cartoon outlet Famous Studios, and became a short lived Paramount cartoon star during the 1950s. Although created by Famous for its animated cartoons, Huey first appeared in comic-book form in an original story in Casper the Friendly Ghost #1, September 1949, as published by St. John Publications.
Huey, the creation of prominent Famous animator Marty Taras, first appeared onscreen in the Noveltoons short Quack a Doodle Doo, released in 1950, although the character had technically debuted in a comic book released the previous year. Huey's signature slow, deep-toned Brooklynese lisp was provided by Sid Raymond, an actor and comedian who created several other voices for Famous Studios' characters (most notably Katnip). Due to the short's relative success, Huey became a recurring character throughout the 1950s, appearing in a multitude of further shorts (almost all of which were directed by Fleischer/Famous veteran Dave Tendlar).
Many animated shorts featuring Huey had recurring themes. Most common among them was him trying to be just like any other kid his age. He would see his peers playing, and would immediately get excited. Whenever he tried to involve himself in the activities of his peers (also anthropomorphic ducklings) he would often inadvertently cause more problems, and as a result they would drive him away through trickery (and into tears). A hungry fox would show up, feigning friendship and setting traps along the way, all of which would prove ineffective on Huey and/or backfire on the fox. At first Huey is blissfully unaware of the fox's true agenda. But as his peers watched the annoyed fox in action from a safe distance (and fearing for his safety just as they did their own), Huey would come to realize the truth about his predator and dispose of him, typically by saying "you're the fox and I think you're trying to kill me!". Other times, however, Huey would remain blissfully unaware and the exasperated fox would finally give up, fleeing Baby Huey before any more misfortune befell him. For a time, there was a running gag of the fox's final appearance in a comic strip being him fleeing from Baby Huey while exclaiming "I'm lucky to escape wid' me life!"
Harvey purchased the rights to all of Famous' original characters in 1959, and Huey continued to appear regularly in Harvey publications until 1972. Huey was rarely seen for nearly two decades afterwards, returning to comics in 1990.
Over thirty years after the final theatrical Huey short's release, Carbunkle Cartoons (the studio responsible for animating many of The Ren & Stimpy Show's best-received episodes) and Film Roman produced a new series of Baby Huey cartoons for television in 1994, which aired as The Baby Huey Show for two seasons; the first season notably features a then-85-year-old Sid Raymond reprising the title role. He also starred in a live-action direct-to-video film, Baby Huey's Great Easter Adventure, in 1999, where he was voiced by Stephen Furst, and portrayed by Rodger Bumpass.
In The Spooktacular New Adventures of Casper segment entitled "Legend of Duh Bigfoot", Baby Huey makes a cameo at the end of that segment.
- Quack-A-Doodle-Doo (1950): A Noveltoon one-shot that served as the pilot for the series.
- One Quack Mind (1951)
- Party Smarty (1951)
- Scout Fellow (1951)
- Clown on the Farm (1952)
- Starting from Hatch (1953)
- Huey's Ducky Daddy (1953)
- Git Along Li'l Duckie (1955)
- Swab the Duck (1956)
- Pest Pupil (1957)
- Jumping with Toy (1957)
- Huey's Father's Day (1959)
- All of the Other Reindeer: Huey in the pilot and pretty much every cartoon thereafter.
- Apple for Teacher: In Pest Pupil, a teacher is given apples by her students, but Huey gives her a pumpkin instead, crushing the apples and getting her face full of applesauce.
- Babies Make Everything Better: Keep in mind, Huey is technically a baby—just a really, really big one.
- Beware the Nice Ones: For the most part, he's fairly harmless (well, he usually wouldn't harm someone on purpose), unless he realizes someone's trying to harm him, then all bets are off.
- Big Eater: Huey, natch.
- Comically Invincible Hero: Huey is virtually indestructible— much of the comedy of the cartoons come from his hapless foe's attempts at hurting him backfiring horribly.
- Cute Giant: Baby Huey is giant compared to his peer group.
- Expy: Baby Huey's combination of dimwitted naivete and disproportionate size bears more than a glancing resemblance to 'Junyer' Bear from Chuck Jones ' Three Bears, a minor Looney Tunes series.
- Does Not Know His Own Strength: Justified, he's still too young to know.
- G-Rated Drug: Used by his mother in the pilot to speed up her egg gestation.
- Grossout Show: The 1994 series, arguably. It was made by Carbunkle Cartoons, one of the studios involved in The Ren & Stimpy Show, so...
- Let's Get Dangerous!: In some shorts Huey realizes at the end that the villain meant to do him or his peers harm. Cue Huey promptly dealing with them in his own manner.
- Monumental Damage: One episode of the show has the fox try to kill him with a nuke. Cue a rip off the famous Liberty Statue scene
- Public Domain Animation: Quack-A-Doodle-Doo and Pest Pupil.
- Small Parent, Huge Child: The shorts star a gigantic duckling that often causes trouble to the other normal-sized ducks with his clumsiness. In his debut short, it's shown that his massive size is the result of his mother overdosing on vitamin pills.
- Strictly Formula: The majority of the original Famous shorts entail the following basic plot beats:
- Huey starts off performing an activity stereotypical of a baby or toddler, comically distorted by his size.
- Noticing the other, average-sized ducklings are doing something fun, Huey rushes off to play with or join them, yelling "Hey, fellas!" or something very similar to it.
- The ducklings react in a negative way, muttering some variation of "here comes that dopey Huey", and either attempt to deter him from joining or just flee from him on sight.
- The ducklings are briefly menaced by the fox.
- The fox notices a distraught and sobbing Huey, and immediately recognizes him as a huge meal, sometimes learning the hard way that he's nigh-invulnerable by attempting to kill him in a way that Huey doesn't even notice (like throwing a boulder onto his head that bounces off, or hitting him with a pipe that retains the shape of his face).
- The fox changes tactics, disguising himself as a figure of authority (circus ringmaster, scoutmaster, etc.) in the role or theme evoked by the game Huey wants to play, to exploit his innocence. He presents himself to Huey, who falls for the scam immediately.
- Three gags ensue, in which the fox attempts to eat or incapacitate Huey — frequently presenting it as something based on the profession he's impersonating — but is foiled by Huey's size, naivete, invulnerability, or some combination of the three.
- Huey recognizes the fox's identity — either because the fox's costume has been compromised in some way by the gag, or just because he finally and abruptly catches on. This is almost invariably paired with the line "you're the fox, and I think you're trying to kill me!".
- After using his strength to give the fox a comeuppance ironically related to the disguise, Huey earns the respect of his peers.
- Vocal Evolution: Despite digitally altering the voice in post-production, Sid Raymond's voice is still noticeably more low and mellow sounding in The Baby Huey Show compared to how he portrayed Huey in the original cartoons. This is understandable though, since Sid was 85 years old when he reprised the role of Huey.