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Western Animation / Magilla Gorilla

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Created in 1964 by Hanna-Barbera, Magilla Gorilla lives in Peebles' Pet Shop. Magilla occasionally gets sold, but the purchaser always returns him, or he flees the purchaser back to the safety of the pet shop. There's one person who'd love to have him for a pet — a little girl named Ogee, who only has a penny, and parents who really don't want a gorilla in a house.

Allan Melvin and Howard Morris did most of the character voices. Supporting segments on the show were Punkin' Puss and Mushmouse, a backwoods cat and mouse comedy, and Ricochet Rabbit and Droop-a-Long Coyote, a Detective Animal show set in The Wild West.

The show ran in syndication up until December 1965 when ABC optioned it for their Saturday morning schedule. When that took place, Ricochet Rabbit was replaced with Breezly Bruin from the Peter Potamus show, which similarly originated in syndication in 1964 and got optioned to ABC (airing Sunday mornings). Ricochet Rabbit migrated to Peter's show.



  • Animated Anthology: Of the Three Shorts format. Beside Magilla's own shorts, there was always a short starring Ricochet Rabbit and another starring Punkin Puss and Mushmouse.
  • Can't Live With Them, Can't Live Without Them: Mr. Peebles is always eager to sell Magilla, but after he actually does so, quickly grows to miss him.
  • Badly Battered Babysitter: when Magilla has to watch a troop of scouts in the woods.
  • Cheerful Child: Ogee, the little girl who befriended Magilla.
  • Deus ex Machina: Pretty much no matter what happens Magilla ends up right back at the pet shop at the end of the episode.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Magilla is the wacky primate protagonist. In-universe, some characters also believe it's a great idea to have a gorilla for pet, but some characters, especially Ogee's parents, disagree with that sentiment.
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  • Expository Theme Tune: The theme tune explains that Magilla is a gorilla for sale and he'll make a fantastic pet (the latter is far from the truth).
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Magilla is the rare "bottom but no top" version. He has many articles of clothing (pants, suspenders, shoes, bowtie and hat), but he is shirtless.
  • High-Dive Hijinks: Magilla gets into trouble here at the Aquarium.
  • Incorrect Animal Noise: Magilla, when trying to act like a wild gorilla, produces a Tarzan-like yell.
  • Killer Gorilla: Averted with Magilla, but played straight with the troop of wild gorillas Magilla encounters in "Fairy Godmother" who try to chase Magilla out of their territory.
  • Not a Mask: Magilla went to a costume party and saved the day. But when asked to remove his costume every one freaked out to learn he was really a gorilla.
  • Soap Punishment: Magilla was occasionally a victim of this punishment for "lying". (Cassandra Truths, actually).
  • Spoonerism: In "Magilla Mix Up" boy does Magilla play this trope. Mr. Peebles sends him to deliver flea powder, bird seed and dog biscuits to three customers but he gets caught up in a spy ring that is to give "you know what" to "you know who". Throughout the episode Magilla manages to mix up all four of these items multiple times.
  • Talking Animal: Magilla is fluent in English, and everyone understands him.
  • Threatening Shark: Magilla runs a foul of one at the Aquarium, he brings him back to the pet shop with him. By which we mean by his jaws snapped down on Magilla's shorts.
  • Three Shorts: Magilla was the opener on his own show. Ricochet Rabbit provided the middle and Punkin' Puss the third.
  • Yiddish as a Second Language: Magilla's name comes from Yiddish, as it is pronounced identically to "megillah".


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