The opening scene of “Wild and Woody” (1948) shows the Walter Lantz studio at its best. Woody is gesturing as he rides a pony, singing “Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie.” He’s expressive. He drops down to lay on the horse during part of the scene, then forms his fingers like guns and flips them around. Top animation. Here are some frames.
The pony’s attractively designed and has a cute little trot cycle. Part of it is on twos at the start but then is completely animated on ones. Darrell Calker’s score complements the action nicely. Even the usually-flat Bugs Hardaway may never have sounded better than when he crooned the opening tune. And Lionel Stander is the best cartoon villain next to Billy Bletcher. He’s great as Buzz.
Ed Love and Pat Matthews receive the animation screen credits. Lantz had Ken O’Brien and Freddie Moore at the time as well. And La Verne Harding. A great animation team with director Dick Lundy that, unfortunately, was gone not too many months later.