Tuesday, 17 November 2015

The Cats Bah

Phil De Guard paints some exceptional background drawings in “The Cats Bah” (1954). There’s a beautiful long shot of what we imagine to be Algiers as Pepe begins his flashback story. Director Chuck Jones shoots it diagonally so we can’t really snip it together.

There’s another pan shot tracking down the next background painting and that’s what you see to the right.

Maurice Noble was the layout artist on this cartoon.

Here are some shorter background drawings. Pepe’s love nest opens the cartoon. It has cherubs on the wall. Too much pastel and too frou-frou; Noble and De Guard got the effect they were going for. There’s some variety in the shots as well; some backgrounds are on a slight angle.

Writer Mike Maltese includes a little pun here. “Peter the Potter” is a play on Peter Potter, who was a disc jockey at KLAC in Los Angeles when this cartoon was made. Hanna-Barbera’s Peter Potamus was named for him as well.


  1. Peter Potter (who hosted the TV game show "Jukebox Jury") was also spoofed in "The Bugaloos" as "Peter Platter."
    And as I mentioned earlier, the first scene in "Cats Bah" was a parody of "The Continental," in which the suave Renzo Cesana addressed the camera as if it were his date, pouring champagne and murmuring sweet nothings to the female viewers. The show was also spoofed in the Popeye cartoon "Parlez-vous Woo."

    1. I never understood the cartoon "Parlez Vous Woo" but now it makes sense. Interesting how the parodies often far outlast the memories of the original.