Hoppity Hooper is an American animated television series produced by Jay Ward, and sponsored by General Mills, originally broadcast on ABC on September 26, 1964. The series was produced in Hollywood by Jay Ward and Bill Scott, with animation done in Mexico City by Gamma Productions.
The recurring characters were Hoppity Hooper, a frog, voiced by Chris Allen, Uncle Waldo P. Wigglesworth, a fox, voiced by Hans Conried; Fillmore, a bear wearing Civil War clothes, voiced by Bill Scott; and Alan Reed as the narrator, voiced by Paul Frees, and Bill Conrad. Fillmore, as in the picture at right, often blew on his bugle, producing loud, sour notes (mostly due to Waldo Standing on Fillmore's foot).
The stories revolved around the three main characters, who lived in Foggy Bog, Wisconsin, seeking their fortune together, through different jobs or schemes, usually ending in misadventure.
Each story consisted of four short cartoons, one aired at the beginning and end of each episode, with the four-part story shown over two consecutive episodes. Interspersed were recycled second features from the earlier series Peabody's Improbable History, Fractured Fairy Tales, and Aesop and Son. In later syndicated runs, each four-part story was assembled into a single half-hour episode.
One of the best-remembered stories is "The Traffic Zone," a parody of The Twilight Zone in which the characters were transformed into vegetables.
The first two episodes were produced in 1960 and featured Alan Reed as Fillmore. The series wasn't picked up for broadcast until September 1964, and by that time Reed was unavailable, because of his commitment with another ABC animated TV series, The Flintstones, as the voice of Fred Flintstone. Therefore, Bill Scott was named to do the voice of Fillmore.
The series was broadcast first-run by ABC on their Saturday Morning schedule. The series was later syndicated to local television stations under the title "Uncle Waldo's Cartoon Show" in 1965.
Over the course of two seasons, 52 episodes were broadcast with two segments of Hoppity Hooper each. With two exceptions (as noted), each story line consisted of four episodes (or four shorts - making 27 stories told over 104 segments).
- Producers: Jay Ward, Bill Scott
- Directors: Pete Burness, Bill Hurtz, Lew Keller
- Writers: Chris Jenkyns, Bill Scott
- Film Editor: Skip Craig
- Designers: Sam Clayberger, Roy Morita, and Shirley Silvey
- Animation by Gamma Productions S.A. de C.V.
- Production Director: Harvey Siegel
- Assistant Director: Jaime Torres
- Animation Supervisor: Sam S. Kai
- Layout Supervisor: Joe Montell
- Executive Producers: Peter Piech, Ponsonby Britt
- A Jay Ward Production
- In cooperation with Producers Associates of Television, inc.
- Chris Allen (eps. 1-27) Hoppity Hooper, (eps. 2-8) Susan Swivelhips
- Hans Conried (eps. 1-27) Uncle Waldo P. Wigglesworth
- Alan Reed (Episodes 1 & 2 of "Ring-A-Ding Spring") and William Scott (Episodes 3 & 104 of "Ring-A-Ding Spring" and "Wonder Water") – Fillmore Bear
- Paul Frees (eps. 1-25) and Bill Conrad (eps. 26-27) – Narrator
Hoppity Hooper was released in three separate volumes on VHS in the early 90's. Volume One was released on DVD in 2000's (The copyrights for each of these three releases were in question at the time of their respective releases).
In 2008, Mill Creek Entertainment released episodes 1-6 and episodes 8-11 as part of their "Giant 600 Cartoon Collection". They also re-released these episodes as part of the "Super 300 Cartoon Collection" in 2009. Also in 2008, Mill Creek released the first 6 episodes under their 200 Classic Cartoons: Collectors Edition label.