Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tiny Toon Adventures' "Class Cut Up": Earl Kress

Here's a Tiny Toons cartoon that shows off a small sample of the big writing talent of Earl Kress -- who was not just an earl but a king of cartoons.  Earl passed away yesterday at the way-too-early age of 60.

This segment stars the vocal talents of one of Earl's favorite actors, the legendary Don Messick, who provided voices for Boo Boo, Ranger Smith, Pixie, Dixie, Dr. Quest, Bandit and so many other classic Hanna-Barbera characters.

Here, Don performs the role of Hamton J. Pig -- it's a unique voice created by Don for the porcine costar of the Warner Bros. Animation series Steven Spielberg presents Tiny Toon Adventures.

In this episode, directed by Art Leonardi, Hamton is the lone witness to the return of that singing and dancing amphibian, Michigan J. Frog. 

This came before Michigan became the spokes-frog for The WB Network.   And yes, that's June Foray as Granny!  

Check it out:  "Class Cut-Up"


  1. Ah, yes, the "Tiny Toons" version of "One Froggy Evening". And with dialogue no less! This was an enjoyable cartoon and marked the return of Michigan J. Frog even before he was named that. Hampton was hesitant about dissecting frogs before, but having his frog come to life and sing and dance (and he's the only one knows about it) made him all the more freaked out! A fitting testament to the late Earl Kress and Don Messick.

  2. Actually, he was named that before Tiny Toons....Chuck Jones gave him the name after the "Michigan Rag" song that was his signature.

    Kress must have been a big fan of Michigan as he wrote both TT cartoons starring him.

  3. That's very unfortunate. I heard that Earl was sick for a long time, though - but the age of 60 is too young to go.

  4. Hello my baby, hello my honey, hello my rag-time gal... RIP Earl.

  5. That song is gonna be stuck in my head all week now!

  6. Hey Mardi -- I visited CCAD a couple of years ago. Gave a couple of talks. Hope your studies are going well.

  7. Aww. How sad, sorry for our loss. He will be missed. I named my dead frog for earth science class (when I was in Jr. High), dissection after Michigan J. Frog, so I guess it's an indirect homage to this.