Friday, June 19, 2009

Know your lgbt history - Hanna-Barbera cartoons pushes the 'gay agenda'

The title of this piece is strictly tongue-in-cheek (as is the entire post).

Of course anyone with too much time on their hands can probably find "evidence" to prove what the title says.

Hanna Barbera is probably the most prolific creators of cartoons, so much so that I can honestly say that every child from my generation grew up watching a Hanna-Barbera cartoon from The Flintstones to Yogi Bear to Scooby Doo.

But have you ever wondered:

Just what was the relationship between Yogi Bear and Boo Bear,

What's the deal with Snagglepuss, a pink lion who makes theatre references,

What was the deal with Johnny Quest, a show that featured a young boy, his male friend Hadji, his father Dr. Benton Quest, and Race Bannon; the bodyguard and companion traveling the world together in the absence of any females. Hell, even the pet dog, Bandit, was male.

But even if you could find a satisfactory answer to these questions, nothing can prepare you for Dino Boy in the Lost Valley.

Dino Boy was a cartoon that premiered in the late 60s. The premise is simple: a young boy is forced to parachute out of a crashing plane onto unchartered land. Just when he is about to be attacked by a sabretooth tiger, a huge butch looking caveman saves him. Subsequently, the two proceed to have "amazing adventures" together.

Now if that doesn't set off your gay alarm, check out the intro for the cartoon:

Maybe I'm reading too much into this intro (particularly the part with the ride on the back of the dinosaur). One of my friends says that I tend to overanalyze things. "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar," he says.

That may be, but the Dino Boy intro is a pretty damn big cigar, don't you think?

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Марко Фризия said...

Have you ever seen the painting of Betty Rubble and Wilma Flintstone (called "Betty Gets It") by lesbian artist Nicole Eisenman? The artist depicts a very butch and gruff looking Wilma giving a timid looking Betty, um... the finger. Both women are, of course, nude. I saw this painting in a very quiet art gallery in the Bay Area in the early 1990s. I was shocked and delighted by the painting and found myself involuntarily exclaiming, "Oh my God, it's Betty and Wilma!" This work of art wasn't a Hanna-Barbera production, but it resolved a few lingering questions I had about lesbian life in 1960s Bedrock.

BlackTsunami said...

Now THAT's funny. LOL

Марко Фризия said...

I can't find a pic of the Wilma and Betty lesbian painting online anywhere. We (a gay-male-married couple, one son, two dogs) have a coffee table book called "Lesbian Art in America" by Harmony Hammond (used copies are available and are inexpensive and it is a must-have for every gay household). That wonderful painting is in that book. Hanna-Barbera may not have been overtly gay, but as a gay kid I really felt "affirmed" when Mama Cass Elliot (I really, really got what what this sweet woman meant when she sang "Make Your Own Kind of Music") showed up on Scooby-Do and when Paul Lynde did the voice for a very gay character on "Wait Til Your Father Gets Home" in the 1970s. And as a kid I remember wondering if sexy, bearded Dr. Benton Quest and his über hunky companion Race Bannon (on "Jonny Quest") were a same-sex couple. Sid and Marty Kroft featured had a lot of positive characters who were "different" and "outsiders" ("queer" is a very good word here): Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, H.R. Pufnstuf (Mama Cass was on this show, too), Witchiepoo (she was like a psychelic drag queen, just hilarious), and there was adorable young Jimmy with his "Magic Flute" (was the flute a phallic symbol?). "Lidville" was an awesome series (with voices provided by gay comedian Charles Nelson Reilly). And I have to mention the "Bugaloos" who were pursued by Martha Raye's character Benita Bizarre. Sid and Marty Kroft's stuff viewed in 2003 looks like their production crew was smoking a lot of weed in the 60s and 70s. Oh, did I mention that I dressed up like Bea Arthur's character "Maude" for Halloween in 1974? This is a fun discussion.

BlackTsunami said...

Well one of the actors from the tv show Land of the Lost just came out.

I think his name is Wesley something.

Марко Фризия said...

Wesley Eure was on Land of the Lost. I had such a crush on him. The gal that played his sister was an annoying bitch and I always hoped she would be eaten by a dinosaur. Another homoerotic classic was Batman in the 1960s (I am dating myself a bit here) with Adam West and Burt Ward (two "single" men living together, sharing a car and a secret cave). I always liked it when they got tied up by villains and were orgasmically thrashing around trying to get loose. I had a total crush on Burt Ward who was Boy Wonder. And there were all of these campy guest stars on that show: Julie Newmar, Eartha Kitt, Tallulah Bankhead, Cesar Romero. Yeah, that's it, American television in the 60s and 70s made me gay. LOL!

Bill S said...

HOW have I never seen that cartoon?
It certainly would have set off a few fantasies (ANY cartoon that featured buff-looking guys did). I don't know if they were pushing an agenda, but there's no way the final shot of that clip was an accident.
Oh, and in re "Batman"-one other guest was Leslie Gore. Burt Ward reportedly had a crush on her (like a lot of straight boys of that period). Little did HE know...

Buffy said...

I don't read anything gay into the cartoons. In those days girls and women were very much secondary to men and certainly not part of any "adventure" themes. Boys and men got out there and did things. Girls and women were wives/ homemakers, cheerleaders or screaming-to-be-rescued sidekicks to the men. Granted a few toons bucked the trend, such as Scooby Doo with Velma (though she had to be made ugly to offset the fact that she-gasp--had a brain and her own opinions). But most of them followed the usual theme whereby males and females were relegated to their typical gender roles.

BlackTsunami said...

I don't know. I still say there was something "unusually interesting" about that ride on the dinosaur. LOL

Bill S said...

In what way was Velma ugly? I always thought she was as cute as Daphne, just in a different way, But then I'm not attracted to girls, so maybe I'm more lenient about supposed flaws. Does short hair + glasses=ugly? 'Cause, really, I did not know that.

BlackTsunami said...

That ugly bulky sweater didn't do her any good. And definitely the way she stood. And how Fred never asked her to dance. LOL

Lee said...

Well of course the Hanna-Barbera cartoons push the 'gay agenda'! Just look at how Fred and Barney dress.

Come to think of it, on "Gilligan's Island", Gilligan and the Skipper always sleep together, as do Ginger and Mary Ann. As for "Bewitched" and "I Dream of Jeannie", those are pretty self-explanatory.

Ollie Loyd said...

I am too through! LOL