Classic Cartoons

The History of the Cartoon The Magilla Gorilla Show

Magilla did not allow people to exploit him. 'The Magilla Gorilla Show' highlighted that animals must also be treated humanely, just like humans. 

‘The Magilla Gorilla Show’ was one of the top Hanna-Barbera cartoons that aired in the mid-60s. This cartoon series revolves around the story of a trouble-prone but smart ape named Magilla. The shenanigans of this character made the viewers laugh and also intrigued them enough to tune in for the next show.

To start with, Magilla was an ape who was displayed as being ‘for sale’ in Melvin Peebles’ store. The businessman wanted Magilla to be sold immediately as he couldn’t shoulder the ape’s feeding expenses anymore. Melvin even resorted to hugely reducing Magilla’s selling price to attract buyers.

Unfortunately, the people who first bought Magilla were thieves. They planned to use Magilla as an accomplice or a prop in their crimes. However, Magilla did not cooperate with the criminals; instead, he just became a headache to them. To cut the story short, the criminals returned Magilla to Pebbles’ store.

The second buyer of Magilla worked in an advertising agency. The man was interested in buying Magilla to be used as a mascot for his new product. However, just like with the first buyer, Magilla felt that he was only being exploited. Hence, he did not cooperate. Not too long afterwards, the advertising agency also returned Magilla to Mr. Peebles.

This pattern would continue, with the buyers forcing Mr. Pebbles to return their money. After each episode, Magilla will end the show with the catchphrase ‘We’ll try again next week’.

In the show, the only person who had a selfless intention to buy Magilla and take care of him was a little girl named Ogee. Unfortunately, Ogee initially could not convince her parents to buy Magilla. Would she’d be able to convince her parents later on? We don’t want to give away too many spoilers; watch the show to find out!

In the theme song of the show, Ogee would hopefully ask “How much is that gorilla in the window?’ which is a twist on the novelty song ‘(How Much Is) that Doggie In The Window?’.

Below are some of the most significant facts of the ‘The Magilla Gorilla Show.’

  • Airing Dates. ‘The Magilla Gorilla Show’ aired on ABC from January 14, 1964, to December 25, 1965. It ran for total of 31 episodes. The show’s reruns were aired in 1966-1977 under ABC-TV’s Saturday morning block.
  • Segments. This cartoon series contained two other cartoon shows as segments: ‘Punkin’ Puss &Mushmouse’ and ‘Ricochet Rabbit & Droop-a-Long’.
  • Human-Like. Just like most Hanna-Barbera creations, The character of Magilla was dressed like a human. In fact, the gorilla wore a bow tie, shorts with suspenders, and his signature small derby cap.
  • Sponsor. This hit cartoon series was aired over ABC through the support of the toy company ‘Ideal Toys.’ 
  • Episodes. This Hanna-Barbera classic ran for two seasons. The first season was comprised of 15 episodes; while for the second season, it aired a total of 16 episodes.
  • DVD Critics. When the Warner Home Video released the ‘The Magilla Gorilla Show’ in DVD format in2006, it did not include the show’s original main and end title sequence. Even the drawings were not restored. This brought a massive setback in the Warner Home Video’s sales.
  • Popularity: The show might not be very well known today, but it had an impact in its own way. A Brazilian boxer, Adilson Rodrigues, took the name ‘Maguilla’ because of this cartoon.  He is recognized by his fans and the public in general by this name more than his real one.
  • Special Appearance: Magilla Gorilla also made several guest appearances in other cartoon shows in the same era. These appearances included the TV movie ‘Yogi’s Ark Land’, which starred Yogi Bear. He was also in the ‘Yogi’s Gang’ series and ‘Yogi Treasure Hunt’. He was also in a 1994 TV Special of ‘Scooby-Doo’.
  • Comic Series: There are two Magilla Gorilla comic series. The one by Western Comics had ten issues, while the one by Charlton Comics had five issues. There was also a ‘Magilla Gorilla Kite Fun Book’ published by Western Publishers in 1964.
  • Upcoming Appearances: The popularity of Magilla Gorilla is apparently not over yet, as there are some plans to have him appear in ‘Jellystone!’ an upcoming series from HBO Max.

Allan_Melvin

From the 50s to the 90s, Allan John Melvin dubbed for many hit cartoon characters and has appeared in hundreds of television shows.  One of the most remarkable characters he dubbed was Magilla, the gorilla.

Voices Behind the Magilla Gorilla Show

  • Magilla Gorilla. The famous American character actor and voice talent Allan John Melvin dubbed the voice of Magilla. In some instances where he could not attend the dubbing session, the Mexican voice actor Jorge Arvizu took over.
  • Mr. Peebles. Howard Morris was the voice actor assigned to dub for the pet shop owner, Mr. Melvin Peebles. Other cartoon characters voiced by Howard include Wade, Gopher, and Flem.
  • Ogee. Jean Vander Pyl dubbed for Ogee’s voice, a cute little girl who was very interested in buying Magilla. Jean also voiced other famous cartoon characters such as Wilma Flintstone and Rosie the Robot Maid from ‘The Jetsons’.

‘The Magilla Gorilla Show’ on DVD

On August 15, 2006, the Warner Home Video got the rights to release the entire 31 episodes of the Magilla Gorilla Show in digital video disc (DVD) format. The exclusive video package also included 23 episodes of the ‘Ricochet Rabbit & Droop-a-Long’ cartoon and another 23 episodes of the ‘Punkin’Puss&Mushmouse’.

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