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“Little Audrey Says”

Ya’ know, I was just thinking that I haven’t done a post about Little Audrey in a long time. So to remedy that, here’s a fun children’s 78rpm Golden Record from 1951, featuring Mae Questel (Betty Boop, Olive Oyl and Little Audrey) with Mitch Miller and his Orchestra. The song is a lively variant of the Little Audrey theme song written by Buddy Kaye and Winston Sharples (first and best heard, swing-style, in Butterscotch and Soda (1948)). Little Audrey is, of course, a knock-off of Little Lulu – a minor player promoted to her own series after Paramount lost the rights to Lulu in 1947. Paramount then vigorously exploited the character with records, comic books, dolls and toys in the early 50s, long before it sold the rights to Harvey Comics. So let’s take a moment to pause and reflect on Little Audrey, pretty much forgotten today, part of another era of animated cartoons.

(Thanks, Chris Sobieniak)

  • The main title version where all the credits play on the screen (a la most of Pinocchio’s “When You Wish Upon A Star” in the movie), has two versions- one, a more jazzy version, and two, a more old-fashioned old-age movie musical radio jingle type verision.

    This one seems like a mellow children’s record version sounding like Shirley Temple or Betty Boop/Mae West.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    And yet, I can’t stop singing along!

  • J Lee

    Here’s a much better looking copy of “Butterscotch and Soda” with the original Audrey theme and original (albeit recreated) titles. The original and better theme seemed to have been killed off for the blander one everyone remembers simply because Paramount wanted a few seconds hacked off the opening titles of the cartoons, since the Popeye, Noveltoon and Screen Songs openings were all shortened at the same time.

    The Audrey shorts get asurprisingly high number of ‘hits’ on the YuTube counters, so for a character who hasn’t been anywhere on TV for at least a decade, she still has her fans.

  • Brian Kidd

    She’s certainly not my favorite cartoon character but there’s something comforting about the shorts she was in. I was first exposed to them after school when I was a child. One of the local television stations had a wonderful 90 minute program called MR. CARTOON that was hosted by the weather man, Jule Huffman. It was a typical kiddie show: a studio audience comprised of Cub Scout troops, school groups, etc., games like Musical Chairs, bad jokes, and a furry sidekick that was actually a repurposed Banana Splits prototype costume. They showed everything from classic Looney Tunes to the Famous Studios shorts and even Jot. It was required viewing for every kid in the viewing area. Lord, I miss local television. Now, the only way my son is exposed to all these great cartoons is when I sit him down and we watch them together. He loves Looney Tunes, but I don’t think he’s ever seen Little Audrey or even Popeye. It’s a shame that the Little Audrey shorts have been relegated to bargain bin PD collections.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      For someone like me growing up in the 80’s (though the local show I had to watch was “Patches & Pockets” on a CBS affiliate that played Terrytoons), Little Audrey was something I knew from the comics and the few Public Domain tapes my mom would get at the store for me to veg my brain at.

      I suppose my favorite cartoon was Butterscotch & Soda, especially for it’s rather haunting nightmare and candy-obsessive Audrey that nearly made me swore off candy for good.

  • Daniel J. Drazen

    The series may be forgotten, but I still have memories of “The Lost Dream,” where she can’t resist opening the Black Door to access nightmares.

  • uncle wayne


  • uncle wayne

    i luv her cameo in “Olive Oyl for President!”

  • Doug

    I never knew Buddy Kaye and Win Sharples collaborated on anything. That was a nice surprise!

    Famous Studios quite often had a choral group or small ensemble (similar to Manhattan Transfer) that provided music for its cartoons, most notably the Screen Songs series. What is known about this group?

    • I came to this article after searching for information about those singers. I wonder who they were?

  • Alison

    Am I one of the only 30-year-olds out there that actually knows who Little Audrey is? Even going as far back as a tween before the word came to be and having the VHS tapes that only had three cartoons on it.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      You’re not the only one! :-)

  • uncle wayne

    and i wonder why the record-cover has her with black hair, when we all know it’s red!??

  • Jon

    Audrey’s “Hold the Lion Please” went over very well with a group of children I ran some cartoons for not long ago. I like the Little Audrey cartoons, though overall they’re not as good as the Little Lulus. Personally, I think Famous was better at cartoons like these than they at chase-and-violence shorts.

  • Ken Layton

    Thanks for posting this! :)

    Audrey’s “The Lost Dream” is also a favorite of mine.

  • Robert Fiore

    Little Audrey said
    “I’ve got spells to raise the dead!”
    Now from far and near
    They all quake in fear
    At what Little Audrey has to say . . .

    . . . or so it evolved in my head. Anything to take my mind off the crumminess of the cartoons . . .

    • I imagine a Ralph Bakshi-influenced parody called Little Tawdry.

  • I always loved Little Audrey as equally as Little Lulu! Audrey has a cute and appealing baby-like design (as is the case with many Famous/Harvey kid characters, including Casper), and that she’s voiced by Mae Questel, a voice actress I will never, ever get tired of hearing. :)

    I also enjoy Audrey’s comic-book adventures from St. John/Harvey, where she has supporting characters like Melvin, Tiny, Little Dot, Little Lotta, etc.

    There seems to be some confusion as to who did the voice for Little Lulu; wasn’t it Mae Questel as well? (I keep reading that it was Cecil Roy, the voice actress for Casper.)