The Stubborn Cowboy (1967)

When Shamus Culhane took over the creative controls of the Paramount Animation Studio in 1966, he clearly understood the opportunity he had in front of him. As head of a small animation studio, he was charged with producing a slate of cartoons for the dying theatrical shorts market. But unlike Warner Bros. who had The Road Runner and Daffy Duck, or Universal with Woody Woodpecker and DePatie Freleng’s Pink Panther, Culhane’s studio had no established characters. This handicap gave him the chance to try some original ideas, and he knew it.

Possibly the best of the shorts he produced there was My Daddy The Astronaut (1966), but the idea of a kid narrating a cartoon drawn in a child’s scrawl wasn’t new. UPA had done it (The Family Circus, Baby Boogie), Porky Pig (Porky’s Preview) and Popeye (Cartoons Ain’t Human) tried it, even Paramount under the previous creative director Howard Post did it – adapting Jack Mendelsohn’s comic strip Jacky’s Diary in several shorts.

My Daddy The Astronaut, according to Culhane’s autobiography (Talking Animals and Other People), was a success with audiences and was supposedly booked with first run engagements of 2001: a Space Odyssey. Culhane decided to do a series of cartoons based on the same kid drawn concept. In his book he says they were all popular, but in my opinion the two sequels, The Stuck-Up Wolf and The Stubborn Cowboy are not as clever as the original.

As far as I know The Stubborn Cowboy never played on TV. Nickelodeon didn’t run it due to the use of now-considered-negative stereotypes of native Americans (aka Indians), references to drinking, gun violence and a parody of a cigarette commercial. Culhane wrote it and Chuck Harriton directed it. Al Eugster animated the whole film from Gil Miret designs. Listen for a gag-reference to veteran Paramount animator William Pattingill. It’s cute and rare – and worth a look:


  • Doug Drown

    What a delightful cartoon! — and what a shame Paramount closed down its animation operation not long after this was made. It had been nearly twenty years since Paramount/Famous had come up with something this creative.

  • http://yeldarb86.deviantart.com Mr. Semaj

    So the Fractured Fables were originally intended for the kids’ tales. They took on a much different format when Ralph Bakshi came on board.

  • Robert Barker

    That was fun. I think it would take a familiarity with the ambience of 60s TV to really understand it. Of course American Indians were about five years from asserting their militancy. It’s hard to impress upon someone today how prevalent westerns were on TV. I loved the Roy Rogers Show and Lone Ranger reruns. John Wayne had yet to be discredited, and they were still running shows like Bat Masterson.

    Wow. Guys like Eugster and Calhane had to be fascinated that they could make Betty Boop and Bimbo cartoons in the early 30s and then make a cartoon in this style. Fun stuff.

  • Mike Fontanelli

    It’s amazing that we live in a world where people would actually find that offensive.

  • Mark Newgarden

    I like.

  • http://ratso.podomatic.com Carl Russo

    Who was the voice and was it really a kid?

  • http://www.cartoonresearch.com Jerry Beck

    Carl Russo – His name is unknown but, according to Shamus Culhane’s book (Talking Animals…), a five year old kid narrated the three films in this series.

  • http://gogopedro.com Gogopedro!

    THAT WAS GREAT…

    Thanks for sharing it….The kids voice totally put the whole short across in a very honest and funny way.
    The drawings where all kinds of special too.

    P

  • Tony W.

    Dexter’s Laboratory did a good job using this style as well in “Dexter and Computress Get Mandark!”

  • V.E.G.

    In the Stubborn Cowboy, there is a parody of Marlboro Cigarettes in this cartoon. He is like Wayne McLaren (God rest his soul).

  • V.E.G.

    William Pattingill is the extremely distant cousin of Buffalo Bill Cody.

  • V.E.G.

    Here is the family tree of William B. Pattengill (spelling vary through the years):
    Thomas PETYNGHALE
    John PETYNGHALE
    John PETYNGHALE II
    Thomas PETINGHALL
    Matthew (PETINGALE) Pettingell
    Richard Cooke PETTINGALL
    Samuel Ingersoll PETTINGALE
    Daniel Pore PETTINGALL
    Daniel Stickney PETENGALL
    Lemuel PETTINGILL
    Horatio PATTENGILL
    Horatio Reed Pattengill
    Atticus A Pattengill
    Charles Horatio Pattengill
    William B. Pattengill

  • http://TheStubbornCowboy(1967) Nita Ferrill, Latimer, Pettingill, Rosselli

    I was looking for one of my ancestors, Daniel Pore Pettingall (gill) and this site popped up. My Grandmother was a Pettingill. Her father Charles H. Pettingill. We can’t find much on C H Pettingill. I belong to Ancestry.com and they are not helping either.

    If this site is still up and running, could someone refer this E to William Pettingill the Disney artist. Thank you. Nita Rosselli and all those other names.