"All the kids love Kiko -
Kiko the Kangaroo !
No one else can equal -
the things that he can do ! "
Does it ring a bell ? Hmmm...probably not ! This short song was the leitmotiv of one of Terrytoons ' s starring stars of the late Thirties , one of the best creations ever made by the studio , Kiko the Kangaroo .
In the late Thirties the greatest animation studios own the services of some popular cartoon stars . Disney found definitive glory with the creation and developement of Donald Duck ; the decline of Fleischer's Betty Boop ( thanks to the Hays Office ) was compensated by the incredible popularity of Popeye the Sailor ; WB found the appeal of Porky Pig sufficient enough to entertain the audience ( the creations of both Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny were also not so far ) .
However , Terrytoons did not have a character enough popular to compete with the other studios ( Farmer Al Falfa was not that much in terms of characterization ) . So Paul Terry 's staff tried to create a recurring character .
In the late 30s we find Kiko the Kangaroo ' s debut in FARMER AL FALFA'S PRIZE PACKAGE ( 1936 ) . This character was used only for a pair of years but the cartoons which feature him are some of the best ever made by Terry .
Kiko , being an happy-go-lucky fellow ( In one short , KIKO AND THE HONEY BEARS , he appeared as an happy hobo looking for a work ) , is always smiling , playing tricks , playing music , entertaining/saving kids ( better : little bears ) but he can always tramute himself into the best boxer to defend his owner/friend Farmer Al Falfa .
Kiko made his debut as a " gift " to Al Falfa from his brother Hank , then starred in a series of solo cartoons as well as in other ones teamed with the farmer . He starred in only 10 cartoons , ending his carrer in 1937 one year after his creation .
As my friend Tim C. informed me , there was also a planned 11th cartoon . A storyboard was written and drawn by a young Joe Barbera , but it was rejected by Paul Terry .
Enjoy these pics from miscellaneous Kiko shorts ( note that pictures ' quality differs from cartoon to cartoon ) .
Yours Truly ,
Blog Founder and Administrator