June of the Jungle

By Brian Kistler

October 6, 2000

June Foray

(For more on June Foray, see Trivia on June Foray)

George of the Jungle was the LAST of the Jay Ward/Bill Scott duo's three animated TV series. From that time (the late 1960s) until his death, in 1989 (interestingly enough, he died on my 30th birthday), Jay Ward produced mostly just commercials for Captain Crunch (and other Quaker Oats cereals) and Aunt Jemima Waffles. His partner, Bill Scott, had preceded him in death, by about four years, for the record.

I think that one of the big reasons why Ward and Scott chose to no longer produce more series was tied to the fact that there had been a BIG PUSH, in the 60s, to come up with cartoons which taught the youth of America something.......whether it was values or useful knowledge of any kind. I had received a letter, from Jay Ward's office staff, in the early 70s, explaining to me that, it was the philosophy of Jay Ward Productions, that their cartoons were to be, first and foremost, FUN and ENTERTAINING. The letter seemed to suggest that, Ward felt that, to take great pains to give his cartoons a didactic slant, would possibly compromise the quality of the HUMOR and EXCELLENCE, in his work.

If this is correct, that the studio decided to "stick to its guns", and refused to risk watering down the quality of its work, I would say that, this was not only admirable, on the studio's part, but, QUITE BRAVE!! Hats off, and kudos, to Jay Ward, if this was the noble principle, under which he was operating. I could see, very well, him wishing to be remembered for producing only a certain type of cartoons.

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