Not to be confused with Loco Locomotive 1961 previously reviewed, this time it’s Quick Draw McGraw and his sidekick Baba Looey (both voiced by Daws Butler) who star in this train-laced bit of minimalist HB animation.
Locomotive Loco begins at the famous 1869 Golden Spike ceremony linking East and West by rail (presumably the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads). However this is where all similarity to historical accuracy ends. The Golden Spike has been stolen by “Moose Caboose”! [groan…] (voiced by Don Messick). Quick Draw and Baba Looey are tasked with hunting him down by the railroad’s President, “Ronald Roundhouse” [encore groan…] (voiced by Daws Butler).
Hold On Thar! Can an anthropomorphic horse and burro really get back the golden spike? There’s only one way to find out — read on and just enjoy the show!
What was it the engines said, pilots touching,–head to head,
facing on the single track, half a world behind each back?
Western locomotive #541 and Eastern locomotive #145 roll down the tracks towards each other until finally they meet linking East & West.
The engineers exchange pleasantries as they wait for the festivities to begin.
The animators do a passable recreation of A.J. Russell’s famous image at the driving of the golden spike.
Stuffy officials stand ready to drive home the final spike. What’s this? Someone has grabbed the spike!
It’s that notorious outlaw Moose Caboose making his getaway by handcar and taunting the crowd with the swiped spike!
In short order, Quick Draw and Baba Looey are summoned to the big shot’s office (Ronald McDonald…err…Ronald Roundhouse) and offered a “Choo-Choo Pass” if they recover the stolen item.
But where to find Moose? Trackside, of course. McGraw does the “listen to the rail” bit and determines the train is coming from the West….when it is, in fact, coming from the East — flattening our hero.
Sure enough, Moose is riding the observation car platform chortling in triumph, spike held aloft. McGraw makes a speedy cartoon recovery and angrily vows to hunt down the villain.
Much plot left off HERE
After an unsuccessful spike-recovery encounter in Abilene, Moose is once more making his escape by handcar with Quick Draw in hot pursuit.
The two adversaries enter a tunnel. Note McGraw is operating locomotive #541 without a tender (fuel/water source). Saved cell-drawing time for the animators, no doubt.
Next is the old multiple levels/multiple chase options gag. Seen in many a cartoon in various formats over the years as a great time filler.
It’s Baba Looey to the rescue! Running engine #145 also sans tender, Quick Draw’s sidekick has got Moose’s handcar hemmed in. In a cornfield meet, Moose Caboose is squashed between locomotives and relieved of his purloined track-fastening device.
With the golden spike back with its rightful owners, the officials prepare to drive it home. Unfortunately, the railroad big shot manages to miss the spike and whack Quick Draw’s foot instead as the credits roll.
Fun Fact: In the 1869 CP/UP golden spike ceremony, two officials (including Leland Stanford) actually missed hitting the spike —– although AFAIK, no one’s foot got smacked. ;p
Fun Fact 2: The 150th anniversary of the driving of the golden spike is coming up in May 2019. Many folks including the State of Utah and Union Pacific Railroad are planning big events in celebration.
I am greatly indebted to a fellow with the handle of “YOWP” who has an outstanding blog about Hanna-Barbera cartoons including Locomotive Loco 1960. Incredible detail in his blog entries. Do check it out if you’re so inclined:
If you’d like to view Locomotive Loco 1960, it is on dailymotion.com:
Here’s what IMDb has to say about Locomotive Loco/Quick Draw McGraw (not much):
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