PIXIE AND DIXIEMedium: TV animation
Produced by: Hanna-Barbera
First Appeared: 1958
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Crusader Rabbit and Winky Dink. But it was Hanna-Barbera that turned TV animation into an industry. Their first half-hour show — the first half-hour animated show to succeed in the TV market — was Huckleberry Hound, which debuted in syndication on October 2, 1958.
Which makes Pixie & Dixie, who starred in one of the three segments of Huck's show (the third being Yogi Bear, who quickly went on to a show of his own) a part of television history that far outshines their present-day prominence.
Even then, Hanna and Barbera were showing their penchant for "borrowing" concepts and situations from other series, including their own. The Pixie & Dixie series was a close copy of Tom & Jerry, which had been a big success for them back when they were directors at MGM. It differed from the earlier one mainly in featuring two mice of equal stature (whereas Jerry Mouse's partner, called Tuffy in comic books and Little Nibbles in some cartoons, was a late addition and appeared only sporadically). The cat, whose catch-phrase ("I hate those meeses to pieces") was heard in practically every episode, was named Mr. Jinks.
The voices were provided by two giants in the field of voice acting. Pixie was played by Don Messick, who began his career at Hanna-Barbera by playing Ruff, of Ruff & Reddy, the studio's very first success, which had run as a segment on a Screen Gems (The Fox & the Crow, Flippy & Flop) cartoon show. He went on to do (among others) Ricochet Rabbit, Atom Ant and a host of non-anthropomorphic animals, including Astro the dog, Kaboobie the camel and Scooby-Doo. Dixie and Jinks were both played by Daws Butler, whose voice can be heard in cartoons made by MGM, Warner Bros., Jay Ward, Walter Lantz, Disney and others, and who is familiar to millions as Quick Draw McGraw, Chilly Willy and Cap'n Crunch. He also played Reddy to Messick's Ruff.
Pixie & Dixie stayed with The Huckleberry Hound Show for its entire run — four seasons, a total of 57 episodes. They starred in comic books — four, dated 1960-62, from Dell Comics and one, dated 1963, from Gold Key, as well as appearing in the back pages of Huck's and Yogi's comics. They also starred in a 1961 Little Golden Book. Plus, there was the usual merchandising, with toys, clothing and whatnot, tho of course, not headlining their own show, they didn't get the same star treatment as Huck and Yogi.
They survived for some time after the show went off the air, as reruns and as minor characters in ensemble shows, such as Scooby's All-Star Laff-a-Lympics. They aren't seen much anymore, but since there is still a tendency for people to name pairs of pets "Pixie" and "Dixie", apparently they're far from forgotten.