THE SECRET LIVES OF WALDO KITTYMedium: TV animation
Produced by: Filmation
First Appeared: 1975
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Hanna-Barbera has the reputation for ripping off series set-ups like Sgt. Bilko (Top Cat) and Blondie (The Jetsons), but other TV cartoon producers did it too. Filmation (Web Woman, Isis), for example, couldn't have been more blatant about having
been "inspired" by James Thurber's The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1939) and the 1947 movie made from it, when it produced The Secret Lives of Waldo Kitty.
Waldo's show debuted on NBC. on September 6, 1975. Like Walter, Waldo was a puny, ineffectual little guy, except instead of a regular guy, he was a funny animal. Each episode started in live action, with a bulldog named Tyrone picking on either Waldo or his girlfriend, Felicia. Then Waldo would daydream himself into animation, in the action hero's role, and proceed to mop the floor with Tyrone, The heroes he daydreamed himself as included Catman, Robin Cat and Catzan.
Waldo's voice was provided by Howard Morris (Jughead in Archie); Tyrone's by Allan Melvin (Magilla Gorilla); and Felicia's by Jane Webb (Sabrina the Teenage Witch). Thirteen half-hours were made, and were broadcast and re-broadcast over the course of a year. Waldo later became a segment on The Groovie Goolies & Friends.
Filmation seems to have neglected to clear Waldo with the Thurber estate, which took legal action. As a result, when it appeared with The Groovie Goolies, it was re-titled The New Adventures of Waldo Kitty, and the live-action portions were dropped.
Waldo hasn't been seen on TV in recent decades, and his home video is out of print.