The Adventures of Pow Wow, The Indian Boy (partially found early animated television shorts; 1949, 1956-1958)
The Adventures of Pow Wow, The Indian Boy is a series of animated short films or segments that initially ran for 15 minutes when it premiered locally on New York's WNBT-TV every Sunday morning between January 30th and March 13th, 1949 and had extremely limited animation. Then re-emerged a few years later in 1956 as part of CBS-TV's Captain Kangaroo show and consisted of 52, 5-minute, black-and-white shorts which were eventually colorized. The animation quality in those was considered a significant improvement to the episodes before them and was considered better than that of several other TV cartoons of the time, such as The Adventures of Paddy the Pelican and Hanna-Barbera's very first TV production, The Ruff and Reddy Show.
Distributor Screen Gems syndicated the newer series to the 11 western U.S. states, due to their stations not carrying Captain Kangaroo as part of their schedules yet. In addition to Screen Gems as distributor, it was presented by Leo Minskoff and Walter Minskoff, written by Bugs Hardaway, executive produced by Leon Marcus, with the theme composed by Monty Kelly, and directed by the late Sam Singer. The production was by Tempe-Toons. Since no other company has claimed copyrights to the show, it currently remains in the public domain.
As far as the rest of its broadcast history is concerned, it was no longer featured on Captain Kangaroo by early 1958 and in May of that year, it went into syndication between local kids shows. The later shorts aired every Saturday morning on New York's WRCA-TV/WNBC-TV, as part of Ray Forrest's Children's Theater. On Chicago's WGN-TV, they were added onto the program, Garfield Goose and Friends. Tele-Features became the new syndicator of the Pow Wow series in 1960 before the series eventually faded into obscurity. The show's run is inconsistent, as one source claims that it originally ran for less than a couple months before being cancelled and returning with new episodes years later, whereas another source claims many of the episodes ran throughout 1949 and then returned to air in repeats. One site mentions there are 52 episodes in total, whereas another mentions 88 episodes.
Premise[edit | edit source]
The exploits of the eponymous, young, Native American boy and all that he experiences through Native American folktales. They often involved him coming across some animal, sometimes one in need of help, and defending the forest, and wildlife, from whatever threats may come their way. Other characters include a medicine man who Pow Wow went to for advice and a young Native girl who's friends with Pow Wow, and possibly a love interest. There was no dialogue nor voice acting, other than a narrator who provides the monologue of what takes place, as it's more action-driven.
Availability[edit | edit source]
A couple of the Pow Wow shorts, "Pow Wow Gets Even", along with "Pow Wow and His Lucky Duck", were released onto The Worst Cartoons Ever DVD by Rembrandt Films and presented by animation historian Jerry Beck. "Pow Wow's Day of Labor" was available on the site, Toon Tracker, but seems to have disappeared and is now replaced by "The Magic Spigot", which can also be seen on YouTube. A German dub of another short can be seen on there as well. Aside from the two episodes that were brought to DVD and two, other episodes being the only ones that can be viewed online, the rest of the series has yet to return to public viewing. Plus, there is a Polish dub of the intro/theme.