Wednesday, June 5, 2024

"King Leonardo and His Short Sublects" ....Vintage cartoon History 1960-1963

"King Leonardo and His Short Subjects" is an American animated television series produced by Total Television (TTV), which aired on NBC from October 15, 1960, to September 28, 1963. The show was one of the early animated series created for television, reflecting the burgeoning interest in cartoons during the era.

Concept and Characters

The series is set in the fictional African nation of Bongo Congo and centers around King Leonardo, a lion who is the well-meaning but somewhat inept ruler of the kingdom. The main characters include:

  • King Leonardo: The titular character, a lion who struggles with his duties as king.
  • Odie Cologne: The skunk prime minister of Bongo Congo and the king’s loyal advisor. Odie often tries to help the king solve problems.
  • Biggie Rat: A villainous rat who, along with his sidekick Itchy Brother, constantly schemes to overthrow King Leonardo.
  • Itchy Brother: Biggie Rat’s dim-witted sidekick, who is also King Leonardo's brother.


Each episode was comprised of several short segments, typically featuring the main characters of King Leonardo's court and their adversaries. The show's structure included various segments, often with different tones and styles, providing a mix of comedy and adventure.


Total Television, the production company behind "King Leonardo," was known for creating several other popular animated series, including "Underdog," "Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales," and "The World of Commander McBragg." The animation for "King Leonardo" was handled by Gamma Productions, a Mexican animation studio that also worked on other Total Television series and early Jay Ward cartoons like "Rocky and Bullwinkle."

Broadcast and Legacy

"King Leonardo and His Short Subjects" enjoyed a successful run during its initial broadcast on NBC. The show's mix of humor, adventure, and engaging characters made it popular among children and set the stage for later animated series by Total Television. Despite not being as well-remembered as some contemporaries like "The Flintstones" or "The Jetsons," "King Leonardo" holds a place in early television animation history as a pioneer in serialized animated content.

The series' success led to reruns and syndication, allowing it to be enjoyed by new generations of viewers. "King Leonardo and His Short Subjects" is notable for its contribution to the development of animated television programming and for establishing a foundation for future Total Television productions.


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