The character first appeared, nameless, in Avery's 1943 cartoon Dumb-hounded. Though he would not be called "Droopy" onscreen until his fifth cartoon, Señor Droopy (1949), the character was officially first labeled Happy Hound, a name used in the character's appearances in Our Gang Comics. After the demise of the Droopy series in 1958, the character has been revived several times for new productions, often television shows also featuring MGM's other famous cartoon stars, Tom and Jerry. In the episode Northwest Hounded Police it was revealed that Droppy's last name was McPoodle.
Droopy first appeared in the MGM cartoon Dumb-Hounded, released by MGM on March 20, 1943. Droopy's first scene is when he saunters into view, looks at the audience, and declares, "Hello all you happy people...you know what? I'm the hero." In the cartoon, Droopy is tracking an escaped convict and is always waiting for the crook wherever he turns up. Avery had used a similar gag in his 1941 Merrie Melodies short Tortoise Beats Hare, which in turn was an expansion/exaggeration of the premise of his The Blow Out (1936). In fact, this cartoon shows that early ideas about Droopy's personality were already germinating, as that film's Cecil Turtle is very similar in character to Droopy.
Droopy's meek, deadpan voice and personality were modeled after the character Wallace Wimple on the radio comedy Fibber McGee and Molly; actor Bill Thompson, who played Wimple, was the original voice of Droopy. During his time in the US Navy during World War II, the role was played by other voice actors, including Don Messick, who reprised the role in the 1990s. Avery's preferred gag man Heck Allen said that Tex himself provided the voice on several occasions, and "You couldn't tell the difference." Droopy himself was a versatile actor: he could play a Mountie, a cowboy, a deputy, an heir, or a Dixieland-loving everyday Joe with equal ease. The same voice was used for Big Heel-Watha in the Screwy Squirrel cartoon of the same name and for a Pilgrim who chases a turkey modeled after Jimmy Durante in Avery's 1945 short Jerky Turkey.
One of Droopy's most famous and surprising traits is his incredible strength, given his diminutive stature and unassuming looks and personality, but it would usually be reserved for when he was upset (with a few rare exceptions, where he would very easily move his adversary beforehand, but without harming him), and then he would monotone, "You know what? That makes me mad," prior to tossing the hapless villain of the piece over his head many times. One such occasion was in Señor Droopy, where he did this to a bull. It happened again in One Droopy Knight, where a dragon was Droopy's victim. In the second case, he also breaks the dragon's tail off and knocks him very far away with it like a baseball bat (apparently, it regenerated like a lizard's tail, given the unharmed dragon later became Droopy's servant/pet). This was also once done by a baby version of Droopy, in the Western-themed short, Homesteader Droopy. Another example was in The Chump Champin which Droopy punched a bag with an anvil in it several times and another person shattered when he hit it.
In most of his cartoons, Droopy matches wits with either a slick anthropomorphic Wolf (the Wolf character "portrays" the crooks in both Dumb-hounded and its semi-remake, Northwest Hounded Police (1946)) or a bulldog named "Spike", sometimes silent, sometimes sporting a Gaelic accent. Two Droopy cartoons - The Shooting of Dan McGoo and Wild and Woolfy - also feature appearances from the curvy heroine of Avery's Red Hot Riding Hood (1943) as a damsel in distress being pursued by the Wolf. Three later Droopy cartoons - Three Little Pups (1953), Blackboard Jumble (1957), and Sheep Wrecked (1958) - feature a slow-moving southern wolf character. Voiced by Daws Butler in a dialect he later used for Hanna-Barbera's Huckleberry Hound, this wolf was a more deadpan character with a tendency to whistle "Kingdom Coming" (aka "Jubalio") to himself (much like Huckleberry would sing "Oh My Darling Clementine" to himself).
Avery took a year-long break from MGM from 1950 to 1951, during which time Dick Lundy took over his unit to do one Droopy cartoon, Caballero Droopy, and several Barney Bear cartoons. Avery returned in late 1951 and continued with Droopy and his one-shots until the Avery unit was dissolved by MGM in 1953. Michael Lah, an Avery animator, stayed on long enough to help William Hanna and Joseph Barbera complete Deputy Droopy after Avery had left the studio. Lah himself then left MGM, but returned in 1955 to direct CinemaScope Droopy cartoons costarring either Spike, now called Butch because of the same-named bulldog in Hanna and Barbera's Tom and Jerry cartoons, or the "Kingdom Coming"-whistling wolf. One of these, One Droopy Knight (1957), was nominated for the 1957 Academy Award for Best Short Subject (Cartoons). However, by the time of One Droopy Knight's release in December 1957, the MGM cartoon studio had been closed for six months, a casualty of corporate downsizing.
In 1980, Filmation produced a series of lower-budget Droopy shorts for television as part of a new Tom and Jerry show, with Frank Welker and producer Lou Scheimer alternating as the voice of the hound.
In the 1990s, Hanna-Barbera offering Tom & Jerry Kids, Droopy had a young son named Dripple—possibly an older version of the infant we see in Homesteader Droopy. The mild success of the show provided perhaps the most Droopy merchandise: plush toys, gummy snacks, figurines, etc. Tom & Jerry Kids had a spin-off series, Droopy, Master Detective. He also had cameos in two theatrical features: as an elevator operator in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (where he was voiced by the film's animation director Richard Williams), and in Tom and Jerry: The Movie (voiced by Messick). Droopy also had cameos in all three subsequently-produced Roger Rabbit shorts, Tummy Trouble (again he's an elevator operator), Roller Coaster Rabbit (he plays a bad guy dressed as Snidely Whiplash), and Trail Mix-Up (he plays a scuba diver) (played by Williams in the first short and by Corey Burton in the latter two). Droopy also appears in the 2006 cartoon series Tom and Jerry Tales, voiced by Don Brown. He even makes an appearance in the direct-to-video special Tom and Jerry: The Magic Ring, voiced by Jeff Bennett.
A three-issue Droopy comic book miniseries was released in the mid-1990s by Dark Horse Comics.
In the 1993 film Look Who's Talking Now, Droopy is parodied in a scene where James (John Travolta) and Mikey (David Gallagher) go to a pet store where they see a grouchy Bassett Hound who talks exactly like Droopy and says that he hates little boys. James likes the dog but Mikey doesn't because it looks like a "hot dog with ears" and the dog replies "I resent that!"
Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central's news parody The Daily Show, has taken to imitating Connecticut senator and 2000 Democratic vice-presidential candidate Joe Lieberman with Droopy Dog's voice and mannerisms.
In the early 2000s, Droopy appeared in a Cartoon Network short entitled Thanks a Latté, in which he works at a coffee shop and tricks a greedy wolf into giving him a tip. The short now airs on Cartoon Network's sister channel Boomerang.
During the same period, Droopy was also featured in Adult Swim's Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law in the episode "Droopy Botox" voiced by Maurice LaMarche. He is seen seeking a settlement after a cosmetic surgeon injected him with too much botox (A running gag in this episode was the fact that Droopy was often seen crying despite having a huge grin frozen on his face, whereas in the classic cartoons a sad-faced Droopy would often say, "You know what? I'm happy").
In the manga and anime Dragonball, Droopy has a cameo appearance as the Abbot of the monastery that hosts the "Strongest Under Heaven" Martial Arts tournament. Before the fights begin, Abbot Droopy delivers, in his trademark deadpan, this bit of Zen wisdom: "Woof."
It was speculated that new Droopy theatrical shorts were to be produced in 2004, along with newer Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry cartoons produced by Warner Bros. Animation, but owing to the unsuccessful release of Looney Tunes: Back in Action in November 2003 which nearly caused the dissolution of the whole studio, production on the planned shorts was canceled. However, unlike some of these Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry cartoons, no Droopy cartoons were completed. Indeed, it was unknown if these cartoons were produced, probably only a proposed plan if the film was a hit.
In a 2004 episode of the Comedy Central animated series Drawn Together, "Clara's Dirty Little Secret", the character Foxxy Love listens to a book on tape entitled: Clara's Story: How I Kissed a Black Girl, as read by Droopy Dog on headphones. The character Toot Braunstein listens for a moment as well, hearing the voice of Droopy reading a sentence that begins, "As her buttery maple pelvis gyrated..."
In the Family Guy episode "Ocean's Three and a Half," a parody of Fox News Channel's former show Hannity & Colmes featured co-host Alan Colmes portrayed by Droopy Dog, implying that Colmes is weak and useless against his co-host.
- Bill Thompson (1943, 1948-1957)
- Tex Avery (1944-1957 as periodic stand-in for Bill Thompson during his run)
- Daws Butler (1944-1954 as periodic stand-in for Bill Thompson during his run)
- Don Messick (1944-1957 as periodic stand-in for Bill Thompson during his run, 1990-1993; 1993's Tom and Jerry: The Movie)
- Frank Welker (1980-1982 series The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show)
- Richard Williams (1988's Who Framed Roger Rabbit and 1989 Roger Rabbit cartoon short Tummy Trouble)
- Corey Burton (The Roger Rabbit cartoon shorts Roller Coaster Rabbit and Trail Mix-Up)
- Jeff Bennett (Tom and Jerry: The Magic Ring)
- Don Brown (Tom and Jerry Tales)
- Jeff Bergman (Tom and Jerry Meet Sherlock Holmes)
- Maurice LaMarche (Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law)
|#||Film||Director(s)||Producer(s)||Original release date||Notes|
|1||Dumb-Hounded ||Tex Avery||Fred Quimby||March 20, 1943||First appearence of Droopy and McWolf.|
|2||The Shooting Of Dan McGoo ||Tex Avery||Fred Quimby||March 3, 1945||First appearance of Red/Ms Vavoom.|
|3||Wild and Woolfy ||Tex Avery||Fred Quimby||November 3, 1945|
|4||Northwest Hounded Police ||Tex Avery||Fred Quimby||August 13, 1946|
|5||Señor Droopy ||Tex Avery||Fred Quimby||April 9, 1949||
|6||Wags to Riches||Tex Avery||Fred Quimby||August 13, 1949||
|7||Out-Foxed ||Tex Avery||Fred Quimby||October 12, 1949|
|8||The Chump Champ ||Tex Avery||Fred Quimby||November 4, 1950|
|9||Daredevil Droopy ||Tex Avery||Fred Quimby||March 31, 1951|
|10||Droopy's Good Deed ||Tex Avery||Fred Quimby||May 5, 1951|
|11||Droopy's "Double Trouble"||Tex Avery||Fred Quimby||November 17, 1951||
|12||Caballero Droopy||Dick Lundy||Fred Quimby||September 27, 1952|
|13||The Three Little Pups ||Tex Avery||Fred Quimby||December 26, 1953|
|14||Drag-a-Long Droopy ||Tex Avery||Fred Quimby||February 20, 1954|
|15||Homesteader Droopy ||Tex Avery||Fred Quimby||July 10, 1954|
|16||Dixieland Droopy||Tex Avery||Fred Quimby||December 4, 1954|
|17||Deputy Droopy||Tex Avery||Fred Quimby||October 28, 1955|
|18||Millionaire Droopy||Tex Avery||William Hanna||September 21, 1956|
|19||Grin and Share It||Michael Lah||William Hanna
|May 17, 1957||
|20||Blackboard Jumble||Michael Lah||William Hanna
|October 4, 1957||
|21||One Droopy Knight||Michael Lah||William Hanna
|December 6, 1957||
|22||Sheep Wrecked||Michael Lah||William Hanna
|February 7, 1958||
|23||Mutts About Racing||Michael Lah||William Hanna
|April 4, 1958||
|24||Droopy Leprechaun||Michael Lah||William Hanna
|July 4, 1958||Final appearance of Droopy.
On May 15, 2007, Warner Home Video (whose corporate sibling Turner Entertainment now owns the rights to the character) released all of Droopy's MGM cartoons on DVD as Tex Avery's Droopy: The Complete Theatrical Collection. The seven Droopy cartoons produced in CinemaScope were released in their original widescreen versions, instead of the pan and scan versions regularly broadcast on television.