The Boy Who Was Scrappy

Confession time: I know very little about the voices in Scrappy cartoons. Actually, come to think about it, about the only thing I’ve known–and only because voice maven Keith Scott told me–is that Robert “Bobby” Winckler (1927-1989) was Scrappy’s voice in some shorts.

But now I know at least a tiny bit more. Jerry Beck alerted me to the existence of a Robert “Bobby” Winckler fan group on Facebook–apparently run by his son, William Winckler–and it has some great photos and a couple of items which reference his Scrappy work.

I’ve borrowed a few images from the Bobby Winckler Facebook page and elsewhere for this post.

Here’s Bobby Winckler as a child actor on a Hollywood backlot, circa 1933. He made more than 80 live-action films, including a number of Our Gang shorts, Knute Rockne All American, and Preston Sturges’ iconic Sullivan’s Travels, and was also busy on the radio (where he played W.C. Fields’ son, among other roles).


Here he is (center) serving in WWII with two friends on St. Patrick’s Day 1945 in Manila.


Winckler eventually became a successful Hollywood lawyer, counting Spanky McFarland, Adam West, and Billy Barty among his clients. In 1980, he ran as a Republican for a seat in the U.S. Congress representing California’s 23rd district.


He lost the race–but here he is, presumably in the 1980s, with his Knute Rockne costar Dutch Reagan and George H.W. Bush.


Now for the Scrappy stuff. Here’s a Hollywood Radio Artists’ Directory listing which mentions his work in the series. It uses a variant spelling of his last name; as far as I know, he was not related to Charles Mintz’s wife, the former Margaret Winkler.


And this is a sample of the script for The City Slicker (1938), one of the films in which Winckler voiced Scrappy.


And here’s The City Slicker itself–which I’m afraid features a last-gasp version of Scrappy who’s been unappealingly redesigned and who, really, has few redeeming qualities of any sort, aside from his voice.

According to online sources, Bobby Winckler also voiced Hans and Fritz in MGM’s Captain and the Kids cartoons and Petey Parrot in the Warner Bros. cartoon I Wanna Be a Sailor (1937), and was the field mouse in Bambi. Voice acting was a sideline for him, but a long-standing one: In the 1980s, he performed in his son William’s English-language dub of Japan’s Tekkaman animated series.

That’s all I have to tell you about Robert “Bobby” Winckler. But here’s another Scrappy voice tidbit: Andrew Leal tells me that Hollywood veteran Leone Ledoux–who was an adult, and female–also voiced the character. Stay tuned for any information on her which I can cobble together.

2 comments on The Boy Who Was Scrappy

  • The LeDoux information comes from the Los Angeles Times, April 21, 1935. The article has been reprinted here:

  • He’s a key part of the unforgettable, staggeringly funny chase scene in Sullivan’s Travels as Bud, the kid who’s “studying to be a whippet tanker.” Bud’s behind the wheel of some kind of souped-up soap-box derby car and takes Joel McCrea on the ride of his life (“If you don’t mind going fast…”) pursued by an RV (or “Land Yacht” as Franklin Pangborn calls it) full of studio employees who are flung mercilessly around the RV as it careens at top speed ending in a slow motion crash that somehow doesn’t send the entire cast to the hospital. Not a big part, but his line readings and facial expressions are hysterical.

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