near Dragoon Arizona
Pictures like the one above make me think of some of the classic cartoons of my youth and the beautiful backdrops of the American West used by the cartoonists drawing my Saturday morning entertainment. I thought it would be interesting to try and identify the exact inspiration for some of my cartoon favorites.
Yogi Bear – Yellowstone National Park. That is obviously way too easy to identify. Jellystone = Yellowstone NP. Not to mention, what a great place to have a picnic.
Wile E Coyote and the Roadrunner – Monument Valley. That beautiful background scenery must be Monument Valley in southern Utah. Interesting side note, Monument Valley is not part of the National Park system. It is actually a Navajo Tribal Park.
Speedy Gonzalez – Saguaro National Park. Every time you see Speedy you see those Saguaro cactus in the background. The Saguaro only grows from Tucson up to the Phoenix area.
Saguaro Cactus in Saguaro National Park
Scooby Doo, Where are You – California. The original hipster detectives must be from California. That whole first season in 1968-1969 was set in California including notable episodes like the Miner 49er, Foulplay in Funland, and the one with the ghost of Captain Cutler in that glowing deep sea dive suit.
Quick Draw McGraw – Southwest Texas. Probably near some abandoned ghost town between Big Bend and Guadalupe National Parks.
Honorable Mention: Bugs Bunny – Albuquerque NM. How can you forget Bugs making that wrong turn in Albuquerque.
Honorable Mention #2: Not a cartoon, but who hasn’t ridden Thunder Mountain at Disneyland or Disneyworld and not seen the resemblance to Bryce Canyon in Utah?
Honorable Mention #3: Not a cartoon of my youth, but the Disney made Cars movie with Lightning McQueen is set on old Hwy 66 somewhere in Arizona. Have you seen Cars Land at California Adventure? Wow!