Hamton Pig, from a publicity pic.


Original medium: TV animation
Produced by: Amblin Entertainment
First Appeared: 1990
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There have been several attempts in recent decades to "update" the old Looney Tunes characters for fresh exploitation — Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries, Baby Looney Tunes, Taz-Mania … One of the more enduring has been Tiny Toon Adventures. The secret of its relative success probably lies in the fact that it didn't attempt a new take on the old characters, but started …

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… with new ones, who only happened to resemble the old. Hamton J. Pig was the Tiny Toons analog of the classic Porky Pig.

Just as Babs & Buster Bunny weren't exact duplicates of Bugs and Concord Condor wasn't precisely like Beaky Buzzard, Hamton wasn't simply a remake of Porky — tho like the others, Hamton considered his elder equivalent a mentor, and his favorite instructor at Acme Looniversity (where he and the other Tiny Toons were learning how to stretch, squash, have anvils fall on their heads, and other skills necessary to become cartoon stars).

Hamton resembled a real pig in that he loved to eat. But the resemblance didn't extend to a sloppy lifestyle — in fact, he was fastidiously, even compulsively neat and clean. Unfortunately for him, Elmyra Duff, the Tiny Toons counterpart to Elmer Fudd, wasn't bright enough to see past the stereotype, and couldn't resist forcing him into unwanted and unnecessary baths. Hamton was also a naive, trusting type, which made it unfortunate that his best friend, Plucky Duck (whose mentor and favorite teacher was Daffy) was the most self-centered and manipulative of the Tiny Toons.

Hamton's voice was done by animation veteran Don Messick, whose credits range from Ruff of Ruff & Reddy to Eugene the Jeep in the 1987 Popeye & Son, and who also did some of the writing on Beany & Cecil. Hamton was his last major role. He died in 1997.

Like the other Tiny Toons (except Elmyra, who got a post-series gig with Pinky & the Brain), Hamton's fortunes parallelled those of the show itself. He started in 1990, appeared in a feature-length video release in 1992 and TV specials for Christmas in '92 and Halloween in '95. He can currently be seen in reruns.


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Text ©2005 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Warner Bros. and Amblin