The Andy Griffith Show appears in the Looney Tunes animated universe
So that's what a cartoon Mayberry looks like.
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The town of Mayberry had some animated characters, from the "nut" Ernest T. Bass to the trembling deputy Barney Fife. Of course, we mean "animated" in the "lively" sense, not literally. There never was an official cartoon adaptation of The Andy Griffith Show, although according to The Mayberry Historical Society, some evidence of an animated spin-off exists.
"[A]nimation cels depicting a cartoon version of Andy Griffith have turned up," TAGS trivia expert Paul Mulik wrote. "Very little is known about these cels, but one rumor has it that at some point in the late 1970s or early 1980s, an animated version of The Andy Griffith Show was in the works, with the voices to have been provided by the original cast members."
Alas, that never came to be.
However, if you ever wondered what a cartoon version of Mayberry might look like, you can turn to Warner Bros. The New Scooby-Doo Movies spoofs Mayberry in 1972, in the episode "The Spooky Fog of Juneberry," which guest-starred Don Knotts himself voicing a character that dressed and acted just like Barney Fife.
An even better "What If?" can be found two decades later in Animaniacs. If you recall, Animananiacs was the delightfully irreverent Nineties cartoon produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation. The two studios had previously joined forces for Tiny Toon Adventures.
Animaniacs centered around Yakko, Wakko and Dot Warner, three "1930s" characters who had been locked up in the Warner Bros. Water Tower on the studio lot for decades before breaking loose. The cartoon was filled with adult references and stylistic nods to the classics made be Friz Freleng, Tex Avery and Chuck Jones. The series ran for five seasons on FOX and the WB (and was recently revived on Hulu).
Season three, in particular, had a couple of wonderful easter eggs for Mayberry maniacs. In "Three Tenors and You're Out," a spoof of the esteemed opera trio The Three Tenors (here called Domino, Pepperoni, and Carumba), Slappy and Skippy Squirrel head to a baseball game.
At one point, a bored Slappy pulls out a remote control and changes the channel on the Jumbotron. And what comes up on the screen? Sheriff Andy and Deputy Barney heading to the fishin' hole with their rods. There is even a jaunty little whistling tune, in a clear reference to the opening credits. It's not The Andy Griffith Show theme song for legal reasons, but it's close. You can see it in the image at the top of the post.
Now, why it's Barney going fishing with Andy and not Opie is unknown, but the Animaniacs team must have loved Don Knotts. Later that season, in "Valuable Lesson," Attila the Hun chases the Warners around the lot. They zip by a security desk — which is manned by Barney Fife, as you can see in the inset photo.
"Must be the owner of one of our affiliates," security guard "Barney Fife" says in his best Don Knotts voice. Now, Don Knotts did not voice the character. It was Jeff Bennett, who is credited as "Don Knotts" on IMDb.
We may have not gotten a true Andy Griffith Show cartoon, but we know what I might have looked like.