Pontoffel Pock, Where Are You? is an animated television special written by Dr. Seuss, directed by Gerard Baldwin, produced by DePatie-Freleng in 1979 and first aired on ABC on May 2, 1980. The songs are by Joe Raposo.
Pontoffel Pock, recently at Gil Gickler's a local dill pickle factory, confuses the "Pullem" and "Pushem" controls for a device that places pickles into jars. He pulls the "Pushem" until it breaks. It sprung a leak which caused a chain reaction, wrecking the factory. Gickler denied Pontoffle Pock of work and send him away.
Pontoffel returns alone to his dilapidated house. He plays basketball casually but by himself. The ball crashes through the floor and later that night, he openly said he wishes that he could "get away from it all". He is immediately visited by McGillicuddy, a representative of the "Amalgamated Do-Gooding Fairies" who says: "Pontoffel Pock, your wish has been heard, and your wish has been granted." He presents his business card as somewhat a travel agent. McGillicuddy and his fairy associates, Humboldt and Higby give Pock a magical flying piano that takes him anywhere in the world (including a "Quick Trip Around The House" demonstration.). To do so, Pontoffel Pock plays these six very simple notes (C, C, C, D, D#, E) and then behind a door chooses a destination by pressing one of many differently-colored buttons, which fly him to his destination. And also insisting that Pock will never want to come back, but if he needs to, he can "Twitch A Homing Pigeon Switch".
The first place he goes to is Groogen, located in the Swiss Alps, and filled with flying Hot-Air "Balloogens". The Groogenites learn of his arrival and immediately welcome him. They throw a welcoming festival that includes a Yodeling song. The love, the singing, and the cheering goes to his head, and he does not watch where he is flying. He accidentally scares a cow which spills the bucket of milk on top of the lady's head. And then he accidentally knocks over a man skating on a frozen volcano. The man shakes his fist at Pock. Later, Pock gains control of the piano and intentionally uses it to fly recklessly until the crowd is forced to run and hide. A large drum and a Floogle-Horn are ruined and the man who crashed through the drum is in tears because of his "Genuine Frugal Stroogle Floogle Bugle" is damaged. The petitioners approach The Magistrate, who clarifies "in self defense" (in the same style as Switzerland). He is shot down by their Goomy Gun which fires multi-colored paint, that turns his piano yellow and causes its motor to lose power.
He plummets downward, but at the last second Pontoffel "twitches the Homing Pigeon Switch" that sends him and the piano home. McGillicuddy is angered that his piano has been damaged and confiscates the piano. After being given a chance to turn things around, McGillacuddy chooses a destination for him.
Pock ends up to Casbahmopolis, located in The Middle East. The citizens there are much more reclusive but Pock managed to be introduced to Neepha Pheepha, a famous eyeball dancer. They both fall in love with each other. Pock quickly follows her to the palace and sneaks in. Neepha Pheepha sings a song about her dislike of her job dancing for the Sultan. The Sultan takes no notice at the insults toward him because he is completely subdued by The Magical Substances From His Vapor Device. Pock whispers to her, and the next song indicates that she is begging for Pock to rescue her. She also notes that she does not find him handsome nor tall (to the annoyance of Pock) but yearns for an opportunity to change her life.
The Sultan is still completely subdued and does not notice Pock until Pock joins in the song. Pock and Pheepha run away but are chased by guards. They surround them seated at the piano. The piano unusually is equipped with a stool, not bench, and Neepha has no choice but to sit on top of the piano. His over-confidence happens again when he yells out the Homing Pigeon Switch. A guard sees it and breaks it in half. Pock then says that they can go someplace else. Unfortunately, Neepha falls off and lands into the arms of one of the guards.
Having lost his sense of direction, Pontoffel starts pushing random buttons, sending him to several different places. At the same time, Neepha is by herself and McGillacuddy is unable to track the piano because the Homing Pigeon Switch is damaged. He asks the two fairies along with Hoikendorf to help find their piano. Eventually, they have no choice but to call others for help and they search the world. They are unable to pinpoint him because he jumps from one dangerous location to the next. In The North Pole, he is confronted by a polar bear. In The Congo, he is chased by gorillas and elephants. In Spain, he is chased by bulls. He even tries to fly the piano by himself and ends up caught in a thunderstorm, setting the piano on fire. He ends up in Japan and finally realizes he needs to push "Violet" to return to Neepha Pheepha. The Good Fairy In Chief has had enough searching and he himself says he is going to "get away from it all". Before he activates his piano, they finally spot him heading for Neepha Pheepha.
He crash-lands into the tower where she is being kept prisoner the piano is destroyed. Neefa Feefa voices a wish to "get away from it all", just as Pontoffel had earlier, which comes to the attention of the fairies who appear to grant her wish. The fairies tow them and the piano back to Pock's home and sing the "There's No Place Like Home" song, both because the piano can not do those things any more.
Gickler hears about Pock's rescue of Neepha Pheepha, and believes that "for proving his worth" he deserves one more try. Neepha Pheepha is also hired at the factory and successfully operate the machines and are happy together. Outside, a rainbow appears as the Fairies fly the worn-out piano away.
- This was one of the final cartoons done at DePatie-Freleng as the studio would be sold to Marvel Comics and become Marvel Productions in 1981.
- A Vapor Device is being used by the sultan.
- The moral of the story explores the topic "Is The Grass Greener On The Other Side?".
- It is also based on the book "Oh, The Places You'll Go!".
- This story was one of several victims of a "Sing Along" VHS release. There the lyrics are plastered in front of the screen blocking the view.
- The title was changed to "Pontoffel Pock And His Magic Piano".
- The original opening credits contains edited footage that appears in later in the special. One of these edits shows the fairies flying but then skips ahead as they are closer in view.
- The second edit is where Pock knocks over the ice skater. Pock and the piano are removed from this scene and as a result the skater appears to fall by himself. He is no longer shaking his fist at Pock, but waving at the audience.
- In the "Sing Along" release, these edits do not occur and Pock is shown knocking over the skater again.
- Pontoffel Pock, Where Are You? is also available without any type of "Sing Along" edits, in its original title and original opening.
- This special is one of two specials with a slightly different production style as Maurice Noble and Dean Elliott left the staff.
- The previous special is Halloween is Grinch Night.
- The next special is The Grinch Grinches The Cat In The Hat.
- This special is notable for being between two specials featuring The Grinch.
- The Grinch Grinches The Cat In The Hat has yet another different production style.
- Pontoffel Pock, Where Are You? is the final Dr. Seuss story production where David H. DePatie and Friz Freleng are credited together on the same time as executive producer. DePatie returns as sole Executive Producer with Freleng and Giesel paired together at the same time (for the first time) as just producer.
- This is the last time Friz Freleng is credited as Executive Producer. Freleng retired shortly after his work on The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat.
- This is the last time Gerard Baldwin is the director of a Dr. Seuss story.
- Ken Lundie - Higby, Fairies, Casbahmoplis Guards
- Joe Raposo - Gil Gickler, Groogen Dairywoman, Groogen Musician, Senior Fairy
- Wayne Morton - Pontoffel Pock, Male Gickler Dill Workers
- Hal Smith - McGillicuddy, Good Fairy In Chief, Groogen Cop, Groogen Citizen
- Sue Allen - Neepha Pheepa, Female Gickler Dill Workers
- Don Messick - Humboldt, Fairies, Casbahmoplis Guards
- "Pull on the Pull 'Em" - Joe Raposo and Chorus
- "I Had Failed" - Wayne Morton and Chorus
- "The House that My Family Had Left Me" - Wayne Morton (To the tune of My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean)
- "This Wondrous Piano" - Hal Smith
- "Welcome to Groogen" - Chorus
- "I'm Flying Free" - Wayne Morton
- "Optic Coptic (AKA The Eyes Song)" - Sue Allen
- "This Wondrous Piano (Reprise)" - Wayne Morton
- "Pontoffel Pock, Where the Heck Are You?" - Hal Smith and Sue Allen
- "Pull On the Pull 'Em (Reprise)" - Joe Raposo, Wayne Morton, Sue Allen and Chorus