Tweetie Pie

Tweetie Pie is a 1947 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon planned by Bob Clampett, but was finished and directed by Friz Freleng.[3] The short was released on May 3, 1947, and stars Tweety and Sylvester the Cat.[4]

Tweetie Pie
Tweetiepieblueribbon.jpg
Blue Ribbon rerelease title card
Directed byBob Clampett (Planned, unc.)
I. Freleng (Finished)
Produced byEdward Selzer (unc.)
Story byMichael Maltese
Tedd Pierce[1][2]
StarringMel Blanc
Bea Benaderet (unc.)
Music byMusical Direction:
Carl Stalling
Orchestration:
Milt Franklyn (unc.)
Animation byGerry Chiniquy
Manuel Perez
Ken Champin
Virgil Ross
A.C. Gamer (Effects, unc.)
Layouts byHawley Pratt
Backgrounds byTerry Lind
Color processTechnicolor
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • May 3, 1947 (1947-05-03) (original)
  • June 25, 1955 (1955-06-25) (Blue Ribbon re-release)
Running time
7:02
LanguageEnglish

Tweetie Pie was the first pairing of Sylvester and Tweety, and won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 1948,[5] breaking Tom and Jerry's streak of four consecutive wins in the category and winning Warner Bros. their first Academy Award.[6]

PlotEdit

Sylvester (called "Thomas" in this short) captures Tweety, whom he finds outside in the snow, getting warm by a cigar. Thomas' mean unseen owner, Emma, sees him and saves Tweety from being eaten by Thomas, whom she promptly reprimands when he tries to eat him again. Tweety is brought inside, and Emma warns Thomas not to bother Tweety. Ignoring this command, Thomas initiates a series of failed attempts to get Tweety from his cage, each ending in a noisy crash bringing Emma of the house to whack Thomas with a broom, calling him names and then finally, throw him out.

Thomas tries to get back into the house through the chimney. Tweety puts wood in the fireplace, pours gasoline on it and lights it. The phoom sends Thomas flying right back up the chimney and into a bucket of frozen water.

However, Thomas gets back in the house via a window in the basement (or study) and creates a Rube Goldberg-esque trap (virtually identical to one in Charles M Jones' 1945 Porky Pig short Trap Happy Porky) to capture Tweety: After following a trail of birdseed to a whole box of some, Tweety gets into the full box, which is attached to a string that when Tweety gets in, pulls down on the lever of a toaster which launches a piece of toast into the air to knock down a knife which makes the iron it is holding in place fall down a ladder with a trash can at the bottom, and the iron lands on the pedal pressed to open the trash can, which has a string attached to the lid that when the trash can is opened, pulls open a closet, which releases a board to fall on a bellows, which makes a pinwheel spin that is tied to a string that is tied to the switch on a stove that turns on and makes a kettle with the spout plugged by a cork boil, and the heat launches the cork into the air and the cork hits a refrigerator door which has one end of a string tied to a handle and the other end attached to the hand of a cuckoo clock, and when being hit by a cork, the refrigerator door opens, pulling on the hand of the cuckoo clock, which causes the clock to strike the hour, opening the door out of which the cuckoo bird comes, releasing a bowling ball, and of course, the trap backfires and injures Thomas instead.

Thomas tries to capture Tweety by running up to the attic and sawing a hole around Tweety's cage, but he ends up causing the entire inner ceiling to collapse (sans Tweety's cage, which is being held in place by a beam). The faux pas creates such a racket that Thomas is sure the owner will come downstairs and wallop him, and so, he takes her broom, breaks it in half, and tosses the pieces into the fire. This proves to be meaningless, as he finds himself being walloped on the head repeatedly with a shovel...by Tweety.

Production notesEdit

When Tweety's creator, director Bob Clampett, left the Warner Bros. studio in 1945, he was working on a fourth film starring him, whom he would pair with Friz Freleng's Sylvester, who previously appeared with Porky Pig in his (Clampett's) cartoon Kitty Kornered (released in 1946). The working title for the cartoon was Fat Rat and the Stupid Cat in 1946, which would've been the first true cartoon to pair Sylvester and Tweety together. [7] Tweety was depicted living in a bird cage, which could hint his transition from a wild baby bird, to a domestic canary. Production of the fourth Tweety cartoon began roughly around the same time A Gruesome Twosome (Tweety’s last cartoon directed by Clampett) was released, around June 1945,[8] however due to Clampett leaving Warner Bros. at the time of the cartoons development, it never entered full-production as his unit was given to Arthur Davis.

Friz Freleng at the same time was working on-a follow-up to his second Sylvester cartoon, Peck Up Your Troubles, featuring Sylvester in pursuit of a witty woodpecker. Freleng wanted to replace the woodpecker with Tweety, however producer Edward Selzer objected, and Freleng threatened to quit. Selzer allowed Tweety to be used, and the resulting film went on to win Warner Bros.' first Oscar, which Selzer accepted. After Selzer's death in 1970, the Oscar was passed on to Freleng. The cartoon would also go on to become a phenomenal success, and as result, Tweety would always be paired with Sylvester from that point on in subsequent appearances, because the duo carried a high amount of star power.[9] Sylvester, however, would appear in many shorts without Tweety, such as the Hippety Hopper series consisting of Hippety Hopper and Sylvester Jr.. Those were directed by Robert McKimson. Sylvester also appeared alongside Speedy Gonzales and both Freleng and McKimson supervised cartoons pairing the two, and would win another Oscar for that pairing in 1955.

Voice castEdit

Home mediaEdit

Although the cartoon was re-released into the Blue Ribbon program in 1955, the cartoon's original titles are known to exist.[10] When re-released, like most Merrie Melodies at the time, the original ending bullet titles were kept. On the following sets, the Blue Ribbon re-release print is available. The original titles were found in 2011 and it is unknown if Warner Bros. is aware of their existence, since the Platinum Collection set released in 2012 still had the Blue Ribbon titles.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Tweetie Pie at The Big Cartoon DataBase
  2. ^ Beck, Jerry (1991). I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat: Fifty Years of Sylvester and Tweety. New York: Henry Holt and Co. p. 90. ISBN 0-8050-1644-9.
  3. ^ Beck, Jerry; Friedwald, Will (1989). Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: A Complete Illustrated Guide to the Warner Bros. Cartoons. Henry Holt and Co. p. 174. ISBN 0-8050-0894-2.
  4. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (1999). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Checkmark Books. pp. 151–152. ISBN 0-8160-3831-7. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  5. ^ Tweetie Pie, retrieved 2018-01-16
  6. ^ Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood Official Guide. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. 2015. p. 12-15.
  7. ^ "A116Animation". profilesinhistory.com. Retrieved 2020-03-21.
  8. ^ https://cartoonresearch.com/index.php/bob-clampetts-a-gruesome-twosome-1945/
  9. ^ Sperling, Millner, and Warner (1998), pp. 187–188.
  10. ^ "Tweety's lost titles". Cartoon Brew. Aug 24, 2011. Retrieved May 25, 2019.

External linksEdit