Tweety (aka Tweety Pie
or Tweety Bird) is a fictional character in the Warner
Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of animated
cartoons. Fairly popular during the late 1940s, 1950s,
and 1960s, Tweety's popularity, like that of The
, actually grew in the years following
the dissolution of the Looney Tunes cartoons. Today,
Tweety is considered, along with Taz and Bugs
, among the most popular of the Looney Tunes
characters, especially (because of his "cute"
appearance and personality) among girls and young
women. Despite widespread speculation to the contrary,
Tweety is and has always been a male character.
Bob Clampett created the character that would become
Tweety in the 1942 short A Tale of Two Kitties, pitting
him against two hungry cats named Babbott and Catstello
(based on the famous comedians Abbott and Costello).
Tweety was originally naked (pink), jowly, and far
more aggressive and saucy, as opposed to the later,
more well-known version of him as a less hot-tempered
(but still somewhat ornery) yellow canary. In the
movie Bugs Bunny, Superstar, animator Clampett stated,
in a sotto voce "aside" to the audience,
that Tweety had been based "on my own naked baby
picture". Clampett did three more shorts with
the "naked genius", as a Jimmy Durante-ish
cat once called him in Gruesome Twosome. The last
of these, Birdy and the Beast, finally bestowed the
baby bird with his name.
Many of Mel Blanc's characters are notable for speech
impediments. Tweety's comes from having a beak, with
no lips or teeth. Thus he has trouble saying certain
words, especially ones with "dental" sounds.
For example, "pussy cat" comes out as "putty
tat" or "puddy tat", and "sweetie
pie" comes out as "tweetie pie", although
it is doubtful he ever actually called himself by
that name on-screen. Aside from this speech challenge,
Tweety's voice (and a fair amount of his attitude)
is similar to that of Bugs Bunny.
Tweety & Sylvester
Clampett began work on a short that would pit Tweety
against a then-unnamed black and white cat lisping
created by Friz Freleng in 1945. However, Clampett
left the studio before going into full production
on the short, and Freleng took on the project. Freleng
toned Tweety down and cutsied him up, giving him large
blue eyes and yellow feathers. The first short to
team Tweety and the cat, later named Sylvester
was 1947's Tweety Pie, which won Warner Bros. its
first Academy Award for Best Short Subject (Cartoons).
The pairing of Sylvester and Tweety was one of the
most notable pairings in animation history Most of
their cartoons followed a standard formula:
* The hungry "puddy tat" wanting to eat
the bird, some major obstacle stands in his way –
usually Granny or her bulldog Hector (or, more often
than not, numerous bulldogs).
* Tweety says his signature lines ("I tawt I
taw a puddy tat!" and "I did, I did taw
a puddy tat!").
* Sylvester spending the entire film using progressively
more elaborate schemes or devices to capture his meal.
Of course, each of his tricks fail, either due to
their flaws or, more often than not, because Tweety
steers the enemy cat towards Hector the Bulldog, an
indignant Granny (voiced by Bea Benaderet and later
June Foray), or other device (such as off the ledge
of a tall building or steering him into an oncoming
During the 1990s, Tweety also starred in an
animated TV series called The Sylvester and Tweety
Mysteries, in which Granny ran a detective agency
with the assistance of Tweety, Sylvester and Hector.
In 2003, a younger version of him premiered on Baby
Tweety appeared in an early 1990s public service announcement,
warning parents of the dangers of boiling temperature
In the TV series Tiny Toon Adventures, Tweety appeared
in several episodes as the mentor of Sweetie Pie.
Learn more about Tweety
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