A Tale of Two Kitties
|A Tale of Two Kitties|
|Merrie Melodies (Tweety/Babbit and Catstello) series|
The unrestored July 31, 1948 Blue Ribbon reissue title card of A Tale of Two Kitties.
|Directed by||Bob Clampett|
|Produced by||Leon Schlesinger|
|Story by||Warren Foster|
|Voices by||Mel Blanc (Catstello / Tweety)
Tedd Pierce (Babbit; uncredited)
|Music by||Carl W. Stalling|
|Studio||Leon Schlesinger Studios|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Release date(s)||November 21, 1942 (USA)|
|Running time||7 minutes (one reel)|
|Preceded by||Wacky Blackout|
|Followed by||Birdy And The Beast|
A Tale of Two Kitties is an American cartoon, released in 1942, notable for the first appearance of a flesh colored canary, who would come to be known as Tweety. It was directed by Bob Clampett, written by Warren Foster, and features music by Carl W. Stalling. It was also the first appearance of Babbit and Catstello, based on the popular comedy duo Abbott and Costello. The title is an obvious pun on the Charles Dickens classic, A Tale of Two Cities.
It is one of many a.a.p.-owned cartoons to fall in the public domain, as United Artists did not renew the copyright in time. It was released to DVD commercially on Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 5.
Even in this initial appearance, Tweety reveals early on that his cute appearance masks a willingness to be merciless, even sadistic, towards anyone who threatens him. After slipping one of the cats a bomb which explodes (offscreen), the bird remarks, "Aw, da poor putty tat - he cwushed his widdow head!" Followed by a big grin. (This line was patterned after a catchphrase from a Red Skelton character, and would be used in other Warner cartoons, such as Easter Yeggs.)
The bird was unnamed in the short, although at the time the staff called it "Orson".
Influences in other media
- This short is referenced in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, where Eddie Valiant finds Tweety when he hangs from the pole of a building. Tweety drops Eddie by playing "This Little Piggy" in the exact manner as he does in this short.
- In the Mighty Mouse short Prehistoric Perils, Oil Can Harry uses the same tactic to drop Pearl Pureheart off a power line.
- In an episode of The Plucky Duck Show "The Return of Batduck", Plucky says "Is there an insurance salesman in the audience?" as Catstello does in this film.
- The cartoon takes a direct shot at the then-censorship bureau known as the Hays Office. Catstello is atop a ladder trying to reach Tweety. Babbit is at the bottom of the ladder, yelling to his corpulent pal, "Give me the bird! Give me the bird!" Catstello turns to the audience and says in his Brooklynese way, "If da Hays Office would only let me... I'd give him 'da boid' all right" (with the "Boid" being a euphemism for "the finger"). The WB removed that line when the short aired on "The Bugs N' Daffy Show".