|First appearance||Porky's Romance (April 3, 1937)|
|Created by||Frank Tashlin|
|Voiced by||Bernice Hansen
Jodi Benson (Duck Dodgers episode "Pig Planet")
Katy Mixon (The Looney Tunes Show)
Petunia Pig is an animated cartoon character in the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons from Warner Bros. She looks much like her significant other, Porky Pig, except that she wears a dress and now has braided black hair, although the character did not originally have hair.
Petunia was introduced by animator Frank Tashlin in the 1937 short Porky's Romance. The film is a parody of a 1932 Walt Disney cartoon called Mickey's Nightmare. Whereas Mickey Mouse marries his longtime girlfriend Minnie in that film, Porky's overtures toward Petunia bring him only the scornful laughter of his porcine paramour. Tashlin adopted Petunia as a regular member of Porky's entourage and featured her in two more cartoons: The Case of the Stuttering Pig and Porky's Double Trouble, both in 1937. Voice actors Bernice Hansen and Shirley Reed each performed Petunia's voice in various shorts. She is now voiced by Grey DeLisle.
Bob Clampett was the only other Warner director to utilize Petunia after Tashlin left the studio in 1938. He first featured her in Porky's Picnic, a 1939 film that sees Porky tormented by his nephew Pinkie. Pinkie and Porky's encounters are always out of sight of Petunia, of course, so she blames Porky for everything that goes wrong as a result of Pinky's activity. Petunia's largest role came in Clampett's 1939 short Naughty Neighbors. The film borrows elements from both the famous feud between the Hatfields and McCoys as well as Romeo and Juliet as Porky and Petunia's love for each other is stymied by their respective hillbilly families' mutual hatred. Despite her more prominent role in the short, Petunia is only a supporting character; Porky remains the star.
As Porky's popularity was eclipsed in the late 1930s and early 1940s by brasher, funnier characters like Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny, he was relegated to a supporting player himself in new Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts. Petunia, already a bit player to Porky's lead, fared much worse. She still appeared occasionally in Warner's merchandising, but her tenure as a Warner Bros. player was mostly over.
Nevertheless, in modern years Petunia has enjoyed multiple new roles:
- Petunia made a cameo appearance in Tiny Toon Adventures in the episode It's a Wonderful Tiny Toon Christmas Special.
- Adult Petunia is an occasional guest star in DC's Looney Tunes comic book, and appeared frequently in 2001 webtoons on the official Looney Tunes website.
- Petunia appeared on The Looney Tunes Show in the episodes "Here Comes the Pig" and "Mr. Wiener."
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