The Last Hungry Cat

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The Last Hungry Cat
Directed by Friz Freleng
Hawley Pratt (co-director)
Produced by David H. DePatie
Music by Milt Franklyn
Animation by Gerry Chiniquy
Virgil Ross
Bob Matz
Art Leonardi
Lee Halpern
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date(s) December 2, 1961
Color process Technicolor
Running time 7 mins
Language English

The Last Hungry Cat is a "Merrie Melodies" cartoon animated short starring Tweety and Sylvester. Released December 2, 1961, the cartoon is directed by Friz Freleng and Hawley Pratt. The voices were performed by Mel Blanc and an un-credited June Foray and Ben Frommer who voiced the Alfred Hitchcock caricature.

The cartoon is a parody of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and contains a plot similar to both Hitchcock's movie Blackmail and the previous cartoon short Birds Anonymous.

Story[edit]

A caricature of Alfred Hitchcock — the shadow of a bear walking up to a silhouette of himself — appears in the opening segment. In a Hitchcock-like accent, the bear announces tonight's story "about a murder."

As Sylvester waits in an alley trash can, Granny bids Tweety good night. After Granny leaves to visit a neighbor, Sylvester sneaks into the apartment and stacks a bunch of furniture to reach the caged bird. He falls and is knocked out. When he awakens, Sylvester's finds one of Tweety's feathers in his mouth, and mistakenly believes he has eaten the bird.

Sylvester laughs off the Hitchcock-bear's suggestion that he committed murder and that he will probably get away with his actions.

Sylvester flees to a nearest house to attempt to forget Hitchcock's taunts that he wishes "you could get away from your conscience." However, turning on the radio for music — the announcer flubs his lines to say, "Your local company will present gas chamber music ... I mean, your local gas company will present chamber music for your enjoyment".

The cat cries that he is a normal pussy cat ("After all, I am a pussycat with normal weaknesses.") Hitchcock suggests to Sylvester that he give himself up and accept the consequences. The cat takes the recommendation to heart until he sees the bird safe and sound, sleeping in his cage. Sylvester is overjoyed, grabs the bird and begins to kiss him.

Hitchcock attempts to relate the moral: "In the words of The Bard, 'Conscience makes cowards of us all!'" Sylvester (offscreen) tells the bear: "Ah, shut up!" and throws a brick at him. The bear says "Good evening," then walks off with a lump on his head, the lump also having grown on his outline as the cartoon fades out.

Censorship[edit]

  • On CBS, the part after Sylvester falls through the groove in the floor, where Sylvester is shown nervously chain-smoking and downing two cups of coffee was cut.
  • On ABC, the part after Sylvester leaps out of bed screaming, where he runs in the bathroom and ingests a bottle of sleeping pills (while rubbing some under his arms and on his head), was cut. Also on ABC, the part where Granny beats Sylvester with a broom had the beatings shortened.
  • The Cartoon Network version of this cartoon cuts out both drug scenes that were edited out on CBS and ABC. Formerly, Cartoon Network only edited out the scene of Sylvester chain-smoking and downing two cups of coffee while leaving the pill ingestion scene intact. As of 2014, the cartoon runs edited this way.

Availability[edit]

Succession[edit]

Preceded by
The Rebel Without Claws
Tweety and Sylvester cartoons
1961
Succeeded by
The Jet Cage

References[edit]

  • Friedwald, Will and Jerry Beck. "The Warner Brothers Cartoons." Scarecrow Press Inc., Metuchen, N.J., 1981. ISBN 0-8108-1396-3.

External links[edit]