||This article's introduction may be too long for the overall article length. (April 2014)|
|Merrie Melodies series|
Tweety Pie's Blue Ribbon Reissue Title card
|Directed by||Friz Freleng|
|Produced by||Edward Selzer|
|Story by||Michael Maltese
|Voices by||Mel Blanc
Bea Benaderet (uncredited)
|Music by||Carl Stalling|
|Animation by||Virgil Ross
|Layouts by||Hawley Pratt|
|Backgrounds by||Terry Lind|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Release date(s)||May 3, 1947|
Tweetie Pie is a 1947 Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Friz Freleng and produced by Warner Bros. Cartoons, depicting the first pairing of Tweety and Sylvester. Tweetie Pie won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, breaking Tom and Jerrys streak of four consecutive wins on the category.
Allegedly, when Tweety's creator, director Bob Clampett, left the Warner Bros. studio in 1946, he was working on a fourth film starring Tweety, 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). This is probably not true as Clampett's unit was taken over by Art Davis, rather than Freleng. Freleng adopted the Tweety project and merged it with a project he was working on—a follow-up to his second Sylvester cartoon, Peck Up Your Troubles, featuring Sylvester in pursuit of a witty woodpecker. When Freleng decided to replace the woodpecker with Tweety, producer Eddie Selzer objected, and Freleng threatened to quit. Selzer allowed Tweety to be used, and the resulting film went on to win WB's first Oscar, which Selzer accepted. After Selzer's death, the Oscar was passed on to Freleng. The cartoon would also go on to become a phenomenal success, and Tweety would always be paired with Sylvester from that point on as a result, because the duo carried a high amount of star power (in the meantime, Sylvester continued to appear in a fair amount of cartoons without Tweety).
This cartoon, like many from the period, was reissued in the 1950s as a "Blue Ribbon" release, with all titles and credits replaced. However, some a.a.p. prints are known to contain the original audio of the film, albeit with the Blue Ribbon titles (of note, this was only one of two Sylvester/Tweety pairings to be sold to a.a.p., the other being I Taw a Putty Tat, which was named after one of Tweety's catchphrases – it, too, was given a Blue Ribbon reissue). In August 2011, a black-and-white print of the original opening credits was found by animation historian David Gerstein.
As the cartoon begins, Thomas (as Sylvester is called in this film) captures Tweety, whom he finds outside in the snow, getting warm by a cigar. The cat's mistress, an unseen owner, saves the bird from being eaten by the cat, whom she promptly reprimands. Tweety is brought inside, and the mistress warns Thomas not to bother the bird. Ignoring this command, Thomas initiates a series of failed attempts to get Tweety from his cage, each ending in a noisy crash bringing the lady of the house to whack Thomas with a broom, and then finally, throw him out.
The cat 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 Chuck Jones' 1945 Porky Pig short Trap Happy Porky) to capture Tweety, which of course, backfires and injures him instead.
Finally, 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 mistress 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 a bad move, as he finds himself being walloped on the head repeatedly with a shovel...by Tweety.
- Tweetie Pie is available with its Blue Ribbon title sequences on Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 2 and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Awards Animation Collection.
- Tweetie Pie at the Big Cartoon DataBase bcdb.com May 9, 2011
- Sperling, Millner, and Warner (1998), p. 187-188.
- "Ramapith: David Gerstein's Prehistoric Pop Culture Blog: I Taut I Taw New Posts Coming". Ramapithblog.blogspot.com. 2011-08-23. Retrieved 2014-05-15.
- Tweetie Pie at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- Tweetie Pie at the Internet Movie Database
- Opening music to Tweetie Pie