Beaky Buzzard

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Beaky Buzzard
Looney Tunes character
Beaky.jpg
Beaky Buzzard in Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid (1942)
First appearance Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid (July 11, 1942)[1]
Created by Bob Clampett
Friz Freleng
Robert McKimson
Voiced by Kent Rogers (1942–1944)
Stan Freberg (1945)
Eddie Bartell (1945)
Mel Blanc (1950)
Rob Paulsen (1990–1994)
Jeff Bennett (1997)
Joe Alaskey (2003–2005)
Jim Cummings (2011–present)

Beaky Buzzard is an animated cartoon character in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons.

He is a young turkey vulture (commonly called a "buzzard" in the United States) with black body feathers and a white tuft around his throat. His neck is long and thin, bending 90 degrees at an enormous Adam's apple. His neck and head are featherless, and his beak is large and yellow or orange, depending on the cartoon. The character is depicted as simpleminded with drawled speech, a perpetual silly grin, and partially-closed eyes.

Beaky Buzzard was partly based on Edgar Bergen's puppet Mortimer Snerd.[1][2]

Short subjects[edit]

The character first appeared in the 1942 cartoon Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid, directed by Bob Clampett.[1][3] The cartoon's plot revolves around the hopeless attempts of the brainless buzzard, here called Killer, to catch Bugs Bunny for his domineering Italian mother back at the nest. Beaky's voice was reminiscent of ventriloquist Edgar Bergen's character Mortimer Snerd[3][4] (his in-studio name was in fact "Snerd Bird",[2] bestowed by Bob Clampett himself;[5] he was not named "Beaky" on-screen in this first appearance).[5] The voice itself was provided by voice actor Kent Rogers.[1][3]

Clampett brought the character back in the 1945 film The Bashful Buzzard,[6] a cartoon that closely mirrors its predecessor, only this time featuring Beaky's hapless hunting (contrasted with warlike formation flying and dive bombing of his brothers)[7] without Bugs as an antagonist. Rogers reprised his role as the character's voice for the film,[6] but he was killed[1] in a Naval aviation training accident at Pensacola, Florida before finishing all his dialogue, so Stan Freberg was brought in to finish the work (as was Eddie Bartell, according to some sources).[citation needed] Beaky Buzzard was revived in 1950 one more time for one more cartoon called "The Strife With Father." Clampett left the studio in 1946, ending Beaky's career for a time. The character was eventually brought back in the 1950 Friz Freleng film The Lion's Busy, now voiced by the versatile Mel Blanc.[1] Freleng made the buzzard smarter, pitting him against a dim-witted lion named Leo. Bob McKimson also featured the character in a film that year, Strife with Father. McKimson's Beaky is again back to his idiotic self, this time under the tutelage of his adoptive father, a sparrow who is trying to teach Beaky how to survive in the wild.[citation needed]

Later minor appearances[edit]

Most recently Beaky Buzzard has had minor roles in various Warner Bros. projects, such as Tiny Toon Adventures, where he plays the mentor of the character Concord Condor,[1] and the movies Space Jam (1996, As a team player;[8] he was the only player except for Taz without a number, wearing only a question mark)[citation needed], being unvoiced in the film and 2003's Looney Tunes: Back in Action as an Acme pilot, voiced by Joe Alaskey.[9]

Beaky Buzzard appeared in the video game Bugs Bunny: Lost in Time[10] and was used as an enemy in Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle 4. He also appeared in The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries in the episode "3 Days & 2 Nights of the Condor",[11] where he was voiced by Jeff Bennett. Beaky's mother, who appeared in many of his original shorts, also appeared in an episode of the show (voiced by Tress MacNeille). Beaky was put in one episode of Duck Dodgers.[citation needed]

Beaky Buzzard appears in The Looney Tunes Show episode "Ridiculous Journey" voiced by Jim Cummings. He is shown to rescue anyone who is lost in the desert and rides a hot air balloon. This is what Beaky did when he found Sylvester, Tweety, and Taz. While getting them across the desert, Beaky's balloon is attacked by the tracker Blacque Jacque Shellacque who was pursuing the three animals. Beaky tries to rescue them only to be incapacitated by a net shot by Shellacque.[citation needed]

Comics and merchandising[edit]

Beaky Buzzard is featured in several issues of Dell Comics' Looney Tunes comic book series, usually paired with another minor player, Henery Hawk,[1] and additionally appeared in a print spinoff of Space Jam in 1997.[12] The character was licensed for Looney Tunes merchandise such as a metal coin bank,[13] and, in 1973, a collectible Pepsi bottle.[14]

Filmography[edit]

Warner Films theatrical short subjects[edit]

Other appearances[edit]

Film
Consumer video
Television
Audio recordings
Webcartoons
Video games

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Beaky Buzzard at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on February 22, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Korkis, Jim (November 1, 2013). "Animation Anecdotes #134". Cartoon Research. Retrieved November 10, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c McCall, Douglas L. (1998). Film Cartoons: A Guide to 20th Century American Animated Features and Shorts. McFarland and Company. p. 103. ISBN 978-0786405848. Retrieved November 10, 2015. 
  4. ^ Shull and Wilt, 2004 [1987]. p114
  5. ^ a b Funnyworld #12 (1970), republished at Michael Barrier and Milton Gray (December 14, 2003). "An Interview with Bob Clampett". Michael Barrier.com. Retrieved November 10, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b McCall, 1998. p94
  7. ^ Shull, Michael S.; Wilt, David E. (2004) [1987]. Doing Their Bit: Wartime American Animated Short Films, 1939-1945 (2nd ed.). McFarland. p. 178. ISBN 978-0786415557. Retrieved November 10, 2015. 
  8. ^ a b Still from Space Jam showing Beaky Buzzard[better source needed]
  9. ^ a b "Beaky Buzzard – Voices of Beaky Buzzard". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved November 10, 2015. 
  10. ^ Bugs Bunny Lost in time level 8 - What's cookin' doc 3/4 (Video) (Video game screen capture). ClassicGamerX11. April 25, 2010. Event occurs at 0:02. Retrieved November 9, 2015. [better source needed]
  11. ^ a b "3 Days & 2 Nights Of The Condor". Big Comic Book Database. Retrieved November 10, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Beaky Buzzard". Comic Book Database. Retrieved November 10, 2015. 
  13. ^ Sandler, Kevin (1998). Reading the Rabbit: Explorations in Warner Bros. Animation. Rutgers University Press. ISBN 0813525381. 
  14. ^ Schroy, Ellen (2004). Warman's Americana & Collectibles (11th ed.). Krause Publications. p. 104. ISBN 978-0873496858. Retrieved November 10, 2015. 
  15. ^ Hollis, Tim (2015). Toons in Toyland: The Story of Cartoon Character Merchandise. University Press of Mississippi. pp. 387–388. ISBN 978-1628461992. Retrieved November 10, 2015. 
  16. ^ Bugs Bunny in Storyland (Video) (Vinyl record with printed picture book). KiddieRecordsWeekly. January 30, 2011. Event occurs at 6:56. Retrieved November 9, 2015. [better source needed]