Beaky Buzzard

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Beaky Buzzard
Looney Tunes character
Beaky.jpg
Beaky Buzzard in Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid (1942)
First appearanceBugs Bunny Gets the Boid (July 11, 1942)[1]
Created byBob Clampett
Voiced byKent Rogers (1942–1944)
Mel Blanc (1949–1950)[2]
Rob Paulsen (1991)
Jeff Bennett (1997)
Joe Alaskey (2003–2005)
Jim Cummings (2013)
Jeff Bergman (2014–2018)[3]
Michael Ruocco (2020–present)
In-universe information
SpeciesTurkey vulture
GenderMale

Beaky Buzzard is an animated cartoon character in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons.[4]

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 was partly based on Edgar Bergen's puppet Mortimer Snerd.[1][5]

Short subjects[edit]

The character first appeared in the 1942 cartoon Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid, directed by Bob Clampett.[1][6] 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.[7] Beaky's voice was reminiscent of ventriloquist Edgar Bergen's character Mortimer Snerd[6][8] (his in-studio name was in fact "Snerd Bird",[5] bestowed by Bob Clampett himself;[9] he was not named "Beaky" on-screen in this first appearance).[9] The voice itself was provided by voice actor Kent Rogers.[1][6]

Clampett brought the character back in the 1945 film The Bashful Buzzard,[10] a cartoon that closely mirrors its predecessor, only this time featuring Beaky's hapless hunting (contrasting with the war-like formation flying and dive bombing of his brothers)[11] without Bugs as an antagonist. Rogers reprised his role as the character's voice for the film,[10] but he was killed[1] in a Naval aviation training accident at Pensacola, Florida before finishing all his dialogue.

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 Mel Blanc.[12] Freleng made the buzzard smarter, pitting him against a dim-witted lion named Leo. Robert 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]

Beaky 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) and 2003's Looney Tunes: Back in Action as an Acme pilot, voiced by Joe Alaskey.[13]

Beaky Buzzard appeared in The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries in the episode "3 Days & 2 Nights of the Condor",[14] 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's most recent appearance was in an episode of Looney Tunes Cartoons, namely "Buzzard School", where Bugs Bunny teaches Beaky how to hunt rabbits.

Comics and merchandising[edit]

Beaky 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.[15] The character was licensed for Looney Tunes merchandise such as a metal coin bank,[16] and, in 1973, a collectible Pepsi bottle.[17]

Filmography[edit]

Warner Films theatrical short subjects[edit]

Other appearances[edit]

Film
Television
Audio recordings

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Beaky Buzzard at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on February 22, 2018.
  2. ^ https://cartoonresearch.com/index.php/bugs-bunny-in-storyland-the-good-the-bad-the-bugs/
  3. ^ " Looney Tunes Dash! Behind the voice actors Retrieved 2019-11-08.
  4. ^ Rovin, Jeff (1991). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Cartoon Animals. Prentice Hall Press. p. 22. ISBN 0-13-275561-0. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  5. ^ a b Korkis, Jim (November 1, 2013). "Animation Anecdotes #134". Cartoon Research. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Beck, Jerry, ed. (2020). The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes Cartoons. Insight Editions. pp. 28–29. ISBN 978-1-64722-137-9.
  8. ^ Shull and Wilt, 2004 [1987]. p114
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ a b McCall, 1998. p94
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (1999). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Checkmark Books. p. 54. ISBN 0-8160-3831-7. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  13. ^ a b c d "Beaky Buzzard – Voices of Beaky Buzzard". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  14. ^ a b "3 Days & 2 Nights Of The Condor". Big Comic Book Database. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  15. ^ "Beaky Buzzard". Comic Book Database. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  16. ^ Sandler, Kevin (1998). Reading the Rabbit: Explorations in Warner Bros. Animation. Rutgers University Press. ISBN 0813525381.
  17. ^ Schroy, Ellen (2004). Warman's Americana & Collectibles (11th ed.). Krause Publications. p. 104. ISBN 978-0873496858. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ Bugs Bunny in Storyland (Video) (Vinyl record with printed picture book). KiddieRecordsWeekly. January 30, 2011. Event occurs at 6:56. Retrieved November 9, 2015.