Cat-Tails for Two
|Cat-Tails for Two|
|Merrie Melodies series|
A prototype Speedy Gonzales, as seen in the short. He was redesigned in later cartoons.
|Directed by||Robert McKimson|
|Story by||Tedd Pierce|
Mel Blanc |
|Music by||Carl Stalling|
Herman Cohen |
|Layouts by||Robert Givens|
|Backgrounds by||Richard H. Thomas|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
August 29, 1953|
|Running time||7 min (one reel)|
Cat-Tails for Two is a 1953 (1961 Blue Ribbon Re-issue) Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon, directed by Robert McKimson and written by Tedd Pierce starring Bennie the fat cat and George. It was animated in 1952. Voices by Mel Blanc and music by Carl Stalling. It was the first appearance of Speedy Gonzales, in a prototype form. Because this cartoon's rendition of Speedy Gonzales looked rather coarse, they redesigned him for future cartoon releases.
The two cats pursuing Speedy in Cat-Tails for Two are the slow-witted (and injury-causing) Benny and the fully functioning but unfortunate George, both patterned after the characters Lennie and George in the novel Of Mice and Men. George and Benny are walking down a pier looking for food, when they find a Mexican ship. Figuring the ship will have plenty of Mexican mice, i.e. "Mexican food" (Benny: "It gives me the heartburn and I love it!"), they climb on, only to find an unkempt mouse calling himself "Speedy Gonzales: Fastest Mouse in All Mexico".
George and Benny go through numerous attempts to capture Speedy, who always outwits them. Speedy comes to think of them as private entertainment, at one point declaring "I like those fellows. All the time having fon (fun)!" Among the cats' failed attempts:
1. A crate full of "Acme Anvils" set above a piece of cheese. With Benny holding the rope and George setting the bait, Speedy gives Benny a scare from behind, causing him to let go of the rope and the crate to flatten George. As punishment, George swings down on Benny's cranium with a mallet, but the mallet bounces off Benny's head right on top of his own! When Benny asks "Why did you hit yourself on the head for, George?", the slap-happy cat answers: "I like it, I like it!!"
2. George sets up seven pieces of cheese with dynamite-stick booby traps throughout the ship, but doesn't have a match to light the sticks. Speedy taunts George with a match and sets him up to take the explosions. Benny comes to the rescue by cooling George down, but misinterprets a bucket of petrol as "a funny way to spell 'water'" leaving him half furless.
3. A pipe with one end disguised as an entranceway to a cabaret and Benny standing at the other end with a mallet. When Speedy enters the pipe, George fires a skyrocket in behind him, the idea being to force Speedy out into the path of the mallet. But the rocket unexpectedly yanks George through the pipe behind it. Speedy is too fast for Benny, and Benny ends up clobbering George when he is pulled out the other side turning his head into a mallet size.
Finally, the two cats run a pipe into Speedy's hiding place (to the tune of Raymond Scott's Powerhouse), but Speedy grabs a wrench and bends the pipe back around to the cats, unbeknownst to them. George starts shoving a lot of dynamite into the pipe, resulting in a mountain of TNT piling up behind him and Benny. When George is done shoving dynamite through the pipe, he lights the last stick with a match, and the mountain of dynamite blasts him and Benny up into the air. As they descend, Benny asks George about their Mexican dinner, with George responding "I kind of lost my appetite for Mexican food," before both cats plunge into the harbor. A smug Speedy looks at the camera and declares "I love those fellows. They're so see-lee (silly)!" Iris out.
- Behnken, Brian D.; Smithers, Gregory D. (24 March 2015). Racism in American Popular Media: From Aunt Jemima to the Frito Bandito: From Aunt Jemima to the Frito Bandito. ABC-CLIO. p. 112. ISBN 978-1-4408-2977-2.