Tweetie Pie

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Tweetie Pie
Merrie Melodies (Sylvester and Tweety) series
Tweetiepieblueribbon.jpg
Tweetie Pie's Blue Ribbon reissue title card
Directed by Planned by:
Robert Clampett (uncredited)
Finished by (as directorial credit):
I. Freleng
Produced by Eddie Selzer
Story by Michael Maltese
Tedd Pierce[1]
Voices by Mel Blanc
Bea Benaderet
(uncredited)[1]
Music by Carl Stalling[1]
Animation by Ken Champin
Virgil Ross
Gerry Chiniquy
Manuel Perez[1]
Layouts by Hawley Pratt[1]
Backgrounds by Terry Lind[1]
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date(s) May 3, 1947 (Original)
June 25, 1955
(Blue Ribbon Re-Issue)
Color process Technicolor
Language English

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[2], breaking Tom and Jerry's streak of four consecutive wins on the category.

Development[edit]

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 as result, Tweety would always be paired with Sylvester from that point on in subsequent appearances, because the duo carried a high amount of star power. In the meantime, Sylvester continued to appear in a number of cartoons without Tweety.[3]

Plot[edit]

As the cartoon begins, Sylvester (called Thomas in this film) captures Tweety, whom he finds outside in the snow, getting warm by a cigar. Thomas sees young Emma, the cat's mean unseen owner, saves the bird from being eaten by the cat, whom she promptly reprimands. Tweety is brought inside, and Emma 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 Emma of the house to whack Thomas with a broom, calling him names 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 Charles M Jones' 1945 Porky Pig short Trap Happy Porky) to capture Tweety: After following a trail of birdseed to a whole box of some, Tweety gets into the full box, which is attached to a string that when Tweety gets in, pulls down on the lever of a toaster which launches a piece of toast into the air to knock down a knife which makes the iron it is holding in place fall down a ladder with a trash can at the bottom, and the iron lands on the pedal pressed to open the trash can, which has a string attached to the lid that when the trash can is opened, pulls open a closet, which releases a board to fall on a bellows, which makes a pinwheel spin that is tied to a string that is tied to the switch on a stove that turns on and makes a kettle with the spout plugged by a cork boil, and the heat launches the cork into the air and the cork hits a refrigerator door which has one end of a string tied to a handle and the other end attached to the hand of a cuckoo clock, and when being hit by a cork, the refrigerator door opens, pulling on the hand of the cuckoo clock, which causes the clock to strike the hour, opening the door out of which the cuckoo bird comes, releasing a bowling ball, and of course, the trap backfires and injures Thomas 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 owner 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.

Voice Actors[edit]

Mel Blanc as Tweety and Thomas and Bea Benaderet (uncredited) as Emma

Availability[edit]

Tweetie Pie is available in its Blue Ribbon reissue (with the original closing titles) on these video sets:

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Tweetie Pie at The Big Cartoon DataBase bcdb.com May 9, 2011
  2. ^ Tweetie Pie, retrieved 2018-01-16 
  3. ^ Sperling, Millner, and Warner (1998), p. 187-188.

External links[edit]