A history of Sylvester in Warner Brothers cartoons
                                   -by Matthew Hunter
        Sylvester the cat was created by Friz Freleng for the 1945 cartoon "Life With Feathers", in which a henpecked lovebird tries to commit suicide by having Sylvester eat him. The cat's very first words were "Thufferin' Thuccotash", uttered again and  again throughout the cat's career. Sylvester was designed to look like a clown, explaining the big red nose and low crotch, designed to look like a clown nose and baggy pants. The voice was that of Mel Blanc as Daffy Duck, only not sped up. In 1947, Sylvester was paired with an infamous character created by Bob Clampett, named Tweety Bird. In the first pairing, a cartoon called "Tweetie Pie", once again directed by Freleng, Sylvester is a jealous housecat, trying to eat Tweety, a concept which would continue for countless cartoons. The short won WB animation its first Academy Award, and instantly the characters were a perfect team. Later the series would introduce audiences to Granny, Tweety's owner, and Hector, Tweety's bulldog bodyguard. Producer of the studio at the time, Edward Selzer, had suggested that Friz Frelelng not use Tweety but instead start using the little woodpecker from the earlier Sylvester solo cartoon "Peck Up You Troubles" (1945) as Sylvester's chief nemesis. Selzer was notorious for having no sense of humor or funny ideas, so Freleng decided that Tweety had to be the right character. However, aside from the tweety series, Sylvester was one of the most versatile characters in Warner Bros. cartoons, starring in many other cartoons without Tweety.

-Tweety keeps score of how many puddy tats he's outwitted (from "Tom Tom Tomcat", in which he and wild west settler Granny must defend themeselves against an army of Sylvester-like Indian wildcats!)

Sylvester remained one of the studio's most useful characters, with a filmography rivaling that of Bugs Bunny and a costar list to match. The cat was paired with Tweety most often, but had other encounters with characters such as Speedy Gonzales, Spike and Chester, Porky Pig, Hippety Hopper, Foghorn Leghorn, Elmer Fudd, and Wile E. Coyote. Sylvester was used not only by his creator, Freleng, but also by  Bob Clampett in "Kitty Kornered", Arthur Davis, for the cartoons "Doggone Cats" and "A Hick, A Slick, and a Chick",  Chuck Jones in "Scaredy Cat", "Claws for Alarm" and others, and Robert McKimson, who created Hippety Hopper and Sylvester Junior and directed many Speedy Gonzales cartoons starring the lisping cat.
        Here is a Looney Tunes character that has become forgotten in recent years. Sylvester's annoying little son, Sylvester Junior, is often seen in the classic shorts hunting mice with his father, only to be embarrassed and forced to put a paper bag over his head, with the line "Oh, the shame of it all!"

-The ever-faithful (and ever-griping) son of Sylvester, Sylvester Junior. 


     Junior was created by Robert McKimson, for the cartoon "Pop 'Im, Pop!" .  This cartoon was one in a long-running series of cartoons featuring the kangaroo Hippety Hopper, whom Sylvester always mistakes for a giant mouse. Sylvester would often meet Hippety solo, without Junior, however the chemistry always worked better when Junior was added. In several cartoons, such as "Birds of a Father" and "Goldimouse and the Three Cats", (the latter of which was the only Junior cartoon directed by Friz Freleng)  the father/son team were without Hippety. These are overlooked masterpieces, and thought by LT fans to be far superior to the Hippety Hopper series.
        When McKimson created Junior, he looked at the designs of Sylvester used by his unit, and decided that Junior should not look like a child, but be a scaled-down version of his father, identical except for size. The personality was a parody of radio, movie and later TV comedies involving fathers and sons, (mainly "Father Knows Best")  most all of which were extremely wordy, sappy and corny.. Usually, the father was idolized by the son,  as in the cartoons. Sylvester seemed to fit perfectly into that picture, creating the perfect dysfunctional father-and-son team.
          Chuck Jones directed Sylvester in four cartoons in the classic era. All but one focused on the concept of Sylvester as Porky Pig's pet cat, and noticing dangerous situations which Porky Pig is completely oblivious to. In "Scaredy Cat" (1948), Porky rents an abandoned mansion, which turns out to be infested with Hubie and Bertie (Chuck Jones' mouse team usually seen with Claude Cat) and other mice, all trying to murder the cat and pig. Jones directed Sylvester as the evil Duke in "The Scarlet Pumpernickle" (1950), a parody of "The Scarlet Pimpernel" starring Daffy Duck. The "murderous mice" plot continued in 1954, in "Claws For Alarm". In this cartoon, Porky decides to stay in the "Dry Gulch Hotel", not realizing that it is a condemned inn in a middle-of-nowhere ghost town. The next year, Jones directed one final Porky and Sylvester cartoon, 1955's "Jumpin' Jupiter", in which a birdlike Martian from Marvin Martian's army lands in Porky's campground.
           Sylvester also was Speedy Gonzales' chief nemesis.. Before the Warner Animation department's closing in 1964, Friz Freleng and Robert McKimson directed the entire Speedy Gonzales series, and both directors employed Sylvester very often. The cat's cunning evil streak and sneaky tendencies would serve him well in this series, but Speedy Gonzales always stayed one step ahead of him

.-from "Here Today, Gone Tamale" (1959).
      

 Sylvester's final appearance alongside Tweety was 1964's "Hawaiian Aye Aye", the only Sylvester and Tweety teamup to be directed by Gerry Chiniquy. All previous cartoons in the series had been directed by Friz Freleng. After this cartoon, Tweety was never used again in a theatrical cartoon. The Warner Brothers cartoon department closed and reopened as DePatie/Freleng Enterprises in late 1964, and the studio was best known for the series of "Pink Panther" movie titles and cartoon series. Sylvester was used for a while in a series of limited-animation shorts, all involving Speedy Gonzales.
       Sylvester's final appearance in a theatrical cartoon was McKimson's  "A Taste Of Catnip" (1966), in which Daffy Duck, living near a catnip factory, suddenly gets the urge to chase Speedy Gonzales. When he decides to eliminate the problem by blowing up the factory, Sylvester and other cats attack him. This was one of many Daffy and Speedy teamups, each one with a different reason for a duck to chase a mouse. Sylvester was  then never used again until the 1969 closing of the studio, presumably due to the limited theatrical market, with the favorite characters of that market being Daffy Duck and Speedy Gonzales.
         Sylvester later starred in "The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries", a half-hour series on the WB network from 1996 to 1999. This series was, unfortunately, not very funny, but featured cameos by countless lesser-known Looney Tunes characters, and very creative background designs patterned after the late 1950's shorts with UPA-influenced, abstract scenery. Joe Alaskey replaced the late Mel Blanc as the voice of Tweety and Sylvester,  and June Foray returned as the original voice of Granny.
     Also in 1996, Sylvester, Tweety, and Hippety Hopper appeared in the movie "Space Jam", a live action and animation basketball adventure starring Michael Jordan. Sylvester also became a regular in commercials after this time, appearing in a series of Space-Jam themed ads with Jordan "keeping in touch" with his cartoon pals. Sylvester's role in a Miracle Whip mayonainse commercial even got him nominated for an animation award in 2000.
         Most of the Sylvester and Tweety  classic shorts have been airing on Television since the 1960's, and since the 1980's have made up the majority of the content of ABC's "The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show." Sylvester  cartoons have aired on many networks and cable channels, including CBS, ABC, TNT, TBS, Nickelodeon, the WB, and Cartoon Network. 
       However, in fall 2000 ABC gave up the rights to air the "Bugs and Tweety" show, which is the last non-cable package of Warner Brothers cartoons on US television. By 2001, all Warner Brothers classic animation became the exclusive property of the Cartoon Network, Sylvester included. Viewers who get CN and did not receive the "Bugs and Tweety Show" (It was often carried at ridiculous hours or pre-empted by Disney or football programming) can rejoice, as an entirely new selection of cartoons, many of them starring Sylvester, Tweety, and Sylvester Jr., will become available for viewing. Cartoon TV packages and series die, but the Looney Tunes cartoons have proven again and again that enduring characters like Sylvester (and Bugs and Tweety and Elmer and Daffy and Wile E.,and Foghorn Leghorn and many others) don't. Sylvester is possibly the most diverse cartoon character ever created.

-This scene from the animated commercial intro bumpers to Cartoon Network's current "Bugs and Daffy" show, was first seen in 1998 and appears to have been based on the 1947 classic "Tweetie Pie".

 

Sylvester Cat filmography (under construction):
As of 6/28/01: 1945 through 1949
-Note: Tweety only starred without Sylvester in three cartoons: "A Tale Of Two Kitties", "A Gruesome Twosome" and "Birdy and the Beast", all directed within a few years of each other by Bob Clampett. The characters were unrelated until Clampett left in 1946, and Friz Freleng resurrected him in "Tweetie Pie", the first of his many Sylvester/Tweety cartoons.-

-about the images: Some entries feature a picture from their respective films. Click the links and thumbnails to see it.  Special thanks to Thad Komorowski for capturing the images!

1945:
"Life With Feather
s" (directed by Friz Freleng)
-Sylvester, in his first cartoon, is repeatedly tricked by a suicidal lovebird. The bird wants the cat to eat him, (because a lovebird cannot live without love, and his wife is cruel to him. sad, huh?) Sylvester thinks the bird is trying to poison him. Sylvester's first words are: "Thufferin' Thuccotash!" A nice start for a great character, and a similar premise to Chuck Jones' later Hubie and Bertie cartoon, "Cheese Chasers".

"Peck Up Your Trouble
s" (directed by Friz Freleng)
Freleng uses Sylvester again, in a non-speaking role. Sylvester, an alleycat like in his previous appearance, has three things to worry about: a bulldog, a huge tree, and his supper, a redheaded woodpecker. In order to get the woodpecker, he has to climb the tree. He finds that the little bird won't let him do that, so he tries chopping it down, but the bulldog threatens to pulverize him if he does. Funny stuff happens from there, including a classic gag: Sylvester finally decides to cheat and climb the air to get the the woodpecker's limb on the tree. He holds up a sign: "Anything is possible in a cartoon!"
1946
:
"Kitty Kornere
d" (directed by Bob Clampett, Clampett's only Sylvester cartoon)
At midnight, everyone puts out the cat for the night (at least in 1946, in cartoons, they did.) Porky Pig has four cats, Sylvester, 2 dopey big cats, and a little kitten. Sylvester is tired of being "sthkidded out and sthcooted out," particularly in the snow, and the others agree. "Are we men, or are we mice?!" asks Sylvester. "I like cheese!" says the kitten, recieving a slap in the face that sends him slipping accross the ice. What follows are unpredictable and extremely funny Bob Clampett-style gags, with highlights including the cats' dressup routines, (Sword-weilding Teddy Roosevelts-San Juan Hill style, and the clever 'War of the Worlds" alien invasion spoof.) PORKY ends up in the snow!

"Tweetie Pie
" (directed by Friz Freleng)
The first pairing of Tweety and Sylvester, and it got them an oscar. Once Bob Clampett had left the studio, Freleng redesigned Tweety and paired him with his own Sylvester. Apparently, the producer, Edward Selzer, hated the idea and wanted Friz to use the woodpecker from "Peck up Your Troubles". He changed his mind once the cartoon won the Academy Award. Here, Sylvester is given his first on-screen name, 'Thomas". Tweety, cold and frozen in the snow, is caught by the hungry Sylvester/Thomas, and he's about to be a frozen snack when Sylvester's female owner stops the cat and decides to keep Tweety as a pet. The rest of the cartoon has Sylvester trying (and failing) to catch and eat Tweety. Several of the gags would become pperennials in the series, inludiong the stacking-furniture-to-get-to-the-high cage routine. Great cartoon.

"Crowing Pain
s" (directed by Bob McKimson)
This is a classic cartoon in every sense of the word, and is also one of the only WB cartoons to have more than 2 or 3 characters on screen at a time. Henery Hawk is out hunting chickens again, (in what is only his 3rd appearance), and comes upon an early Foghorn Leghorn. (2nd appearance.) Foggy tells Henery that Sylvester, the barnyard cat, is a chicken. Foggy puts Henery inside a fake egg and sticks it under the confused cat ("Hey! TOMCATS can't be mothers! CATS don't lay eggs!") . What follows is a chase through the farmyard, with Henry inside the egg and being chased by Sylvester, and Foghorn Leghorn and the Barnyard Dawg also getting into the act. Finally, Henery cannot tell whether the dog, the rooster, or the cat is a chicken, and decides to wait until sunrise the next morning. Whichever one crows is a chicken. Sylvester crows, so Henery hauls him  off. Foghorn winks, he has a ventriloquism how-to book!

"Doggone Cat
s" (directed by Arthur Davis)
Davis tries the cat out in this one. Sylvester does not speak here, and is accompanied by an obnoxious orange cat friend. Wellington, a dog, is given a package to deliver to a relative, and is warned: "And don't you DARE let go of it, OR ELSE!" So Wellington goes on his errand, and the two cats try everything in their power to steal the package from the dog. They try pepper to make him sneeze it out of his mouth, using a fishing rod to steal it, and even distract him by dancing the tango with him. Once a tired and bruised dog finally makes it to the man's house and delivers the package, it is found that the package was  only cat food, for the two cats he's been fighting with all day!

"Catch as Cats Can
" (directed by Arthur Davis)
Sylvester, with a really dumb voice this time, decides that he needs more vitamins in his diet, and decides that 2 parrots (caricatures of Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby) would fit the bill. Sylvester becomes the pawn of the parrots, each parrot wants the other to get eaten. A very funny gag involves Sylvester getting hooked up in place of a vacuum cleaner bag and then getting wheeled through a hot fireplace! Finally, someone gets eaten, but I won't tell you who it is........you'll have to see the image!

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194
8
"Back Alley Oproa
r" (directed by Friz Freleng)
A color remake of the same director's "Notes To You"(1941) which was a Porky Pig cartoon with a nameless musical cat. Here, the cat is Sylvester and the unfortunate guy who needs some sleep is Elmer Fudd. Sylvester wants to sing on the alley fence, Fudd clobbers him with vases, books, shoes, etc., every time he does. Sylvester then tries to deliberately annoy Fudd, and Fudd tries to deliberately kill Sylvester. Funny gags involving tacks, poisoned milk, and Sylvester  as a one-man orchestra result. The two characters BOTH end up dying, but when Fudd finds that he'll have to share his pink cloud in heaven with the musical nine lives of Sylvester, he jumps back down to earth with a crash!
                    Click here for an image:


"I Taw A Puddy Tat" (directed by Friz Freleng)
The second Tweety-Sylvester picture, and it's partly a remake of "Puss N' Booty", a black and white cartoon from 1943 directed by Frank Tashlin. It's even funnier than the original, with Sylvester and Tweety as opposed to 'Rudolph' and "Dickie Bird". The pet shop delivers a pet canary to 1605 Maple Drive, and Sylvester can't wait to do to this one what he's done to many in the past. However, with Tweety's clever slapstick defenses and his witty games of 'hide and seek" and "play with the puddy dog", Sylvester can't win this match. Notice the stamps Sylvester has put behind the curtain denoting all the birds he has eaten...at the end, Tweety places a cat-shaped stamp there as well!

"Hop, Look, and Listen" (directed by Bob McKimson)

The first of a long-running series of "giant mouse" cartoons, in which Sylvester mistakes a baby kangaroo (later named "Hippety Hopper") for a huge rodent. In this one, Sylvester tries "fishing for mice" (sticking cheese on the end of a fish hook and casting the line into a mouse hole.) He catches a mouse but declares it "too small". Hippety Hopper, having escaped from a zoo and bounced into Sylvester's basement, grabs the line the next time, and Sylvester gets kicked out of the house! A bulldog picks on Sylvester for being afraid of a mouse, and before the cat can explain, the dog throws him back inside for another round. So it continues, until the dog, frustrated that Sylvester keeps getting beaten up, goes inside himself. He encounters Hippety's mother, who has come to take him back to the zoo. The dog and cat both jump on the "water wagon" out of town!

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"Kit for Cat" (directed by Friz Freleng)
Alley cat Sylvester is cold in the winter snow, and decides he needs to find a warm  place to stay for the winter. He and a cute little kitten both end up on the doorstep of Elmer Fudd, who offers to take them in for the night, but cannot keep both of them. "Kittens are so CUTE", Fudd says. Elmer decides to sleep on it and make the decision on who to keep in the morning. Sylvester, afraid that Elmer will want the kitten, decides to get the kitten into trouble. Every time Sylvester tries to frame the kitten, including breaking dishes and hitting Elmer on the head with a baseball bat, the plan backfires and gets Sylvester in trouble. Finally, Elmer warns Sylvester that if he makes any more noise, he will be thrown out. The kitten decides to get Sylvester in trouble this time, by making all the noise he can (including a loud radio and banging a cooking pot with a wooden spoon.) Elmer  wakes up, but before he can decide which cat goes, his landlord arrives and evicts him! At the end, we find Elmer and both cats eating out of trash cans in the snow!-Below: Sylvester's kitten rival, and the two alternate versions of this cartoon's opening titles: the Blue Ribbon (seen on TV) and the restored, original titles (available through a Columbia House video series.) Also: the original lobby art, (colorized from black and white.) click the thumbnails to see full size.

kitten.jpg (14801 bytes)KitblueRibbon.gif (59732 bytes)Kitoriginal.gif (92682 bytes)kitcat.jpg (24731 bytes)



"Scaredy Cat" (directed by Chuck Jones)
The first in a trilogy of Porky Pig and Sylvester "horror" films, and one of only four Sylvester cartoons ever done by Chuck Jones. Jones designs him a little differently, making him furrier in the face and giving him a fluffy tail. Porky Pig buys the only house the real estate agent had for sale, a huge, old mansion. He thinks it's a bargain...but he gets more than he bargained for. Sylvester, as Porky's pet cat,  keeps trying to warn Porky that the house is inhabited by a gang of murderous mice, including several who look identical to Jones'  Hubie and Bertie characters. Porky doesn't believe him, and keeps dragging him to his kitty bed in the kitchen. the mice make numerous attempts on the lives of both the cat and the pig , including dropping bowling balls, throwing daggers and hatchets, shooting a gun, and pushing Porky's bed out the upstairs window! Porky is completely oblivious until the mice tie him up and wheel him in off, lead by a hood-wearing mouse with a huge executioner's axe! Sylvester runs away, but his conscience literally gives him a pep-talk, and Sylvester runs inside to fight off the mice. Porky thanks Sylvester, but warns him "l-l-look out! B-b-behind ya!" A mouse comes out of the cuckoo clock and mallets the cat, imitating comedian Lew Lehr: "Pussycats is da cwaziest peoples!" It is unfortunate to note that this and the others in its series are brutally edited on television for violence, and it's particularly hard on this one. Columbia House offers a series of "Looney Tunes" video tapes that reportedly  has a restored and unedited version on its introductory volume.

1949:
"
Mouse Mazurka" (directed by Friz Freleng)
This uniquely funny cartoon begins in the Slobovian mountains, in the home of Boris Borscht the Bagel Baron. But the story does not concern Mr. Borscht, not do we ever see him. A mouse, whose character design appears in numerous Friz Freleng cartoons, wearing a Slobovian hat, is happily dancing the polka, until Sylvester appears and starts to chase him.What follows is a cat vs. mouse chase with a twist, and it is made stronger by the great gags. Sylvester tries eating the key to the mouse's locked hole, and disgusing his hand as a pretty girl, but to no avail. The mouse tries to scare Sylvester with a fake bottle of Nitro-glycerine, but unknowingly gets bottles switched on him, so when he drinks what he thinks is the fake stuff he's drinking the real thing. Now, the mouse decides to scare Sylvester by jumping from high places, smoking a cigarette, dropping a safe on himself, etc., making Sylvester, afraid of an explosion, save him and take the consequences. The mouse dances a stomping jig, and sets off the explosives. The mouse thinks he's finally safe in Heaven, even though he never intended to go in the first place. Sylvester grabs the bottle and drinks the rest, does a jig and chases the mouse through the hereafter. A noteworthy exercise in suspence and situational irony. The mouse does not realize he's about to really explode, Sylvester thinks he is, the audience knows he is.
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"Bad Ol' Putty Tat" (directed by Friz Freleng)
We see a birdhouse, with the pole wrapped in barbed wire. Cut to Sylvester, with cuts and scratches all over him. Sylvester rigs a trampoline out of a ladies' girdle, but every time the cat jumps up, Tweety pushes something into his face (such as seltzer water and finally a dynamite stick!) Tweety escapes from the house by sliding down a clothesline, but Sylvester ties the line to his teeth. Tweety has no problem with this, because he has cleverly attached a rocket to the opposite end! Sylvester disguises his hand as a female bird, but Tweety gets wise and switches the little bonnet with his little sailor hat, so Sylvester is tricked into biting his own finger. Tweety hides in a can of "badminton birdies", but two badminton players (caricatures of story writers Tedd Pierce and Michael Maltese) grab him and start playing! Tweety is hit back and forth until Sylvester pushes one of the players aside and intens to catch Tweety in his mouth. Tweety drops a stick of dynamite in instead ("bombs away!") Sylvester diguises himself as the birdhouse, and Tweety goes in, but gets inside the cat's head and starts to conduct him like a train, and rams him full speed into a brick wall. "I wose more puddy tats dat way", Tweety tells us.

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"Hippety Hopper" (directed by Bob McKimson)
Essentially the same plot as the previous year's introduction to the character, "Hop Look and Listen", only this tiime the mouse and kangaroo are teamed up to get revenge on the cat for torturing the mouse. Same kangaroo, same mouse, same bulldog, same plot. The only major difference is the ending: the dog is not only scared by the "giant mouse", he's kicked by him! The dog decides that any time a mouse can beat HIM up, he ought to take up ballet lessons. Sylvester agrees, and the two dance off into the distance.

1950:
"Home Tweet Home" (directed by Friz Freleng)
This one takes place in a city park, with Tweety taking a bath in the birdbath. Sylvester pretends to read the news paper on the park bench, peering over it and inching toward the bird. He gets right up close, but Tweety uses his tongue as a towel! Sylvester chases Tweety in circles around a fountain, but a nanny beats the cat with an umbrella, calling him a "coward! Bully! SCMOE!" Sylvester switches baby carriages on the nanny and dresses like a baby, saying "baby wanna pretty birdy!" The nanny hands him Tweety.  The nanny spanks him, though, when he puts the bird in his mouth! Tweety flies up to a window ledge, but Sylvester uses bubble gum (what, does he exhale helium?) to float up to the ledge. However Tweety lifts it, he hands Sylvester an anvil! Sylvester disguises himself as a tree with a bird nest, but a big bulldog sniffs him and is about to....well, needless to say Sylvester runs off, with the dog close behind!

                          click to see an image:



"The Scarlet Pumpernickle" (directed by Chuck Jones)
A
parody of the "Scarlet Pimpernel", as well as Errol Flynn costume  and swashbuckler movies of the 30's and 40's. Daffy Duck is telling "J.L." (Jack Warner himself!) that he is being typecast with comedy, and offers up a script for an adventure epic. Daffy Duck plays the hero and narrator, "The Scarlet Pumpernickel". The Lord High Chamberlain of Merry Old England, Porky Pig, sets a trap for the Scarlet Pumpernickel by announcing the betrothal of Melissa, a Maid Marian-type female duck, to the Grand Duke, Sylvester. Daffy stops at Elmer Fudd's Inn, in disguise to fool the Lord and Duke. Daffy can't quite seem to get the whole jump-out-of-the-high-window onto a horse routine down. after a few mishaps in the horse-mounting department, Daffy comes to the rescue of Melissa, literally saving her from the threshold of the wedding chapel. Daffy and Duke Sylvester swordfight for the climax, but when Warner begs for more, Daffy can't decide on an ending, and we get a series of climaxes ranging from bursting dams to erupting volcanoes to food prices inflating. Daffy says "There Was nothing for the Scarlet Pumpernickel to do but to Blow his brains out, which he did." Daffy shoots himself in the head, and says "It's gettin' so you have to kill yourself to sell a story around here." The ending is edited various ways on TV, although it is not necessary, Daffy obviously misses.

"All Abirrrd" (directed by Friz Freleng)
A lady puts Tweety in the luggage car of a train bound for 'Gower Gulch." The porter sticks Tweety's cage next to Sylvester's cat carrier, but when the cat gets too interested, the man puts Tweety's cage on a hook up high, away from Sylvester's carrier.  Sylvester picks the lock on his carrier and starts to stack suitcases up to the cieling to try for the canary, but Tweety pulls a cord that sends him into the hot furnace! Sylvester ticks off a bulldog, who also happens to be on board. The conductor is about to catch Sylvester in the act of bird theft, so Sylvester hides Tweety in a mailbag. When he tries to retrieve him, the bulldog is inside and beats up the cat! After a chase, they arrive at the train station. Sylvester disguises himself as the lady and picks up the cage, but finds the dog inside, who clobbers him!

             Click to see an image:

"Canary Row" (directed by Friz Freleng)
Sylvester is watching Tweety through binoculars, out the window of a birdwather's society building. Tweety is in a cage in the window of the "Broken arms Hotel", which does not allow dogs or cats. Sylvester, in order to get at the bird, must climb up to the window ledge without going inside (he is simply kicked out when he tries that.) He tries climbing a raingutter drainpipe, but he is greeted and thrown out the window by a new addition to the Sylvester/Tweety series, Granny! Sylvester tries climbing through the (surpisingly flexible) drainpipe on the inside, but Tweety drops a bowling ball down the pipe, which Sylvester swallows, and it rolls inside the helpless cat into a bowling alley and knocks down the pins! Sylvester spots an organ grinder, and steals his monkey's clothes and pretends tto be the monkey, climbing up to the window again, holding out a cup for donations, and as he is distracting Granny, he goes for the bird. It works, until he tips his hat, revealing cat ears, and Granny clubs him with an umbrella! In what is perhaps the cartoon's funniest gag, Sylvester disguises himself as a bellboy when he overhears Granny checking out, and when he has her bags and is about to open the bircage, he finds Granny hiding inside the cage with the umbrella! Sylvester tries a seesaw made of a plank, and throws a 500lb weight on the opposite end to catapult him to the window. It doesn't work and he ends up getting smashed by the weight. He tries standing on the birdwatcher's building and doing a "tarzan" swing from a rope, but ends up hitting the wall of the hotel instead of the window. He tries  to tightrope accross on a powerline, but it turns out to be a cable car wire, and he is shocked by a trolley engineered by Granny, which chases him along the wires into the distance! Inside joke: through much of the film we see an ad in the background avertising "Friz' soda, an in-joke about the director, Isadore "Friz" Freleng.
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"Pop 'Im, Pop!" (directed by Bob McKimson)
Here, we are introduced to another character in the Sylvester series, his son, Sylvester Junior. Junior is basically Sylvester with a high voice and small size. Once again McKimson tries the Hippety Hopper idea again, this time varying the plot to include Sylvester getting humiliated in front of his own son. Hippety Hopper escapes from his mother at the circus, and wanders through a neighborhood. He ends up in Sylvester's backyard just as he is telling his son how he used to chase "giant mice'. Junior says "Get the mouse like you said you could, unless you want to destroy a child's faith in his father!' Sylvester tries boxing wiith the kangaroo, but the kangaroo beats him up. Sylvester and Junior chase the "mouse" down the street, and end up back at the circus. Sylvester loses him, but boasts to his son that he not only beat up the mouse but wished it were twice as big with 4 arms....just as the mother kangaroo emerges from the tent with Hippety in her pouch, scaring the father and son away!

 __ Canned Feud (d: Friz Freleng)

A brilliant exercise in comic timing. Sylvester's owners leave for a vacation to California, but they cancel the milkman deliveries, lock the door, and forget to feed Sylvester. Sylvester finds some canned food to eat in the kitchen, but realizes he has no can opener. He panics, rummaging frantically through the drawers,  and then discovers that the opener is in the hands of one small mouse (he appears again later in "Stooge For A Mouse"). The rodent taunts Sylvester, and what ensues is a frantic series of attempts to make the mouse give it back, all resulting in personal injury to Sylvester. Finally, he gets the opener back, but then finds the cabinet containing the food locked! The mouse has the key, and rather than one of those "here we go again" endings, Sylvester just passes out! 

"Putty Tat Trouble" (d: Friz Freleng)

 Tweety, shoveling snow out of his nest, tells the audience "Did is what I det for dweamin of a white Chwistmas!" Two cats, Sylvester and a mangy orange feline, meow to be let out of their respective apartments to chase the bird. Tweety: "I Tawt I taw a puddy tat! I tawt I taw anudder puddy tat!" The kitties spend the rest of the cartoon fighting over Tweety, who has a few tricks up his sleeve for evading them. One memorable scene involves one cat mistaking a drinking-glass 'dipping bird' decoration for Tweety, and the cat starts bobbing his head up and down after eating it! In another scene, one of the cats chases Tweety into a length of pipe. The other cat opens his mouth at the end, figuring the bird will run into it...but Sylvester grabs a shotgun, missing the bird and sending the shot right through his competition! In the end, Tweety sends the two cats into the freezing pond, and they return to their apartments, sneezing with colds!

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"Room and Bird" (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Tweety) 

Two old ladies, both very similar to Granny,  sneak their pets, Tweety and Sylvester, into the Spinster's Arms Hotel. Sylvester hears Tweety singing his theme song ("I'm a Tweet Little Bird in a Gilded Cage") in the room next door and tricks him into opening the door  ("let's make beautiful music together"!) The two chase each other through the hotel rooms, eventually encountering yet another pet, a bulldog, to complicate things for Sylvester. The hotel manager has made it quite clear that he doesn't want pets in the place, so the three pets have to chase each other without being seen. Finally, the manager, oblivious to what's going on, still senses that there are pets, so, he yells over the intercom: "someone has pets in this house, and I want the out of here immediately!" He gets trampled by a stampede of animals (domestic and exotic) and says "I tawt I taw a puddy tat". Tweety pops out of a vase, stating: "You did, you taw a puddy tat, a moomoo cow, a diddyap horsie, a big gorilla, and a little monkey!

 

"Tweety's S.O.S." (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Tweety)  

Granny takes Tweety aboard a cruise ship, with Sylvester as a stowaway. Every time he goes for the bird, Granny whops him with an umbrella. Sylvester discovers that without her glasses, Granny can't see him, and he can therefore get Tweety without being seen. Likewise, Tweety returns Granny's glasses, and she pounds Sylvester. Sylvester paints a picture of tweety on Granny's lenses, so that whenever she looks at the bird cage, she sees Tweety. Sylvester then chases Tweety all over the ship, until the bird offers him a slab of salt pork, which immediately makes him seasick. He drinks some stomach medicine and continues the chase, but Tweety paints a picture of waves and rocks it, making the cat sick again. This time, Sylvester gets the bottles mixed up and drinks nitroglycerine, giving him the ability to spit fire at the bird. He continues to chase Tweety using this new ability, until Granny gets wise. Tweety warns her not to hit Sylvester, but she does anyway, causing the cat to be blown sky-high, falling on the captain (who "tawt he taw....")

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"Tweet, Tweet, Tweety" (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Tweety)

 Sylvester is taken camping by his owner, but when he tries to chase the rare "Tweety Bird", the park ranger reprimands him. What follows is a pretty basic chase through the park, with the occasional interruption from the puddy tat -police ranger. The film ends with Sylvester plummeting down a waterfall, as Tweety observes that the puddy tat "gonna hurt hisself if he not more careful"! This idea resurfaced years later in "Suppressed Duck" (1964), in which Daffy Duck hunts a bear. This one isn't one of the best Tweety films, they're still experimenting a lot  with setting. It still has some very funny bits, though.

                                 tweettweety.jpg (10551 bytes)

1952:  

"Who's Kitten Who?" (d:Robert McKimson, costarring Sylvester Jr.) Hippety Hopper escapes from the zoo yet again, this time winding up in Sylvester's basement just as he's telling his son how good he is at mouse catching. He once again mistakes Hippety Hopper for a giant mouse, and every time he tries to catch the kangaroo, he gets kicked out of the room! Junior's dialogue is funny in this one: quotes like "Now people will point at me and say 'there goes the kid whose father was thrown out by a mouse'!" and "I'm ashamed to show my face in public." Sylvester even tries putting on a mouse costume with springs to mimic Hippety, to no avail. Junior doesn't believe Sylvester when he tells him of the "giant" mouse, and he attempts to catch it himself with a sheet of fly paper. Ultimately, Junior gets stuck between the paper and Hippety, making Sylvester think "There goes the cat whose only son was eaten by a mouse!" A clever cartoon, Junior steals the show.

"Gift Wrapped" (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Tweety) 'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse (to the disappointment of Sylvester.) The next morning, Sylvester finds two presents: one, Tweety in a cage, for granny, and a rubber mouse for himself. He switches the gift tags. When Granny opens her present, she realizes there's been a mistake, and makes Sylvester cough up the canary. Granny makes him "kiss the little birdie" under a sprig of mistletoe, Sylvester instead engulfs him. When Granny leaves, Sylvester goes after Tweety again. He can't resist opening another package, however, and to his surprise, this one contains a huge bulldog, who swallows Sylvester! After being rescued by Granny, Sylvester tries a toy steam shovel, and sawing through the ceiling to catch Tweety, none of which are successful. He finds an Indian headband and bow/arrow set in one package, and rigs an arrow with a suction cup to catch Tweety. It works, but just as he's trying to eat the bird, Granny uses the same trick on Sylvester, only this time with a toilet plunger to seal his mouth shut! Sylvester tries to catch the bird with an electric train set, but when he succeeds, and the bulldog in turn eats Sylvester, Granny decides that maybe she needs to teach the animals a little peace. In the end, the four characters sing "Hark the herald Angels Sing", but the dog and cat have some trouble with package seals stuck over their mouths. A Christmas favorite, however, the Indian scene is sometimes edited.

"Little Red Rodent Hood" (d: Friz Freleng) A mouse wants to hear a betime story, so his grandmother tells him "little red riding hood". In this fractured telling, however, the mouse himself is Riding Hood, and Sylvester is the Big Bad Wolf. Clever layouts show the first of the cartoon through a mouse's point of view, with a flowered rug seen as a field and a potted plant as the woods. What follows is Sylvester in the grandma outfit going through the usual "big eyes, big nose" routine with the mouse, Sylvester chases the mouse down the stairs, but misses him and winds up outside, and when he threatens to blow the house down (with a stick of dynamite) he accidentally angers a bulldog. Sylvester disguises himself as a fairy godmother, rigging up a magic wand to an electrical outlet, but the mouse tricks him into shocking himself. Sylvester chases him into his hole. "Riding Hood" finds a "firecracker left over from the fourth of July" and throws it out of the hole. Back to mouse and grandma: "I bet that blew him up, Grandma"! Sylvester sticks hs charred face in the hole: "You're not whistlin Dixie!" Unusual in that fairy tale parodies were less common after the 1940's, but  interesting in that it is one of the few fairy-tale spoofs to incorporate Freleng's more character-driven 1950's slapstick. 

____ Ain't She Tweet(d: Friz Freleng, costarring Tweety)
              aint.jpg (14811 bytes)
____ Hoppy Go Lucky (d: Robert McKimson, costarring Hippety Hopper)

____ A Bird in a Guilty Cage(d: Friz Freleng, costarring Tweety)
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___ Tree For Two (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Spike and Chester)

1953:

____ Snow Business (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Tweety)
          snow.jpg (12063 bytes)

____ A Mouse Divided (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Mrs. Sylvester, Drunk Stork)

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____ Fowl Weather (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Tweety)
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____ Tom-Tom Tomcat (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Tweety)

____ A Street Cat Named Sylvester (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Tweety)

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____ Catty Cornered (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Tweety)
                 catty.jpg (20406 bytes)

____ Cats A-Weigh (d: Robert McKimson, costarring Hippety Hopper and Sylvester Jr. 

1954:

____ Dog Pounded (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Tweety)
                    pounded.jpg (14978 bytes)

____ Bell Hoppy (d: Robert McKimson, costarring Hippety Hopper)

_____Dr. Jerkyl’s Hide (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Spike and Chester)

____ Claws For Alarm (d: Chuck Jones, costarring Porky Pig)

____ Muzzle Tough (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Tweety)

____ Satan's Waitin' (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Tweety)

____ By Word of Mouse (d: Friz Freleng)

1955:

____ Lighthouse Mouse (d: Robert McKimson, costarring Hippety Hopper)

____ Sandy Claws (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Tweety)
            Click here for an image

____ Tweety's Circus (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Tweety)
	circus.jpg (8676 bytes)

____ Jumpin' Jupiter (d: Chuck Jones, costarring Porky Pig and Instant Martian)

____ A Kiddie's Kitty (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Little Suzanne)

____ Speedy Gonzales (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Speedy Gonzales)

____ Red Riding Hoodwinked (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Tweety)
             red.jpg (12912 bytes)

____ Heir Conditioned (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Elmer Fudd)

____ Pappy's Puppy (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Butch J. Bulldog, Drunk Stork)



1956:

____ Too Hop to Handle(d: Robert McKimson, costarring Hippety Hopper and Sylvester Jr.)

____ Tweet and Sour (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Tweety)
                          tweetsour.jpg (13431 bytes)

____ Tree Cornered Tweety (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Tweety)
            Click here for an image

____ The Unexpected Pest (d: Robert McKimson)

____ Tugboat Granny (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Tweety)
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____ The Slap-Hoppy Mouse (d: Robert McKimson, costarring Hippety Hopper and Sylvester Jr.)

____ Yankee Dood It (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Elmer Fudd

1957:

____ Tweet Zoo (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Tweety)
              
            click here for an image:
____ Tweety and the Beanstalk (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Tweety)

____ Birds Anonymous  (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Tweety)
             anonymous.jpg (15567 bytes)

____ Greedy For Tweety (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Tweety)

____ Mouse-Taken Identity (d: Robert McKimson, costarring Hippety Hopper and Sylvester Jr.)

____ Gonzales' Tamales (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Speedy Gonzales
                                 Click to see an image:

1958:

____ A Pizza Tweety Pie (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Tweety)
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____ A Bird in a Bonnet (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Tweety)

1959:

____ Trick or Tweet (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Tweety)

____ Tweet and Lovely (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Tweety)
	      lovely.jpg (12884 bytes)
____ The Cat's Paw (d: Robert McKimson, costarring Sylvester Jr.)

____ Here Today, Gone Tamale(d: Friz Freleng, costarring Speedy Gonzales)
                            Click to see an image:

____ Tweet Dreams (d: Friz Freleng, also Robert McKimson (uncredited), costarring Tweety)



 1960:

____ West of the Pesos (d: Robert McKimson, costarring Speedy Gonzales)

____ Goldimouse and the Three Cats (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Sylvester Jr. and Mrs. Sylvester)

____ Hyde and Go Tweet (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Tweety)

____ Mouse and Garden (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Sam the cat)

____ Trip For Tat (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Tweety)



1961:

____ Cannery Woe (d: Robert McKimson, costarring Speedy Gonzales)

                        click to see an image:
____ Hoppy Daze (d: Robert McKimson, costarring Hippety Hopper

____ Birds of a Father (d: Robert McKimson, costarring Sylvester Jr.)

____ D' Fightin' Ones (d: Friz Freleng)

____ The Rebel Without Claws (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Tweety)
                   rebel.jpg (10147 bytes)

___ The Pied Piper Guadalupe(d:Friz Freleng,costarring Speedy Gonzales)

             Click to see an image
____ The Last Hungry Cat (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Tweety)



1962:

____ Fish and Slips (d: Robert McKimson, costarring Sylvester Jr.)

____ Mexican Boarders (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Speedy Gonzales and Slow Poke Rodriguez)

____ The Jet Cage (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Tweety)
            jet.jpg (15262 bytes)

1963:



____ Mexican Cat Dance (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Speedy Gonzales)

____ Chili Weather (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Speedy Gonzales)

____ Claws in the Lease (d: Robert McKimson, costarring Sylvester Jr.)
               lease.jpg (15635 bytes)

1964:

___ A Message to Gracias (d: Robert McKimson, costarring Speedy Gonzales)

____ Freudy Cat (d: Robert McKimson, costarring Hippety Hopper and Sylvester Jr.)

____ Nuts and Volts (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Speedy Gonzales)
          volts.jpg (17277 bytes)

____ Hawaiian Aye Aye (d: Gerry Chiniquy, costarring Tweety)
	
                       Click here for an image
____ Road to Andalay(d: Friz Freleng, costarring Speedy Gonzales)



1965:

____ It's Nice to Have a Mouse Around the House (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Speedy Gonzales, Daffy Duck)

____ Cats and Bruises (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Speedy Gonzales)

____ The Wild Chase d: Friz Freleng, with re-used footage by Chuck Jones (uncredited), costarring Speedy Gonzales, Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote)



1966

____ A Taste of Catnip (d: Robert McKimson, cameo with Daffy Duck and Speedy Gonzales



1979:

____Bugs Bunny’s Christmas Carol (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig and Yosemite Sam, plus a cast of thousands)-made for TV



1980: 

____The Yolk’s On You (d: Friz Freleng, costarring Foghorn Leghorn, Miss Prissy and Daffy Duck)-made for TV



1995: 

____Carrotblanca (costarring a cast of thousands)



1997:

____Father of the Bird (d: Stephen Fossatti)

            fatherbird.jpg (13262 bytes)

 

Sylvester has also appeared In various compilation films of classic shorts throughout the 1980’s. During the 1990's, Sylvester appeared in "Tiny Toon Adventures". The puddy tat has been in commercials for various products since the 1960’s, and this still continues today, for such products in the 1990’s as Orange Crush and Welch’s jelly, and recently, Miracle Whip Mayonnaise and MCI telephone service. He would again appear in “Space Jam” (1996), and “Tweety’s High Flying Adventure” (1997, video). In addition, Sylvester appeared in a series on the WB network from 1995 to 1998 entitled “Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries”. Sylvester is also a regular in http://www.looneytunes.com/ ‘s internet cartoon serials. Except for “Space Jam”, from 1994 onward, Sylvester’s voice has been handled by the talented Joe Alaskey.

 

-To be continued: descriptions to be added on a semi-regular basis.

article, filmography summaries: © Matthew Hunter. Sylvester and Tweety: © AOL/Time Warner Inc.