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Director: Friz Freleng
Release Date: August 7, 1954
Stars: Tweety & Sylvester
Rating: ★★★★
Review:

Satan's Waitin' © Warner BrothersDuring a chase Sylvester falls down and ceases to be.

He goes straight to hell, where a bulldog-like devil tells him he can return to earth because he has still eight lives left. Unfortunately, back on earth Sylvester loses his lives fast, especially during a chase at a carnival.

‘Satan’s Waitin’ shows some similarities to the Tom & Jerry cartoon ‘Heavenly Puss‘ (1949), including bulldog devils and a heavenly escalator. Nevertheless, it’s one of the most original and most inspired of the Tweety and Sylvester cartoons, on par with the celebrated ‘Birds Anonymous’ from 1957.

Watch ‘Satan’s Waitin’’ yourself and tell me what you think:

Director: Frank Tashlin
Release Date: December 11, 1943
Rating: ★★★
Review:

Puss 'n Booty © Warner BrothersThis cartoon opens with “Dicky Bird”, the canary, missing.

Rudolph, the cat who ate the bird (!), pretends the poor fellow has flown out of the window, so his mistress orders another one, which turns out to be considerably harder to catch.

The main body of ‘Puss ‘n Booty’ consists of blackout gags that anticipate the Tweety and Sylvester cartoons by four years.

This short was Warner Bros.’ last cartoon in black and white. Nevertheless, its broad use of blacks, greys and white and the startling camera angles (Frank Tashlin’s trademark) make it as modern as any other cartoon of the era.

Watch ‘Puss ‘n Booty’ yourself and tell me what you think:

Director: Friz Freleng
Release Date: December 2, 1961
Stars: Tweety & Sylvester
Rating: ★★★★½
Review:

The Last Hungry Cat © Warner Bros.‘The Last Hungry Cat’ must be one of the best entries in the Tweety and Sylvester series.

The short is a parody of the television show ‘Alfred Hitchcock Presents’, which aired from 1955 to 1965. Luckily, you don’t have to be familiar with this program (I’m not) to enjoy this cartoon.

Introduced by an Alfred Hitchcock-like shadow of a pig, the short tells the story of Sylvester, who for once thinks he has actually eaten Tweety and who is then eaten by guilt.

The cartoon makes use of a conscience-like voice-over and very beautifully colored and a surprisingly large amount of well-staged angular backgrounds (staged by Hawley Pratt, who gets co-directing credits, and painted in beautiful blues and yellows by Tom O’Loughlin). The images succeed in evoking an atmosphere that reflects Sylvester’s inner feelings. Especially the staging of Sylvester’s sleeplessness is very well done: still images of Sylvester lying awake are inter-cut with close-ups of his alarm clock, in rapid succession, zooming in all the time. These scenes are accompanied by Milt Franklyn’s ominous music and insistent ticking of the clock, only.

It’s a surprise such a well-made, beautiful and compelling cartoon could be made as late a 1961. The short is a worthy addition to the very small guilt cartoon canon, which also includes ‘Nursery Scandal‘ from 1933, ‘Pudgy Picks a Fight‘ from and ‘Donalds’ Crime’ from 1945.

Watch ‘The Last Hungry Cat’ yourself and tell me what you think:

Director: Friz Freleng
Release Date:
 September 22, 1951
Stars:
 Tweety & Sylvester, Granny
Rating:
 ★★★
Review:

Tweety's S.O.S. © Warner BrothersSylvester is down in the dumps and hungry, foraging a harbor, when he discovers Tweety on a ship.

He climbs aboard, and what follows are several gags involving glasses and sea sickness. The best gag is when Sylvester paints Tweety on Granny’s glasses. Most of the other gags, however, are mediocre, and feel routinized. For example, Tweety reuses a sea sickness gag from Tex Avery’s ‘The Screwball Squirrel’ (1944), but much less well executed.

Watch ‘Tweety’s S.O.S.’ yourself and tell me what you think:

‘Tweety’s S.O.S.’ is available on the DVD set ‘Looney Tunes Golden Collection, Vol. 1’

Director: Friz Freleng
Release Date:
 February 24, 1951
Stars:
 Tweety & Sylvester
Rating:
 ★★★★
Review:

Putty Tat Trouble © Warner BrothersIt’s winter and Tweety is troubled by two cats (Sylvester and a red cat with a bad eye), who fight over him. Most of the comedy derives from the feud between the two, and only in the end Tweety himself comes into action, making the two cats fall into an icy pond.

With ‘Putty Tat Trouble’ Freleng returns to Tweety’s first solo films, Bob Clampett’s ‘A Tale of Two Kitties’ (1942) and ‘A Gruesome Twosome‘ (1945), in which also two cats fought for the little bird. Freleng’s humor is different from Bob Clampett’s, but once again, the feud works very well. Apart from Tweety’s talking, all the comedy is silent and brilliantly executed, too. This makes ‘Putty Tat Trouble’ one of the better Tweety and Sylvester cartoons.

In one scene we can see a Friz Freleng portrait in the background.

Watch an excerpt from ‘Putty Tat Trouble’ yourself and tell me what you think:

‘Putty Tat Trouble’ is available on the DVD set ‘Looney Tunes Golden Collection, Vol. 1’

Director: Friz Freleng
Release Date:
 June 2, 1951
Stars:
 Tweety & Sylvester, Granny
Rating:
 ★★★
Review:

Room and Bird © Warner BrothersGranny sneaks Tweety into a hotel where no pets are allowed.

Another old lady sneaks Sylvester in, who inhabits the room next to Tweety. Like in ‘All a bir-r-r-d‘ Sylvester encounters a vicious bulldog, too. The cartoon contains a classic corridor-with-doors-gag, but the cartoon’s greatest joy is its great twist on the chase routine, provided by a pet inspector who at times interrupts the chase of the three animals.

‘Room and bird’ is the first of four 1951 Warner Brothers cartoons featuring music by Eugene Poddany instead of Carl Stalling.

Watch ‘Room and Bird’ yourself and tell me what you think:

Director: Friz Freleng
Release Date:
June 24, 1950
Stars:
 Tweety & Sylvester
Rating:
 ★
Review:

All a Bir-r-r-d © Warner Brothers‘All a Bir-r-r-d’ is Tweety and Sylvester’s fourth cartoon and in this short their chase takes place in the baggage wagon of a train. Sylvester’s pursuit is extra hindered by a train conductor and a vicious bulldog.

‘All Abir-r-rd’ is a rather formulaic chase cartoon, and in no way among Tweety & Sylvester’s best. It is noteworthy however, for introducing Tweety’s theme song, sung, off course, by Tweety himself.

Watch ‘All a Bir-r-r-d’ yourself and tell me what you think:

Director: Friz Freleng
Release Date:
 July 23, 1949
Stars:
 Tweety & Sylvester
Rating:
 ★★★
Review:

Bad Ol' Putty Tat © Warner Brothers‘Bad Ol’ Putty Tat’ is only the third of the Tweety and Sylvester shorts, but it already feels routine.

The short opens with Tweety’s birdhouse all wrapped in barbed wire and a wrecked Sylvester sitting below, thinking how to reach the bird. Friz Freleng and his team waste no time and immediately start with Sylvester’s attempts in blackout gags involving a fake female bird and a badminton game.

In this short Sylvester does manage to swallow Tweety, but the little bird takes control of his head, steering the cat like a train into a stone wall.

Watch ‘Bad ol’ Putty Tat’ yourself and tell me what you think:

Director: Friz Freleng
Release Date:
 October 7, 1950
Stars:
 Tweety & Sylvester, Granny
Rating:
 ★★★
Review:

Canary Row © Warner Brothers‘Canary Row’ has absolutely nothing to do with John Steinbeck’s novel ‘Cannery Row’.

Instead, it is the sixth Tweety and Sylvester cartoon, and the first to feature Granny as Tweety’s owner. In this short Sylvester tries to capture Tweety, who lives in on a top floor in a hotel in which no cats are allowed. But Tweety and his owner Granny give Sylvester a hard time.

The takes on Sylvester are superb: he’s well animated and his gags are excellently timed, showing Freleng’s craftsmanship. However, Tweety and Granny are hardly as funny, and their appearances wear the comedy down.

If not necessarily for its comedy,’Canary Row’ is noteworthy for its beautiful urban backgrounds, painted by Paul Julian, who would soon join UPA to elevate his background art to even greater heights.

Watch ‘Canary Row’ yourself and tell me what you think:

‘Canary Row’ is available on the DVD set ‘Looney Tunes Golden Collection, Vol. 1’

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