Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"Thufferin' Thuccotash!"

Is it possible? Could that lovable puddy tat really be 64? Yup - Sylvester the cat made his cinematic debut on March 24, 1945 in the animated short "Life With Feathers".

1945: "Life With Feathers" (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!

Freleng's 1947 cartoon Tweetie Pie was the first pairing of Tweety with Sylvester, and the Bob Clampett-directed Kitty Kornered (1946) was Sylvester's first pairing with Porky Pig. Over the years, he has starred and co-starred in nearly 100 animated shorts. Sylvester has also had a number of cameo appearances in television and in movies such as "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" (1988), Looney Tunes; Back In Action" (2003) and costarred in "Space Jam" (1996) as #9 on the Tune Squad! From 1995-2001, he also costarred in the Warner Brother animated series, titled "Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries". Granny, Sylvester, Tweety and Hector the bulldog, traveled the world solving several outrageously funny mysteries while Sylvester continued to chase Tweety!

The Looney Tunes are often referred to as being from "Termite Terrace" rather than Warner Brothers. Tex Avery and his band of animators affectionately dubbed their temporary digs on the Warner Brothers lot as "Termite Terrace". The name stuck and was still being used long after the team had moved to a permanent location.

I love music, and one of my Sylvester cartoon favourites is Back Alley Oproar (1948). It features a sleep deprived Elmer Fudd being serenaded by Sylvester. I am not a fan of opera, but the way it is used here is absolutely hilarious. Like all Looney Tunes, there are some brilliant sight gags and humerus references to the times.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge fan of Looney Tunes - and especially of Sylvester! I have been collecting Sylvester memorabilia since I was a small child. I have at least 300 items (majority are packed away due to lack of space). The items range from toys, lamps, bedding, clothes, slippers, Christmas ornaments to a black velvet painting and a 4 1/2 foot tall stuffed Sylvester! I have hours of VHS tapes and a couple of books on Looney Tunes and Sylvester. I also have at least 200 pics of Sylvester on my computer!! My friends all know to keep their eyes open for anything Sylvester while travelling and exploring garage sales - if Sylvester is on it I'll love it!!

One of my online friends created the following pic for me in honour of Sylvester's 64th birthday. My very talented friend, used a Looney Tunes logo as a background, then added all the characters, party hats, balloons, cake, text bubbles and other text as a loving tribute to this amazing puddy tat! She did a fantastic job and I can't begin to thank her for this wonderful gift!!!


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