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|A Tale of Two Kitties|
A Tale of Two Kitties is a 1942 Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Bob Clampett. It is notable for introducing the character Tweety Bird. It was also the first appearance of Babbit and Catstello, based on the popular comedy duo Abbott and Costello.
The title is an obvious pun on the Charles Dickens classic, A Tale of Two Cities, but there is no other connection between the two "Tales".
The cartoon is replete with topical references, many having to do with World War II. One gag has the "Babbit" cat hoeing his "Victory garden". Another has the "Catstello" cat gliding through the air on artificial wings like a warplane ("Hey, Babbitt! I'm a Spitfire!" followed by a few juicy expectorations). The climax has Tweety admonishing the cats, in a very loud and un-Tweety-like voice, to "TURN OUT THOSE LIGHTS!" during an air raid drill. (Babbit and Catstello see Tweety on the ground ["Now's our chance!"] and creep up on him. They approach him, eyes bulging, claws drawn, big teeth exposed. He turns and yells; the cats' eyes—the street light—and the moon all blink out.) Tweety reveals early on that his cute appearance masks a willingness to be merciless, even sadistic, towards anyone who threatens him. After slipping one of the cats a bomb which explodes (offscreen), the bird remarks, "Aw, da poor putty tat - he cwushed his widdow head!" Followed by a big grin. (This line was patterned after a catchphrase from a Red Skelton character, and would be used in other Warner cartoons, such as "Easter Yeggs".)
Since the cartoon has fallen into the public domain, it can be found on numerous unauthorized video releases. Additionally, it is available on the following official video releases:
- Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 5, Disc 3. Blue Ribbon reissue titles.
- Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume 1, Disc 1. Blue Ribbon reissue titles.
When this short aired on The WB, Catstello' line after Babbit says, "Gimme the bird! Gimme the bird!" -- "If the Hays Office would only let me, I'd give 'im the bird alright!" -- was cut (as "the bird" Catstello is referring to is a slang term for giving someone the middle finger, which is considered a rude gesture in most cultures and a taboo by the Hays Office back in the day).
|1942||A Tale of Two Kitties|
|1944||Birdy and the Beast|
|1945||A Gruesome Twosome|
|1948||I Taw a Putty Tat|
|1949||Bad Ol' Putty Tat|
|1950||Home Tweet Home • All a Bir-r-r-d • Canary Row|
|1951||Putty Tat Trouble • Room and Bird • Tweety's S.O.S. • Tweet Tweet Tweety|
|1952||Gift Wrapped • Ain't She Tweet • A Bird in a Guilty Cage|
|1953||Snow Business • Fowl Weather • Tom Tom Tomcat • A Street Cat Named Sylvester • Catty Cornered|
|1954||Dog Pounded • Muzzle Tough • Satan's Waitin'|
|1955||Sandy Claws • Tweety's Circus • Red Riding Hoodwinked • Heir-Conditioned|
|1956||Tweet and Sour • Tree Cornered Tweety • Tugboat Granny|
|1957||Tweet Zoo • Tweety and the Beanstalk • Birds Anonymous • Greedy For Tweety|
|1958||A Pizza Tweety-Pie • A Bird in a Bonnet|
|1959||Trick or Tweet • Tweet and Lovely • Tweet Dreams|
|1960||Hyde and Go Tweet • Trip for Tat|
|1961||The Rebel Without Claws • The Last Hungry Cat|
|1962||The Jet Cage|
|1964||Hawaiian Aye Aye|
|2011||I Tawt I Taw A Putty Tat|