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|Life With Feathers|
Life with Feathers is a 1945 Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Friz Freleng. It was nominated for an Academy Award for short episodes and films.
This cartoon marks the first appearance of Sylvester. It also stars an unnamed bird in his only appearance. From 1939-1944, WB had prototypes of Sylvester. Friz Freleng came with a final redesign of Sylvester. Cartoons became more in demand for Sylvester so Friz Freleng (usually with Tweety) and Robert McKimson (usually with Sylvester Jr. and Hippety Hopper) directed most of his future films.
A lovebird is depressed because his wife no longer loves him, so he decides to commit suicide. He finally settles on getting eaten by a cat. The bird happens on a hungry Sylvester and calls him over with a whistle. Excited, the cat runs to the bird, only to stop when he finds the bird wants to be eaten. Sylvester, thinking the bird is poisoned, refuses. Determined, the bird tries to sneak (and even force) himself into the cat’s mouth, but to no avail.
Finally, the bird tunes into food commercials on the radio to increase Sylvester’s appetite. The cat decides he “might as well die” eating the bird. As the feline is about to have a meal at last, a telegram arrives for the bird. It reads that that relations between him and his wife are going to be just fine. Unfortunately, the cat hasn’t changed his mind and pursues the bird off a balcony.
The bird, overjoyed, returns home and reveals to the audience that his wife has returned to her mother. A dish is thrown from across the room. The camera pans to reveal that it was from the wife, who changed her mind. The bird runs back outside and calls for Sylvester. Iris out.
- The Golden Age of Looney Tunes, Volume 1, Side 2: Firsts. Blue Ribbon reissue. (LaserDisc)(VHS, just Volume 2)
- Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume 3, Disc 2. Blue Ribbon reissue. (DVD, Blu-Ray)
- Final cartoon to have 1941-45 version of Merrily We Roll Along, also the final Merrie Melodies with the WB shield appearing before WARNER BROS. PICTURES INC., Present, the production code, and the copyright notice appear, in the pre-1948 era, or a non-Bugs Bunny cartoon. Some films from 1949-51 would have this feature, but only for Bugs Bunny cartoons. The next cartoon Behind the Meat-Ball, would be the final.
- Life with Feathers was reissued in March 3, 1951 almost 6 years from its release date. Like most reissued Merrie Melodies at the time, the original closing sequence was kept. All MERRIE MELODIES originally released between 9/1/44-7/10/48 had their original closings kept, except for some of the Cinecolor ones.
- In 1951 Chuck Jones reused a similar concept for Hubie & Bertie's final cartoon Cheese Chasers.
- In the 1995 Turner "dubbed version" (and presumably other TV prints), Sylvester has black fur (similar to current appearance). The restored version on Blu-Ray/DVD shows that Sylvester originally had a lighter bluish-black fur.
On Cartoon Network, Boomerang and The WB the part where the lovebird thinks of different ways to commit suicide after his wife has thrown him out is cut. However, airings of this cartoon outside the United States retain this scene.