Sylvester the cat, with his tomato red nose and huge jowls, made his first appearance in the 1945 Warner Bros. cartoon ‘Life With Feathers’.
But it was not until two years later that he met up with perhaps his most famous adversary, an innocent looking canary with an enormous head and big blinking blue eyes, in the Oscar winning cartoon ‘Tweetie Pie’.
The little bird was viewed as a tasty meal by Sylvester (or Sylvester Pussycat, to give him his proper title) and the lisping feline devised many a plan to get Tweety out of the cage and into his stomach.
Unfortunately for the cat, Granny was never far away and Sylvester received many a bashing from Granny’s umbrella.
The canary was not so innocent as it looked and often matched Sylvester cat in deviousness and cunning, often setting things up so that the cat appeared to be the sole mischief maker and the bird the sinless victim.
Sylvester was often seen being thrown out of Granny’s apartment because of Tweety’s craftiness.
Another looney tunes character that was often matched against Sylvester with hilarious results was Hippety Hopper.
Sylvester the cat
Hippety was a baby kangaroo that our cat ‘hero’ mistook for a giant mouse, he made his first appearance in ‘Hop, Look and Listen’ (1948).
‘Pop, I’m Pop'(1950) saw the introduction of Sylvester Pussycat’s son, Sylvester Jr. In looks, Jr. was a miniature version of his father complete with the lisp.
A typical plot would be that Hippety Hopper escapes from a circus, or a zoo etc., to chance upon Sylvester Jr., who believes the kid kangaroo to be an outsize rodent.
Junior goes running to dad who tells him that there is no mouse big enough to be a match for Sylvester cat’s mousing capabilities.
Dad gets thoroughly outwitted, humiliated, and beaten up by the giant mouse. This is a cause of great embarrassment to young Sylvester, who often hid his head under a paper bag, ashamed of his pop.
‘Speedy Gonzales’ (1955), was an Oscar winning Warner Bros. cartoon that featured a little mouse in a sombrero who could move at super speed.
This was the start of another series of adventures for Sylvester, in which he had no hope at all of catching “The fastest mouse in all Mehico”.
Usually Speedy is after the cheese which is being guarded by Sylvester the “Gringo Poosycat”.
Sylvester is remembered for his rasping lisp, particularly his catch-phrase ‘Sufferin’ succotash!’
The voice for Sylvester the cat was provided by Mel Blanc the man behind so many of the looney tunes voices, and was said to be modeled on producer Leon Schlesinger’s own lisp.
Meet Sylvester The Cat at Amazon.com
Best Cat Art > Cartoon Cats > Sylvester Pussycat.
Tom and Jerry
Tom and Jerry cartoons, directed by Hanna and Barbera, 1940-1957, were absolute masterpieces of animation. Beautifully drawn, very fast paced action and lovable, likable characters.