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I Taw a Putty Tat
I taw a putty tat.jpg
Directed By: Friz Freleng
Produced By: Eddie Selzer
Released: April 2, 1948
Series: Merrie Melodies
Voiced By: Mel Blanc
Starring: Sylvester
Tweety Bird
Preceded By: Back Alley Oproar
Succeeded By: Rabbit Punch

I Taw A Putty Tat is a 1947 Merrie Melodies short animated cartoon, released in 1948, directed by Friz Freleng. It stars Tweety and Sylvester, both voiced by Mel Blanc. The uncredited voice of the lady of the house (seen only from the neck down, as she talks on the phone) was Bea Benaderet.

The bird's inability to enunciate certain letters (presumably due to having a beak instead of lips) is the reason for the pronunciation of his famous catch-phrase that forms part of this cartoon's title (as in "I Thought I Saw a Pussy Cat"). This is the first film whose title included Tweety's speech-impaired term for a cat. The "standard" spelling was eventually changed from "putty tat" to "puddy tat".


Sylvester awaits the arrival of a new canary, after the previous house bird has mysteriously disappeared (one of several such disappearances, according to stencils the cat keeps on a wall hidden by a curtain, confirmed by his "hiccup" of some yellow feathers). Upon the arrival of the bird, Sylvester pretends to play nice in order to abuse and eventually make a meal of the pretending-to-be-naïve canary.

A series of violent visual gags ensues in which Tweety physically subdues the threatening cat by smoking him up, hitting him on the foot with a mallet, feeding him some alum and using his uvula as a punching bag. (See illustration) Tweety developing his little muscles at the expense of Sylvester's uvula

A couple of racial/ethnic gags are included. Sylvester imitates a Scandinavian-sounding maid, who feigns complaining about having to "clean out de bird cage." He reaches into the covered cage and grabs what he thinks is the bird. The canary whistles at him. The confused cat opens his fist to find a small bomb, which promptly explodes, covering the cat in "blackface" makeup. His voice pattern then changes to something sounding like "Rochester", and he says, "Uh-oh, back to the kitchen, ah smell somethin' burnin'!" just before passing out.

A more subtle gag with a racist legacy occurs when Tweety, inside the cat's mouth, yells down its gullet. The answer comes back, "There's nobody here but us mice!" This is a variant on an old joke in which a black man is hiding in a henhouse, and when the farmer yells who is there, the would-be chicken thief answers, "Dey's nobody here but us chickens!"

At the climax, Tweety has managed to trap Sylvester inside the birdcage, and has introduced a "wittle puddy dog" (rhymes with "puppy dog"; a not-so-little "pug dog", an angry bulldog - in his first appearance). Their deadly battle occurs under the wrap the bird has thrown over the cage.

The film ends with the lady of the house calling the pet shop again, this time ordering a new cat, while Tweety lounges in Sylvester's old bed. Overhearing the woman telling the pet shop that the cat will have a nice home here, Tweety reveals the silhouette of a cat now stencilled on the wall, and closes the cartoon with a comment to the camera, "Her don't know me vewy well, do her?" a variant on one of Red Skelton's catchphrases by his "Mean Widdle Kid" character from radio.


This cartoon is a color remake of a 1943 black and white short film titled Puss n' Booty which was directed by Frank Tashlin and written by Warren Foster. In this previous version, a generic cat and canary team called Rudolph and Petey were used but the plot along with some gags and story elements were re-used. Puss N' Booty was notable as it was the final black and white cartoon ever released by WB.

After winning the Academy Award for Animated Short Film in 1947 for Tweetie Pie, a film which combined for the first time two of the studio's latest animated stars, Tweety Bird and Sylvester, there was a demand for more short films using the characters. Freleng himself said he could not imagine Tweety working with any other partners than Sylvester (in contrast, Sylvester still had his fair share of cartoons without Tweety).

I Taw a Putty Tat was Freleng's second film teaming the characters and was released less than a year after Tweetie Pie. It is noticeable that while this cartoon was directed by Friz Freleng, the Tweety we see in it is by far closer to the aggressive little bird used in his first few cartoons directed by Bob Clampett than the more subdued and naïve character he would become a few years later as the series progressed.

This and Tweetie Pie were the only 2 Tweety and Sylvester pairings sold to Associated Artists Productions. This is the only Tweety/Sylvester pairing in Cinecolor as well. The cartoon says PRINT BY TECHNICOLOR, which means it was reissued in TECHNICOLOR. This and Tweetie Pie are the only 2 Tweety/Sylvester pairings that do not survive with original titles. Bad Ol' Putty Tat was released in 1949 but had the 1956-64 rules which reissued but kept original credits.


Bea Benaderet provided the voice of the housemistress but she did not get credit as with most voice actors at the studio, Mel Blanc being the exception. Amongst the musical quotations in the Carl Stalling film score (with or without lyrics accompanying them) are extracts from "Singin' in the Bathtub", "She Was an Acrobat's Daughter" and "Ain't We Got Fun".

The animators for the cartoon were Ken Champin, Gerry Chiniquy, Manuel Perez, Virgil Ross, and an uncredited Pete Burness. Paul Julian was the background artist, while Hawley Pratt was the layout artist.


The scene where Sylvester dressed as a maid complains, "Ev'ryday, it's da same thing, clean out the bird cage, clean out the bird cage... come on lil' birdie." He grabs from the cage what he thinks is Tweety but discovers that he has really snatched a stick of TNT which explodes in his face. This is retained in the cartoon, but edited out of it was Sylvester in from the TNT blast saying a la Rochester, "Uh-oh, back to the kitchen, ah smell somethin' burnin'!". just before passing out, which is often cut from television networks such as TBSTNTCartoon Network, & WB.


After its original release in theaters I Taw a Putty Tat was re-released as part of the compilation film, Bugs Bunny: Superstar (1975), along with other short films from the 1940s. This feature was later made available on VHS and Laserdisc before it was discontinued in 1999 because of the non-use of laserdisc and the reduced use of VHS, but could be found on eBay or a selling site as people are getting rid of these types of formats.

The short film has also been made available on VHS through two compilations released by MGM/UA and Turner Entertainment in the 1980s : Little Tweety and Little Inki Cartoon Festival featuring I Taw a Putty Tat and Tweety and Sylvester.

The short was part of the Golden Age of Looney Tunes volume 4 Laserdisc set. It also occurs in its entirety in the documentary Bugs Bunny: Superstar Part 1, which is available as a special feature on Discs 1 and 2 of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 4, although it has not been refurbished or released independently in that DVD series.

The Turner dubbed version (which also has the same edit seen on TV to remove the blackface gag) has been made available as a bonus feature on the DVD release of Romance on the High Seas.

Sylvester Cartoons
1945 Life with FeathersPeck Up Your Troubles
1946 Kitty Kornered
1947 Tweetie PieDoggone CatsCatch as Cats Can
1948 Back Alley OproarI Taw a Putty TatHop, Look and ListenKit For CatScaredy Cat
1949 Mouse MazurkaBad Ol' Putty TatHippety Hopper
1950 Home Tweet HomeThe Scarlet PumpernickelAll a Bir-r-r-rdCanary RowStooge for a MousePop 'Im Pop!
1951 Canned FeudPutty Tat TroubleRoom and BirdTweety's S.O.S.Tweet Tweet Tweety
1952 Who's Kitten Who?Gift WrappedLittle Red Rodent HoodAin't She TweetHoppy Go LuckyA Bird in a Guilty CageTree for Two
1953 Snow BusinessA Mouse DividedFowl WeatherTom Tom TomcatA Street Cat Named SylvesterCatty CorneredCats A-Weigh
1954 Dog PoundedBell HoppyDr. Jerkyl's HideClaws for AlarmMuzzle ToughSatan's Waitin'By Word of Mouse
1955 Lighthouse MouseSandy ClawsTweety's CircusJumpin' JupiterClaws for AlarmA Kiddies KittySpeedy GonzalesRed Riding HoodwinkedHeir-ConditionedPappy's Puppy
1956 Too Hop to HandleTweet and SourTree Cornered TweetyThe Unexpected PestTugboat GrannyThe Slap-Hoppy MouseYankee Dood It
1957 Tweet ZooTweety and the BeanstalkBirds AnonymousGreedy For TweetyMouse-Taken IdentityGonzales' Tamales
1958 A Pizza Tweety PieA Bird in a Bonnet
1959 Trick or TweetTweet and LovelyThe Cat's PawHere Today, Gone TamaleTweet Dreams
1960 West of the PesosGoldimouse and the Three CatsHyde and Go TweetMouse and GardenTrip For Tat
1961 Cannery WoeHoppy DazeBirds of a FatherD' Fightin' OnesThe Rebel Without ClawsThe Pied Piper of GuadalupeThe Last Hungry Cat
1962 Fish and SlipsMexican BoardersThe Jet Cage
1963 Mexican Cat DanceChili WeatherClaws In The Lease
1964 A Message to GraciasFreudy CatNuts and VoltsHawaiian Aye AyeRoad to Andalay
1965 It's Nice to Have a Mouse Around The HouseCats and BruisesThe Wild Chase
1966 A Taste of Catnip
1995 Carrotblanca
2011 I Tawt I Taw A Putty Tat
Tweety Cartoons
1942 A Tale of Two Kitties
1944 Birdy and the Beast
1945 A Gruesome Twosome
1947 Tweetie Pie
1948 I Taw a Putty Tat
1949 Bad Ol' Putty Tat
1950 Home Tweet HomeAll a Bir-r-r-rdCanary Row
1951 Putty Tat TroubleRoom and BirdTweety's S.O.S.Tweet Tweet Tweety
1952 Gift WrappedAin't She TweetA Bird in a Guilty Cage
1953 Snow BusinessFowl WeatherTom Tom TomcatA Street Cat Named SylvesterCatty Cornered
1954 Dog PoundedMuzzle ToughSatan's Waitin'
1955 Sandy ClawsTweety's CircusRed Riding HoodwinkedHeir-Conditioned
1956 Tweet and SourTree Cornered TweetyTugboat Granny
1957 Tweet ZooTweety and the BeanstalkBirds AnonymousGreedy For Tweety
1958 A Pizza Tweety PieA Bird in a Bonnet
1959 Trick or TweetTweet and LovelyTweet Dreams
1960 Hyde and Go TweetTrip For Tat
1961 The Rebel Without ClawsThe Last Hungry Cat
1962 The Jet Cage
1964 Hawaiian Aye Aye
2011 I Tawt I Taw A Putty Tat