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A Tale of Two Kitties

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Music director
Carl Stalling



Animation, Family, Short

Film series
Merrie Melodies


A Tale of Two Kitties movie poster

Release date
November 21, 1942 (USA)

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A tale of two kitties 1942

A Tale of Two Kitties is an American Merrie Melodies cartoon, released in 1942, notable for the first appearance of a flesh colored canary, who would come to be known as Tweety. It was directed by Bob Clampett, written by Warren Foster, and features music by Carl W. Stalling. 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.


A Tale of Two Kitties movie scenes

It is one of many a.a.p.-owned cartoons to fall in the public domain, as United Artists did not renew the copyright in time. It was released to DVD commercially on Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 5.

A Tale of Two Kitties movie scenes

Even in this initial appearance, 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.)

A Tale of Two Kitties movie scenes

The bird was unnamed in the short, although at the time the staff called it "Orson". This is one of the few Tweety shorts that did not feature his main antagonist Sylvester the Cat; at that time, Sylvester was cast as a prototype (as seen in the 1941 short Notes to You) and would not make his official debut until 1945, in Life with Feathers.

A Tale of Two Kitties Looney Tunes Pictures A Tale of Two Kitties

"A Tale of Two Kitties" is notable for an early reference to the middle finger, with a direct shot at the movie industry's censorship bureau. Babbitt said to Catstello, "Give me the bird! Give me the bird!" Catstello broke the fourth wall and said to the audience, "If the Hays Office would only let me, I'd give him the bird, all right!"

A Tale of Two Kitties A Tale of Two Kitties 1942 The Internet Animation Database

a tale of two kitties 1942 recreation titles

Voice Cast

A Tale of Two Kitties A Tale of Two Kitties Merrie Melodies 1942 YouTube

Mel Blanc as Tweety and Catstello (uncredited)

A Tale of Two Kitties Give Me the Bird A Tale of Two Kitties 1942 YouTube

Tedd Pierce as Babbit (uncredited)

Influences in other media

A Tale of Two Kitties Give me the birdA Tale of Two Kitties YouTube

  • This short is referenced in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, where Eddie Valiant finds Tweety when he hangs from the pole of a building. Tweety drops Eddie by playing "This Little Piggy" in the exact manner as he does in this short.
  • In the Mighty Mouse short Prehistoric Perils, Oil Can Harry uses the same tactic to drop Pearl Pureheart off a power line.
  • In an episode of The Plucky Duck Show "The Return of Batduck", Plucky says "Is there an insurance salesman in the audience?" as Catstello does in this film.

  • A Tale of Two Kitties John K Stuff TimingPacing A Tale Of Two Kitties 1942


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