Description

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.

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 is one of the rejuvenated cartoons released to DVD commercially on Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 5.

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.)

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" 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!"


Pop Culture Connections - Outgoing

It refers to these books...

It plays these songs...

Pop Culture Connections - Incoming

It is shown on these movies...

Act of Vengeance

  • Date:
  • Type: Movie
This Movie shows A Tale of Two Kitties part of Merrie Melodies
Paul and Bobby watch this cartoon
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It is referred to by these movies...

Prehistoric Perils
part of Mighty Mouse / Super Mouse

This Movie refers to A Tale of Two Kitties part of Merrie Melodies
The "This Little Piggie" scene in the Mighty Mouse short is from this Merrie Melodies cartoon

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

  • Date:
  • Type: Movie
This Movie refers to A Tale of Two Kitties part of Merrie Melodies
The "This Little Piggie" scene in Roger Rabbit is from this Merrie Melodies cartoon
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It is referred to by these television episodes...

The Plucky Duck Show:
Season:  1  / Episode:  1 
The Return of Batduck

This Television Episode refers to A Tale of Two Kitties part of Merrie Melodies
The breaking of the fourth wall where Plucky asks, "Is there an insurance salesman in the audience?" is from this Merrie Melodies cartoon.

Other Connections and Related Pop Culture

Merrie Melodies

The Shanty Where Santy Claus Lives
part of Merrie Melodies

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  • Type: Movie

Those Beautiful Dames
part of Merrie Melodies

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  • Type: Movie

A Tale of Two Kitties
part of Merrie Melodies

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  • Type: Movie

Little Beau Pepe
part of Merrie Melodies

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  • Type: Movie

Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century
part of Merrie Melodies

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  • Type: Movie

Stop! Look! And Hasten!
part of Merrie Melodies

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  • Type: Movie

Whoa, Be Gone!
part of Merrie Melodies

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  • Type: Movie

To Itch His Own
part of Merrie Melodies

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The Bugs Bunny Show:
Season:  2  / Episode:  26 
A Tail of Two Kitties

 

Lost:
Season:  3  / Episode:  1 
A Tale of Two Cities

 

Mad Men:
Season:  6  / Episode:  10 
A Tale of Two Cities

 

A Tale of Two Cities
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