Sylvester the Cat

Sylvester J. Pussycat Sr. (A.K.A. Sylvester the Cat) is a beloved Looney Tunes cartoon cat, best known for his lisp.

Sylvester is also known for his determination to best his “formidable” adversaries. Indeed, most of Sylvester the Cat episodes revolve around his battles against his rivals: Tweety Bird, Speedy Gonzalez and Hippety Hopper (the baby kangaroo Sylvester thought was a giant mouse).

In the end, despite his fierce determination, Sylvester ends up losing. Talk about a sufferin' succotash (Sylvester’s peculiar exclamation).

How it all got started

Sylvester the Cat was created by Friz Freleng (1906-1995), an American cartoonist, animator and director. Sylvester first appeared in the 1945 short film Life with Feathers.

Sylvester and Tweety Bird, his most famous rival, appeared together for the first time in the 1947 Oscar winning cartoon Tweetie Pie. Interestingly, in this cartoon Sylvester was named Thomas.

The story of this early film rotates around Sylvester trying to eat Tweety. This premise would be reused in many later episodes starring this pair. Indeed, the relationship between Sylvester and Tweety was that of a cat and his meal. Sylvester spends most of his time devising ways to eat Tweety. However, Tweety always manages to outwit Sylvester.

Other characters Sylvester was paired with include: Elmer Fudd, Wile E. Coyote, and Porky Pig.

Sylvester was matched against Speedy Gonzalez several times. These two starred in the movie Here Today, Gone Tamale (1959), among many other cartoons.

Sylvester and Porky Pig appeared together in the spooky Scaredy Cat, a 1948 film directed by Chuck Jones.

Other characters that also appeared in Sylvester cartoons include: Granny- Tweety Bird’s over protective owner, Hector- Tweety’s bulldog bodyguard, and of course his son, Sylvester Jr. In fact, Sylvester Jr. made his first appearance in the cartoon Pop ‘Im Pop, in which Hippety Hopper (the baby kangaroo) also appeared.

Sylvester's trademark voice was provided by Mel Blanc. He also provided Daffy Duck’s voice, which explains the similarities between the voices of both characters.

Endings, TV and more

  • Sylvester and Tweety appeared together for the last time in Hawaiian Aye Aye (1964).

  • Sylvester’s last theatrical cartoon was A Taste of Catnip, which was released in 1966.

  • Sylvester also appeared in the television series Tiny Toon Adventures and The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries (1996-1999).

  • In all, Sylvester starred in over 90 Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies (Warner Bros.) cartoons.

Gift Ideas

So what can you buy a devoted Sylvester cartoon fan?

You can find posters and prints featuring Sylvester the Cat. This is an excellent gift idea for cat lovers who are also fans of Sylvester.

Also, you can easily find Sylvester cartoon memorabilia such as figurines, mugs, stuffed toys, and t-shirts. Another idea is to give the Looney Tunes Golden Collection, which includes the movie Scaredy Cat (1948).

Books on Sylvester and Looney Tunes

The gift of a book is a great idea for cat lovers who also enjoy a good read. Here are some ideas:

  1. Ultimate Looney Tunes by Jerry Beck and Warner Bros Consumer Products

  2. Looney Tunes: The Ultimate Visual Guide by Jerry Beck

  3. Draw the Looney Tunes by Dan Romanelli

  4. Learn to Draw Looney Tunes by Walter Foster

Note: All the copyrighted characters mentioned here are trademarks of their owners.


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