Created by Tom Minton and James T. Walker, and developed by Fay Whitemountain, The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries followed Granny (June Foray) as she traveled around the world solving various mysteries. Keeping her company and sometimes aiding her were her pets, Sylvester and Tweety (both Joe Alaskey). Only sometimes because Sylvester spent most of the time trying to eat Tweety. Fortunately, he was thwarted by Tweety’s resourcefulness and Granny’s other pet, bulldog Hector (who was redesigned to look more like Marc Antony, voiced by Frank Welker). Hector would often beat Sylvester up for his attempts, typically off-camera or behind a screen.
|Granny, Sylvester, Tweety and Hector in a pickle...barrel.|
Along their adventures, the cast frequently encountered various other Looney Tunes characters (sometimes playing a different role in the story). Amongst them were Daffy Duck, Beaky Buzzard, Charlie Dog, Marvin the Martian, Michigan J. Frog (all Alaskey), Yosemite Sam, Taz, Gossamer, Sam Sheepdog, The Crusher, Hugo the Abominable Snowman, Nasty Canasta (all Jim Cummings), Elmer Fudd, Foghorn Leghorn, Pepe Le Pew (all Greg Burson), Babbit (Corey Burton) and Catsello (Welker), Hubie (Cummings) and Bertie (Jeff Bennett), Witch Hazel (Foray), Rocky (Cummings) and Mugsy (Alaskey), Hippety Hopper, Count Blood Count (Burton), Cecil Turtle (Welker), Pete Puma (Stan Freberg), and the Goofy Gophers (Bennett & Burton). There was even an appearance by Tweety’s original incarnation of Orson.
|There's always time for a golden snack.|
Three other more obscure characters also made appearances from the period of Warner Bros. Animation’s first return. After three years of outsourcing their cartoon productions when they closed their in-house studio upon completion of The Bugs Bunny Show, Warner Bros. decided to reform the studio in 1967. Because Warner Bros. was bought by Seven Arts Associates shortly after, it was known as Warner Bros.-Seven Arts Animation (aka W-7). During this time, a new character was introduced: Cool Cat (Larry Storch). He was a hep tiger who wore a beret and spoke in beatnik slang. His primary antagonist was Colonel Rimfire (also Storch), a big game hunter. Cool Cat’s series only ran for five short films when the studio closed again in 1969. Cool Cat (now Alaskey) was featured in every episode in some form or other (background, picture, brief speaking role, etc.). Colonel Rimfire (also Alaskey) and another Cool Cat character, a ghost named Spooky (Welker), made appearances. They were the only characters from the W-7 era to make any other major appearances in a Warner Bros. production.
|Following the clues no matter where they lead.|
The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries debuted on the WB as part of the Kids’ WB programming block on September 9, 1995. It was the pair’s first starring vehicle since the 1976 anthology series Sylvester and Tweety. The series was an homage to Warner Bros. Animation’s theatrical shorts glory days and the long-running TV series Murder She Wrote (which also starred an elderly amateur sleuth character). The series was written by Minton with Tim Cahill, Julie McNally Cahill, Alicia Marie Schudt, Robert Schechter, John P. McCann, Chris Otsuki, Carolyn Gair-Taylor, Karl Toerge, John Behnke, Rob Humphrey, Jim Peterson, Frank Santopadre, Rick Rodgers, Jim McLean, Brian B. Chin and Dave Cunningham. Behnke, Humphrey and Peterson were also sometimes credited as The Trio on episodes they wrote together. The series’ theme was composed by Richard Stone, who also did the rest of the music with J. Eric Schmidt, Gordon Goodwin, Cameron Patrick and Steve Bernstein. Animation duties fell to Tokyo Movie Shinsha, KoKo Enterprises, and Dongyang Animation.
|Meeting important people.|
The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries ran for five seasons and was later integrated as part of the omnibus program, The Cat & Bridie Warneroonie Pinky Brainie Big Cartoonie Show. For the first season, each episode was a single half-hour mystery. It was also dedicated to the memory of Sylvester and Tweety creator Friz Freleng, who had died months prior from natural causes at the age of 88. Starting with season two and lasting until the show’s end, each episode was split into two mysteries. The final episode, “The Tail End / This is the End”, never aired on Kids’ WB after the series’ cancellation. It was finally aired during the show’s run on Cartoon Network two years later on December 13, 2002.
|Ad for the DVD.|
During the show’s run, it was nominated for several Daytime Emmy and Annie Awards, with June Foray winning two consecutive Annies for her portrayal of Granny. For years, the only release of the show on home media were two VHS tapes in Germany. In 2008, exactly 13 years after the first episode’s debut, Warner Home Video released the complete first season to DVD. No further releases have been planned or announced, however five episodes were later released in the 2016 compilation Sylvester and Friends vol. 1.