November 10, 2018

THE SYLVESTER & TWEETY MYSTERIES


THE SYLVESTER & TWEETY MYSTERIES
(WB, Cartoon Network, September 9, 1995-December 13, 2002)

Warner Bros. Animation




MAIN CAST:


For the history of Looney Tunes, check out the post here.


            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 was 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 but sometimes 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. 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 (Alaskey) was featured in every episode in some form or other (background, picture, brief speaking role, etc.). Colonel Rimfire (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 short 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.



EPISODE GUIDE:
Season 1:
“The Cat Who Knew Too Much” (9/9/95) – In New Orleans for a canary crooning contest, Tweety ends up birdnapped by Rocky and Mugsy.

“Platinum Wheel of Fortune” (9/16/95) – Clearing Granny of a theft becomes difficult when Sylvester ends up pursued by Pepe’s cousin, Pitu Le Pew.

“Double Take” (9/23/95) – Sylvester and Tweety hunt down the culprit of a crimewave in Denmark to clear Granny’s name.

“A Chip Off the Old Castle” (9/30/95) – Granny investigates the theft of Ireland’s Blarney Stone.

“Something Fishy Around Here” (10/7/95) – Investigating the theft of the world’s largest tuna in Japan has Sylvester and Tweety run across some Triad assassins.

“B2 or Not B2” (11/4/95) – Granny investigates who’s targeting Bingo winners on her cruise.

“Bull Running on Empty” (11/11/95) – Granny heads to Spain to investigate the theft of the Pamplona Periscope.

“A Ticket to Crime” (11/18/95) – Granny tries to solve the death of the host of a gathering of detectives.

“The Maltese Canary” (11/25/95) – While Granny runs Sam Spade’s office in San Francisco, a cast of characters believe Tweety is the Maltese Canary.

“It Happened One Night Before Christmas” (12/16/95) – Granny tries to figure out what happened to the $8000 from her brother’s company.

“Outback Down Under” (1/27/96) – Granny investigates the disappearances of Australian sheep.

“It’s a Plaid, Plaid, Plaid, Plaid World” (2/3/96) – Granny investigates the theft of a family tartan in Scotland.

“Go Fig” (2/17/96) – Granny investigates the theft of a rancher’s fig crops.

Season 2:
“Spaced Out / Autumn’s Leaving” (9/7/96) – Granny uncovers an alien invasion. / Granny and company encounter Witch Hazel in a New England forest.

“Catch as Catch Cannes / Yodel Recall” (9/14/96) – Granny investigate the theft of film prizes while Sylvester disguises himself as a film producer to pursue Tweety. / Granny investigates the kidnapping of the Von Trump singers as Sylvester meets the Abominable Snowman.

“Don’t Polka Me / The Granny Vanishes” (9/28/96) – Someone replaces accordion reeds with duck calls at a dance festival while two other cats try to get Tweety. / Granny disappears on the Orient Express.

“The Scare Up There / If It’s Wednesday, This Must Be Holland!” (11/2/96) – Sylvester is plagued by gnomes on a plane. / Granny pursues a smuggler who stole rare flowers from Holland.

“Curse of De Nile / Hawaii 33 1/3” (11/9/96) – Granny investigates the disappearance of an archaeologist in Egypt. / Granny investigates the disappearance of Hawaiian Tiki statues.

“Keep Your Pantheon / London Broiled” (11/16/96) – Sylvester chases Tweety into Pandora’s Box and ends up back in time. / The Shropshire Slasher makes Granny his next target while exposure to a formula causes Tweety to change repeatedly into a monster.

“They Call Me Mr. Lincoln / Froggone It” (2/15/97) – Accidentally using Abraham Lincoln’s toothpick gets Sylvester kicked out of the state. / Granny investigates the kidnapping of Michigan J. Frog.

“One Froggy Throat / Mush Ado About Nothing” (2/22/97) – Sylvester can’t get away from Michigan J. Frog. / Hector and Sylvester become Granny’s sled dogs.

Season 3:
“The Star of Bombay / Happy Pranksgiving” (9/13/97) – Granny investigates a missing Indian film star. / Granny is on the hunt for the Squeegee the Clown parade balloon.

“Is Paris Stinking? / Fangs for the Memories” (9/20/97) – French authorities task Granny with discovering the origin of a foul smell in the city. / Granny and the pets are forced to take shelter in a spooky castle belonging to a vampire.

“Moscow Side Story / Fair’s Fair” (10/11/97) – Granny is hired to find the Borscht Belt that turns its wearer into a comedian. / As the others try to win a pie eating contest, Tweety investigates suspicious activity in the bake-off.

“El Dia de Los Pussygatos / 3 Days & 2 Nights of the Condor” (11/1/97) – Granny has to help rescue a Mexican mayor being held for ransom. / Sylvester finds competition with Beaky Buzzard for Tweety.

“Yelp / Jeepers Creepers” (11/15/97) – Granny enters Hector into a dog show to find a stolen diamond collar. / Granny investigates missing jewels at a party while Sylvester’s former partner appears to cause trouble.

“Fleas Release Me / Niagara’s Fallen” (2/7/98) – Granny investigates the disappearance of the performers of a flea circus. / Granny investigates the diversion of the water at Niagara Falls.

“Spooker of the House / Furgo” (2/14/98) – Sylvester is haunted by Howard Taft at the White House. / The pets try to get Granny’s Nash back from Rocky and Mugsy.

“The Fountain of Funk / Yes, We Have No Canaries” (2/21/98) – A technology nerd didn’t pay attention to the 70s growing up and wants Granny to find it for him. / Granny is hired to find stolen canaries from Kanary Island.

“The Shell Game / Rasslin’ Rhapsody” (2/28/98) – Sylvester and Tweety end up stranded in the Galapagos Islands and meet Cecil Turtle. / A night of wrestling gets interrupted when someone steals the championship belt.

“Ice Cat-Pades / To Catch a Puddy” (4/25/98) – Granny solves an ice hockey mystery with Babbit and Catsello. / Sylvester is believed to be a cat burglar.

“Family Circles / Sea You Later” (5/2/98) – Granny investigates crop circles while chasing Tweety leads Sylvester to encounter Foghorn Leghorn. / Manatees rampage against Lake Placid sea creatures.

“A Case of Red Herring / Roswell that Ends Well” (5/9/98) – Granny helps a famous Swedish lawyer. / Granny searches for a missing alien in the New Mexico desert.

“A Good Nephew is Hard to Find / Mirage Sale” (5/16/98) – Granny visits her nephew in Tokyo. / Granny investigates a playboy who was drafted into the Foreign Legion and vanished.

Season 4:
“The Stilted Perch / A Game of Cat and Monster!” (9/19/98) – A criminal magician Granny put away turns up at the bed and breakfast they stay at. / Granny and the pets head to the Black Forest to rescue Colonel Rimfire.

“You’re Thor?! / I Gopher You” (9/26/98) – Granny is hired to find the golden statue of Thor. / Granny searches for a cattle rustler.

“Hold the Lyin’ King, Please / Suite Mystery of Wife – At Last I Found You…” (10/3/98) – Sylvester trades places with a lion. / Granny believes a mild-mannered scientist may have bumped off his nagging wife.

“The San Francisco Beat / The Triangle of Terror” (10/10/98) – Granny investigates the disappearance of a Beatnik’s magic flute. / While searching for a musical triangle for a conductor, Sylvester ends up lost at sea.

“Casino Evil / Happy Bathday to You” (11/7/98) – Sylvester replaces an albino monkey in Vegas while Granny searches for it. / Granny and the pets explore a bath factory in England while Tweety celebrates his birthday.

“The Rotha-Khan / Good Bird Hunting” (11/21/98) – Sylvester accidentally breaks the cement footprints of a town founder and Granny is put in jail as a result. / Sylvester finds an idol Granny searches for and it makes him all-powerful.

“Feather Christmas / A Fist Full of Lutefisk” (12/12/98) – Granny helps a little girl retrieve the bird her parents got rid of. / Granny investigates a giant’s theft of a Norway town’s lutefisk.

“Venice, Anyone? / The Fifty Karat Furball” (1/16/99) – Granny investigates the disappearance of the water in Venice. / Sylvester accidentally swallows the I of Istanbul, which Rocky and Mugsy planned to steal.

“Son of Roswell That Ends Well / A Mynah Problem” (1/30/99) – Granny and the pets go to space to retrieve a general. / Granny investigates a missing Mynah Bird which Sylvester plans to eat.

“Whatever Happened to Shorty Twang / A Big Knight Out” (2/13/99) – Granny investigates the disappearance of a country singer. / Granny attends a medieval festival where someone stole King Arthur’s stone and sword.

“Brussels Sprouts / The Golden Bird of Shangri-Claw” (2/27/99) – Granny disguises Hector as Napoleon to retrieve a statue of him. / Granny tries to find out why Mt. Everest isn’t the tallest in the world anymore while Sylvester and Tweety end up in Shangri-Claw.

“When Granny Ruled the Earth / Dutch Tweet” (3/27/99) – Granny and the pets watch a documentary about their ancestors. / Granny goes to Amsterdam to bid on a figurine two thieves have their sights on.

“Bayou on the Half Shell / Seeing Double” (5/1/99) – Hector and Sylvester are in obedience school while Granny and Tweety look to stop a giant crawdad. / While exploring Happy Pet Village, Tweety meets his double and they drive Sylvester crazy.

Season 5:
“This is the Kitty / Eye for an Aye Aye” (9/18/99) – Granny volunteers at the zoo. / Granny finds Captain Kidd’s missing treasure map and goes treasure hunting.

“When Harry Met Salleri / The Early Woim Gets the Boid” (9/25/99) – Granny investigates ghosts stealing the sound of music in Austria. / Granny investigates the disappearance of silk worms from a silk factory in Korea.

“Blackboard Jumble / What’s the Frequency, Kitty?” (11/20/99) – Sylvester and Hector battle with blackboards. / Sylvester flees from a friendly ghost.

“Dial V for Veterinarian / California’s Crusty Bronze” (2/5/00) – It’s vet time for the pets. / Granny tries to save a restaurant’s reputation.

“The Tail End? / This is the End” (12/13/02) – Everyone thinks Sylvester took the Manx mouse and wants his tail in payback. / Sylvester finally eats Tweety and ends up in jail for 100 days while beset upon by an angry mob.

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