Tweety’s S.O.S.

Film Review by Dean Duncan May 31, 2015

Granny has a superb voice, doesn’t she? Let’s credit Bea Benadaret, even though the actual films never did.

“What a hypocrite!” says Tweety, at one point. This is just one instance among so many. As both parent and plain person I appreciate that there was never any vocabulary reduction in these cartoons. (The Roadrunner doesn’t count, obviously.) The kids are encouraged or expected to keep up. Meanwhile, there’s lots and lots to please them if they can’t, quite.

A la Buster Keaton in The Navigator, it seems that Granny, Tweety and Sylvester are about the only ones on this vessel. It’s a terrific absurdist reduction, for which we are not given any explanation or apology. Just right, too.

The painted glasses gag is very nice, and it’s beautifully extended and compounded into that vibrating wire gag. Sylvester gets seasick. So Tweety offers him a nice juicy piece of salt pork. The green colour that results is pretty great, and the glurgling sound effects too. Let’s twist that a little further. Nitroglycerin in the seasick remedy, eh? Even better, this little bit of Bugs-ian arrogance and sadism actually backfires on Tweety. As demonstrated in the best Bugs pictures, if they’re absolutely invulnerable, it gets kind of boring.

There’s a final explosion that is just beautifully calculated, and it’s then topped by the captain who tought he taw a putty tat. Crash! He did, he did. Very nice work.