Hippety Hopper goes at it with his most famous antagonist.


Medium: Theatrical animation
Produced by: Warner Bros.
First Appeared: 1948
Creator: Robert McKimson
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Some toons can go their whole careers without being known by name but, like Marvin the Martian and Michigan J. Frog, have names bestowed …

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… upon them in retrospect. Hippety Hopper (not to be confused with Hoppity Hooper, a minor Jay Ward character) had a name, actually — it's on various model sheets and other production materials, and was even used as the title of a 1949 cartoon he appeared in. But since nobody ever addressed him by name, and he never spoke, the audience never heard it.

Hippety (spelled "Hippity" in a couple of reference books, but our spelling is taken from actual production art) is the baby kangaroo who was mistaken for a giant mouse by Sylvester Pussycat, in a dozen hilarious Warner Bros. cartoons. The first was Hop, Look and Listen, which came out in 1948, and the last Freudy Cat, 1964. All were directed by Robert McKimson, who was also responsible for Foghorn Leghorn and the cartoons where Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck took on the Tasmanian Devil.

Hippety Hopper cartoons could be set anywhere — a ship, a circus, wherever. Other than that, they were about as formularized as the Road Runner/Coyote ones. Sylvester, alone, would repeatedly encounter Hippety, who would playfully beat him up. Sylvester would then report to an admiring but quickly disillusioned third party that the mayhem had been done by a giant mouse. Sometimes the third party was Lenny, the cat who called Sylvester "George", and sometimes Sylvester Jr., who was introduced in Pop 'im Pop (1950).

None of Hippety's cartoons ever did anything spectacular, like get nominated for an Oscar. Nor was he a big licensed character. He didn't move on to new media, such as comic books, either. But like practically all Warner Bros. characters, his cartoons have been seen, in one TV venue or another, by generation after generation — and will probably continue to be seen for a long time to come.


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Text ©2001-02 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Warner Bros.