SYLVESTER AND TWEETY MYSTERIESOriginal medium: TV animation
Produced by: Warner Bros.
First Appeared: 1995
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Aside from a vast array of actual detectives, government-employed (like Flatfoot Burns), private (like Young King Cole) and ambiguous (like the early Speed Saunders), protagonists in cartoon mystery stories have included SCUBA divers, superheroes and every other kind
of person. Mystery solvers have teamed up, been at odds with each other, and had every other kind of relationship. But it's likely no other mystery-solving series has ever starred a detecting hero who has repeatedly tried to eat his detecting partner.
Sylvester Pussycat was trying to eat Tweety Bird long before they ever solved a mystery together. In fact, they first got together for that purpose in Tweetie Pie, which Warner Bros. released on May 3, 1947, and it was followed by dozens of animated films and comic books following a similar storyline.
A half-century later, Warner had a broadcast TV network of its very own, with a network's usual voracious appetite for programming. At one time or another, it made Saturday morning cartoons out of licensed properties like Earthworm Jim and original material like Freakazoid!, but it also mined its past to adapt its old theatrical cartoon stars into things like Tasmania.
One of their ideas was to make Tweety and Sylvester into a mystery-solving pair, of the sort TV Guide might describe as follows: "He's a pet member of a predator species. She's his tiny, helpless prey. They're detectives."
Or maybe it's the other way around, gender-wise.
The whole cast of the old cartoons was there not just Granny, the pet owner who maintained both of them, but also her third pet, Hector the Bulldog, who was only in a couple of the original cartoons (tho he'd been re-designed to resemble Chuck Jones's Marc Antony more than his former self). His function was to prevent any attempted partner-phagy on the cat's part. The descriptively-titled Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries debuted on the WB Network September 9, 1995.
Mel Blanc, who originally provided the voices for Sylvester, Tweety and Hector, had died in 1989. But June Foray (Rocky the Flying Squirrel) was available to reprise her role as Granny, now re-characterized as a globe-trotting mystery solver. Joe Alaskey (Grandpa Lou in Rugrats and All Grown Up) did the voices of the two title characters, with Frank Welker (Curious George) as Hector.
Other old Looney Tunes stars, from Bugs and Daffy, through Beaky Buzzard and Pepe Lepew, all the way down to Marvin the Martian and Michigan J. Frog, made occasional guest appearances on the show. Even Count Blood Count, whose only classic-era appearance was in Transylvania 6-5000, one of the last Bugs Bunny cartoons, turned up there once. But one of the old stars made at least a cameo appearance in almost every episode. Cool Cat, one of the stars of their waning years, could be there as a scarcely-noticed passer-by, a portrait on a wall or just an incidental object made in his image, but one way or another, he was usually there.
There were five seasons, ending with a feature-length TV movie, Tweety's High-Flying Adventure, on September 12, 2000. A total of 52 episodes were made, the last of which aired on February 5, 2000. An additional episode was shown December 13, 2002, on The Cartoon Network (Courage the Cowardly Dog, Powerpuff Girls). In it, Sylvester finally succeeded in eating Tweety, which presumably obviates future episodes.