The Rebel Without Claws (1961)

Approved  |   |  Animation, Short, War  |  15 July 1961 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 97 users  
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The Confederate Army wants to get an "important message" through to Gen. Lee, but all the carrier pigeons have been shot down. The soldiers reluctantly decide to use Tweety Bird to deliver ... See full summary »



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Complete credited cast:
Sylvester / Tweety / Southern Colonel / Soldier (voice)


The Confederate Army wants to get an "important message" through to Gen. Lee, but all the carrier pigeons have been shot down. The soldiers reluctantly decide to use Tweety Bird to deliver the message. The Union soldiers counter with their "Messenger Destroyer," who (appropriately enough) turns out to be Sylvester. Battle gags ensue: Sylvester gets repeatedly blown out of a cannon; Tweety tricks he puddy tat (for a moment, at least) into thinking Union soldiers are marching to battle; and Tweety hiding behind cannons on a fighter ship, resulting in Sylvester getting blown up some more. Ending gag: Sylvester captures Tweety by disguising himself as the South's army general, but it is the puddy tat (not Tweety) who gets it on the firing range. Sylvester: "It's a good thing pussy cats' got nine lives. With this kind of an army, I'll need them!" Written by Brian Rathjen <>

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Release Date:

15 July 1961 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Tweety: I tawt I taw a damn Yankee tat.
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Edited into Bugs Bunny: All American Hero (1981) See more »


Music by Daniel Butterfield
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User Reviews

Saving Private Pie
16 May 2004 | by (Rijswijk, ZH, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

Don't expect any jokes about the late James Dean in this short. Apart from title puns, on the whole classic Loony tunes wisely refrained from spoofing anything topical (unlike some early Nineties episodes from "Animaniacs" that are already hopelessly outdated). This Tweety/Sylvester vehicle takes place in the civil war.

The Confederate signal corps carrier pigeons Jet, Spitfire, Thor and Flying Tiger are all missing in action, leaving just Tweety to bring a top secret message to General Lee. Proving once again that the tiny stubs he calls wings are of no use to anyone (and since when is he a pigeon anyway?), Tweety makes a run for the Mason Dixie Line while being persued by Sylvester the 'Messenger destroyer'.

It is always nice to see the Warner Brothers putting in the extra effort and money to create historical set pieces for their Toon stars. Not only does "Rebel without claws" feature vast battlefields, they even included an early submarine and an ancient tomato soup can (uses by the Tweetster to peddle over to the sub). All the humans are caricatures, with the blue Union soldiers looking only slightly more dastardly then the gray (in a Mad agent from ‘Inspector Gadget' kind of way).

Near the end Sly makes a comment about cats having nine lives, but according to my count, the poor old pussycat has at that point already been shot and/or blown up at least eleven times in a row. Still you can't feel too bad for Sylvester. After all he did get to munch on Jet, Spitfire, Thor and Flying Tiger.

7 out of 10

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