Two cats (one a caricature of Jimmy Durante) battle violently for the affections of a pretty girl cat, who'll dispense her favors on the one who brings her a little bird. Unfortunately for ...
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Two cats (one a caricature of Jimmy Durante) battle violently for the affections of a pretty girl cat, who'll dispense her favors on the one who brings her a little bird. Unfortunately for the lovestruck felines, the bird in question is a vicious little thing named Tweety.Written by
Paul Penna <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Bob Clampett's 'A Gruesome Twosome' is the last of a trio of cartoons that I absolutely adore: the early Tweety shorts. Clampett invented Tweety but only directed him in three cartoons before passing the character to Friz Freleng who moulded him into an irritating, cutesy creature who starred in a series of repetitive chase films with Sylvester the cat. Clampett's Tweety was a totally different proposition. An anarchic, shrieking, featherless baby bird whose penchant for extreme violence and sudden hollering contrasts hilariously with his frail stature. 'A Gruesome Twosome' takes a long time to set up its premise of two cats (one a grotesque Jimmy Durante caricature) who are attempting to catch a bird to win favour with a lady cat. These early scenes are funny and extremely violent but things are knocked up a notch when Tweety finally appears. Tweety is in the cartoon for a relatively short amount of time but he makes the most of his brief screen time, torturing a bee and a bulldog in order to rid himself of the cats. Brightly coloured and unusually designed (Clampett's designs here are a throwback to the 30s character designs of Tex Avery, showing Clampett's own status as a cartoon fan), 'A Gruesome Twosome' is a thoroughly grotesque and utterly brilliant piece of work which always makes me sad that there were no more cartoons with Tweety as this cool character instead of the doe-eyed irritant he became.
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