Title - Birds Anonymous
Director - Friz Freleng
Released - 1957
Interesting Fact -- Won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Subject
Reason for Placement --
Ask any die-hard Looney Tunes fan, and they'll tell you in a heartbeat that Birds Anonymous is an essential part of their collection. And it's not just the fact that it's one of the five Termite Terrace creations to win an Oscar.
First of all, this short parodies what is actually a rather adult topic: addiction. Alcoholics Anonymous wasn't a new program, but it wasn't until around this time that the general public really knew about it. In Birds Anonymous, Sylvester is invited to join the group of said name, in hopes that he will stop chasing Tweety (one cat at the meeting mentions that he joined B.A. after his addiction cost him five homes, but as Granny doesn't make an appearance in this short, it's hard to think about whether or not Sylvester would lose his happy home). So yeah, it's pretty obvious that for Sylvester, his obsession with Tweety is not one that can be so easily kicked.
There's also the fact that Mel Blanc himself said that this was his favorite toon to do voices for. Not all that surprising, the short features what could easily be considered a powerhouse performance by Sylvester, especially as he tries to fight off his addiction. Near the end, Sylvester finally breaks down and starts throwing a tantrum on the floor. Even though it's animated, we can actually feel the cat's frustration and depression as he falls victim to his desire for birds, sobbing and pounding the floor with his fists.
It's also worth mentioning that this was the only short that Blanc actually got an Oscar for: when Eddie Selzer (producer for Termite Terrace) passed away, he bequeathed the statuette to Blanc (in the "Behind the Tunes" on the Golden Collection Vol. 3, it's mentioned that Selzer promised Blanc he would get him an Oscar for his performance).
And, of course, there's the moral that Tweety gives at the end:
"Once a bad ol' puddy tat, ALWAYS a bad ol' puddy tat!"
**I'd like to apologize to my readers for taking so long to get back to the list, I am currently trying to start my own business, and had my hands full this month. Again, I'm sorry.