Western Animation: Birds Anonymous

Birds Anonymous is a 1957 Looney Tunes cartoon, directed by Friz Freleng, starring Sylvester the Cat and Tweety Bird.

In this animated short, Sylvester is chasing after Tweety as he always does, when he is interrupted by an unnamed cat (later retconned into "Clarence" in Looney Tunes comics) who brings him to a group called "Birds Anonymous" which consists of cats trying to kick their bird habit. Sylvester pledges sobriety, stating that "birds are for the birds," but falls off the wagon and chases after Tweety again. His sponsor tells him that cats and birds can live together in harmony, and kisses Tweety to prove it — whereupon the sponsor also breaks down and tries to eat Tweety. This time Sylvester intervenes, and the short ends with Tweety saying "Like I said before: Once a bad ol' puddy tat, always a bad ol' puddy tat!"

Winner of the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. It is also included in The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes and widely regarded as Friz Freleng's Magnum Opus. Mel Blanc also felt it was his finest acting performance.


Tropes:

  • Academy Award: Best Animated Short Film of 1957.
    • Happened to be released the same year as Whats Opera Doc, which for some reason wasn't even nominated.
  • Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere: Poor Sylvester just can't catch a break.
  • Darker and Edgier: Relatively speaking, the subject here is significantly darker than most Looney Tunes cartoons, especially those made by Friz Freleng, for portraying addition mostly sincerely. It was considered revolutionary at the time for a cartoon to address such a real-life issue.
  • Didn't See That Coming: At the end, Sylvester actually seems to be able to stay on the wagon (at least for now); his sponsor does not.
  • Drugs Are Bad: At the BA meeting various cats tell stories of their bird addictions.
  • Growling Gut: Sylvester's roaring stomach is just one of the many things trying to throw him off the wagon.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Sylvester's sponsor mouths all the BA platitudes but breaks down instantly after kissing Tweety, at which point Sylvester tries to tell him to get a hold of himself.
  • Meat-O-Vision: Sylvester has a vision of Tweety as a cooked bird.
  • Nightmare Face: Sylvester when he is breaking down.
  • No Name Given: The sponsor. Though he is referred to as "Clarence" or "Sam" in other Looney Tunes media.
  • Off The Wagon
  • The Sponsor: Sylvester has one who tries to keep him on the straight path.
  • Tropaholics Anonymous: An obvious joke based on Alcoholics Anonymous.
  • Your Television Hates You: And your radio too. Sylvester tries to distract himself from Tweety by watching TV, only to see a chef cooking turkey; he turns on the radio and the playlist features "Bye Bye Blackbird" and "When the Red Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin' Along."
    • (Fake Italian accent) "After-a basting, you find your bird turns out golden-a brown. Every succulent morsel will simply melt-a in your mouth. See how easily the white-a meat-a slices, eh? Yum, yum! Doesn't that-a look..."