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Western Animation / Canned Feud

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Don't trust him, Sylvester. He's evil.

"Canned Feud" is a Looney Tunes cartoon short from 1951, starring Sylvester the Cat, this time without Tweety. It was directed by Friz Freleng.

In this one Sylvester is left at home when his owners leave for a California vacation. They completely forget to put him out and didn't leave food out for Sylvester before they go. Luckily for Sylvester, he finds a large collection of canned food. Unluckily for Sylvester, the only can opener is in the possession of a mouse who doesn't want to give it up. The rest of the cartoon consists of the mouse tormenting Sylvester as he tries to obtain the opener.

The cartoon was semi-remade with Daffy Duck and Speedy Gonzales in 1965 as "Moby Duck".

"Canned Feud" provides examples of:

  • All for Nothing: Sylvester finally wrests the can opener from the mouse, but when he returns to the cupboard for his treasure trove, he finds it is locked and the mouse has the key.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The mouse succeeds in starving Sylvester, regardless of how doing so benefits him in anyway.
  • Bowdlerization:
    • On CBS, the part where Sylvester uses a metal coat hanger to get the can opener, only to have the mouse hook it onto a pair of wires that electrocutes Sylvester was edited to remove the scene of Sylvester getting electrocuted (which makes it painfully obvious that something is missing).
    • Nickelodeon also cut the scene CBS edited, but the channel deleted the entire scene instead of leaving the entire scene in and cutting the punchline to the joke. Also cut on Nickelodeon is the scene of Sylvester using an axe to open his can of cat food, only for the blade to fly off and go through the mail slot.
  • Circling Saw: To get back the can opener, Sylvester starts sawing open the wall where the mouse's hole is, only for the mouse to begin sawing through the floor underneath him. As the mouse matches Sylvester's movements flawlessly, Sylvester stupidly assumes that the blade of his own saw is somehow coming up through the floor. Even dumber, his solution to this conundrum is to saw even faster...
  • Determinator: Two way example. For all the threats and elaboration Sylvester takes, that mouse must really want him to starve.
  • For the Evulz: This might be the meanest cartoon Warner Brothers ever made. Anyone who watches the Looney Tunes canon will observe tons and tons of Comedic Sociopathy. However, the victims of this are almost always people who somehow have it coming. Elmer and Yosemite Sam are trying to kill Bugs, while Wile E. Coyote, the Tasmanian Devil, and Sylvester are trying to eat their prey. "Canned Feud" is different in that at no time does Sylvester try and eat the mouse. All he wants to do is be able to eat while his master and mistress are away. The mouse, for his part, deliberately withholds the can opener from Sylvester with no clear motive behind his actions. And if that weren't enough, the mouse tortures Sylvester, repeatedly dangling the can opener in front of him only to devise elaborate traps. The cartoon ends with Sylvester having finally obtained the can opener—only to find that the mouse has padlocked the cupboard. Sylvester is apparently doomed to starve to death.
  • Harmless Electrocution: Luckily for Sylvester, as the mouse tricks him into making an electrical short that burns off all of his hair.
  • Just Eat Gilligan: Sylvester, you never think once to try to catch and eat the mouse instead? Blowing up part of the house's wall with a ton of dynamite probably wasn't too bright, sure, but it at least left fewer places for the little monster to hide, so he'd be easy pickin's.....
  • Karma Houdini: The mouse avoids any backlash from Sylvester and when he finally gets the can opener, he improvises and padlocks the cupboard.
  • No Can Opener: Sylvester is left in the house while his owners are away. There is plenty of canned tuna, but only one can opener, and the mouse has it. Hijinks ensue.
  • Parental Neglect: The pet owner kind, as Sylvester's owners forget to put him outside and to leave any food out before leaving for California (leaving him locked inside to starve).
  • Piano Drop: The mouse does this to Sylvester as a form of torment. When Sylvester smiles, his teeth become piano keys, one of which plays.
  • Sadist: The most likely reason as to why the mouse would want to starve Sylvester, as there is no real benefit in doing so.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: The mouse, who would make Tweety and even Jerry look benevolent by comparison, mainly because we are not shown whatever Sylvester may have done to provoke the mouse, if he did anything at all.
  • The Voiceless: Sylvester talks a lot but the mouse never does.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Sylvester does finally get the can opener... but the mouse padlocks the cupboard and so the poor cat presumably starves to death.