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Western Animation / The Jet Cage

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"Hewwo, puddy tat, how do you wike my new cage?"
"Now your canary can fly around in his own back yard without leaving the security of his cage. At your corner pet shop, $12,95."
Newspaper advertisement for the Flying Bird Cage
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"The Jet Cage" is a 1962 Looney Tunes short staring Sylvester the Cat and Tweety Bird. It was directed by Friz Freleng.

Tweety longs to fly outside with the other birds, but due to being small and helpless, he'd be easy prey for Sylvester. Fortunately, Granny discovers an ad for new jet cages, allowing Tweety to fly outside while still being protected by a cage. Sylvester is undeterred by this and fully intends to get his claws on Tweety, no matter what he has to go through.

Also of note, composer Milt Franklyn died during production, leaving only the first third of the cartoon scored. His replacement, William Lava, finished the score — beginning with Sylvester climbing into a tree with a butterfly net — uncredited.


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"Piwot to bomba'dier! Piwot to bomba'dier! Twopes away!":

  • Always Need What You Gave Up: At one point, Sylvester chases after Tweety using flaps to fly. He catches up with Tweety and gloats about how he has him now. Tweety points out that he can't get him because his hands are full, so Sylvester nonchalantly tosses the flaps aside — only to forget that without the flaps, he is no longer airborne and takes another fall. Whoops.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The cartoon ends with Sylvester bandaged after failing to catch Tweety. However, he remains undeterred as he intends to become a flyer himself to give Tweety a run for his money.
  • Ash Face: When the Nike rocket explodes in the barrel in which Sylvester takes refuge.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: At the end of the cartoon, a bandaged Sylvester heads into a United States Air Force training facility to earn his wings.
    Sylvester: And when I do, watch out, bird.
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  • Bowdlerization: The ABC version of this cartoon cut the part where Sylvester builds a Nike rocket in order to catch Tweety.
  • End of an Era: Milt Franklyn, who had been Carl Stalling's orchestrator and succeeded him as musical director, passed away during the production of this cartoon, and William Lava took over to finish composing the music in a very different style from Stalling and Franklyn. Said style is rather jarring, too, as it's easy to tell where Franklyn's style ends (after Sylvester's eyes follow the cage) and Lava's begins (with Sylvester trying to catch the cage with a butterfly net). The Stalling/Franklyn style and library of musical quotations would be absent from the cartoons for decades.
    • Speaking of musical quotations, this is also the last cartoon in the classic Looney Tunes era to feature Raymond Scott's "Powerhouse".
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: At one point, Sylvester tries to blast Tweety out of the sky with a Nike rocket, but it overshoots its target and, unsurprisingly, blasts Sylvester instead.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Sylvester throws away the flaps after Tweety tells him his hands are full. One look at the fields below is all it takes...
  • Recycled Animation: It's brief, but the animation of Sylvester building his rocket is taken from Ain't She Tweet. As such, Sylvester briefly resembles his appearance from ten years earlier.
    • In addition, the animation of Sylvester being dragged down the street by his fishing line is reused from A Bird in a Bonnet.
  • Standard Snippet: This marks the last appearance of Raymond Scott's "Powerhouse" in a classic Looney Tunes cartoon.
  • Suddenly Speaking: Sylvester doesn't speak until the part where he catches up to Tweety's cage while working with ping pong racquet-shaped flaps.
  • Trap Door: How Tweety uses the hatch on the cage Sylvester is crouching over to dispose of him (while it is flying over a brook).
  • Watch Out for That Tree!: Or rather, Chandelier, as Granny yells out.
  • What a Drag: When Sylvester casts a fishing line with a magnet attached, it manages to catch the base of the cage. However, after a very slow and sputtering start, Tweety is able to bust a move and drag Sylvester through the streets of town. Ends after a head-on collision with a tram, the crash of which is not shown but which (with the line being shown limping straight down) Tweety was clearly privy to.
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