Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / The Last Hungry Cat

Go To
Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, we bring you a story about murder.
Hitchcock-type narrator

"The Last Hungry Cat" is a 1961 Merrie Melodies short staring Sylvester the Cat and Tweety Bird. It was directed by Friz Freleng and Hawley Pratt.

One evening, Granny has left the apartment to visit a neighbor across the hall. As soon as she's gone, Sylvester sneaks in and stacks some furniture and crates on the floor so he can reach Tweety's cage. The stack collapses, and he falls unconscious to the floor, with one of the bird's feathers landing in his mouth. Tweety escapes unharmed, but when Sylvester wakes up and sees the feather in his mouth, he thinks he has actually eaten the bird, suffering much guilt as an Alfred Hitchcock-type narrator chides the cat for his "crime". Sylvester ultimately decides to return to the scene of his crime to confess, only to discover, much to his relief, that Tweety is very much alive and unhurt.

"The Last Hungry Cat" provides examples of:

  • Affectionate Parody: Of Alfred Hitchcock films, and the outline/shadow of the Hitchcock-like narrator being a parody of the opening of Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
  • Beary Funny: The Hitchcock-type narrator is a bear, apparently.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": At the end, when the narrator quotes Shakespeare for a moral, an off-screen Sylvester shouts, "Ah, shaddup!" and throws a brick at his head.
  • Blunt "Yes":
    Narrator: Are you nervous, pussycat?
    Sylvester: Yep.
  • Bowdlerise:
    • On CBS, the scene of a nervous Sylvester chain-smoking and drinking coffee was cut.
    • On ABC, the scene of Sylvester trying to sleep by taking pills (which he not only consumes, but also rubs into his hair and under his arms) was cut, while the scene of Granny hitting Sylvester with her broom was halved; ABC has her hitting him only three times instead of the original six.
    • In the past, Cartoon Network only censored the chain-smoking-and-coffee scene, as on CBS, but it also censored the scene of Sylvester downing pills as well later on, as on ABC. The two edits also applied to Boomerang airings as well.
  • Broken Tears: When his guilt becomes so bad that he can't sleep, Sylvester breaks down crying, with the animation reused from Birds Anonymous.
    Sylvester: I can't take it anymore! I just can't! After all, I am a pussycat with normal weaknesses! Other pussycats have eaten birds! Why pick on me?! Why?!?
    Narrator: Why don't you give yourself up?
    Sylvester: [looking up] What was that?
    Narrator: I said, why don't you give yourself up and accept the consequences?
    Sylvester: [crying] Yeah, yeah, I'll give myself up! I'll throw myself on their mercy! [runs back to Granny's house] I did it! I did it! I'm guilty! I can't take it anymore! I give up! I'm the killer!
  • Cranial Eruption: Sylvester's fall to the ground in trying to get Tweety results in a lump on his head. At the end, Sylvester hits the narrator on the head with a thrown brick, resulting in the narrator getting a lump on his head. When he leaves, his outline also leaves that same lump.
  • The Insomniac: Sylvester is so overcome with guilt that he can't sleep.
  • Interactive Narrator: Sylvester and the narrator interact with one another throughout the cartoon.
  • Lemony Narrator: The narrator chides Sylvester for his crime.
  • Literal-Minded: Sylvester thinks he's wanted by the law when he sees a newspaper headline: "Police Hunt 'The Cat.'" If he hadn't stopped reading too soon, he would have seen the photo of the real criminal: Harry, alias "The Cat."
  • Malaproper: Sylvester insists that Tweety isn't on his mind, until he turns on the radio.
    Announcer: And now your local company will present gas chamber music for... I... I mean, your local gas company will present chamber music for your enjoyment.
  • Mouth Full of Smokes: Sylvester tries to stay awake at one point by chain-smoking a bunch of cigarettes all at once.
  • Pacing a Trench: As Sylvester ruminates over his predicament, he paces back and forth for so long that he actually wears the floor out. The narrator calls him out on it:
    Narrator: If you don't stop that pacing, you'll wear a groove through the floor.
    Sylvester: Shut up and mind your own busi— [falls through the floor thanks to the pacing]
  • Recycled Animation: The animation of Sylvester both tossing and turning on his bed and his Broken Tears are reused from Birds Anonymous. As well, his consumption of sedatives during this same scene is taken from Lighthouse Mouse.
  • Referenced by...: William Shakespeare: The narrator closes the cartoon thusly: "In the words of the Bard: 'Conscience makes cowards of us all.'" Sylvester is not amused.
  • Word, Schmord!: When Sylvester hides in a rundown apartment...
    Narrator: Well, you got away from the law, didn't you? I bet you wish you could get away from your conscience that easily.
    Sylvester: Ah, conscience, schmonscience! That bird doesn't even enter my mind.