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The title is an obvious pun on the Charles Dickens classic, A Tale of Two Cities, but there is no other connection between the two "Tales".
Catstello hesitates to catch and eat Tweety so that he and Babbit could eat, largely because Catstello is afraid of heights, as well as getting attacked by birds, but Babbit convinces him to do so, since Tweety is only "a tiny little bird", though unknown to them Tweety is dangerous.
Catstello gets height-phobic and falls off the ladder. When the straightforward approach fails, Babbit then subjects Catstello into doing the following attempts to catch Tweety for food, all in vain:
- Jack-in the box springs: Babbit stuffs in Catstello, who is equipped with springs, into a box, causing Catstello to constantly scream "HEY BABBIT!" And when Babbit let's him out of the box, Catstello successfully reaches the top of the tree where Tweety lives. Upon encountering Catstello, Tweety starts getting really aggressive, with knocks to the head and a dynamite stick (a more tame version of this gag would later be re-used in "Bad Ol' Putty Tat")
- Next, Babbit plants a bomb right under a demotivated Catstello, whom is eating an apple. As Catstello blasts off into the air, Tweety snatches away his apple, eats the worm in it, and tosses the apple away. Catstello falls mid-air, but lands on a wire, which Tweety plays "This little piggy" with Catstello's fingers, without even caring when Catstello constantly yells "BABBIT!" (this "this wittle piddy" gag would later be re-used in "Tweety's S.O.S." and Who Framed Roger Rabbit) causing him to fall. Tweety "saves" him by giving Catstello a rope, which is tied to an anvil, which sends the cat crashing really hard into the ground, so hard that it sucks up everything in sight!
- Finally, Babbit transforms Catstello into a anti-aircraft plane, and launches him into the air, which Catstello calls himself a (literal) spitfire ("Hey, Babbitt! I'm a Spitfire!" ). Tweety, mistaking Catstello for a UFO, calls the air-raid warden, causing Catstello to get shot by off-screen air-raid warden tanks, and fall into the ground, landing flat on Babbit.
Tweety tells the air-raid warden "Lights out," and passes by both Babbit and Catstello. Babbit and Catstello see Tweety on the ground ("Hey, now's our chance. Come on!") and creep up on him. They approach him, eyes bulging, claws drawn, big teeth exposed. Tweety turns over and yells in a very loud and un-Tweety-like voice, to "TURN OUT THOSE LIGHTS!"; the cats' eyes—the street light—and the moon all blink out.
- (1988) VHS - Cartoon Moviestars: Tweety and Sylvester
- (1991) VHS - The Golden Age of Looney Tunes Volume 2: Firsts
- (1991) LaserDisc - The Golden Age of Looney Tunes Volume 1, Side 2: Firsts
- (2005) DVD - They Died With Their Boots On, Blue Ribbon reissue titles, 1995 Turner dubbed version
- (2007) DVD - Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 5, Disc 3, Blue Ribbon reissue titles
- (2007) DVD - Looney Tunes Spotlight Collection: Volume 5, Disc 2
- (2011) Blu-ray, DVD - Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume 1, Disc 1, Blue Ribbon reissue titles
- (2020) Streaming - HBO Max
When this short aired on The WB, Catstello's line after Babbit says, "Gimme the bird! Gimme the bird!" -- "If the Hays Office would only let me, I'd give 'im the bird alright!" -- was cut (as "the bird" Catstello is referring to is a slang term for showing someone the middle finger, which is considered a rude gesture in most cultures and a taboo by the Hays Office back in the day). Cartoon Network, Boomerang, TBS and TNT however left this scene uncut.
- It is notable for introducing the character Tweety.
- It is the first appearance of Babbit and Catstello, based on the popular comedy duo Abbott and Costello.
- The cartoon is replete with topical references, many having to do with World War II. One gag has the "Babbit" cat hoeing his "Victory garden". Another has the "Catstello" cat gliding through the air on artificial wings like a warplane ("Hey, Babbitt! I'm a Spitfire!" followed by a few juicy expectorations). The climax has Tweety admonishing the cats, in a very loud and un-Tweety-like voice, to "TURN OUT THOSE LIGHTS!" during an air raid drill; the cats' eyes—the street light—and the moon all blink out.)
- Tweety reveals early on that his cute appearance masks a willingness to be merciless, even sadistic, towards anyone who threatens him. After slipping one of the cats a bomb which explodes (offscreen), the bird remarks, "Aw, da poor putty tat - he cwushed his widdow head!" Followed by a big grin. (This line was patterned after a catchphrase from a Red Skelton character, and would be used in other Warner cartoons, such as "Easter Yeggs".)
- This cartoon notably at one scene pokes fun at the Hays Office not allowing the use of profanity (regardless in the form of mentioning or via sign language) in films at the time. This is when Babbit demands Catstello to "give him the bird", and Catstello remarks "If the Hays Office would only let me, I'd give 'im the bird alright!" (as "the bird" Catstello is referring to is a slang term for giving someone the middle finger, which is considered a rude gesture in most cultures and a taboo by the Hays Office back in the day). A similar censorship gag regarding about 'the bird' not allowed to be used is also satirized in an Animaniacs episode "Turkey Jerky" fifty years later, when Myles Standish demand the Warner siblings give him the bird, only for Yakko to remark "We'd love to, really, but the Fox censors won't allow it!" (referencing the fact that Animaniacs was first broadcast on Fox from 1993-1995, as well as network censors not allowing the use of profanity in cartoon shows aimed at children). Interestingly, this Animaniacs episode also features a brief cameo of Elmer Fudd.
- This cartoon entered the Public Domain in 1970.
|1942||A Tale of Two Kitties|
|1944||Birdy and the Beast|
|1945||A Gruesome Twosome|
|1948||I Taw a Putty Tat|
|1949||Bad Ol' Putty Tat|
|1950||Home Tweet Home • All a Bir-r-r-d • Canary Row|
|1951||Putty Tat Trouble • Room and Bird • Tweety's S.O.S. • Tweet Tweet Tweety|
|1952||Gift Wrapped • Ain't She Tweet • A Bird in a Guilty Cage|
|1953||Snow Business • Fowl Weather • Tom Tom Tomcat • A Street Cat Named Sylvester • Catty Cornered|
|1954||Dog Pounded • Muzzle Tough • Satan's Waitin'|
|1955||Sandy Claws • Tweety's Circus • Red Riding Hoodwinked • Heir-Conditioned|
|1956||Tweet and Sour • Tree Cornered Tweety • Tugboat Granny|
|1957||Tweet Zoo • Tweety and the Beanstalk • Birds Anonymous • Greedy for Tweety|
|1958||A Pizza Tweety-Pie • A Bird in a Bonnet|
|1959||Trick or Tweet • Tweet and Lovely • Tweet Dreams|
|1960||Hyde and Go Tweet • Trip for Tat|
|1961||The Rebel Without Claws • The Last Hungry Cat|
|1962||The Jet Cage|
|1964||Hawaiian Aye Aye|
|2011||I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat|