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For other uses, see Speedy Gonzales (Disambiguation).

Speedy Gonzales is a speedy mouse character appearing in the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons. Nicknamed "The Fastest Mouse in All of Mexico," his major characteristics are the ability to run extremely fast and speaking with an exaggerated Mexican accent. He usually wears an oversized yellow sombrero, white shirt and trousers, which is a common traditional outfit worn by men and boys of rural Mexican villages, and a red kerchief, similar to that of a reveler in the San Fermin festival.

History[]

Early-Speedy

Robert McKimson's Speedy prototype

Speedy debuted in the 1953 cartoon "Cat-Tails for Two", directed by Robert McKimson. This early Speedy was a leaner, rattier-looking creation that had a sizable gold front tooth and wore a red shirt but no pants or sombrero. The cartoon featured him outwitting a smart-and-stupid pair of cats, George and Benny, aboard a ship. Later, this original version of Speedy is used as an unnamed background character a couple of times. Although he was created by McKimson, the majority of the cartoons with him were directed by Friz Freleng.

It would be two years before director Friz Freleng and animator Hawley Pratt redesigned the character into his modern incarnation for the 1955 Freleng short "Speedy Gonzales". Freleng made Speedy rounder and cuter, and dressed him in traditional Mexican attire, complete with a sombrero. The cartoon features Sylvester guarding a cheese factory at the American/Mexican border from a group of starving Mexican mice. The mice call in the plucky, excessively energetic Speedy to save them, and amid cries of "¡Ándale! ¡Ándale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba! ¡Epa! ¡Epa! ¡Epa! Yeehaw!" Spanish for "Go on! Go on! Up! Up!", although "ándale arriba" may have been intended to mean "hurry up." Sylvester soon gets his comeuppance. The cartoon won the 1955 Academy Award for Best Short Subject (Cartoons).

While Speedy's last name is given as "Gonzalez" on a printed business card in "Cat-Tails", it is spelled with an "s" from "Speedy Gonzales" onward. Today, the earlier spelling is occasionally used by accident.

Freleng and McKimson soon set Sylvester up as Speedy's regular nemesis in a series of cartoons, much in the same way Chuck Jones had paired Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner in his Road Runner cartoons. Sylvester, often called "El Gringo Pussygato" by Speedy, is constantly outsmarted and outrun by The Fastest Mouse in All of Mexico, causing the cat to suffer all manner of pain and humiliation from mousetraps to accidentally consuming large amounts of Tabasco hot sauce and everything in between.

Other cartoons pair the mouse with his cousin, Slowpoke Rodriguez, The Slowest Mouse in All of Mexico. Slowpoke regularly gets into all sorts of trouble that often require Speedy to save him, but he compensates for his slowness by packing a gun and having strong hypnosis powers.

In the mid-1960s when DePatie-Freleng Enterprises took over the production of Looney Tunes, Speedy's main nemesis became Daffy Duck, due to limitations from the studio. Speedy was initially planned to star separately from Daffy for the DFE cartoons, but was later made the same appearances with Daffy to concurrently star the two. He is not paired with Sylvester or Daffy in "Cat-Tails for Two", "Tabasco Road", "Mexicali Shmoes", "Tortilla Flaps", and "Pancho's Hideaway", which instead pits him against equally dimwitted opponents such as Jose and Manuel and Señor Vulturo to violent criminals such as a Mexican-based Yosemite Sam named Pancho Vanilla.

Censorship[]

Speedy-sylvester1

Speedy and Sylvester

In 1999, Cartoon Network ceased to air any of Speedy Gonzales' cartoons. In an interview with Fox News on 28 March 2002, Cartoon Network spokeswoman Laurie Goldberg commented, "It hasn't been on the air for years because of its ethnic stereotypes." This is widely believed to refer to Speedy's fellow mice, who are all shown as being slow and lazy, and sometimes even appear intoxicated. However, fan campaigns to put Speedy back on the air resulted in the return of the animated shorts to Cartoon Network in 2002, although the shorts are rarely shown.

In "Gonzales' Tamales", the town mice instigate a feud between Speedy and Sylvester because the speedy rodent has been stealing the hearts of all the females. Much of the dialogue between Mexican characters is in English and the small amount of Spanish that peppers the dialogue consists of basic greetings, goodbyes, exclamations, and misplaced references to popular Mexican foods. This criticism prompted Cartoon Network to largely shelve Speedy's films when it gained exclusive rights to broadcast them in 1999. However, fan campaigns to put Speedy back on the air, backed by The League Of United Latin American Citizens, saw the shorts' return to air from 2002.

Despite the controversy in the U.S.A., Speedy Gonzales remains a very popular character in Latin America. In Mexico, The Speedy Gonzales Show has been on and off part of the regular programming of Televisa Canal 5 national channel since it was created, as well as the Mexican Cable children's network ZAZ, where they show a title card of Speedy Gonzales playing a guitar with the words "Buenas Noches" (Spanish for "good night") when they end their broadcast for the night.

In a 2010 Looney Tunes New Year's Day marathon, the Cartoon Network showed the cartoon "Mexican Boarders" having both Speedy and Slowpoke. As of 2014, Speedy Gonzales cartoons had ceased airing on Cartoon Network and Boomerang USA.

This "ban" only applies to Cartoon Network and Boomerang USA, as other U.S. networks such as MeTV, as well as international Cartoon Network and Boomerang feeds (especially in Latin America and Europe) and Tooncast have aired Speedy Gonzales shorts.

Other Appearances[]

In 1983, he co-starred in Daffy Duck's Movie: Fantastic Island. In 1988, he made a cameo appearance in the ending scene of Who Framed Roger Rabbit. He has one appearance in the Tiny Toon Adventures episode segment "The Acme Acres Summer Olympics", as the coach, and serving as the mentor of Lightning Rodriguez. In 1996, he made a short appearance in the film Space Jam. In 2000, he made a short appearance in Tweety's High-Flying Adventure as Tweety and Aoogah are in Mexico. In 2003, he made a cameo alongside Porky Pig in the film Looney Tunes Back in Action, making fun of his politically incorrect status. At around the same time, he made a non-speaking cameo in an episode of ¡Mucha Lucha! entitled "Lucha, Rinse and Repeat". In 2009, he made a cameo in Kid vs. Kat in "The Kat Whisperer".

Volume 4 of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection DVD series, released 14 November 2006, has an entire disc of Speedy shorts, although some of his other shorts had previously been released on Volumes 1 and 3. Speedy is mentioned in one Duck Dodgers episode, after Porky Pig sits on Daffy Duck, prompting him to say, "I knew I should've chosen Speedy Gonzales as a sidekick!"

In the 2000s, Speedy was going to have his own series La Familia Gonzales that would have aired on Cartoon Network, but the series was never produced.[4]

The Looney Tunes Show[]

Looneytunes clip 005 02 Speedy 640x360

Speedy in The Looney Tunes Show

Speedy appeared in The Looney Tunes Show episodes voiced by Fred Armisen. The Looney Tunes Show features a deeper-voiced Speedy Gonzales. He lives with Bugs and Daffy as their "mouse-in-the-wall" and runs a pizza parlor called "Pizzarriba". He acts as Daffy's "Jiminy Cricket," which is a far cry from the antagonistic relationship they had in the old days. In the episode "Sunday Night Slice", Bugs buys his favorite pizzeria to prevent it from being closed and hires Speedy to help him. When Bugs decides he doesn't want to own a restaurant anymore, he hands ownership of it to Speedy. He is also in a Zorro parody Merrie Melodies segment called "Queso Bandito", and appears in other Merrie Melodies segments called "Pizzarriba" and "Table for One".

Speedy Gonzales appeared in the 2015 direct-to-video movie Looney Tunes: Rabbits Run. He is Lola Bunny's landlord.

New Looney Tunes[]

Speedy appears in the New Looney Tunes episode "Tweet Team", where he enlists the help of Tweety, Gabby Goat and Marc Anthony when his mice friends are captured by a gang of cats consisting of Sylvester, Claude Cat and Pete Puma.

Looney Tunes Cartoons[]

Speedy was not allowed to appear in Looney Tunes Cartoons,[5] although he makes a cameo in "Happy Birthday Bugs Bunny!" and is indirectly mentioned in "Climate Control", "Parky Pig", "Graveyard Goofs", and "Eyes Wide Fudd".

Bugs Bunny Builders[]

Speedy appears in Bugs Bunny Builders as a soccer player from Mexico.

In Other Media[]

In 1962, pop singer Pat Boone scored a Top 10 hit in the United States with the song "Speedy Gonzales", which featured Mel Blanc spouting fake-Mexican phrases as Speedy. It was also sung by Manolo Muñoz and A.B. Quintanilla's Kumbia All Star, whose music video featured Speedy.

Henry Mancini borrowed the character's name for the title of an instrumental composition, first featured on his 1961 album Mr. Lucky Goes Latin.

In the Family Guy episode "Padre De Familia" Peter creates an American version of Speedy called "Rapid Dave" after deciding that immigrants shouldn't be allowed into America.

In 2006, Volkswagen licensed Speedy Gonzales for a series of Spanish-language commercials for the Volkswagen Golf, using footage from the cartoon of the same name.

In October 2010, Speedy Gonzales appeared alongside other Looney Tunes characters in a Virgin Media advertising campaign. Speedy also served as the mascot for Virgin Media, a double reference to his own speed and to that of the company's fiber optic broadband. Speedy was voiced by Kerry Shale in these adverts.

Speedy briefly appears in the Robot Chicken episode "Werewolf vs. Unicorn" when he penetrates Sylvester's fence.

Speedy Gonzales appears in the Drawn Together episode "The One Wherein There Is a Big Twist, Part II" where he is one of the candidates who wants to be the new housemates.

Speedy appeared in the MetLife Super Bowl commercial in 2012.

In Transformice, there are title achievements called "¡Ándale! ¡Ándale!" and "Speedy Gorgonzola".

Film[]

In February 2010, New Line Cinema and parent company Warner Bros. Pictures announced that they were planning a live-action/animated combo feature film based on the Looney Tunes character that was set to be released in 2014. Alec Sokolow and Joel Cohen, who adapted the comic strip Garfield into a similar-style live-action/animated family film, would have written the script for the coming-of-age story, which was set in the present day. The story featured Speedy, a young and misunderstood Mexican mouse who finds himself leaving his family to go out in the world and figure out what he is good at. He soon makes friends with a nervous racecar driver.[6] In 2016, it was announced that Eugenio Derbez would voice the character and co-produce the movie along with Dylan Sellers and Ben Odell.[7]

Filmography[]

Main article: List of Speedy Gonzales cartoons

Gallery[]

Main article: Speedy Gonzales/Gallery

Voice Actors[]

Quotes[]

  • "¡Ándale! ¡Ándale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba! ¡Epa! ¡Epa! Yehaaah!"
  • "Hola, pussycat! Are you looking for a nice mouse for dinner?"
  • "I don't see that silly pussycat today. He must be asleep. I better wake him up!"
  • "They don't make pussycats like they used to."
  • "Holy frijoles! That thing runs faster than me!"
  • "You are much too pink! That is why that is your nombre!"
  • "Orale ese, give me back my mota!"
  • "I like this pussycat fellow. He silly!"
  • "Hey, it's not fair to spy! That's cheating!"
  • "Hola, pussycats! You like Hot Tamales?"
  • "I'm stuck!"
  • "Grab your sombreros, amigos! Here we go again!"
  • "We must find water. My throat is so dry!"

References[]

Characters
Main Characters
Bugs Bunny (Prototype Bugs Bunny) Daffy Duck Elmer Fudd Foghorn Leghorn Lola Bunny (Honey Bunny) Marvin the Martian (K-9) Pepé Le Pew (Penelope Pussycat) Porky Pig Road Runner Speedy Gonzales Sylvester (Sylvester Jr.) Taz Tweety Wile E. Coyote Yosemite Sam
Recurring Golden Age Characters
1930s debuts

Bosko Honey Bruno Foxy Piggy Goopy Geer Buddy Cookie Beans Little Kitty Oliver Owl Ham and Ex Petunia Pig Piggy Hamhock Gabby Goat Egghead Big Bad Wolf Little Red Riding Hood Yoyo Dodo Mrs. Daffy Duck The Two Curious Puppies Sniffles Inki Minah Bird

1940s debuts

Willoughby Three Little Pigs Cecil Turtle Beaky Buzzard Mama Buzzard Leo the Lion Babbit and Catstello Conrad the Cat Hubie and Bertie Claude Cat A. Flea The Three Bears Schnooks Hector the Bulldog The Drunk Stork Gossamer Rocky Barnyard Dawg Henery Hawk Charlie Dog Bobo the Elephant Goofy Gophers The Dog Wellington Gruesome Gorilla Hippety Hopper The Talking Bulldog The Crusher The Supreme Cat Playboy Penguin

1950s debuts

Melissa Duck Frisky Puppy Granny (Proto-Granny) Miss Prissy (Emily the Chicken) Sam Cat Nasty Canasta Marc Anthony and Pussyfoot Chester Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheepdog Toro the Bull The Weasel Witch Hazel Tasmanian She-Devil Ralph Phillips Egghead Jr. Mugsy Jose and Manuel The Honey-Mousers (Ralph Crumden, Ned Morton, Alice Crumden, Trixie Morton) Instant Martians Slowpoke Rodriguez Pappy and Elvis Blacque Jacque Shellacque

1960s debuts

Cool Cat Colonel Rimfire Merlin the Magic Mouse Second Banana Bunny and Claude

One-Off Golden Age Characters
1930s debuts

Owl Jolson

1940s debuts

The Gremlin The Dover Boys (Tom Dover, Dick Dover, Larry Dover, Dora Standpipe, Dan Backslide) Mr. Meek Russian Dog The Little Man from the Draft Board Colonel Shuffle Giovanni Jones

1950s debuts

The Martin Brothers Pete Puma George and Benny Babyface Finster Michigan J. Frog Shropshire Slasher Mot Pablo and Fernando Charles M. Wolf Señor Vulturo Mighty Angelo

1960s debuts

Hugo the Abominable Snowman Nelly the Giraffe Count Bloodcount Spooky Rapid Rabbit and Quick Brown Fox

Post-Golden Age Characters
Tiny Toon Adventures

Buster Bunny Babs Bunny Plucky Duck Hamton J. Pig Fifi La Fume Shirley the Loon Sweetie Bird Elmyra Duff Montana Max

Taz-Mania

Jean Hugh Molly Jake Dog the Turtle Drew

Pinky and the Brain

Pinky The Brain

Baby Looney Tunes

Floyd Minton

Duck Dodgers

Dr. I.Q. Hi Captain Star Johnson Commander X2

Loonatics Unleashed

Ace Bunny Lexi Bunny Danger Duck Slam Tasmanian Tech E. Coyote Rev Runner

The Looney Tunes Show

Tina Russo

New Looney Tunes

Squeaks the Squirrel Bigfoot Barbarian Boyd Cal Carl the Grim Rabbit Claudette Dupri Dr. Clovenhoof Eagle Scout Elliot Sampson Horace the Horse Ivana Jack Thes Leslie P. Lilylegs Miss Cougar Pampreen Perdy and Paul Perdy Rhoda Roundhouse Shameless O'Scanty Sir Littlechin Slugsworthy the First Squint Eatswood Tad Tucker Trey Hugger Viktor Winter Stag

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