The Rebel Without Claws
Directed By: Friz Freleng
Produced By: David H. DePatie
Released: July 15, 1961
Series: Looney Tunes
Story: Friz Freleng
Animation: Gerry Chiniquy
Art Davis
Virgil Ross
Tom Ray
Bob Matz
Art Leonardi (assistant animation)
Layouts: Hawley Pratt
Corny Cole (assistant layout)
Backgrounds: Tom O'Loughlin
Film Editor: Treg Brown
Voiced By: Mel Blanc
Music: Milt Franklyn
Starring: Sylvester
Preceded By: A Scent of the Matterhorn
Succeeded By: Compressed Hare

The Rebel Without Claws is a 1961 Looney Tunes short written and directed by Friz Freleng. When shown on television anthology programs like The Merrie Melodies Show, the title was changed to Rebel Without Claws.


The title is a play on the 1955 movie Rebel Without a Cause.


The Confederates want to get an "important message" to General Robert E. Lee, but all the carrier pigeons have been shot down. The soldiers realize that Tweety is their last hope and turn to him for their mission. The Union soldiers learn of the Confederates' attempt and counter with their "Messenger Destroyer," who turns out to be none other than Sylvester. "I tawt I taw a damn Yankee tat," says Tweety just before the chase begins.

Sylvester is blown out of a cannon; Tweety momentarily tricks Sylvester into thinking Union soldiers are marching to battle (Sylvester tries to confront the canary but is blown away by Confederate soldiers); and Tweety hides behind cannons on a fighter ship (Sylvester takes the brunt of more explosions).

Eventually, Sylvester disguises himself as General Lee and grabs Tweety. The bird is taken to the firing line for execution. He states that his only regret is that he has "but one wife to give foh my countwy", to which Sylvester says that he has nine lives, But the commander and his soldiers prove incompetent — they shoot Sylvester instead! "It's a good thing I have got nine lives! With this kind of an army, I'll need 'em!"




  • The version of this cartoon that aired on the former WB Channel cuts out the "damn" in the Confederate Officer's line "Damn Yankees!" and deletes Tweety's line "I tawt I taw a damn Yankee Tat!".[1]
  • Cartoon Network's version of this cartoon, much like The WB's version, also removes the two usages of the word "Damn". Unlike The WB, however, CN used a fake blackout to end the scene where the Confederate Officer gives his sidekick the letter to deliver to General Lee early to remove the officer's line "Damn Yankees!" and shortened Tweety's line "I tawt I taw a damn Yankee tat!" to "I tawt I taw a Yankee tat!" with a somewhat obvious audio cut. It should be noted that Cartoon Network outside the United States airs the short uncut. [1]
  • The version of this cartoon that aired on the syndicated "Merrie Melodies: Starring Bugs Bunny & Friends" show left in both uses of the word "damn", but cut a scene in the middle of the cartoon where Sylvester pursues Tweety on a ship and gets blasted by cannons (though this cut scene was shown in a "Hip Clip" on another episode of "Merrie Melodies")[1]


TV Title Cards


  • Friedwald, Will and Jerry Beck. "The Warner Brothers Cartoons." Scarecrow Press Inc., Metuchen, N.J., 1981. ISBN 0-8108-1396-3.
Preceded by
Trip for Tat
Tweety and Sylvester cartoons
Succeeded by
The Last Hungry Cat
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