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Little yellow canary bird that is the eternal target of Sylvester the Cat, Tweety usually benefits from either the intercession of outsiders, such as Granny or one of the generic bulldogs that infest WB cartoons, or just plain cartoon laws of gravity and luck. On occasion, and this was particularly true in his first few cartoons, Tweety would take the offensive in protecting himself. Tweety was the creation of Bob Clampett, who had a fascination with baby birds he fondly remembered from nature films, as well as a baby picture of himself he remembered rather less fondly. While WB had had similar birds before (the Avery/Clampett 1941 cartoon The Cagey Canary), Clampett gave the bird (originally called Orson,judging from an early model sheet) a lisping baby voice, a head proportioned like a baby, and a temperament borrowed perhaps from the "Red Skelton" character of Junior, the Mean Widdle Kid.
In his debut in A Tale of Two Kitties (Clampett, 1942) and in the follow-ups Birdy and the Beast and A Gruesome Twosome ( both Clampett, 1944 and 1945), Tweety (first named in the credits for Birdy and the Beast) shows that he is no helpless little orphan, as he uses gasoline, hand grenades, dynamite and clubs to protect himself.
Originally pink, Tweety was changed to yellow, after censors complained (no doubt tipped off by the Durante-like cat in A Gruesome Twosome calling Tweety the naked genius. Clampett did some of the early preliminary work on Tweetie Pie before turning the project over to Friz Freleng, who steered it to an Oscar-winning cartoon. (Odd footnote: no one appears to know the complete credits for the cartoon; they are not listed in the records of the Library of Congress, nor in Beck and Friedwald, and it does not appear that any version exists other than the Blue Ribbon version which eliminates the credits; it is hoped that this will be remedied someday.)