Speedy Gonzales

Posted in WB Cartoon Companion on March 22, 2004

    The fastest mouse in all of Mexico, Speedy was the star of a long-running series of cartoons, even surviving well into the DePatie-Freleng era following the closure of the Warner Brothers studio in 1963. The series was quite sucessful, winning an Oscar for Speedy Gonzales (Freleng, 1955), also receiving nominations for Tabasco Road (McKimson, 1957), Mexicali Schmoes (Freleng, 1959), and The Pied Piper of Guadalupe (Freleng, 1961). I personally do not understand why, since in large measure the series is even more formulaïc that the Pépe le Pew and Forghorn Leghorn series. Speedy himself has rather little personality, outside the stereotypical love for everybody’s “seesters”.

    Mel Blanc provided the voice of the character, basing it partly on his “Little Mexican” character that he played on the Jack Benny radio program (“Si... Sy... Sue... Sew...”). The character debuted in Cat-Tails for Two (McKimson, 1953), but it was the Freleng unit that eventually fixed the depiction of the character as we know it today.

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