Which Cartoon Character Was Recolored At The Urging Of Cartoon Censors?
It’s difficult to imagine Tweety ever serving as a center of controversy. The tiny yellow bird was created by golden age cartoonist Bob Clampett, introduced by Warner Brothers in 1942, and best known as a foil for Sylvester, a cat determined to eat him.
Originally, Tweety sported a light pink color since he was supposed to represent a helpless baby bird who hadn’t developed proper plumage yet. Censors were a little more uptight back in the golden age of animation, however, and they insisted that Warner Brothers recolor him. Why? Because his authentic pink color (baby birds certainly aren’t born yellow, black, green, or whatever color their adult plumage will be) could be misconstrued as nudity, and as far as the censors were concerned, it was far too inappropriate for children.
We’re not exactly sure what was too titillating about a 3-4″ tall “naked” bird, but the will of the censors was law back then and Warner Brothers yielded, giving Tweety his distinct and enduring bright yellow color.
Image courtesy of Warner Brothers.