Speedy Gonzales


Speedy Gonzales

WBToonChar
name = Speedy Gonzales


image caption = Speedy Gonzales
first appearance ="Cat-Tails for Two" (1953)
created by = Robert McKimson, Friz Freleng
voiced by = Mel Blanc, Joe Alaskey (current)
known aliases =
known relatives = Slowpoke Rodriguez
knonw pets =
known friends =
known rivals = Sylvester the cat, Daffy Duck
catchphrases = "¡Ándale! ¡Ándale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba!" (Spanish for Up! Move!)

Speedy Gonzales, "the fastest mouse in all Mexico", is an animated cartoon mouse from the Warner Brothers "Looney Tunes" and "Merrie Melodies" series of cartoons. Speedy's major traits are his ability to run extremely fast and his comedic Mexican accent. He usually wears an oversized yellow sombrero, a white shirt and trousers, and a red ascot.

History

Speedy debuted in 1953's "Cat-Tails for Two", directed by Robert McKimson. This early Speedy was a meaner, skinnier, rattier-looking creation with a sizable gold front tooth. It would be two years before Friz Freleng and animator Hawley Pratt redesigned the character into his modern incarnation for the 1955 Freleng short, "Speedy Gonzales". The cartoon features Sylvester the cat menacing a group of mice while guarding a cheese factory at the Mexican border. The mice call in the plucky, excessively energetic Speedy to save them, and amid cries of "¡Ándale! ¡Ándale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba!" (Spanish for "Hurry up! Get up!") courtesy of Mel Blanc, Sylvester soon gets his painful comeuppance. The cartoon won the 1955 Academy Award for Best Short Subject (Cartoons).

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 Greengo Pussygato" by Speedy) is constantly outsmarted and outrun by the mouse, causing the cat to suffer all manner of pain and humiliation from mousetraps to accidentally consuming large amounts of hot sauce. Other cartoons pair the mouse with his cousin, Slowpoke Rodriguez, the "slowest mouse in all Mexico." Slowpoke regularly gets into all sorts of trouble that often require Speedy to save him. Beginning in the mid 1960s, Speedy's main nemesis became Daffy Duck—a move which some fans consider an unusual combination (Sylvester's appropriateness, being a cat, was never questioned) and as depicting the already morally ambiguous duck as excessively malicious.

Controversy

Speedy's cartoons have come under fire in recent years for their alleged stereotypical depictions of Mexicans and Mexican life. Mice in the shorts are usually shown as lazy, womanizing and hard-drinking. Speedy is the only character capable of saving them from this lifestyle. Speedy also wears an oversized sombrero and sometimes plays in a mariachi band. It is implied that Speedy is promiscuous when the other mice say "He [Speedy] goes steady with my sister" "Speedy Gonzales goes steady with everybody's sister!"cite video
people = Speedy Gonzales, "Tortilla Flaps"
title = [http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5728952011723329689&ei=0gquSJOcJYjyqwO62Y2PDQ&q=speedy+gonzales&vt=lf]
medium = Cartoon
publisher = Warner Brothers
location = USA
year2 = 1958
] , or the episode when the town mice instigate a feud between Speedy and Sylvester the Cat because Speedy 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 largely to shelve Speedy's films when it gained exclusive rights to broadcast them in 1999. Ironically however, fan campaigns to put Speedy back on the air, as well as lobbying by The League of United Latin American Citizens, who argued that Speedy's cleverness and energetic personality was a positive depiction of Mexicans,Fact|date=May 2008 turned the tide in his favor, and in 2002 the shorts were allowed to re-air on Cartoon Network. Fact|date=November 2007 Also ironically, Speedy Gonzales remains a popular character in Mexico despite the controversy.

Also, it should be noted that, despite the misconception that Speedy enforces negative stereotypes, Speedy also posesses a large number of positive qualities: he is overwhelmingly altruistic (many of his cartoons feature him selflessly helping others), he does not drink alcohol (unlike many of his friends), he is friendly to even total strangers, he rescues those in need, he is very intelligent, and has a kind disposition to all.

Other appearances

In 2003, he made a cameo appearance alongside Porky Pig in the film "", making fun of his politically incorrect status. At around the same time, he also made a non-speaking cameo appearance in an episode of "¡Mucha Lucha!" titled "Lucha, Rinse and Repeat" and blinked to the viewers.

Volume 4 of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection DVD series, released on November 14, 2006, has an entire disc of Speedy shorts.

Speedy Gonzales has appeared in a couple of video games, similar in design to the Sonic the Hedgehog games (some were even transformed into pirate Sonic games), for Super NES and Game Boy, as well as the short lived Game Gear.

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 faux-Mexican phrases as Speedy. It was also sung by Manolo Muñoz and A.B. Quintanilla's Kumbia All Starz.

In 2006, Volkswagen licensed Speedy Gonzales for a series of Spanish-language commercials for the Volkswagen Golf. [http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1742621901085942804] [http://13gb.com/media.php?media_id=1992] [http://13gb.com/media.php?media_id=2112]

Speedy Gonzales also made a cameo appearance in the "Drawn Together" episode "The One Wherein There Is a Big Twist, Part II" where his speed is attributed to the use of cocaine. He is also seen in episode "Mexican't Buy Me Love" where he is featured as one of the faces on a Mexican version of Mount Rushmore, the other characters being the Taco Bell chihuahua, Jose Leno (a Mexican version of Jay Leno), and a donkey. The mice from Speedy Gonzales's cartoons have also made multiple appearances, usually as references to illustrate Mexican stereotypes. In "Breakfast Food Killer," he is among the characters auditioning to be the new cereal mascot.

Speedy Gonzales appears in the "Robot Chicken" episode "Werewolf VS Unicorn" voiced by Seth Green. During the illegal aliens from Mexico segment, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester demonstrate a wired fence that will keep the aliens out only for Speedy Gonzales to get through it.

See also

*List of Speedy Gonzales cartoons

Notes

References

* Nericcio, William Anthony (2006). " [Tex [t] -Mex: Seductive Hallucinations of the "Mexican" in America] [http://www.utexas.edu/utpress/books/nertex.html] ." University of Texas Press.
* Schneider, Steve (1990). "That's All Folks!: The Art of Warner Bros. Animation". Henry Holt & Co.
* Solomon, Charles (1994). "The History of Animation: Enchanted Drawings". Random House Value Publishing.

External links

* [http://www.speedygonzales.info/ Speedy Gonzales]
* [http://www.cartoonspot.net/looney-tunes/speedy-gonzales-picture.php Some Speedy Gonzales pictures]
* [http://www.twin-music.com/azlyrics/b_file/songs/boone/speed.html The Speedy Gonzales Song]
* [http://textmex.blogspot.com/search?q=speedy+gonzales The Tex(t)-Mex Galleryblog] an archive for the second edition of the University of Texas Press (2007) [http://www.utexas.edu/utpress/books/nertex.html book] on stereotypes.


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