Spike the Bulldog and Chester the Terrier


Spike the Bulldog and Chester the Terrier

Spike the Bulldog and Chester the Terrier are animated cartoon characters in the Warner Bros. "Looney Tunes" and "Merrie Melodies" series of cartoons. Spike is a burly, gray bulldog who wears a red sweater, a brown bowler hat, and a perpetual scowl. Chester is just the opposite, small and jumpy with yellow fur and brown, perky ears.

The characters starred in only two shorts, both directed by animator Friz Freleng. The first of these films was 1952's "Tree for Two". In it, Chester tells his idol Spike that he knows of a cat that they can beat up. The cat is Freleng's own Sylvester, but every time Spike thinks he has the cat cornered, a runaway zoo black panther appears in Sylvester's place, thrashing the dog instead. When Chester decides to have a go of it, however, Sylvester finds himself at the little dog's mercy. By the cartoon's end, Spike and Chester have switched roles; Spike is the fawning sycophant, and Chester the smug prizefighter.

The characters' second outing came in the 1954 film "Dr. Jerkyl's Hyde". Spike (here called "Alfie") is once again after Sylvester, only this time it is Sylvester himself who pummels the poor pooch, thanks to a potion that transforms him into a feline monster. Chester, of course, never sees this transformed Sylvester, thinking his buddy is being beaten by the tiny tomcat. The final loss of face for Alfie is his being thrashed by a fly that has also been affected by the potion, as it occurs in front of Chester's eyes.

In both of these cartoons, Spike is performed by voice actor Mel Blanc, and Chester is performed by Stan Freberg. In modern Warner Bros. media, Spike's voice is provided by Joe Alaskey,

Another bulldog character appeared in other cartoons with Sylvester and Tweety, but this character is not Spike; he is officially known as Hector the Bulldog. Several "Tom and Jerry" cartoons produced by MGM also featured a character named Spike the Bulldog (and his son, Tyke). This is another character, unrelated to the Spike used by Freleng.


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