“Oh, what a beautiful view!”
Directed by Friz Freleng; Story by Micahel Maltese; Animation by Gerry Chiniquy, Virgil Ross, and Tom Ray; Layouts by Hawley Pratt; Backgrounds by Hawley Pratt; Backgrounds by Tom O’Loughlin; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Milt Franklyn. A Merrie Melody released on October 29, 1960.
Traveling this magnificent planet of ours is something I’d like to do, but I don’t care for traveling by plane or actually spending money I’ll probably need for future medical fees, so I have to make do by watching animated characters visit various foreign locales in my stead. What good luck for me to hear Granny is going on a four-country tour. And since she’s allowed to bring Tweety along for the ride, Sylvester will be not too far behind.
Granny chooses to travel via ocean liner, so there’s a perfect opportunity to reuse gags from “Tweety’s S.O.S.“. Namely, rocking a boat illustration to get Sylvester sea sick, then further upsetting his stomach with offerings of pork. (Tweety materializes out of the void while Sylvester is heaving.) First stop: France. Since Freleng’s unit didn’t direct any Pepe shorts, we’re getting some original content here. Tweety paints a portrait of his predator, unaware that Sylvester has just stuck his face through the canvas. Aghast at how his creation is coming out, Tweety erases the face. A now-faceless Sylvester rushes to get a new one tattooed on. (Of all the things to someday be able to recreate in a video game…)
Next stop: the Swiss Alps. Granny is set to skiing and tells Tweety she’ll meet him at the lifts. Letting Tweety out of his cage’s safety seems out of character for the old girl, but it’s so we can reuse a bit from “Tree Cornered Tweety.” where Sylvester chases Tweety on skis of his own, and crashes into a tree. Then a gag from the same short is taken in Japan, with Sylvester sawing through a bridge when trying to get Tweety, and sinking a boat below. (At least they switched out the white person with the stereotypical Asian kind. It’s not an improvement, it just shows effort.)
Final stop: Italy. Sylvester can retry a stunt he previously failed to pull off in “Tweet Tweet Tweety,” involving a swing that arcs into the path of some construction machinery. But this time, I can’t understand why there’s a swing in the middle of a city, the punchline takes an extra ten seconds to happen, and Sylvester’s line after getting hit sounds like Mel was attempting to speak through closed lips. And if you thought they wouldn’t reuse any bit from the last time these characters were in Italy, (“A Pizza Tweety Pie”) you probably just weren’t aware that short existed. Here though, Sylvester gets to eat his spaghetti without any consequence. It’s so nice to see him get to eat a meal and enjoy it.
Favorite Part: Granny’s “finger” painting in France was an excellent use of punnery. (Being some of the only original animation featured was also a plus.)
Personal Rating: 2. There’s just barely enough different to recommend the obsessed fans give it a look. (Though I can’t promise you’ll find it worth your time.)