Sunday, March 23, 2014

El Original de Speedy Gonzales


Originally Speedy Gonzalez (as originally spelled on the business card he hands the two stray dock cats, Benny and George, who hope to catch and devour him) was presented to the world, in an animated short film directed and designed by Robert McKimson in 1953, as a lean ratty stowaway wearing a red polo shirt and sporting a prominent gold tooth among many sizable teeth; not at all the iconic character who graces the sides of innumerable moving vans and delivery trucks.  I don't know that I like Friz Freleng's cleaned up, toothless version that supplanted this spirited creature better, but it is a bit of a shock to find your hero's original incarnation was so far different from the form you came to love.  Such is not the case with our present hero, the ultimate Speedy, though a small amount of cleaning up does seem to have been imposed upon him by his director/producer.  His complexion becomes somewhat clearer after his two initial appearances and more and more of his body hair is senselessly trimmed.  Still, he is clearly the same endearing presence in all his videos, from first to last.  I will hence forth let his pictures pretty much speak for themselves: